Korean Grand Prix Formula One free qualifying report
Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Seoul.
Formula One teams Korean Grand Prix qualifying results
|1||Vettel||Red Bull||1:37.202||129.223 mph|
|15||Di Resta||Force India||1:38.718|
|20||Van der Garde||Caterham||1:40.871|
Red Bull Racing
KOREAN GP – QUALIFYING
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:37.881)
“It was close today. I had a very good lap in Q3 on my first attempt and thought I would find it hard to do better. On my second attempt I caught Kimi on the warm up lap and didn’t have time to drop back, but fortunately the first lap was good enough. Mercedes were strong and seem to be comfortable in the middle sector. We’re good in Sector one this year which a surprise as that’s mostly straights. We improved the car from yesterday as I wasn’t entirely happy with it after the second practice. In terms of conditions, we should be okay if it’s dry or wet tomorrow; it’s not clear if we get some rain from the typhoon, but let’s see what happens.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 3rd, (3rd Practice – P2, 1:38.018)
“We had to take a bit of pace out of the car for qualifying, not much, but it was about how we would compromise between qualifying and the race tomorrow. I’m pretty happy, I could be two positions further up but that would mean, with the penalty, I would be 11th rather than 13th. It was a pretty tight qualifying with the two Mercedes, Seb and myself. Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, I will be out of position, but we’ll fight and come back through. I think we improved the car in some areas from yesterday.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “An exciting qualifying today and a great first run in Q3 for Sebastian, which proved to be the lap that achieved the pole position. It was a very strong performance from Mark and it’s a shame that he now has to take a ten-place penalty, but we’ve set the car up with that in mind and hopefully he can make good progress tomorrow. Congratulations to Renault on achieving their 208th pole position, which matches the all-time record of Ferrari.”
(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “The car has been working very well all weekend and in the end all it took was one great lap by Sebastian in the start of the session to secure his third consecutive pole. Mark pushed hard and this position limits the damage his ten-place penalty will inflict tomorrow. We know our rivals will try to reset the pole advantage in the race so we need to stay on top to get the maximum from the car, which is again the quickest package of the paddock. On another note the pole is a great feeling for Renault as it takes our tally of pole positions in F1 to 208, equaling Ferrari’s record. We’re very proud to have achieved this with Red Bull Racing.”
Climate (out of) control
After wondering whether Typhoon Fitow would hit this race, it now seems it won’t, although we might still get a wet race. A lucky escape when you think back to the impact made by some of F1’s past big weather events:
1. Australian GP 2013 – Qualifying at the opening round this season was halted by torrential rain. Q1 took place in wet conditions but Q2 and Q3 had to be postponed until Sunday morning
2. Malaysian GP 2009 – Torrential rain caused this race to be stopped after just 31 of the scheduled 56 laps. It was the first race for 18 years in which half points were awarded
3. Japanese GP 2010 – Intense rain on Saturday meant that the whole of qualifying had to be postponed until Sunday morning. The weather wasn’t quite as bad as at the…
4. Japanese GP 2004 – Dreadful Saturday conditions, caused by the approaching Typhoon Ma-on, caused both qualifying sessions (yep, there were two back then!) to be cancelled and quali was held on Sunday
5. Australian GP 1991 – The shortest race ever. Just 14 of the scheduled 81 laps of Adelaide’s circuit were completed before downpours made the streets undriveable
Korean Grand Prix
Yeongam, 5th October 2013
Q1 P4 1:38.520
New Medium – 5 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
New Medium – 4 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
Q2 P5 1:37.978
Old Supersoft – 3 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
Old Supersoft – 3 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
Q3 P6 1:38.038 New Supersoft – 3 laps P7 1:38.223 New Supersoft – 3 laps
Weather: air 25/27 °C, track 34/37 °C. Sunny
Fernando Alonso: “I am not surprised at the outcome of this qualifying session, because in terms of pure performance, Saturday is always difficult for us and will continue to be so until the end of the season. Usually, on Sunday, things go better and our aim is always to get to the podium, as has happened in recent races. This weekend seems harder than usual, because while up until now we have always had a good race pace, both yesterday and today we suffered on the long runs and that means we must absolutely improve for tomorrow. We have a few problems with the tyres which we are unable to manage as well as the others: there’s a lot of graining and if you push very hard in the first sector you almost risk being unable to finish the lap. We will have to find the right compromise to get them to survive the number of laps proposed by our engineers, because the ideal strategy is still a two stop. Given how we look in the dry, the rain could mix things up and in fact we have nothing to lose and even if there will be little time to adapt to it, we must be ready for this eventuality”.
