Kubica quickest in final practice in Korea

Robert Kubica, Renault, Korea, 2010

Robert Kubica set the fastest lap of the weekend so far ahead of qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The top four teams ended the session separated by less than a tenth of a second as Kubica headed Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

The drivers found the track very slippery once again at the beginning of the session following overnight work to address several problem areas.

A new kerb at turn 16 proved particularly tricky as the concrete had not fully set. Drivers reported it felt soft when the ran over it during the session.

Once again several drivers ran off the track during practice as the tricky surface continued to catch them out. Sebastian Vettel had a sideways moment late in the session and ended up 16th.

Traffic also proved a problem in the twisty final second of the lap. Fernando Alonso was held up by Nico Rosberg and gesticulated angrily at the Mercedes driver.

Alonso had been very quick early in the session on hard tyres. Then the McLaren duo took over at the top of the times sheets.

With the track improving with every passing lap two late efforts from Kubica lowered the fastest time of the weekend to a new best of 1’37.354.

But with little to choose between the front runners the forthcoming qualifying session looks difficult to predict.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’37.354 15
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.402 0.048 16
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.426 0.072 15
4 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’37.441 0.087 13
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.629 0.275 12
6 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.955 0.601 16
7 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.419 1.065 15
8 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’38.501 1.147 17
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.630 1.276 12
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’38.632 1.278 18
11 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’38.668 1.314 14
12 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’38.733 1.379 16
13 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.058 1.704 21
14 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.145 1.791 16
15 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.159 1.805 21
16 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.780 2.426 9
17 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.289 2.935 17
18 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’41.591 4.237 15
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’41.623 4.269 15
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’41.853 4.499 17
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’42.095 4.741 19
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’43.111 5.757 19
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’43.417 6.063 19
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’43.880 6.526 20

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a driver’s best three sector times added together.

Pos. Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’37.351 0.003
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.402 0.051 0.000
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.426 0.075 0.000
4 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’37.441 0.090 0.000
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.629 0.278 0.000
6 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.939 0.588 1.841
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.955 0.604 0.000
8 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.360 1.009 0.059
9 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’38.368 1.017 0.300
10 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’38.501 1.150 0.000
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’38.561 1.210 0.071
12 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.630 1.279 0.000
13 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’38.733 1.382 0.000
14 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.824 1.473 0.000
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.904 1.553 0.154
16 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.145 1.794 0.000
17 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.938 2.587 0.351
18 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’41.487 4.136 0.104
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’41.853 4.502 0.000
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’42.095 4.744 0.000
21 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’43.090 5.739 0.327
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’43.111 5.760 0.000
23 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’43.344 5.993 -1.721*
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’43.458 6.107 0.422

*The combined sector times supplied by F1.com give Trulli a higher lap time than his actual lap time, indicating an error in the data.

Korea practice times combined

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Total laps
1 Robert Kubica Renault 1’40.968 1’38.718 1’37.354 62
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.887 1’38.279 1’37.402 60
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’43.928 1’38.132 1’37.426 66
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’42.202 1’37.942 1’37.441 59
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.152 1’39.268 1’37.629 62
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’43.054 1’38.820 1’37.955 73
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.940 1’38.726 1’38.419 50
8 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’42.678 1’40.478 1’38.501 68
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.022 1’39.598 1’38.630 63
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’43.602 1’39.971 1’38.632 58
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’42.896 1’39.267 1’38.668 64
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.883 1’39.812 1’38.733 74
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’43.940 1’40.896 1’39.058 76
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.309 1’39.564 1’39.145 62
15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’45.141 1’40.578 1’39.159 76
16 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.371 1’39.204 1’39.780 49
17 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.293 1’39.588 1’40.289 60
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’44.887 1’39.881 1’41.591 63
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.701 1’42.801 1’41.623 45
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.588 1’43.115 1’41.853 63
21 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’47.115 1’42.773 1’42.095 70
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.039 1’43.111 48
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’50.821 1’46.649 1’43.417 37
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’50.347 1’45.166 1’43.880 68
25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’46.613 17

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14 comments on Kubica quickest in final practice in Korea

  1. Robbie said on 23rd October 2010, 4:09

    Vettel doesn’t seem comfortable on this track. You could argue he went out at the wrong time at the end, like Jenson Button did, but overall he doesn’t seem as competitive as his teammate.

    Qualifying will be tight. Looking at today’s session I think Hamilton will get it. He was 4 thousandths of a second down on Kubica and that was after going really wide on the last corner. If he gets a perfect lap in I think he’ll be on pole and with possible rain on race day plus the speed of the car, I don’t think RBR will have much of a chance. Lewis’ biggest threats are his teammate, Kubica and Alonso.

    Then again, I’m probably dead wrong.

  2. Quite sensational how Kubica cut the time by 0.5 sec. Twice

  3. 4 different teams on top 4 spots within a tenth of a second… looks good for the qualifying.

  4. sugafree said on 23rd October 2010, 4:14

    Well done Robert

  5. Glenn said on 23rd October 2010, 4:14

    KUBICA!!!! Willing that car…

  6. Gridlock said on 23rd October 2010, 4:23

    That’s quite a lot of spinning so far then.. Not great from a driver safety point of view but will reward the brave (I’ll put kobayashi top 6 tomorrow for a cheeky punt).

  7. macca77 said on 23rd October 2010, 4:34

    Schumi’s 1’38.630 vs. Rosberg’s 1’37.629 doesn’t look good at all. 1.001 is a bit too much.
    In P2 they were # Nico P9 1:39.268, Michael P12 1:39.598.

    Can’t wait for the classification session.

  8. Enigma (@enigma) said on 23rd October 2010, 4:45

    Vettel’s top speed was around Hamilton’s top speed, while Webber was much slower. Maybe Vettel has decided to sacrifice some downforce for better straight line speed. He’ll be slower overall, but will be better at the start of the race, which will be very important.

  9. F1iLike said on 23rd October 2010, 5:42

    Vettels best lap might suffer from that sideways moment? Or was it on the same tires? I didn’t watch.. Anyways I don’t think the Red Bulls look very good for this track.. But earlier this year they have been down in all practices and then on top in qualifying so I don’t know really..
    Renault have often looked strong in FP but can’t materialise that into qualifying and race. And Mclaren always looks strong in FP.. But this maybe isn’t a Red Bull track.. Should be an interesting race though!

    • F1iLike said on 23rd October 2010, 5:45

      Also, Vettel’s best 3rd sector time is 0,5 off Webber’s.. That’s unheard of.. So I think he’ll come around!

  10. Funny how big difference is between Vettel’s fastest and ultimate lap

    • US_Peter said on 23rd October 2010, 18:36

      I think that probably shows that he never got a hot lap in due to traffic there at the end of the session.

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