Korean GP qualifying as it happened

Text and video highlights of qualifying for the Korean GP at Yeongam, where Mark Webber starts on pole position.

13 October 2012 Last updated at 07:51

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As it happened

  1. 0745: 

    Thanks for your company and contributions. Bravo to those who woke up/stayed awake for third practice and then qualifying. You really are among the most hardcore fans in the world.

    As a reward, I'm giving you all a lie in tomorrow. Set your alarms for 0530 BST when I'll begin building up to the third Korean Grand Prix. Until then, it's a very good morning for me. Cheerio.

  2. 0742: 
    THE GRID

    Before I go, here's what the grid looks like...

    1) Webber 2) Vettel 3) Hamilton 4) Alonso

    5) Raikkonen 6) Massa 7) Grosjean 8) Hulkenberg

    9) Rosberg 10) Schumacher 11) Button 12) Perez

    13) Kobayashi 14) Di Resta 15) Maldonado 16) Ricciardo

    17) Vergne 18) Senna 19) Petrov 20) Kovalainen

    21) Pic 22) Glock 23) De la Rosa 24) Karthikeyan

  3. 0738: 

    If you were tucked up in bed and want a quick rundown of what just happened, here's Andrew Benson's qualifying report. But if want to see the action, tune in to BBC One at 1300 BST for a qualifying show replay or keep an eye on bbc.co.uk/f1 for our qualifying highlights edit.

  4. 0734: 

    Mark Webber's heroics have added a new dimension to tomorrow's race. How will he and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel negotiate the first corner? Will Vettel dispatch Webber on the first lap like he did Hamilton here last year? Will Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso be able to make an impression from the second row? And what part will Romain Grosjean play from seventh on the grid? So many questions. You'll have to tune in tomorrow for the answers.

  5.  

    Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali: "We're never happy but we have made another step in the right direction in qualifying. The target was to start from the second or third row at least and we have. Now we focus on the race. On friday, the race pace was not to bad. Let's hope to have a clean start without any problems."

  6. 0730: 

    Ferrari, who focused on their one-lap pace in practice on Friday, showed that the hard work had paid off. Championship leader Fernando Alonso qualified fourth, just three tenths off the pace. The Spaniard - along with his team boss Stefano Domenicali - will be confident their race pace should be able to lift them up the field.

  7.  

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean: "Hopefully tomorrow is going to be a good day for me. I need to get through the first lap without incident."

  8. 0726: 

    Romain Grosjean, who has played a starring role - for all the wrong reasons - at the start of most races this season, finished seventh fastest, sandwiched between the Ferrari of Felipe Massa and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

  9.  

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh: "Jenson was unlucky, he was up until the yellow flags came out but that's the pressure of qualifying. You've got to get it right every lap. It's disappointing but he's got new option and new primes left so he's got lots of choices. He did a fantastic long run yesterday. We'll try something different and see wheree we can get him."

  10. 0723: 

    Things didn't go so well for Jenson Button who made a mistake on his first lap and was forced to back off because of yellow flags on his second run. That left him 11th...

  11.  

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh: "We've had some good long run pace this weekend. Starting on the second row, you're in with a decent shout in the race. Sebastian, Lewis and Fernando all queued up behind Mark will make it quite exciting."

  12. 0719: 

    There were contrasting performances from the McLaren drivers with Lewis Hamilton consistently locking his front left at Turn One but keeping it nice and tidy for the rest of the lap to qualify third...

  13.  

    Lewis Hamilton, who will start third: "It's going to be very tough to get ahead of them [the Red Bulls]. These guys have clearly made a very big step. We've got to keep pushing, we're not far off. The race pace for Jenson looked good yesterday. I'm happy that I got a clear lap and was able to put the car as high as posisble."

  14.  

    Sebastian Vettel, who will start second: "Overall I think we can be happy with the result. We were quite quick in the first part of qualifying, we were quite quick in the second. The last run - I don't want to blame it on Felipe. I thought he was coming in but he wasn't and I caught him in the last sector so I had to back off. It's not ideal. Nevertheless, the second lap wasn't good enough. I lost a little bit in middle sector which has seemed to be ok all weekend. l think second is a good position to start with. There's a long straight after the start so it could be interesting tomorrow."

  15.  

    Mark Webber, who starts on pole position: "This is my first [pole] on track [after inheriting pole at Monaco]. I'm happy to get the job done reasonably well. We did it when it counted and that's what it's all about. I'm happy to start on pole, but tomorrow is the main day. Off the back of Suzuka we feel we had improved the car, but you never get ahead of yourself. We came here knowing it's not going to be a given, we've got a good car here for sure."