Felipe Massa: “I can’t be happy with the result of qualifying, as I expected to be closer to our rivals than in Singapore. But that wasn’t the case, because here too, both Red Bull and Mercedes had a much faster pace and we didn’t manage to get everything out of our car. Tomorrow I hope to be more competitive, even if it won’t be an easy race. The degradation on the Supersofts on our car is rather high, while other cars are suffering less, and based on how the first stint goes, we will decide if we should switch to the Mediums, which at the moment seems like the best choice. Apart from Red Bull, Mercedes and one Lotus ahead of us, we will have to be very careful about other cars that are also very close and it will be important to get a very good start, trying to push to the maximum to bring home a reasonable points haul. It would definitely require a lot of luck to make it to the podium.”
Pat Fry: “Today’s result reflects more or less what we had expected from before, even if we can’t claim to be happy about being unable to fight for the front rows. We are aware of what is our potential but again today, we tried to extract the maximum from the package we have available, trying to adapt the car to the track characteristics and as a function of the performance of the two types of tyre. In the first sector, we have always been competitive, but from halfway through the second one to the end of the third we have suffered, especially on the Supersoft. It wasn’t easy finding the right balance which would allow us to push to the maximum without accentuating the tyre wear, which is inevitable when you don’t have a high level of aerodynamic downforce. For tomorrow, we will have to try and manage the tyre degradation as well as possible over a long distance, especially in the first stint. Reliability and the uncertainty over the weather will be two key factors”. ALONSO – Chassis 299 MASSA – Chassis 298
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
2013 KOREAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING
- Korean International Circuit, Saturday October 5
- “Hopefully, we can go forwards tomorrow”
- 14th 1m39.274s (+1.393s) 15 laps
- Q1 12th 1m39.049s (on Options)
- Q2 11th overall* 1m38.362s (on Options)
- Q3 –
* will start 10th due to Mark Webber’s 10-place grid penalty
“My fastest lap wasn’t too bad – I had a small lock-up at Turn 15, but I don’t think it cost me too much laptime. So, what we have is pretty much everything that we could have achieved today.
“We’ve developed a useful set-up for tomorrow afternoon, and we’ve also fitted a seventh gear that’s long enough to hopefully enable us to do some overtaking. That means I’m looking forward to an exciting race.
“We really need to score some points tomorrow, and I think we’re in a good position to do so.”
- 10th 1m39.114s (+1.233s) 14 laps
- Q1 9th 1m38.882s (on Options)
- Q2 12th overall* 1m38.365s (on Options)
- Q3 –
- * will start 11th due to Mark Webber’s 10-place grid penalty
“On my fastest lap, I lost a tenth and a half behind Kimi [Raikkonen] in Turns 11 and 12. It’s quite frustrating: they’re pretty quick corners, and, when you’re that close to the car in front, it damages your lap. It’s difficult – because most of those corners are blind – but we’ve all got radios, so we should all know where other drivers are.
“It’s a pity: without that delay, I’m pretty sure I would’ve qualified inside the top 10.
“Still, there are positives for tomorrow – we’ve got new tyres for the race; Turns One, Three and Four are always very interesting on the first lap; and we’ve got interesting straightline-speed compared to our rivals – both in terms of ratios and downforce levels – so the first couple of laps should be really interesting for us.
“Hopefully, we can go forwards tomorrow.”
MARTIN WHITMARSH Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“That was a disappointing qualifying session for both drivers, particularly for Jenson, who encountered traffic on his quick lap that almost certainly cost him the opportunity to graduate through into Q3.
“Still, we’ve proven repeatedly throughout this season that we have greater strength and versatility in the race itself. For tomorrow, we’ve got total flexibility over our strategy, and two strong racers, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Lotus F1 Team
Romain Grosjean took fourth position whilst Kimi Räikkönen set the tenth fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix. Both drivers gain a grid position thanks to a penalty for Mark Webber, meaning Romain starts from third and Kimi ninth.
