Korean GP practice as it happened

Text and video highlights of second practice for the Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam, where Sebastian Vettel was fastest.

12 October 2012 Last updated at 07:56

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As it happened

  1. 0755: 

    Time for me to get some shuteye. Thanks for your company and contributions as always. Rest up and recharge ready to do it all again bright and early tomorrow. Until then, it's good morning from me. See ya.

  2. 0753: 

    Keep an eye on bbc.co.uk/f1 later today for a snappy second practice highlights package courtesy of Tom Bowker in our multimedia team, plus all the reaction from the Yeongam paddock. Lee McKenzie will then hit your screens with analysis on the BBC News channel at 1845 BST with Inside F1.

  3. 0750: 

    Don't forget the Korean Grand Prix is live across the BBC this weekend. I'll be back at 0230 BST tomorrow morning to build up to third and final free practice with qualifying starting at 0600. Lights go out at 0700 BST on Sunday with a race replay at 1405 for those hanging after a night out on Saturday.

  4. 0747: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's second practice report, which will catch you up if you a) slept right through it and are now feeling in tip top shape or b) woke up for practice but dozed off now and then and now feel a bit rubbish ahead of work. You get a gold star if you were in the latter camp, though I'm not sure how useful that'll be when you're snoozing at your desk later today, but hey, it's nearly the weekend, eh?

  5. 0743: 

    Just six tenths separated Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa in the top six. The next eight are then covered by less than a second. Qualifying is going to be mighty close tomorrow and with traffic clearly a problem here, we could get a shock or two in both Q1 and Q2.

  6. 0739: 

    The scene is set for another intriguing qualifying session on Saturday, with Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all in the mix.

    You'd have to say Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel are the ones to beat in qualifying - and let's not forget the German won here in dominant style last year - but Ferrari's qualifying pace - their Achilles heel this season - looks like an improvement.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I think Lewis is a bit disgruntled - he didn't get a time in on the super-softs and he was complaining about his front tyres going off during the race runs.

    "Red Bull look pretty strong. Jenson Button looked good on the race simulations - he was probably the fastest car out there.

    "But they're all up there, the Red Bulls Ferraris and McLarens. And it looks like Schumacher and Rosberg might be getting in there a bit in amongst the title contenders."


    Sauber on Twitter: "#Checo says it is a shame he could not get the work done today because of the problem but nevertheless he is confident for the weekend."

  9. 0735: 

    And here's 1-12:

    1) Vettel 2) Webber 3) Alonso 4) Button 5) Schumacher 6) Massa 7) Rosberg 8) Hamilton 9) Hulkenberg 10) Raikkonen 11) Grosjean 12) Senna

  10. 0733: 

    Here's how they finished 13-24:

    13) Di Resta 14) Kobayashi 15) Perez 16) Vergne 17) Ricciardo 18) Maldonado 19) Kovalainen 20) Glock 21) Petrov 22) Pic 23) Karthikeyan 24) De la Rosa

  11. 0731: 


  12. 0729: 

    Most drivers are coming to the end of their long runs now as the clock counts down. Sebastian Vettel remains fastest, as he has done for the last 30 minutes as drivers switched to focus on race simulation.

  13. 0726: 

    Huge lock-up from Lewis Hamilton at Turn One, getting the braking all wrong and skidding off track. After looking quick in practice this morning, the 2008 world champion has been less than impressive in the afternoon. "The right front is destroyed," he tells his team.


    Sauber on Twitter: "#Checo had jumped into the car again but now it became clear he cannot go out again :-("

  15. 0723: 

    McLaren's Jenson Button's race engineer over team radio: "You are the fastest car on option tyres. This pace is very good."

  16. 0722: 

    Looks like Sergio Perez jumped the gun a bit. The Mexican has climbed out of his Sauber and is now taking off his helmet. Looks like he won't be getting anymore running in this session after all.

  17. 0720: 

    All coverage for the Korean GP this weekend is live here on the BBC Sport website, radio and TV. Final practice tomorrow is also live on the Red Button at 0255 BST and on 5 live sports extra.

    Qualifying is live on BBC One tomorrow from 0500 and repeated on BBC One at 1300. It's also live on 5 live sports extra from 0555.