  16. 0714: 

    Time to hear from the top three drivers...

  17. 0711: 

    Well that was a shocker, wasn't it? There I was thinking Sebastian Vettel had pole all wrapped up and the German didn't deliver. It'll be interesting to see how Red Bull deal with that in the race as Vettel is obviously much better placed in the championship battle.

  18.  

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "We just need to make sure we get through the first couple of corners OK this weekend and make sure we turn a great qualifying into a strong race result. You've got all the major contedners up there so it's going to be a fascinating race."

  19. 0707: 

    Sebastian Vettel has a face like thunder. We've just seen a replay of Vettel crossing the line when his engineer tells him. "You're P2. Your lap wasn't good enough. Mark is P1. Vettel replied: "Why did you not tell me about Massa?" His engineer replies: "What was I supposed to say?" Interesting. Looking forward to seeing what he has to say in the post-race interviews.

  20. 0705: 

    So Mark Webber heads a second successive Red Bull front row lock-out. Sebastian Vettel is second ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso with Kimi Raikkonen - who is third in the championship - in fifth. Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher complete the top 10.

  21.   
    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Mark Webber has lay down a pretty positive marker for the weekend. When the pressure is on, he has shown he can deliver. Great lap by Mark."

  22. 0704: 

    "Cheers guys, good job" says Webber on the team radio. Stunning stuff from the Australian. That's his second of the season after he was gifted P1 in Monaco following Michael Schumacher's penalty.

  23. 0703: 
    POLE POSITION

    *MARK WEBBER TAKES POLE POSITION FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX*

  24. 0702: 

    No he can't! Unbelievable! Sebastian Vettel is fallible. The German makes a mistake in his first sector and loses out to his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. Now that's a very rare occurrence.

  25. 0701: 

    Mark Webber goes quickest! Incredible scenes. Can his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel hit back?

  26. 0700: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    The chequered flag is out, but everybody is out there on a flying lap and will be allowed to complete it.

  27. 0658: 

    Lewis Hamilton comes perilously close to hitting Michael Schumacher in the pit lane. The Mercedes driver is released into the path of Hamilton and the 2008 world champion is forced to take avoiding action, overtaking him on the right-hand side.

  28. 0657: 

    So after the first runs, Sebastian Vettel leads Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg have yet to set a lap time.

  29. 0655: 

    Sebastian Vettel is told he needs a little bit of time in sector two, but the lap was otherwise "a very tidy lap" as the reigning world champion goes quickest by three tenths of a second. It's all too easy for the German at the moment.

  30.  

    McLaren's Jenson Button, who will start 11th: "In Q2 for first run I locked up and lost a couple of tenths. I got to that sector thinking there was a couple of tenths. It should have been easy, but the yellow flags compromised me. A positive in starting 11th? There's 13 cars behind me…"

  31. 0654: 

    Fernando Alonso goes quickest of all ahead of Mark Webber with Felipe Massa third and Lewis Hamilton fourth but Sebastian Vettel is coming...

  32. 0653: 

    Nico Hulkenberg headed out but has come straight back in. It looks like he's decided not to set a time and save some tyres for tomorrow afternoon.

  33. 0651: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber are squabbling for track position as they try to get themselves some clear air for their flying lap.

  34. 0650: 
    FINAL QUALIFYING STARTS

    Ten drivers, one pole position. Let's get it on...

  35.   
    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Paul's bitterly disappointed. He knows the time is in him and in his car. It just eluded him at the end. It's difficult because he knows that everyone is looking at him and Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg because one of them is going to leave that team."

  36. 0649: 

    Force India's Paul di Resta says he got held up by traffic on his flying lap, which he thinks cost him around three tenths of a second. The Scot will start 14th. "We need to go in tomorrow and do a better job," he said. "We could have an advantage as we've saved a set of super-soft tyres for the race."

  37. 0648: 

    Sebastian Vettel finished fastest ahead of Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher.

  38. 0647: 

    Jenson Button will start 11th ahead of Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Daniel Ricciardo - who stopped with a gearbox issue - and Jean-Eric Vergne.

  39. 0646: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING ENDS

    *SEBASTIAN VETTEL FINISHES FASTEST IN THE SECOND PART OF QUALIFYING FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX*

  40. 0645: 

    It was Daniel Ricciardo who stopped out on track. The Australian will start 16th, one place ahead of his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

  41. 0644: 

    *JENSON BUTTON IS OUT OF QUALIFYING FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX*

  42. 0643: 
    YELLOW FLAG

    We've got yellow flags as a Toro Rosso stops out on track. Drivers will need to show they slow down in that section or risk getting a penalty.