Romain progressed through the first qualifying session using only the medium compound tyre, enabling him to have two runs on new super soft tyres in Q3. Kimi was fastest in Q1, but suffered excessive understeer on his solitary flying lap of the final session to leave him tenth.
Kimi Räikkönen, E21-05 Q: P10 (Starts P9), 1:38.822 FP3: P6, 1:38.701
“If you look at the long run pace yesterday we should have a stronger race”
“I made a mistake on my only set of new tyres in the final qualifying session so my lap wasn’t fast enough for a better position, which eventually meant I ended up tenth and will start from ninth position tomorrow. We’ve had a bit of understeer in the car so I’ve struggled a little all weekend. If you look at the long run pace yesterday we should have a stronger race, but obviously we have to see how the weather turns out. We hope to do better tomorrow.”
Romain Grosjean, E21-04 Q: P4 (Starts P3), 1:37.531 FP3: P8, 1:38.857
“Our race pace looked strong yesterday so we’re aiming for a good result”
“Our aim was to be up there fighting with the Mercedes today and that’s exactly where we were. The Red Bulls were always going to be quick, so to be reasonably close to them in terms of the times is not too bad. Gaining a place on the grid just because another driver has been penalised is not how you want to move forwards, but I’ve had to cope with it before myself and it’s part of the sport. Of course, it will be an advantage for us as it means we’ll start on the clean side of the track. Tomorrow will be interesting in terms of what effect the tyre degradation has, but our race pace looked strong yesterday so we’re aiming for a good result.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
“We’ve got good expectations for tomorrow”
How was qualifying for the team?
We’re very happy with Romain’s qualifying position after a textbook performance through all three sessions with everything going absolutely to plan. He soaked up the extra pressure to get through the first session using only the medium compound tyre and the benefit of doing that was having two sets of the super soft in the final session. Kimi didn’t have the luxury of two runs in the final session, and unfortunately his crucial lap didn’t quite come off as planned. As ever, he will be a formidable force in the race so we’ve got good expectations for tomorrow.
What are the strategy considerations?
It’s a circuit where you can overtake with DRS; not the easiest, but certainly not the hardest. That said, tomorrow’s race will be about tyres – in particular the front right which has a very hard time – so managing the wear and performance will be an important consideration.
What do we think looking to the skies?
The threat of storms has certainly abated somewhat since the beginning of the week, however I think we can still expect to catch the outskirts of the bad weather meaning we could see some rain overnight and early tomorrow morning if not for the race itself. Of course, this is something we’re monitoring closely.
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Korea – 05/10/2013
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified in second and fifth positions respectively for tomorrow’s 2013 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix. Nico will start from P4 on the grid after penalties have been applied.
Lewis qualified P2 after making two option-tyre runs in Q3, having come through Q2 with a single run.
Nico suffered a puncture on his first run of the session in Q1 which forced him to use a set of option tyres in Q1.
He recovered strongly to clear Q2 running used option tyres and was able to secure P5 on the grid.
Nico will start from P4 once grid penalties have been applied to other competitors.
F1 W04 / 03
F1 W04 / 04
Warm and sunny this morning, overcast in qualifying
Air: 25-26 °C
Track: 32-34 °C
I’m really happy with second position today as it felt like I got everything out of the car today. The guys have done a great job to get the package as it is here: we came into the weekend knowing that Red Bull had an advantage, so to be as close as I am in terms of performance is a real positive. Hopefully we have closed the gap a little bit. Our long-run pace yesterday looked good and pretty close to theirs but there will be threats all around us in tomorrow’s race. A couple of years ago, I was on pole and Seb got past me at the start, so I’d like to repay him on that one! I need to make sure we get a good start, position the car as well as possible and when there’s a gap, I’ll be going for it. We know that the weather will change a bit for tomorrow and I don’t mind how it turns out. I’d prefer dry conditions but we’ll see what the day brings and roll with it.
I haven’t found the right car balance all weekend so far and that’s the reason why I’m a bit disappointed with today’s result – even if my actual starting position of fourth place is pretty good. The first sector of the track is good for overtaking, so hopefully that will give us some opportunities in the opening laps, but Red Bull still seems to have the edge here overall. If I get a good start like I managed in Singapore, then a podium finish is possible based on the performance we were able to show in the long runs on Friday.
