October 13, 2012

2012 Korean GP Qualifying

"Why did you not tell me about Massa" that radio call from Vettel to his pit wall was one of the more ridiculous driver excuses I have ever heard. Is Seb that nervous about the prospect of having to pass his own Red Bull mate in Korea?

The track in Korea is a maze of concrete walls built on a swamp, it's an abomination where passing will be in the pits or in the DRS zone but the race tomorrow has potential for greatness.

Starting on pole is crucial on this very psychotic track and Webber obviously not read the script and managed to get his first pole of the season (discounting Monaco).
Red Bull might hope Webber has yet another crap start, not a great strategy. Or they get Webber to let Vettel through on the first lap, another bad option since for sure Alonso and Hamilton will be going for the same hole.

Yeongam has long straight and Ferrari is trimmed for a higher top speed than Red Bull, something that might prove crucial on Sunday. Vettel will have Webber Alonso marking him and Hamilton likely to attack like crazy along with Massa, still without a contract in his pocket and Raikkonen who needs a good result to stay in the leaders group.

Pace, especially in race trim is much closer than in Japan and much will depend on tire strategy though I would doubt top guys would risk a one stopper.

Pass the popcorn!

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m37.242s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m37.316s  + 0.074
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m37.469s  + 0.227
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m37.534s  + 0.292
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m37.625s  + 0.383
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m37.884s  + 0.642
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m37.934s  + 0.692
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m38.266s  + 1.024
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m38.361s  + 1.119
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m38.513s  + 1.271
 Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.436s                                   Gap **
11.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.441s  + 0.674
12.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.460s  + 0.693
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.594s  + 0.827
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m38.643s  + 0.876
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m38.725s  + 0.958
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.084s  + 1.317
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.340s  + 1.573
Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.180s                                    Gap *
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m39.443s  + 1.235
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m40.207s  + 1.999
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m40.333s  + 2.125
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.317s  + 3.109
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.371s  + 3.163
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m42.881s  + 4.673
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         no time

107% time: 1m45.082s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2

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