  43. 0641: 

    Paul di Resta can only manage the 11th fastest time, but has one more lap to get himself into the top 10. His Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg is more successful, though, and climbs up into seventh with a solid lap.

  44.  

    Kimi Raikkonen's race engineer over team radio: "Look after the tyres in the high speed corners, please."

  45. 0640: 

    Everyone bar Sebastian Vettel, who is currently fastest, has headed out again with less than two minutes remaining.

  46.  

    Mercedes on Twitter: "Pretty much everyone from P4 might go out again."

  47. 0638: 

    The track falls silent as the drivers compose themselves for one final attempt at making it into Q3...

  48. 0637: 

    Paul di Resta, Nico Rosberg, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado all have work to do as they're currently in the drop zone.

  49. 0636: 

    Romain Grosjean goes sixth fastest ahead of Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen who reports he's got too much understeer. Kamui Kobayashi completes the top 10 at the moment.

  50.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Aman Singh on Twitter: "Vettel's gotta have this one in the bag right?"

  51. 0635: 

    Lewis Hamilton struggles to get the car slowed down at Turn One, but gets the rest of the lap right to go third fastest ahead of Mark Webber and a rejuvenated Felipe Massa.

  52. 0633: 

    That doesn't last long as Sebastian Vettel has his say and goes two tenths quicker than Fernando Alonso. It's not good enough for his Red Bull team, though, as they ask him to go again.

  53. 0631: 

    Mark Webber chops seventh tenths off that time to go quickest of all, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Paul di Resta. It's better from Fernando Alonso and he goes quickest by a tenth of a second.

  54. 0629: 

    Sergio Perez gets the first time on the board - it's a 1:38.981 which is three tenths slower than he managed in Q1.

  55. 0627: 

    The Red Bulls are also out nice and early in this 15-minute session, with the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso not too far behind.

  56.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Karla on Twitter: "Quali looks surprisingly scrappy. Apart from Seb who seems a lock for pole."

  57. 0625: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING STARTS

    Sergio Perez is the first man out as the second part of qualifying begins at Yeongam. The Sauber has chosen the super-soft tyre.

  58. 0624: 

    It seems Lewis Hamilton didn't use the super-soft tyres in that session, which would explain why he was perilously close to the drop zone. The extra set could prove useful for later in the session.

  59. 0623: 
    OUT

    Williams' Bruno Senna is the biggest casualty from Q1. The Brazilian misses out by three tenths of a second. He'll start 18th ahead of Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen, Charles Pic, Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan.

  60. 0622: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING ENDS

    *SEBASTIAN VETTEL FINISHES FASTEST IN THE FIRST PART OF QUALIFYING FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX*

  61. 0621: 

    Crikey, Fernando Alonso can only manage the 16th fastest time, even on the super-soft tyres, but that's enough for him to get through. Lewis Hamilton is very lucky, too. He gets into Q2 with the 17th fastest time. Boy, that was close.

  62. 0620: 

    Michael Schumacher falls into the drop zone, but a set of super-soft tyres helps him climb up to eighth.

  63. 0619: 

    And he does. Kobayashi goes fourth fastest on the super-soft tyres, but he's displaced by his Sauber team-mate Sergio Perez. No bother, though. That should be enough to get both of them into Q2.

  64. 0618: 

    Bruno Senna bolts on a set of super-soft tyres and lifts himself out of the drop zone and into 11th place, that pushing Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi down into 18th. Time for the Japanese driver to step up.

  65.   
    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "It was a broken brake disc for Narain Karthikeyan [which caused him to go off the track]."

  66. 0617: 

    Jenson Button has gone second fastest, but he's still four tenths off Sebastian Vettel's stunning pace. Mark Webber is smidgen behind in third, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth and Felipe Massa fifth - three places and fourth tenths ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.

  67. 0616: 

    Along with live TV coverage of the race above, desktop users get On Board, Driver Tracker and Live Pit lane cameras, as well as Alternative Commentary (it's Jonathan Legard and Mercedes reserve driver Sam Bird this time) plus Live Timing. Enjoy!

  68. 0615: 

    Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna, Timo Glock, Charles Pic, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan are currently in the drop zone. Kamui Kobayashi is on the bubble in 17th.