It was a workmanlike performance from the team this afternoon and we can be happy to have both cars starting on the front two rows tomorrow, which is a fair reflection of our basic competitiveness at this circuit. Lewis was happy with the balance in qualifying and got pretty much everything out of the car today while Nico wasn’t quite as comfortable, which was reflected in his ultimate lap time. Our high-fuel performance in Friday practice looked pretty strong and I am sure we can have a reasonable race on that basis. The weather forecast is currently predicting showers in the morning and cooler temperatures, but dry conditions, for the afternoon. We will see how that turns out and take any opportunity that comes our way.
Sauber F1 Team
- Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday, 05.10.2013
- Weather: sunny, cloudy and dry, 22 -26°C air, 35-34°C track
The Sauber F1 Team was able to celebrate its best qualifying performance of the year in the Korean Grand Prix. This was the first time in the 2013 season that both Sauber C32-Ferraris had made it through to Q3, with Nico Hülkenberg setting the eight fastest time and Esteban Gutierrez the ninth for his first race at the track. However, they will both move up one place on the grid following another driver’s penalty. The team is now hopeful of consolidating that excellent start to the weekend, and points are its aim for tomorrow’s race.
- Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
- Qualifying: 8th in Q3 (1:38.427 / supersoft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 9th (1:38.961 min / supersoft tyres / 16 laps)
“Today went really well. Q1 and Q2 were like clockwork and my lap in Q3 was good too, but somehow it was more difficult, I was four tenths down on my Q2 time and the grip was not the same as in the previous session. To start P7 tomorrow is very positive and we can look forward to the race. The car felt good during the long runs yesterday, and I feel confident we are able to hold our position tomorrow. It is so much fun driving here, however, we mustn’t forget the cars in front of us are strong and also we have the McLarens behind us.”
- Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
- Qualifying: 9th in Q3 (1:38,725 min / supersoft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 11th (1:39.128 min / supersoft tyres / 15 laps)
“The communication was very good today, a big thank you to the entire team. I’ve improved my qualifying and once you have both cars working on a similar level you can push yourself a lot more. This is the first time I have driven here, so it is great to achieve a result like that. It is now the second time in a row I have been able to put in a good qualifying performance and that is a good feeling, because I have worked a lot to improve. The race will be interesting. The track temperature changed in Q3 and I had a bit of an issue with the balance of the car, and the front grip. Tomorrow will be similar to today, so we need to consider that in order to have a consistent race.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“This was our best qualifying result this year, and so we are very happy about that. It confirms our strength and our performance shows we have improved the technical side of the car. I am all the more happy about the fact this time both drivers were able to use the car’s potential. A big thank you to the entire team for all the hard work it has been doing. Now we just need to keep that up and bring home some points tomorrow.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:
“Making it into FP3 with both cars is a fantastic result for the team, and we can see clearly the car is improving. It was obvious after FP3 it was going to be very tight, but we knew Q3 was possible and great laps by both drivers got us there. In Q3 itself both drivers felt there was a little bit more in the car, but as we shall be starting seventh and eighth on the grid and the long run pace of the car in P2 was strong, our target for points is realistic and this is what matters as getting into Q3 was part one of our plans. This was a true team effort, as the latest updates we brought here were scheduled for India, but a big push by the production department brought that target forward so we have these final ones for these last six races.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team
2013 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Report
Qualifying for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix saw Adrian Sutil qualify in P14 just ahead of teammate Paul Di Resta in P15.
P14 Adrian Sutil VJM06-03
- Q1: 1:38.988
- Q2: 1:38.431
Adrian: “In the end I was very close to making Q3 – just one a half tenths away, so that shows how close things were today. We have been working very hard on the set-up all weekend and I was quite happy with the balance, but my lap was right on the limit. P14 still gives us the possibility to score points tomorrow, just as we did in Singapore. A lot of cars seem to have similar pace so maybe we need to try and do something different with the strategy to try and open us some options in the race.”