    Race coverage on Sunday is on BBC One at 0600 and Radio 5 live at 0655. There's a repeat of the race on BBC One at 1405 and highlights on BBC Three at 1900.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "A final word on the driver market. One man who is more nervous than most at the moment is Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi. Despite his first career podium in Japan last weekend, there is no certainty he will be retained by Sauber. Nico Hulkenberg is being linked to one seat and the team may have to promote their Mexican reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez in deference to their sponsors. And Kobayashi, who has out-qualified McLaren-bound team-mate Sergio Perez 10-5 this season, does not have any backing to buy a drive elsewhere, a situation he was bemoaning on Thursday. "At the moment I have no sponsor to be here,' he said. 'It's very strange to need to find sponsor to drive with other team or here. The money is very important but basically I really want to be one of the top drivers without sponsor driving. I want to be in F1. Bringing sponsor is very important for future, but it is something we are missing how driver has to be. Now looks complicated with a lot of sponsoring, it is not the way a driver should have to be. I try to save myself to be in F1 next year.'"

  19. 0718: 

    Good news for Sergio Perez. The Mexican is putting his helmet and Hans device back on because it looks like he'll be able to get back on track with 11 minutes of this session still to go. Smart work from Sauber and Ferrari who supply engines to the team and identified the problem quickly.


    Nick McKeown on Twitter: "Dare I say it? looks like @InsideFerrari have brought a reasonably fast car to the track this week."

  21. 0715: 

    Sergio Perez looks on from the pit wall as his stricken Sauber returns to the pits. His team wheel it back into the garage and get to work. The Mexican skips over to keep an eye on progress.


    BBC weatherman Simon King on Twitter: "The weather for today's F1 practice in Korea has been dry, fine and sunny. It looks like staying that way all weekend, too."

  23. 0710: 

    Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne have headed in for a set of soft tyres while everyone else have decided to stay on the super-softs for their long run.

  24. 0709: 

    So Sebastian Vettel leads Mark Webber from Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

  25. 0707: 

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson says right now is the right time to be doing a long run because the conditions will be similar to those on race day.


    Sauber on Twitter: "#Kamui is back and planning his next run while #Checo has a break he doesn't enjoy."

  27. 0705: 

    Marussia's Charles Pic, who has completed just 11 laps during this session, is back out on track after the team changed his steering-rack.

  28. 0702: 

    Fernando Alonso sets personal bests in all three sectors to go third fastest, three tenths off the pace set by the Red Bulls who have retreated back to the pits to fill up on fuel and do a long run on the super-soft tyres in the remaining 25 minutes or so.


    Former HRT driver Karun Chandhok on Twitter: "The Red Bulls seem to be very strong in sector three compared to anyone else.... Consistently 3-4 tenths quicker."

  30. 0656: 

    Sebastian Vettel reclaims P1, creeping ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber by 0.032 seconds. Jenson Button goes third quickest, 0.387 seconds off the pace with Michael Schumacher two tenths further back in fourth.


    Sauber on Twitter: "Re. Sergio Perez stopping out on track. Ferrari was very quick in identifying the problem: an actuator related to the engine failed. No damage to the engine itself."

  32. 0654: 

    Mark Webber makes no mistake on his second flying lap on those super-soft tyres, breaking into the 1m38s to go two tenths quicker than anyone else.

  33. 0653: 

    Jenson Button goes second quickest on his first flier on the super-soft tyres. The McLaren driver is still 0.130 seconds off the pace set by Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa slots into fourth, three tenths off the pace, but the Brazilian losts some time in the final sector when the rear end stepped out.

  34. 0651: 

    Nothing yet is the answer. Both make mistakes on their first flying laps. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher waves his hand wildly at Pedro de la Rosa after the HRT appeared to block him earlier in the lap.

  35. 0650: 

    Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have headed out on the faster super-soft tyre. How much quicker can the Red Bulls go on that rubber?

  36. 0647: 

    Lewis Hamilton is sat in the car examining sheets of telemetry data while his mechanics are busy working underneath his McLaren. On the other side of the garage, three mechanics are focusing on making some tweaks to the front left side of Jenson Button's car.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Sebastian Vettel is quite open minded about trying new things. He did the same thing in Suzuka and found a new line in the Esses that helped him. So it's about maybe trying a new line into a corner that might result in going off without worrying about damaging the tyres."