  69. 0614: 

    Everyone may as well go home now. Sebastian Vettel takes a massive seven tenths out of Kimi Raikkonen's leading time to go top of the charts. What's more remarkable is that the reigning world champion did that time on his third lap on the soft tyres.

  70. 0613: 

    Felipe Massa kicks up the dirt as he really throws that Ferrari after the twisty final sector of this track. The Brazilian goes second quickest, 0.052 seconds slower than the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.

  71. 0612: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is the first man into the 1m38s in this session, pushing Felipe Massa down to second. Jenson Button is third overall, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg.

    Lewis Hamilton struggles to slow his McLaren down and runs well off track before rejoining. The 2008 world champion has yet to set a representative lap time.

  72. 0610: 
    SPIN!

    There's a terrifying moment for Narain Karthikeyan who loses the rear end of his HRT and narrowly misses a Force India who is slowing for Turn 3. The Indian driver reports that his brake pedal was stuck to the floor but fortunately, there's no damage as he slides into the acres of run-off at this track.

  73. 0608: 

    Championship leader Fernando Alonso takes his turn at the top of charts, two tenths quicker than anyone else.

  74. 0607: 

    Pastor Maldonado is the early pacesetter, clocking a 1:39.716, two tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen who will hope he gets a clearer lap on his second attempt. Paul di Resta is third, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Hulkenberg.

  75. 0606: 

    Kimi Raikkonen is having all sorts of trouble with traffic on his first flier. The final section of this track is going to cause problems as its tight and twisty layout makes it difficult for slower drivers to get out of the way.

  76.  

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner on his charge Sebastian Vettel: "He's just focused on improving his performance and the set up of the car. I'm sure it'll be close. The tyres are quite close in terms of splits between the compounds. But it'll be a good qualifying."

  77. 0604: 

    Last year's pole position time was a 1:35.820 by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. Kovalainen doesn't trouble that on his first attempt, clocking a 1:42.028 which is one second slower than he managed this morning.

  78. 0602: 

    Heikki Kovalainen is out nice and early, but it appears no one else is that keen to follow him. That won't bother the Finn, though, as that means a nice empty track for the Caterham driver to launch an attack on making it into Q2.

  79. 0600: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING STARTS

    The pit lane is open for business to kick star the first part of qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam.

  80.  

    Red Bull's Christian Horner: "There was a data issue with the engine management system. That was corrected and there's no mechanical issue with the engine."

  81. 0557: 

    Good news Mark Webber fans. His chief Christian Horner says they've fixed the electrical problem which prevented him from doing a super-soft tyre run at the end of final practice...

  82. 0555: 

    This is your five minute warning. Get yourself a fresh brew and some food now because qualifying is almost upon us...

  83.  

    Levi DC on Twitter: "It's ridiculous if Kamui doesn't get a seat for next year!"

  84. 0551: 

    Kamui Kobayashi was quoted as saying he was surprised to hear he needs funding to secure a driver "at another team or here [Sauber]"next season however Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said "he knows that's not the case" at his current outfit.

  85. 0548: 

    Kamui Kobayashi's future remains up in the air despite his maiden podium on home soil in the Japanese Grand Prix last Sunday. The 26-year-old has been one of the most exciting and entertaining drivers to watch since he made his debut in the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix and he'll be a huge loss should he not secure a seat in 2013.

    "I believe I will be here next season," Kobayashi said. "I feel good to be here, I have confidence to be here. I have no contract for next year, but we still have five races left and with this good result [in Japan], I could be somewhere."

  86.  
    GET INVOLVED

    David Dalton on Twitter: "Best way to start the morning, hope to see a McLaren or a Ferrari on pole instead of a Red Bull."

  87. 0544: 

    Over at Toro Rosso, Jordan reckons Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will retain their seats, but at Marussia he thinks Max Chilton will replace Charles Pic alongside Timo Glock with Pic moving across to partner Heikki Kovalainen at Caterham.

    At Williams, he expects Valtteri Bottas to make the step up from reserve to race seat alongside Pastor Maldonado with Bruno Senna getting the boot and heading for HRT alongside Pedro de la Rosa.

  88. 0542: 

    Moving down the grid, Jordan thinks Paul di Resta will stay at Force India with either Adrian Sutil making a return to the team he spent five seasons with or Jaime Alguersuari quitting the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box for a return to racing.

  89. 0540: 

    He think Romain Grosjean will stay at Lotus despite his nightmare season. Over at Sauber, Jordan reckons Kamui Kobayashi will keep his seat with Nico Hulkenberg quitting Force India for the Swiss team.