P15 Paul Di Resta VJM06-04
- Q1: 1:39.185
- Q2: 1:38.718
Paul: “The last few races have shown that our low-fuel running is where we are struggling at the moment. We were not fully optimised for qualifying because we’ve been focussing more on our race pace – as we did in Singapore. Hopefully that will pay off for us tomorrow because our long run performance and tyre wear yesterday appeared to be very good. So I think we’ve got a good race car, possibly better than some of the cars around us, and points will be the target. I will be starting on the cleaner side of the grid too, which always makes a big difference here, so if we can get a good launch we can hopefully be in a good position to make the strategy work.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to improve our one-lap speed so it’s disappointing not to have made the top ten this weekend. Adrian’s effort in Q2 was not too far away, but the midfield fight is so competitive at the moment and we had to settle for the seventh row of the grid. Even so, we remain positive for the race because the work we did yesterday suggests we have a car that is competitive over long runs. Hopefully we can demonstrate that pace tomorrow to try and get both cars in contention for points.”
KOREAN GP QUALIFYING
- Valtteri Bottas qualified 17th with Pastor Maldonado 18th for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix.
- Both drivers went out on the supersoft tyre for their second runs in Q1, but a lack of grip hindered their ability to make it through to Q2.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: In FP3 we tried a couple of different things across the cars but both drivers ended the session happier with the balance. Pastor did an especially good lap on the option tyres and whilst Valtteri wasn’t able to get a clean lap in, we were more optimistic for qualifying. However we did not get the same sort of grip levels from the tyres in Q1 as we saw in FP3, which we need to look at to understand before tomorrow. The laptimes were tight and so we didn’t manage to get into Q2. Everyone is so close this weekend so now we need to look forward to the race to see if we can recover some positions and get close to the top ten. There is still chance for light rain in the race which could also give more opportunities for strategy to come into play.
Valtteri Bottas: I drove a good lap but unfortunately we just didn’t have the pace in the car to get us through to Q2, with the car lacking overall grip when I was pushing hard on my final run. Of course the team are disappointed with this result but I am fully focused to work hard with them to improve the car’s performance ahead of the race tomorrow so that we can make up a good number of places.
Pastor Maldonado: I struggled with traffic in my last sector which cost me some time on my final run, but we just didn’t have the speed to get through to Q2 today and I was having trouble getting grip from the tyres. Our long run pace has looked better this weekend so that is a positive we can focus on ahead of the race, and I will be fighting hard tomorrow to improve our position.
|Track||Korea International Circuit, Korea
|Race length||5.615 kms / 3.489 miles
|Weather||Warm and dry
|Temperatures||Air: 25 – 26°C Track: 32 – 34°C|
||Red Bull Racing
||Red Bull Racing
|17||V Bottas FW35-01 RS27-5423/3||Williams F1 Team
|18||P Maldonado FW35-03 RS27-5500/2||Williams F1 Team
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Scuderia Toro Rosso
2013 KOREAN GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY 05/10/2013
Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)
- Third Practice Session
- Best lap: 1:39.327, pos. 15th, 17 laps
- Best lap: (Q1) 1:38.525, (Q2) 1:38.417, pos. 13th
“I’m definitely not happy with my position and when the gap to the top ten is so small, you have to also be disappointed. I would have liked to have been in the car for the full hour. However, compared to where we were yesterday, we have managed to improve the car, but we have not been able to make enough progress to be more competitive than this. Now we have to look towards the race and maybe the only bright side of not getting into Q3 is that we have one more fresh set of the Supersoft tyres. Hopefully we can make good use of it and then we will see if we have enough pace to go looking for points.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)
- Third Practice Session
- Best lap: 1:39.665, pos. 17th, 15 laps
- Best lap: (Q1) 1:39.075, (Q2) 1:38.781, pos. 16th
“Since yesterday, we have struggled to set up the car the way we wanted, but hard work from the team meant that, this afternoon, at least the car was the best it has been so far this weekend. However, as the other teams also make progress, the improvement on our car for this afternoon was not enough to move us up the order. As for the race, we should be able to start each stint on new tyres and that could make some difference. I am usually optimistic, but I think points will be a difficult target tomorrow. I will give it my best shot and see if I can claw my way back up towards the top ten.”
James Key: “Naturally, we are disappointed not to have got into Q3 as that is always our target and nine hundredths of a second would have done it for us. The time sheet was incredibly tight today. However, we have not had the consistency of balance nor the outright pace all weekend that we should have had. However, with Daniel in thirteenth place on the grid, it’s not unreasonable for us to aspire to points in the race. We now have a new set of Options and that will be important tomorrow, as the tyres will not last that long and we will be hoping to maximise our stint length.”
