Button keeps McLaren on top in Korea

2011 Korean GP third practice

Jenson Button was fastest in the final practice session in Korea.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton made it a McLaren one-two at the head of the times with Mark Webber third.

The session got off to a very busy start as the teams tried to maximise the only hour of dry running available before qualifying.

Both Red Bulls stayed out on the track after their installation laps and headed the times to begin with.

But the McLarens showed immediate pace when they join the circuit, Hamilton quickly topping the times by over a second and a half.

He remained on top for much of the rest of the session, with only team mate Jenson Button able to get within a second of him.

Bruno Senna made light contact with the barrier when he spun at turn 13 early in the session. He damaged the front wing on his Renault but was able to return to the pits and continue his session.

Daniel Ricciardo lost a lot of time when his HRT stopped at the pit lane entrance and had to be pushed to his garage. But he was able to rejoin the session later.

Most of the drivers waiting until the final ten minutes before doing runs on the super soft tyres. But with almost all the cars on the track at once, traffic became a serious problem.

Sebastian Vettel caught Jaime Alguersuari during his first effort and had to abort his run.

But he caught the Toro Rosso driver again on his next run and was visibly agitated at losing time again, drawing alongside and shaking his hand at Alguersuari.

Hamilton had a similar run-in with Michael Schumacher which cost him an improvement on his final run.

However Button managed to get a clear lap in and crossed the line with a 1’36.910 to go fastest ahead of Hamilton and Webber.

Fernando Alonso was foutrh fastest having run a new front wing on his Ferrari, with team mate Felipe Massa fifth.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.910 18
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.199 0.289 18
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’37.723 0.813 23
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.029 1.119 21
5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.434 1.524 18
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’39.559 2.649 23
7 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’39.612 2.702 20
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’39.660 2.750 22
9 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.695 2.785 22
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.743 2.833 25
11 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.847 2.937 22
12 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.851 2.941 20
13 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.964 3.054 21
14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.005 3.095 17
15 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.030 3.120 18
16 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’40.451 3.541 19
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’40.529 3.619 20
18 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’40.711 3.801 22
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’41.909 4.999 18
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.945 5.035 13
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’43.275 6.365 19
22 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.377 7.467 16
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’44.421 7.511 13
24 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’45.143 8.233 11

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Sat/Fri Laps
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.932 1’36.910 -14.022 38
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2’03.391 1’50.828 1’37.199 -13.629 50
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2’05.183 1’53.049 1’37.723 -15.326 55
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’52.774 1’38.029 -14.745 51
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’53.707 1’38.434 -15.273 43
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 2’02.784 1’54.965 1’39.559 -15.406 54
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’54.200 1’39.612 -14.588 47
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2’03.141 1’54.392 1’39.660 -14.732 60
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2’02.840 1’52.646 1’39.695 -12.951 60
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2’04.311 1’53.914 1’39.743 -14.171 55
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2’02.912 1’53.957 1’39.847 -14.11 66
12 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.402 1’39.851 -13.551 45
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’03.182 1’53.948 1’39.964 -13.984 57
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2’03.292 1’55.544 1’40.005 -15.539 53
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 2’04.797 1’55.203 1’40.030 -15.173 50
16 Bruno Senna Renault 1’55.187 1’40.451 -14.736 48
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 2’06.852 1’56.067 1’40.529 -15.538 53
18 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 2’08.218 1’54.831 1’40.711 -14.12 57
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’56.669 1’41.909 -14.76 39
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’57.173 1’41.945 -15.228 32
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2’14.508 1’58.269 1’43.275 -14.994 48
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 2’12.658 1’59.458 1’44.377 -15.081 49
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 2’00.165 1’44.421 -15.744 33
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 2’09.232 1’59.958 1’45.143 -14.815 44
25 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 2’06.350 11
26 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’07.541 9
27 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 2’08.832 14

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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16 comments on Button keeps McLaren on top in Korea

  1. panache (@panache) said on 15th October 2011, 4:19

    It just occured to me that Red Bull – with Vettel at least – might try to gear their setup more towards qualifying for the remainder of the season to try maintain their 100% pole record now that the drivers title is wrapped up and the constructors title is practically certain.

  2. Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 15th October 2011, 4:19

    Cool, Mclaren looks like they really have the pace.

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 4:21

    Button was 0.4s quicker than the fastest time in FP3 last year.

    So there’s a good chance last year’s pole position time will be beaten. That was a 1’35.585 by Vettel.

    Food for thought for those of you making your predictions – get them in here before qualifiyng starts:

    Make your Korean GP predictions now: prizes up for grabs

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 15th October 2011, 4:34

    Button is faster than you…

  5. Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 15th October 2011, 5:13

    Good observations made by Joe Saward regard Schuey’s block on Lewis:

    “…Lewis Hamilton had looked faster but Michael Schumacher blocked Lewis in no uncertain terms and left Hamilton frustrated. Clearly the Mercedes was never going to be a match for the McLarens, the car being around two and half seconds a lap slower, but Michael seemed in no mood to get out of the way. Whether he was trying to screw with Hamilton’s head or simply being bloody-minded is hard to say.

    The same thing happened to Sebastian Vettel with Jaime Alguersuari being the man in the way. It will be interesting to see what happens in qualifying but Mercedes needs to be a little careful because the FIA Stewards gave the team a bit of a smack on Friday evening with a fine of €10,000 (€5,000 suspended) for failing to appear in a timely manner for a disciplinary investigation (which roughly translates as lack of respect for the authorities)…”

    • Jim8888 said on 15th October 2011, 5:19

      The drivers have absolutely no obligation to let others past in practice.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 5:23

      @becken-lima I think that’s reading far too much into it.

      Schumacher’s got his own session to worry about. He did his super-soft runs earlier on so he was going slower than he might have been at this point. He obviously had a programme to complete and it’s not his job to get out of Hamilton’s way.

      In qualifying it’s a different matter because you’re not allowed to impede people, but this was practice.

  6. Keamo said on 15th October 2011, 5:38

    I have a feeling Michael and Lewis will soon become ‘magnetised’

  7. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th October 2011, 8:46

    Keith, I certainly can understand you didn’t yet get to analyse FP3, but it would be great if you could find time to do that still. Does anyone have the laptimes?

    I haven’t been able to see FP3, but hear that the long run pace was quite interesting between the McLaren’s and Red Bulls, and Ferrari being happy with their tyre wear, it would be great to have more insight before the race, especially with Red Bull seemingly planning some different strategy.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th October 2011, 8:48

      @bosyber

      I always have a look at the numbers before writing the pre-race analysis and obviously they’ll be especially interesting today as there was no dry running yesterday.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th October 2011, 8:51

        Yes, I figured you do, sorry for being impatient.

        It’s the combination of not having seen FP3, FP1&2 having been wet, and me still having the rest of the day to wait for the race!

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 15th October 2011, 10:20

    McLaren and Red Bull have nearly the same pace, with Ferrari behind.

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