  90. 0538: 

    Eddie Jordan has got his crystal ball out and is about to predict next year's 2013 grid. This should be good...

  91.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lucy Broatch on Twitter: "Right can we fix it for nico Rosberg to win purely to see him gangnam style on the podium."

  92. 0534: 

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff will get the chance she's been waiting for when she steps behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in a test next week. Earlier this year, she told me she thought there would be a female driver in Formula 1 within the next decade. This is the first step towards that.

  93. 0530: 

    A clearly relaxed championship leader Fernando Alonso has just posted a great picture on Twitter of an amusing warning sign in his hotel lift.

  94. 0528: 

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who has mistaken this sport for bumper cars this season, has taken a sensible pill ahead of this weekend's race. "If I have to lose positions at the start, I will," he said. Let's hope he's a man of his word - for his sake as much as everyone else's.

  95. 0525: 
    GET INVOLVED

    I fear today's Lawro's Pole Position Prediction is a foregone conclusion, but we'll do it all the same. I'm a realist, so I have to go for Sebastian Vettel. The reigning world champion won here last year and be sensational here so far in practice. Do you agree? Get your thoughts over to us via Twitter, using the #bbcf1 hashtag, or text 81111 (UK only).

  96.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Maria Gray on Twitter: "Got my coffee and biscuits, house-mates are fast asleep, the TV to myself and my Ferrari t-shirt on. I'm happy at the moment."

  97. 0520: 
    FORM GUIDE

    2012 pole-sitters:

    Australia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    Malaysia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    China - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Race finish 1st

    Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Spain - Pastor Maldonado (Williams) Race finish 1st

    Monaco - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Canada - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 4th

    Europe - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish DNF

    Britain - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Race finish 2nd

    Germany - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Race finish 1st

    Hungary - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Belgium - Jenson Button (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Italy - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Singapore - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish DNF

    Japan - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

  98.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Johnny Boucher on Twitter: "Watching the three muskateers... Quite a plain shirt for EJ - wonder what tomorrow holds!"

  99.   
    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "For me, that's the first time I've seen Heikki's body language tell us emphatically that he wants out of there. He wants to move on and get in a better team before his career finishes."

  100.  

    Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen on his future: "The most important thing is to keep the focus and make the best out of what I've got. Then at some point...I'm getting old and if I want to be successful and win races, I have to look at the options. I think the team is doing the right things to move forward. We should be doing better than what we're doing. At the moment, we don't have any deals with everyone. We're talking."

  101. 0515: 

    Coulthard has disturbed Kovalainen's lunch to grab a chat with the one-time F1 race winner. Here's what he had to say on his future...

  102. 0512: 

    BBC co-commentator David Coulthard says he understands that Heikki Kovalainen and his management are having some disagreements with Caterham over a deal for next season. Meanwhile, his Russian team-mate Vitaly Petrov is struggling to find the funding to ensure he can stay put in 2013.

  103. 0509: 

    So here's how today's going to work. Qualifying starts at 0600 BST and will be split into three. Q1 lasts 20 minutes and will see seven drivers knocked out. Q2 is 15 minutes and sees another seven bite the dust, leaving 10 drivers to fight it out for pole in Q3.

  104.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kate on Twitter: "My unborn baby must be a bigger f1 fan than me! Planned to record but baby woke me up with plenty of kicks in time!"

  105. 0506: 

    When Fernando Alonso led the championship by a signifcant advantage, he did so in a car that was clearly not the fastest, leaving everyone thinking he could be caught.

    Things have changed, though, when the Ferrari driver suffered two retirements and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel picking up the pieces. To add insult to injury, the Red Bull have layered on the updates in the last couple of races to give the reigning world champion a car that looks capable of winning this championship at a canter.

  106. 0503: 

    I'm starting to flag if I'm honest and that was not helped by Sebastian Vettel's utter domination in practice. In a season which has been utterly unpredictable, is the run-in edging towards an all too familiar end? Or can Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton mount a challenge?

  107. 0500: 

    As the brilliantly named electronic trip-hop artists Moloko once said, The Time Is Now. Weclome to qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix at the isolated Yeongam circuit on the edge of the Yellow Sea.

  108. 0415: 

    And on that bombshell, I'm going to head off for a powernap before the qualifying show starts on BBC One at 0500 BST.

    Here's Andrew Benson's practice report which marks Sebastian Vettel's stunning performance. I'll be back in 45 minutes to begin building up to qualifying which starts at 0600.

    Can anyone beat Vettel? Not long until we find out...