  38. 0644: 

    Things have gone from bad to worse for Perez who has now stopped out on track. The Mexican reports he lost power before climbing out of the car and climbing over the barriers to get out of harms way.

  39. 0642: 

    Sergio Perez reports that his DRS is not working as Sauber appear to be struggling for pace. Perez is 11th fastest and Kamui Kobayashi - who finished third in the Japanese Grand Prix - is down in 18th.

  40. 0639: 

    So as we approach the midway point of the session, here's how they stand. Sebastian Vettel leads Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber by three tenths ahead of Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

  41. 0636: 

    Vettel is told the words he longs to hear: "We're pretty much done with these tyres, if you want to try something different go for it" from his team - which roughly translates to push the car as hard as you want without binning it.

  42. 0633: 

    Sebastian Vettel slices an impressive three tenths of a second off his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber's leading time to clock the fastest time of the weekend. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, has a big lock-up at Turn One and running well wide before rejoining.

  43. 0629: 

    Mark Webber, chauffeur to Usain Bolt, takes his turn at the top of the charts, shaving off nearly three tenths of a second to go quickest. Plenty of work going on in the HRT garage with mechanics busy trying to fix the rear wing back onto Pedro de la Rosa's car.

  44. 0627: 

    The super-soft tyres have made their first appearance in Korea, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez trying them on for size.


    Caterham on Twitter: "Vitaly was brought into the garage in run 1 with a right rear puncture. No problems with the car but we're changing the plan to save tyres."

  46. 0625: 

    Vitaly Petrov has a long face in the Caterham garage as he paces up and down waiting for the team to sort out his car. The Russian missed first practice as reserve driver Giedo van der Garde took over and has managed just two untimed laps in the second session.

  47. 0623: 

    Bruno Senna - who is under pressure to secure his drive at Williams for next season - makes a hash of it at Turn 11, losing the rear end and spinning off. His only saving grace is that he doesn't hit a barrier.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The Red Bull drivers are running with a different sidepod configuration. On Sebastian Vettel's car the duct that feeds air into the diffuser is bigger, longer. On Webber's car it's smaller, feeds less air. I think Vettel has put on the bigger one for this session."

  49. 0621: 

    Mighty close at the top as Felipe Massa - who scored his first podium in 35 races in the Japanese Grand Prix - goes quickest by 0.017 seconds from Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso. Just 0.030 separates Massa, Alonso, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

  50. 0619: 

    Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest time of all in the middle sector and personal bests in the first and third to go quickest of all, 0.077 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

  51. 0618: 

    One second separates the top nine drivers - Vettel, Massa, Schumacher, Webber, Alonso, Di Resta, Button, Perez and Hulkenberg - with five seconds covering the entire field.

  52. 0615: 

    The sun is shining at Yeongam, with the air temperature up a few degrees on this morning to a toasty 21C and the track temperature 29C.


    Fqiren on Twitter: "The drivers' championship has to be between Alonso and Vettel now. The rest are simply too far away. McLaren could concentrate on winning the constructors."

  54. 0613: 

    Lots of mistakes out on track with Sergio Perez the latest to get his braking wrong into the first corner and running wide onto the Tarmac run-off. There's no such problem for Sebastian Vettel, though, with the world champion going quickest by one tenth of a second.

  55. 0610: 

    Michael Schumacher is our new leader, breaking into the 1m39s in his Mercedes. Fernando Alonso goes second, one tenth off the pace ahead of Paul di Resta and Sebastian Vettel.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Another man the subject of gossip about his future is Pastor Maldonado, who some seem to think could move away from Williams. That has always sounded like a slightly confusing scenario, given that his presence at the team is linked to a five-year sponsorship deal that still has three years to run. Maldonado's benefactor, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was re-elected on Sunday. And after spending a couple of races intimating that he might be considering a move, Maldonado is now changing his tune. 'To be honest I really want to stay with Williams,' he said. 'It's a good team and is getting better and better every day. We've been rebuilding everything in the team and I think now it's more compact and the car is looking, as I mentioned before, every day better and better. So good confidence with them but at the moment there is not confirmation.'"

  57. 0607: 

    Paul di Resta is the early pacesetter, clocking a 1:40.331 seconds, 0.093 seconds quicker than the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.