Korean GP – FP3 & Qualifying
Korea International Circuit, Yeongam – Saturday 5th October 2013
Caterham F1 Team Partner information
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FP3: dry, sunny; min / max track temp 35°, air temp 22° – 25°
Q1: dry, hazy; min / max track temp 33° – 34°, air temp 25°
Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: PIC 1.41.360, 19th / VDG 1.41.614, 20th
Q1: PIC 1.40.864, 19th / VDG 1.40.871, 20th
FP3: PIC 19 / VDG 20
Q1: PIC 6 / VDG 6
Charles Pic, car #20, chassis CT03-06
1102 – 1116: Run 1, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1124 – 1138: Run 2, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: rear camber
1153 – 1202: Run 3, 5 laps (supersoft tyres)
1406 – 1413: Run 1, 3 laps (supersoft tyres)
1417 – 1424: Run 2, 3 laps (supersoft tyres)
Giedo van der Garde, car #21, chassis CT03-04
1103 – 1118: Run 1, 8 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: brake balance
1126 – 1139: Run 2, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1152 – 1203: Run 3, 5 laps (supersoft tyres)
1406 – 1413: Run 1, 3 laps (supersoft tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1416 – 1423: Run 2, 3 laps (supersoft tyres)
Charles Pic: “We made some changes to the car overnight and the balance was better in FP3. At the start the car felt quite similar to FP1 – it was very much on the nose and it felt like we’d gone a bit too far forward on the aero balance, particularly in the medium and high speed corners so we changed the front wing flap angle for run two but it didn’t really improve too much. The change increased understeer but didn’t improve the car’s stability so we made another mechanical change for the performance run and it immediately felt like the balance was better, particularly in the medium speed corners. We still had a bit of work to do before qualifying on improving the rear stability so we did that over lunch and started quali with a car that felt pretty well balanced.
“In quali we went for two runs on the supersofts, going out quite late into the session. The first run was ok but there was definitely time to be found which I managed to do on the second run, finishing up 19th and again clear of our nearest competitors. I did have a bit of traffic on the fast lap but even with that we wouldn’t have been able to push the cars ahead too much so we start tomorrow about where we expected and with the car now feeling much better than Friday I’m looking forward to the race.”
Giedo van der Garde: “Friday had gone pretty well for us and the car felt similar on Saturday. We’d made a few changes overnight and had maybe introduced a bit too much oversteer at the start of FP3, particularly in sector two, but overall it felt ok. We didn’t make any big changes for run two as I was pretty happy with the car and then went onto the supersofts for the normal performance run at the end of the session and it was still ok. I made a bit of a mistake with the DRS in sector three on my fastest lap but I went into quali feeling positive.
“Quali was really close! The first run in Q1 was ok but we clearly had some time to make up – not enough to fight the Williams but definitely enough to put us back ahead of Bianchi and Chilton. In the end sector one wasn’t as clean as we’d hoped for but the other two sectors were good and it was a very tight fight with my teammate. This time he just came out on top so we’ll start the race behind the Williams cars – the aim is obviously to repeat what we did in Singapore and fight them as much as we can. We’ve shown recently that we have the race pace to do that so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Marussia F1 Team
- 2013 Formula 1™ Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying
- Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, Korea
- BIANCHI MR02-02 Q1 P21 1:41.169 6 laps
- CHILTON MR02-03 Q1 P22 1:41.322 6 laps
In a positive final Free Practice session this morning in Yeongam, the Marussia F1 Team drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton closed the gap to their immediate competitors further, a trend that continued into Qualifying.
In FP3 the gap was as little as 0.03s and while the Team were unable to usurp the Caterhams in Q1 today, good progress has been made on improving the car balance and the race pace looks promising for tomorrow.
Jules ended the Q1 session in P21 with a time of 1:41.169 after 6 laps. Max was close behind in P22 with a time of 1:41.322, also after 6 laps.