  109. 0412: 
    THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    Mercedes reserve driver Sam Bird, who was BBC Radio 5 live's analyst during final practice, came up with a brilliant stat.

    Talking about Michael Schumacher's bad luck this season, Bird says that after seven races, if the German had finished in the positions he was in before suffering a retirement (he had five DNFs in first seven races), he would have led the drivers' championship. Remarkable.

  110. 0410: 

    BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow says Mark Webber suffered an engine electrical problem which prevented him from going out in the final few minutes of practice. There's be plenty of head-scratching going on between now and qualifying.

  111. 0408: 

    And here's 1-12:

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

  112. 0406: 

    Here's how they finished 13-24:

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

  113. 0404: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    *SEBASTIAN VETTEL FINISHES FASTEST IN THIRD AND FINAL PRACTICE FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX*

  114. 0402: 

    I think Sebastian Vettel has pole position in the bag as the reigning world champion improves on his best time again, slicing a huge three tenths off to become the only man into the 1m37s. Huge marker.

  115. 0400: 

    Lewis Hamilton is up on Sebastian Vettel's leading time after the first two sectors, but loses ground in the final part of the lap to go second, two tenths off the pace.

  116. 0358: 

    Sebastian Vettel improves on his leading time by two tenths of a second to increase the gap to nearly half-a-second. There's bad news for his team-mate Mark Webber, though, as they run out of time to get him back out on track before the end of the session.

  117. 0354: 

    Fernando Alonso can only manage the fourth fastest time on those super-soft tyres, but he's immediately bumped down to fifth by Kimi Raikkonen. Meanwhile, Gary Anderson reports that they are putting Mark Webber's Red Bull back together. Will they get him out before the session ends in a few minutes?

  118.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "There's a couple of Renault technicians in Red Bull garage up to their armpits, so I think there's a bit of a drama in there at the moment."

  119. 0350: 

    There is plenty of work taking place on the rear of Mark Webber's Red Bull at the moment and it doesn't look like the Australian is going to get out again.

  120. 0346: 

    So Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton, with Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg complete the top 10.

    The track has fallen silent as the drivers head back to the pits for a set of super-soft for one last flying run before the end of the session.

  121.   
    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie

    "There are more drivers playing down their chances than talking them up so far this weekend. Lewis Hamilton was despondent after second practice and although Jenson Button faired better, he was also aware of the advantage that Red Bull seem to have. Meanwhile, the third British driver, Paul di Resta, has said he might struggle to even make the top 10 shoot-out this afternoon in qualifying. Either drivers are keeping their cards close to their chest or there is a lot of concern heading into qualifying."

  122. 0343: 

    Sebastian Vettel reports that he can see something flapping around on his rear wing and his engineer confirms it's a bit of a tape but he's happy for the reigning world champion to continue for another lap. It's quite extraordinary that the German notices something like that when hurtling around a Formula 1 track.

  123. 0340: 

    It's a lot cooler at Yeongam today, with yesterday's bright blue skies replaced with a rather grim overcast look. Sebastian Vettel is lighting it up on the track, though - setting the fastest sectors times in one and three to go quickest, on his ninth lap, by 0.249 seconds.

  124.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "If most of Formula 1 believes Red Bull have made a decisive step forward in the title battle with the improvements to their car introduced in Singapore, their chief technical officer Adrian Newey is not so sure. 'Some of it is circuit to circuit variation,' he said. 'Monza for instance we always knew it would be a struggle - it doesn't suit our car-engine combination. Then we brought some bits and pieces to Singapore that also helped to pull the performance up a little bit. But that is always going to be a transient change. The nature of F1 is development all the time, and you do see these chops and changes when someone brings something in, gains an advantage and then someone else does another step. Sometimes you're on the lead step, and the next time someone else has taken that lead.' Point is, though, that the others are running out of time to respond."

  125. 0336: 

    It's not any more. Hamilton sets the fastest sector one and two times to go quickest, three tenths of second faster than anyone else. The McLarens are taking the fight to the Red Bulls.

  126. 0333: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes second quickest, 0.079 seconds off Mark Webber's pace, but he's soon usurped by McLaren team-mate Jenson Button by 0.037 seconds. Crikey, it's close.

  127.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The most consistent race-simulation run in second practice on Friday was by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel weren't bad either. The characteristics of this circuit means it's going to end up being a very competitive race - and that's good for qualifying because everyone knows it's going to be competitive so the front row is the place to be. Ferrari and Alonso are not lying down, that's for sure. If you look at Japan, and Felipe Massa's race pace, Alonso would have been on the podium but unfortunately he got taken out at the first corner. But he is good at wiping that stuff from his mind. He is still leading he championship with five races to go - in Australia at the start of the season he didn't have any lead. He's still right in it."