  58. 0604: 

    Williams' Bruno Senna, Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Caterham's Vitaly Petrov and HRT's Narain Karthikeyan will get their first taste of the Korean International Circuit this year after reclaiming their machines from the team's reserve drivers.

  59. 0601: 

    Lewis Hamilton is keen. The 2008 world champion is first man out of the pits, closely followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Timo Glock.

  60. 0600: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Second practice for the Korean Grand Prix is go, go, go...

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Ferrari had three specifications of rear wing in first practice. Felipe Massa ran the whole time with the Singapore specification; Fernando Alonso ran a new one introduced in Suzuka but not raced. But he did his best lap time on the one they raced in Singapore. There seems to be something they don't like about the Suzuka one."

  62. 0555: 

    Jonathan Legard is up and running in the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box alongside Marussia reserve driver Max Chilton. Jennie Gow and Gary Anderson are sizzling down in the pit lane.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "It's that time of year when who goes where for the following season is one of the main topics of conversation. Things have gone quiet on the subject of Ferrari now that Felipe Massa seems to have done enough to retain his seat and the centre of attention is now Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, who had been linked to a Ferrari move but is now being touted as a possible replacement for McLaren-bound Sergio Perez at Sauber. The German, though, has clearly had enough of the endless questioning about his future. 'I do find it a bit tiring,' he admitted. 'Maybe I am staying, nothing has been announced yet. It gets a bit tough now, I must admit. It's been a long time now.'"


    Caterham on Twitter: "FP2 is 15 minutes away. Normal tyre program for us, running through various fuel loads & tyre runs to evaluate soft / supersoft compounds."

  65. 0546: 

    These live texts are always better when you lot get involved, so let's keep the chat coming. Has Lewis Hamilton still got a realistic shot at winning his second drivers' title? Is it Sebastian Vettel's to lose? Can Fernando Alonso hang on? Text 81111 (UK only) or tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag.

  66. 0542: 

    On Thursday night, the members of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association - which include the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg - caught up for a spot of dinner or "bonding" as Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo put it.

  67. 0539: 

    While I spent much of the break between races at the Manchester food festival, the drivers and team personnel hung out in Tokyo before heading over to Korea.

    Mark Webber, for example, turned chauffeur to usher the world's fastest man Usain Bolt from Narita airport to a downtown Tokyo hotel as part of a sponsor event.


    Caterham Giedo van der Garde on Twitter: "Enjoyed the session, some issues at the beginning, the car improved, and we could follow the program. Happy I was back in the car!"

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "All the top teams will have a car upgrade of one kind or another in Korea, but one of the biggest is on the Lotus. The team have introduced an exhaust of the type used all season by Ferrari and McLaren. It is being tested in Friday practice but the team are very hopeful it will race. Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful it can reinvigorate his title hopes, which he has kept alive with some impressive consistency despite not winning a race so far this season. 'We have some numbers from the wind tunnel and stuff like that,' Raikkonen said, 'and until we run those things on the circuit we are not 100% sure they will work. We have some high hopes but we have to see after practice.'"

  70. 0536: 

    For those of you who slept right through first practice, you missed Lewis Hamilton top the times in what was a pretty entertaining session with plenty of action and lock-ups on a dirty and dusty track.

  71. 0533: 

    Welcome back to those who have been with us from the start and a warm welcome to those joining us. I've already got through a bowl of pasta, a pack of biscuits, some cereal and three cups of tea and it's not even breakfast time yet. Crikey. It's all fuel to keep me going for this next 90-minute session which starts at 0600 BST and will be live on the red button and in the module above.

  72. 0530: 

    Wakey-wakey. Time to wake up from that slumber. We've got another practice session which is almost upon us...

  73. 0345: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's practice report, a video medley of the best interviews from the paddock on Thursday and this week's greatest driver which is Alain Prost. That should keep you busy till I return at 0530 BST to build up to second practice. Don't go falling asleep on me now. You've got this far. See you in a bit.

    BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards

    "It looks once again as it if it could be all three of the big teams fighting for pole position and the win. It could be a very exciting and closely fought race, which is just what we want at this point in the championship."