Jules Bianchi #22
“We seem to be doing a better job of sticking with the Caterhams now and although the gap was closer in this morning’s Free Practice session, I hope we can have a better fight with them tomorrow, despite the setback of the grid penalty. We’ve done a good job of improving the car balance and we didn’t get enough of an opportunity to really show that in qualifying, but I do feel more confident for the race now. ”
Max Chilton #23
“I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made with the car this weekend. I’m also really encouraged by my pace compared to Jules, which this afternoon was just over a tenth away. We obviously can’t be sure yet what the weather will bring but based on the work we’ve done so far I’m quite happy and looking forward to 51 laps of the Korea International Circuit tomorrow in my first race here.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“This weekend we have found the car balance quite tricky to get right. Both drivers have had differing balances on the two types of tyre at various points in the weekend which inevitably creates a bit of a challenge in terms of ensuring we could get the best out of the cars in qualifying. Overnight and in FP3, both drivers worked hard with their engineering crews to improve the balance of the cars and by the time we got into Qualifying we seemed to have arrived at a good place. The first runs were really encouraging and good traffic and clear out laps helped to put the drivers right with the Caterhams. Unfortunately the traffic at the end of the Q1 session was quite difficult to manage and we didn’t get the best of it and therefore didn’t quite gain what we had hoped on our second runs. Overall, it’s clear to see that we have made good steps since Budapest to be back in contention with the our nearest competitors and our promising race pace on Friday means that we should be able to race them tomorrow. All weekend we’ve been working with the threat of rain for the race in mind. While that does seems to be less likely now we won’t be sure until the morning. Either way I’m sure we all feel very motivated to build on a positive weekend so far.”
2013 Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying
TWO-STOP STRATEGY PREDICTED FOR THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has taken his sixth pole position of the season: making him the driver who has now sealed pole position more often than anyone else this year. Vettel, who claims his second pole position in Korea, did a 1m37.202s lap on the P Zero Red supersoft tyres, which are nominated with the P Zero White medium tyres for the weekend. Interestingly, for the three years that the Korean Grand Prix has been run, the polesitter has never won. Vettel and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton share the front row for the fifth time this season.
Conditions were warm and dry for qualifying, in ambient temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade, with most of the drivers starting on the medium tyre. The Marussias and Caterhams, as well as the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, were first to use the supersoft tyres, while the supersoft-equipped Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen was quickest of all at the end of the session.
All the drivers started Q2 on the supersoft tyre, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton setting the initial benchmark. He was topped by Vettel, who went quickest with three minutes to go after a single run on the supersoft. That time was good enough for the Red Bull driver to maintain the fastest time to the end.
With the track constantly evolving, timing was important during Q3, which was run exclusively on the P Zero Red supersoft tyres. The Red Bull drivers went out early for the first of two runs, followed closely by both Mercedes, with Vettel going quickest. The Ferraris and the Saubers tried a different tactic by opting for just one run at the end, while Lotus split their strategies, with Romain Grosjean completing two runs and Kimi Raikkonen doing just one.
Vettel went fastest in the final free practice session this morning as well, followed by his team mate Mark Webber. Vettel set his fastest time on the supersoft tyre, with Webber going quickest at first.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We’re now seeing an average of about 0.8 seconds per lap difference in terms of lap time between the two compounds, which is considerably less than Singapore. This is set to form the platform for some interesting strategies during the race, but it also means that more of the frontrunners were able to get through Q1 without having to put on the supersoft compound. Grip levels improved as each session went on, so most drivers tried to set their best times in the closing seconds. We saw different strategies at work throughout qualifying, with a variety of approaches being taken in Q3 as well, although we would expect most drivers to stop twice under normal race circumstances. The big question mark is the weather: rain showers have been predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning. While the race itself should remain dry, temperatures during the afternoon are expected to be cooler than what we have seen so far, although at least it looks like we’ve avoided the typhoon!”
The Pirelli mystery strategy predictor:
Two stops are theoretically the quickest way to complete the 55-lap Korean Grand Prix. The fastest strategy on paper is start on supersoft, change to supersoft again on lap 20 and then change to the medium on lap 40.
Realistically though, most cars are likely to adopt the following strategy: start on the supersoft, change to the medium on lap 20, then change to the medium again on lap 38.
The best three-stop strategy – for those wanting to try something different – is to start on the supersoft, change for supersoft again on lap 19, supersoft once more on lap 34, and finally medium on lap 47.
Fastest compounds in FP3:
Top 10 tyre use:
Renault Sport F1