  128. 0330: 

    Fernando Alonso goes second quickest on his first flying lap, clocking 1:30.084, three tenths off the pace set by Red Bull's Mark Webber. That's slightly faster than his best from Friday practice.

  129. 0328: 

    Romain Grosjean improves to leapfrog Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.009 seconds. Nico Rosberg is fifth and Michael Schumacher eighth as Mercedes continue to show an upturn in form following only their second double non-points finish in Japan.

  130. 0326: 

    Bang. Sebastian Vettel goes purple (fastest of all) in the first sector and sets a personal best in the second on the way to slicing a huge six tenths of a second off the leading time. The German is at it again.

  131. 0324: 

    So Kimi Raikkonen leads the way from Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean at the top of the charts. The Red Bulls have slotted into third and fourth with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, around three tenths off the early pace. No sign of either Ferrari or McLaren yet.

  132.  
    GET INVOLVED

    LouiseF1 on Twitter: "Think that Sebastian is the one to beat from now!"

  133. 0321: 

    Nico Rosberg is told by his engineer: "You need to stop weaving in front of other drivers" as the Mercedes driver battles to get heat in the tyres.

  134.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "If Red Bull are overwhelming favourites for pole, it at least looks as if they will face a challenge in the race. Both Ferrari drivers and Jenson Button were actually quicker than Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the race-simulation runs on Friday, although the gap was substantial enough for one to think that the Red Bulls must have been running more fuel."

  135.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "On Friday, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber ran with two different sidepod styles, where it runs down into the coke-bottle area at the rear of the car. Vettel's had more of a hole in it to help with airflow into the diffuser. But they both have gone to Webber's version, which I think is the latest one. It will help their new 'double DRS' wing. McLaren ran two different floor assemblies and have both now gone to the Hamilton spec as they did in Suzuka last week."

  136. 0320: 

    Raikkonen makes amends for that mistake with a clean run that sees him become the first man into the 1m39s. Plenty of mistakes out there, with the cars sliding around on what is still a very dirty, dusty track.

  137. 0318: 

    It's pretty ragged, the Finn running wide at Turn 10. He crosses the line in 1:46.111, but that's easily beaten by Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso who clocks 1:40.983.

  138. 0315: 

    Pastor Maldonado, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne join the party as Kimi Raikkonen begins his first flying lap...

  139.  
    GET INVOLVED

    James Fox on Twitter: "I'm gonna go against the norm and say, Raikkonen for pole!"

  140.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Kimi Raikkonen is mathematically the best-placed driver to try to stop the title battle turning into a two-horse race between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, but even the Finn's Lotus team admits it is a long shot. 'He keeps chipping away, doesn't he?' Lotus technical director James Allison said. 'He actually moved closer to the lead of the championship last weekend (in Japan) notwithstanding a rather average performance from our car, not from him. Realistically the leaders have taken it on a step and we have not kept pace with them so things would have to roll fairly substantially in our favour for Kimi to continue to eat into the lead in the way he did in Suzuka but stranger things have happened and Kimi has always been there, each race he has kept hovering up points and I think he will do that to the end of the year.'"

  141. 0312: 

    Kimi Raikkonen takes the plunge and breaks the silence as he heads out on track in his Lotus with that new Coanda-effect exhaust system.

  142. 0308: 

    Everyone has popped out for an installation lap apart from Kamui Kobayashi, but the track has now fallen silent as teams make tweaks to the cars before sending their charges out again for the first flying laps of the day.

  143. 0304: 

    Heikki Kovalainen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul di Resta are among the early runners this morning, with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel carrying out practice starts at the end of the pit lane before heading out on track.

  144.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Adam Heap on Twitter: "Re 0245. I'm a Webber fan but if Rosberg is going to pull out some Gangnam moves then I really hope he makes the podium!"

  145.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "This final practice session is crucial for Lewis Hamilton's hopes this weekend. Fastest in first practice, he was nowhere in second practice, and he admitted he did not understand why. 'I don't really know what happened in the second,' Hamilton said. 'It was such a big difference from P1 to P2 and the car wasn't really that different. Just a small change on the rear ride-height which is nothing. We were struggling a little bit, just trying some different things and for some reason I wasn't able to get a good time out of the prime or option (tyres) and even the option I went slower, so not fully understanding that. I've got to try to figure in what was going on.'"