  75. 0342: 

    And here's 1-12:

    1) Hamilton 2) Alonso 3) Webber 4) Massa 5) Vettel 6) Schumacher 7) Rosberg 8) Grosjean 9) Di Resta 10) Button 11) Raikkonen 12) Maldonado

  76. 0339: 

    Here's how they finished 13-24:

    13) Bianchi 14) Kobayashi 15) Perez 16) Ricciardo 17) Vergne 18) Bottas 19) Kovalainen 20) Glock 21) Pic 22) Van der Garde 23) De la Rosa 24) Clos

  77. 0336: 

    Nice little marker for Lewis Hamilton there. The 2008 world champion needs victory this weekend, with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso finishing down the field, if he is to maintain any designs on this year's title.

  78. 0333: 

    The McLaren driver improves by another tenth on his final lap to go three tenths clear of Fernando Alonso in second. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are held up by traffic on their final runs and fail to improve.

  79. 0330: 


    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Formula 1 has turned an important corner this week, with the announcement that Monisha Kaltenborn will take over from team founder Peter Sauber as principal of his eponymous team. The decision makes the quietly impressive Kaltenborn the sport's first female team boss, a milestone whose importance is not lost on her. 'It is a lot of responsibility because if you mess it up it is even worse than if a man were to do that because people will probably point and say after all she was just a woman,' she said. 'You have to be more careful and maybe that creates a bit more pressure than if a man had risen to the same position.' She admitted F1 still had work to do in the area of gender equality. 'I hope it will change,' she said. 'F1 is a bit slow on that, like many other areas by the way, if you look at the financial area, for example. I hope more women will come up and the most important thing is to give them the opportunity. Women have the education, the confidence and the competence, but they simply need that opportunity.'"

  81. 0328: 

    Mark Webber improves slightly, but he stays third, three tenths off the pace. Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel can't improve, though, and stays fifth, eight tenths off the pace.

  82. 0325: 

    Just when it looked like Fernando Alonso was going to finish fastest, Lewis Hamilton decides he has something to say about that. The 2008 world champion trims nearly two tenths off the Ferrari driver's best.


    Kudzayi Chiwoko on Twitter: "The Ferrari looks quick..."

  84. 0320: 

    It's a huge lock-up for Fernando Alonso as he battles to slow the car down. "How much is the vibration?" asks his team. "Quite a lot," he replies. You can see the front-right is really vibrating, as is the Spaniard's steering wheel, so I suspect he'll be in the pits to ditch those boots sharpish.

  85. 0315: 

    With 15 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso continues to lead the way, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel with Michael Schumacher improving to sixth on the soft, prime tyre.


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Another run for @alo_oficial: again, the main purpose is the comparison between different aero configurations."

  87. 0310: 

    Talking of Felipe Massa, I was surprised to see the Brazilian has scored the third most points of anyone in the last four races - behind Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button - and is only one of two drivers (the other is Kimi Raikkonen) to have scored in every race since the summer break.

  88. 0306: 

    Felipe Massa's race engineer over team radio: "Unfortunately in Turn Three you had the start switch down. Which rather adversely affects the traction."

  89. 0302: 

    Mark Webber is horribly baulked by the Force India of Jules Bianchi, but still sets the fastest third sector time to go third quickest, three tenths off the pace. Michael Schumacher is in a spot of bother, telling his team that something is moving around underneath his seat. The Mercedes driver, who is seventh fastest overall, immediately pits so his team can take a look.

  90. 0259: 

    Lewis Hamilton is throwing that McLaren around this track beautifully, but a big lock up into Turn 15 sees him drop one-and-a-half tenths and slot into second, a mere 0.025 seconds off the pace.

  91. 0257: 

    Fernando Alonso is tearing strips out of his own lap times, improving each time he clocks another tour of this 18-corner circuit. Mark Webber has closed to the gap to just under sixth tenths as he slotted into second, but the Spaniard was having none of that and promptly upped the gap back to almost a second.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has arrived in Korea a chastened man after yet another first-lap collision in Japan. He received a visit after the race in Suzuka from his innocent victim, Mark Webber - and having an angry 6ft Australian after you is guaranteed to get your attention. The Franco-Swiss has admitted in Korea that he needs to sort himself out: 'Not having any contact on the first lap, that's clearly one of the objectives. I'd say there's work in progress and it takes a bit of time but yeah, it's a cycle as well: things have been going bad, and the more it goes bad…I'm conscious of the risk at the start. The Spa accident was quite impressive and I was the first one to be happy that Fernando had nothing [in the way of injuries]. I'm conscious of the risk; I paid the price as well for my mistake. In the team we spoke quite a lot; they are not happy, I am not happy the way we have been going through the first laps. There is 550 people working at Enstone to give us the best car and if you screw everything in the first 100m it's not right.'"

