Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea International Circuit, 2012

Hamilton takes fastest time off Alonso in first practice

2012 Korean Grand Prix first practice resultPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea International Circuit, 2012Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice with his final lap of the session.

Fernando Alonso led the way for much of the 90 minutes before Hamilton took over shortly before the chequered flag.

Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to set a lap time on a visibly dusty and gripless track. Some drivers complained of tyre graining as they struggled to find traction, and the likes of Red Bull didn’t take to the circuit until the second half of the session.

In the meantime several drivers were struggling to keep their cars on the track. Sergio Perez had a high-speed off at turn 11 when he ran wide onto the kerb, kicking up a lot of dust.

Several other drivers had minor off-track moments including Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa.

Alonso led the times for most of the session. A 1’39.857 put his Ferrari comfortably on top and it took a while for anyone to get within a second of his time: Nico Rosberg the first driver to do so.

The Red Bulls eventually took to the track and Mark Webber moved into second, but Alonso improved his time further with a 1’39.450. Hamilton got much closer, moving up to second, 0.025s off the Ferrari.

Alonso returned to the track for a final run but couldn’t improve after locking his front-right tyre at turn three. He then took a lot of kerb at turn 14 and caught a high-speed slide.

The track continued to improve until the dying moments of the session, Felipe Massa setting the fastest time in the first sector with six minutes to go on 18-lap-old tyres.

With less than four minutes to go Hamilton took the fastest time off Alonso, lapping in 1’39.280. He continued to improve up until his final lap, ending the session on 1’39.148.

As the session ended the Red Bull drivers had a near miss as Webber, on a flying lap, caught Sebastian Vettel at turn 14, and had to back off.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.148 23
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.450 0.302 21
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.575 0.427 21
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’39.854 0.706 23
5 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’40.088 0.940 21
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.221 1.073 21
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’40.396 1.248 24
8 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’40.422 1.274 22
9 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’40.440 1.292 19
10 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.480 1.332 21
11 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’40.929 1.781 14
12 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’41.048 1.900 25
13 12 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’41.140 1.992 21
14 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.220 2.072 19
15 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.514 2.366 20
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.596 2.448 23
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.021 2.873 25
18 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’42.027 2.879 23
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’42.104 2.956 24
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.175 3.027 13
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.708 3.560 22
22 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’42.820 3.672 19
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.517 5.369 23
24 23 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1’45.735 6.587 22

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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