  146. 0300: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The pit lane has opened its door and we're away at the Korean International Circuit...

  147. 0257: 

    Jonathan Legard is go, go, go in the commentary box alongside Mercedes reserve driver Sam Bird. As usual, Jennie Gow and Gary Anderson are down in the pit lane scooping up the gossip.

  148.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Randy Santa-Ana on Twitter: "Brewing some coffee for the long night of following along F1 final practice and qualifying for the Korean GP."

  149. 0255: 

    In other news, away from the race track, Force India boss Vijay Mallya is in a spot of bother. An arrest warrant for the Indian businessman has been issued by the city of Hyderabad after he wrote a bad cheque worth £1.2m, reportedly for airport fees, on behalf of his cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines business.

  150. 0250: 

    So we've got third and final practice coming up for you shortly. That'll last one hour and provide the teams with one final opportunity to make tweaks before the car's head into qualifying. One man who'll be keen to get out there is Sergio Perez. The McLaren-bound Mexican missed much of second practice with an actuator problem in the engine.

  151.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Lotus have finally followed the trend started by McLaren and Ferrari this season to have a 'Coanda-effect' exhaust, where the gases are fed along a curved piece of bodywork, which directs them towards the area where the floor meets the rear tyre increasing downforce. The system was tried on Kimi Raikkonen's car in Friday practice. 'We are reasonably pleased with the way it worked,' Lotus technical director James Allison said. 'The downforce numbers have agreed pretty well with the (wind) tunnel. We have had a few issues rebalancing the car because it changes the rear downforce on the exit of a corner, but reasonably pleased with the promise it's showing.' The team have decided to race it, but there are only enough parts for Raikkonen this weekend."

  152. 0245: 

    Formula 1 is going "Gangnam Style" this weekend with the organisers turning to South Korean rapper Psy, who has become an internet sensation by racking up over 400 million views on YouTube for his music video which includes some comedy horse riding moves, to boost the event's profile.

    The 34-year-old pop star has been signed up as an ambassador for the Yeongam race and will have the honour of waving the chequered flag on Sunday before performing his hit single after the race. Nico Rosberg joined him on stage at a sponsor event on Thursday and has promised to pull out some moves on the podium should he make it. Here's hoping.

  153. 0240: 
    GET INVOLVED

    I do hope you've got some coffee/tea to keep you warm and awake in the wee hours as we power all the way from the start of practice at 0300 BST to qualifying at 0600, with Jake, EJ and DC popping up from 0500.

    That's a pretty long time, I'm sure you'll agree, so to help the hours fly by, I want to hear from you. Who has impressed you so far this weekend? Who's your tip for pole position? Is the title battle now down to Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag and text 81111 (UK only).

  154.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson

    "Friday's practice sessions at the Korean Grand Prix did little to erase the impression that Sebastian Vettel is well on course for his third consecutive drivers' title. Just as in Japan a week ago, the Red Bulls were 0.3 seconds clear of the field and both McLaren drivers were admitting the world champions were 'very quick'. On the evidence of Friday, world championship leader Fernando Alonso looks like being Vettel's biggest threat - which is a good job for him, as he desperately needs to stop the German's momentum. What will Saturday in Yeongam bring?"

  155. 0236: 

    Welcome, one and all, to our live coverage of third and final practice for the Korean Grand Prix at the Korean International Circuit, Yeongam, which straddles the Yellow Sea and is located over four hours away from the capital Seoul.

  156. 0233: 

    That was the question on everyone's lips as reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to the fastest time in Friday practice and then kicked his rivals in the teeth by saying he was "not happy with every run" and the car "felt alright". Imagine what Adrian Newey's Red Bull can do when the car is firing on all cyclinders. I shudder to think.

  157. 0230: 

    A certain energy drink magnate will have slept very well on Friday night. Three races ago, he saw his racing team struggling to keep pace with the silver machines from Woking - and lacking the bulletproof reliability which has become synonymous with the boys in red and blue. But the Bull bit back in Singapore in some style and then again in Japan and come Friday in Korea, they were still flying. Can anyone stop Red Bull storming to a third drivers' and constructors' championship double?

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 202
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 191
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 131
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 115
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 95
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 88
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 69
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 60
9 Brazil F Massa Williams 40
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 37
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 29
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 27
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 11
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
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

Results

After 70 of 70 laps
Position Driver Team

Race completed. Best Lap: N. Rosberg 1:25.724 on Lap 64.

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