  93. 0254: 

    Plenty of lock-ups out on track at the minute as the drivers struggle to slow the car down on what is still a very dirty and slippery track. Jenson Button improves to second overall, but he's still sixth tenths off a second off the pace set by Fernando Alonso. You'd expect that, though, if Alonso is running less fuel.

  94. 0252: 

    Nico Rosberg has slotted into second behind Fernando Alonso, 0.689 seconds off the pace. Pastor Maldonado is a further half second back in third with Michael Schumacher in fourth.

  95. 0250: 

    The Red Bulls have finally made an appearance. Both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are out on track, having waited for everybody else to clear up the track. Webber goes 10th quickest on his first flier.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "It looks rather as if Fernando Alonso might be running with slightly less fuel than normal in this first practice session, judging by his lap times - he is more than a second clear of the field at the moment. He could well be trying to prepare better for qualifying - the Ferrari's Achilles' heel so far this year. 'That's certainly what I'd be doing,' says Gary Anderson. 'Qualifying is so important - most of the races have been won from the front row.'"

  97. 0247: 

    McLaren were the form team in the three races after the break, but dropped behind Red Bull at the fourth in Suzuka last weekend to damage their title hopes. Managing director Jonathan Neale, though, remains confident.

    "We go into this race with better certainty about out car - and some performance upgrades - and we would expect to be on par with the Red Bulls," he said. "It looks like the top three teams still have their foot down in the fight for this championship and are still bringing upgrades so it should be an interesting end to the championship."


    Anthony O'Connor on Twitter: "Sauber should offer Bottas a drive for 2013. They need an another driver and he needs a seat!"

  99. 0243: 

    Sergio Perez and Dani Clos get a bit too close for comfort at Turn One but avoid making contact and continue unscathed. A few corners later, Perez pushes a little, too hard, and runs off track. Luckily for the Mexican, there is plenty of concrete run-off here - unlike at Suzuka where Perez learnt the hard way - so there's no damage done.

  100. 0239: 

    Fernando Alonso goes quickest in his shiny red Ferrari with a 1:40.895. His team-mate Felipe Massa joins him up front top with a 1:41.369 to go second.


    Matt Hussey on Twitter: "Watching P1 in bed, no uni tomorrow! Almost as if it's built around grand prix weekends."

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Mark Webber's title hopes have been badly hit in the last few races. After his win at Silverstone, the Australian was looking like the man most likely to challenge Alonso, but now he is 60 points behind the Ferrari driver and very much in the last-chance saloon. 'We've had a few ropey runs of late,' the Red Bull driver said. 'Lots of different reasons: a few on my side - not driving well enough - a few on some dodgy strategies, and last weekend was out of my hands. In that case, all of a sudden, three or four or five races with definitely not the points you want.' But he dismissed any thought that it was time to help team-mate Sebastian Vettel's title challenge. 'I need to win,' he said, 'so that's my goal, I've come here to push. It was a good little battle between Seb and I in Suzuka, he did a very good job in Q3. We did a very good job, and looking to finish the season as strongly as possible for myself.'"

  103. 0234: 

    So Jenson Button leads the way by eighth tenths from Pastor Maldonado with just under an hour left of practice. Romain Grosjean - who is not running the the new exhaust on his Lotus - is third ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Pic.


    Iain Gibson on Twitter: "Re 0216. I simply must get one of those red leather Ferrari over the top chairs! I'm not greedy, just one will do."

  105. 0230: 

    Jenson Button - who has scored 20 more points than team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the last four races - sets the early pace, clocking 1:41.395 seconds. I can't really compare that time to last year because it was raining when Michael Schumacher set the fastest time.

  106. 0226: 

    Lewis Hamilton had a pretty torrid weekend by his standards at Suzuka last weekend, with the McLaren driver struggling with handling issues on his way to fifth. The Briton was unsure what was wrong with the car in the immediate aftermath but on Thursday said "something (broke) in the rear dampers and basically it locked out the dampers in a certain way. Thankfully the team have found some problems, so hopefully they've fixed that and we have so improvements so I'm hoping for a good weekend."

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "The man widely agreed to be in the driving seat in the championship now is Sebastian Vettel after two consecutive wins in his Red Bull in Singapore and Japan. He's not getting carried away by slashing Fernando Alonso's lead to almost nothing, but he does sound pretty confident. 'Of course we had two good last races so we come here on a high and we will try to use the momentum to have another strong result here. We know this circuit should be good for us, and historically we have been competitive here... so we [will] try again.' Red Bull have a couple of upgrades here, too, as usual, and there is a sense of nervousness elsewhere about what they might be able to achieve this weekend - and for the rest of the season."

  108. 0222: 

    Valtteri Bottas has the track to himself at the moment with the rest of the field content to sit in their garages and wait for someone else to clean up the track. The Williams test driver won't mind, though. The clear track will do him good on his first visit to the venue as he looks to clock up valuable miles.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The Coanda effect was created or discovered by a gentleman called Henry Coanda, who burnt down his lathe with it. The gases came out and because of the low pressure on the body surface, the gases attached themselves to the surface of the plane and burned it to the ground. In F1, they're trying to get the gases to come out of the exhaust exit, which has to point up at 10 degrees, and they get it to attach to the bodywork and then go down towards the floor and then seal the diffuser. There are cars that work it well and those that don't. if you look at the Red Bull and the Sauber, those guys work it well."

  110. 0219: 

    Lotus have a major upgrade package this weekend. It's a new Coanda effect exhaust - similar to one used by McLaren and Ferrari, which Kimi Raikkonen hopes will boost their title hopes. Want to know what a Coanda effect is? Enter Gary Anderson...

  111. 0216: 

    Everyone has complete at least one installation lap - with the likes of Michael Schumacher and Jean-Eric Vergne going the extra mile and completing three. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are sat in their big red leather chairs at the back of the garage with a drink. If you've seen how comfy those chairs look - you'll know why those two seem to spend so much time in them during practice.

  112. 0213: 

    Tyres-wise, Pirelli have brought the soft (yellow-lined) and super-softs (red-lined) for this weekend. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "This year we have the same nomination, but the soft is softer than the equivalent compound last year, so there should be a smaller gap in performance between two tyres.

    "As the circuit is not used extensively during the year, we expect to see quite a high degree of track evolution as the weekend goes on, so car set-up is vital to avoid graining at the start of the weekend in particular."

  113. 0210: 

    We've got a few drivers changes for this session, with Valtteri Bottas taking his usual spot in Bruno Senna's seat at Williams while Vitaly Petrov makes way at Caterham for Giedo van der Garder. Jules Bianchi is in Nico Hulkenberg's car at Force India while Narain Karthikeyan must watch the team's reserve driver Dani Clos drive his HRT.

  114. 0207: 

    It's a beautiful day at Yeongam, with bright blue skies hovering above this 5.615km track. The ambient air temperature is 17C with the track temperature a little higher at 22C.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Fernando Alonso suffered a huge set-back in his attempts to win the title against the odds this year with his first-corner retirement in Japan last weekend, but he has arrived in Korea still confident he can pull it off, despite Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel narrowing his lead to four points in a faster car. 'We are still missing some pace in qualifying and the race,' Alonso said, 'but in the race maybe it is a little bit more easy because it is not just pure performance of the car, it is a combination of many factors. We need to trust in ourselves, know that there are five finals now. But until the Spa incident, Monza mechanical failure in Q3 and Suzuka incident, we were scoring (on) average points more than anyone else, so if we come back to that run in the last five races we will be OK.'"

  116. 0204: 

    Ferrari have got the flo-viz paint out and are daubing the rear of Felipe Massa's car with fluorescent stuff. Meanwhile, his championship leading team-mate Fernando Alonso is already out on track and getting caught up in a bit of traffic on what is an unusually busy place at the moment.

  117. 0202: 

    What was I just saying about the track being dirty? Kimi Raikkonen - out on his installation lap - gets caught out when his car doesn't turns and slides wide. He's at relatively low speed so there's no damage done, but it highlights the lack of grip out there at the moment.

  118. 0200: 

    The lights are green and we're away in first practice for the Korean Grand Prix.

  119. 0155: 

    So we've got a 90-minute session coming up for you shortly. This track is rarely used during the year apart from for this grand prix so will be pretty dirty and could take a while to clear up.

  120. 0150: 

    Not long until the BBC Radio 5 live team are up and running. Ben Edwards will be taking us through proceedings with BBC F1 commentary producer Tony Dodgins sat alongside him. Gary Anderson and Jennie Gow will be patrolling the pit lane as usual.


    HRT on Twitter: "Both cars will use the latest floor and we'll start with flow-vis aero tests."

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "The Korean International Circuit is one of the new generation of tracks built by F1's favoured architect. They each have their own signature, but at this one Tilke really let himself loose, with a track that is split into three distinct characteristics, as Jenson Button memorably described it on Thursday. 'You've got Monza for the first 45 seconds of the lap,' he said, 'then a mid-high-speed section, quite flowing, and then you've got driving around your living room at the end of your lap. It's quite unique.'

    "Each one of the tracks was designed with long straights with the intention of making overtaking easy, but it just hasn't worked in Korea. 'It's a really unusual track because such long straights you'd think it would be easy to overtake but it's not at all,' Button said. 'It's so difficult. If the guy blocks into Turn Two and you're on the outside and he can just run you wide, and then out of Turn Two he just blocks all the way down the inside and you go down the outside and then he runs you off the circuit. And that's it.' The DRS overtaking zone has been lengthened this year to try to solve the problem."

  123. 0145: 

    Whether you're lying on the sofa with matchsticks propping your eyes open or buzzing having just come in from a night out - because Thursday is the new Friday night these days - I want to hear from you.

    What do you think about the recent Lewis Hamilton Twitter saga? Do you think it's Sebastian Vettel's title to lose after he became the first driver to win-to-back races? Or maybe you just fancy telling me what you're eating/drinking/doing to stay awake at this time of day?

    Text 81111 (UK only) or tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag. Your time is now.

  124. 0140: 

    Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have seen a South Korean "rapper" called Psy become an instant hit with his brand of questionable horse-riding dancing. West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has been at it, tennis star Novak Djokovic has been at it, even Nico Rosberg has been at it.

    The Mercedes driver found himself doing it "Gangnam Style" on stage a sponsor event in Korea after watching Psy show him how it's done. The German says he'll bring out the moves once more if he's lucky enough to be on the podium. Though judging by the performance of his Mercedes in recent races, you'd have to say that's unlikely...

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "And so to Korea, and probably the least favourite race on the calendar for many of F1's travelling circus. The track is in Yeongam in the far south of the country, a three-and-a-half-hour train ride, or five-hour road trip, from Seoul. But the race does have some fans - particularly in the Force India pit. Paul di Resta said: 'I'm not sure why people are so negative. It's a really nice track, probably underestimated on the calendar. It offers a nice, open first sector with a lot of straights where car efficiency comes into it, but then there's a technical second sector where balance and a lot of engineering are involved. Weather's looking stable, it's nice and sunny so why shouldn't we be optimistic of a good grand prix?' Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, after admitting it was a bit of a trek to get there, added that it was 'quite high up on my favourites' list'."

  126. 0136: 

    Welcome, one and all, to our live coverage of the Korean Grand Prix from Mokpo. First practice begins at 0200 BST, with the second session following suit at 0600. Both will be on the red button - for those of you brave enough to stay awake/wake up - and online in the module above to supplement the words I'll be churning out over the next few hours.

  127. 0133: 

    Well, championship leader Fernando Alonso and his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel certainly think so. "They are still fighting for the championship. I think that is their target, or has to be their target," said Vettel.

  128. 0130: 

    Another week, another Lewis Hamilton drama. Fresh from announcing his deal to ditch McLaren for Mercedes, the 2008 world champion wrongly accused team-mate Jenson Button of "unfollowing" him on Twitter before realising he never followed him in the first place - and issuing an apology. "Maybe Twitter is not the one for me," he said in Mokpo, Korea on Thursday. "But I'll try and improve from it." All this clouds a championship campaign which has gone off the rails. Can he pull it back?

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 291
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 274
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 199
4 Finland V Bottas Williams 145
5 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 143
6 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 141
7 Great Britain J Button McLaren 94
8 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 76
9 Brazil F Massa Williams 71
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 49
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 47
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 47
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 21
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 8
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
22 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham