Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012

Red Bull lead the way in second practice

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

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel led the second practice session in which Red Bull consistently had the quickest car.

The reigning world champion edged team mate Mark Webber by three hundredths of a second around the Korea International Circuit.

Fernando Alonso was third-quickest for Ferrari, three tenths of a second off the RB8s, followed by the McLaren of Jenson Button.

Red Bull led the way at the beginning of the session while the drivers were running on softs. But Vettel was one of several drivers who found difficulty extracting a good time out of the super-soft tyres.

He ran wide at turn one on his first effort and made a similar, smaller mistake the next time around. Webber briefly took over at the top of the times but Vettel finally got a clear run in to set the quickest lap.

Other drivers were having trouble in traffic. Michael Schumacher slowed and gesticulated angrily at Pedro de la Rosa after the HRT driver held him up at turn three. Alonso also cut it fine, dodging around the other HRT of Narain Karthikeyan as he began a lap.

Sergio Perez’s problems were more serious. He lost DRS as he began his first flying lap, then the C31 let him down completely, coming to a stop on the track. The car was returned to the pits before the end of the session but the team were not able to get Perez back on the track.

Having been quickest in the first session there was little sign of the same pace from Lewis Hamilton in the second. He ended up eighth, half a second off his team mate’s time.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’38.832
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’38.864 0.032
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.160 0.328
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.219 0.387
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’39.330 0.498
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’39.422 0.590
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.584 0.752
8 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.717 0.885
9 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’39.739 0.907
10 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’39.839 1.007
11 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’39.957 1.125
12 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’40.089 1.257
13 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’40.112 1.280
14 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.445 1.613
15 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.745 1.913
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.789 1.957
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.997 2.165
18 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’41.200 2.368
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’41.602 2.770
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.596 3.764
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’43.066 4.234
22 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’43.067 4.235
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’43.869 5.037
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.533 5.701

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40 comments on “Red Bull lead the way in second practice”

  1. So Red Bull are definitely back and Ferrari are the best of the rest, this would have been a great season on any tyres.

    1. Thats an awful lot to conclude after FP2. You might be right but I doubt the Maccas are nowhere.

    2. On race pace (on super-softs) both Ferraris and Button even seemed to outpace the Red Bulls. And I’m sure Hamilton would have been up there or thereabout had he not flat-spotted his front right midway through his late long stint.

      On one lap… It will be tooth and nail between the McLarens and the Ferraris, I think.

  2. Jonathan Ledgard commentating on FP2?!?!?!?!!? He finished his commentary with “as the red flag comes down at the end of this practice session”, really, isn’t that a chequed flag!!!

    I’m loyal to watching the races on the BBC when live, but if JL is taking lead commentator, I’ll be watching on Sky!

    1. BBC use the Radio 5 Live commentary for Practice Session’s, not their own commentary team of Ben Edwards and David Coulthard. Jonathon Legard is the main commentator for Radio 5 Live, with Jaime Alguersuari (usually) alongside him, however he commentates on Practice only, so no need for you to worry about him ruining your Qualifying and Race experience on the BBC :)

  3. the Ferrari’s both look good in race pace as does jenson and red bull are up there with there one lap pace as well as there race pace

  4. It seems like we would see neck to neck fight unless Red Bull runaway in FP3 and Q or some bad luck comes.

  5. As expected Red Bull is still the team to catch and Ferrari seems very good at race trim. And As for McLaren, only BUT is in contention though. Why is HAM so sluggish in FP2? His lap time is way slower than FP1 when the track is definitely rubbered and with super soft? Also it’s interesting to see some nodding gesture of MW when HAM’s heavy fuel time falls around while BUT was posting 1:45.7xx.

    1. Maybe he’s suffering from another setup failure…or suspension failure.

    2. Hamilton said that his car felt strange and that something is not right yet. I expect that to be sorted by tomorrow.

      1. i expect mclaren to make it lit more harder for hamilton, definitly jenson will be their first preference.

      2. Hope so. But overall it doesn’t feel things are in good shape to him for whatever reason.
        He saying he just made slight change in the rear ride height from the FP1.

    3. Alonso will be taken out at the first corner again XD

  6. Schumacher and de la Rosa have been summoned to see the stewards over the incident at turn three. I suspect Schumacher may get a reprimand for slowing down once he was alongside de la Rosa.

    1. Sure enough, Schumacher gets a reprimand.

  7. Red Bull is looking good and Web might have a shot. However, it’s good news that Ferrari is not that bad and McLaren not either, Hamilton’s FP1 time was actually better than Alonso’s FP2. But I think it’s going to be between WEB and VET hoping someone proves me wrong.

    1. Red Bull still have about the fastets car then!

      1. I think they do, but I’m way from being sure about it.

  8. Have the feeling qualifying isn’t going to be as neck and neck as some might hope. Race will hopefully be another matter – it appears that RB, Mclaren, Ferrari and Merc might have some pace here. Operative word being ‘might’. It could just be an RB walk over. Lol, I should stop being a pessimist.

    1. I should stop being a pessimist.

      I understand your feeling, Ella.

  9. Lewis Hamilton has been giving off a lot of negative vibes so far this weekend, especially in P2 this morning. I might be reading into this too much but I get the impression that Hamilton is trying to assert his influence with car setup more than usual since he announced his departure to Mercedes next season, and because it doesn’t appear to be working out, he’s getting agitated. Either that or the two sides of the Mclaren garage are no longer openly sharing setup data.

    At Suzuka it was announced that based on Hamilton’s suggestions, his side of the garage went down a different setup path. They got it wrong and Hamilton struggled from P2 onwards for the rest of the weekend.
    This morning Ant Davidson informed us that the two Mclaren drivers were starting to diverge on setup direction heading into P2 according to what Button had told him over lunch. From then onwards Hamilton’s negativity became more and more obvious whilst Button seems to be going from strength to strength. Quite the opposite of P1 where towards the end it was Hamilton showing impressive pace and consistency on the soft tyres, so why has his mood turned so quickly?

    First he was throwing his hand out the cockpit in dismay at front locking, lacking the pace of Button on both compound tyres during low fuel runs, unable to improve his lap time on the Supersoft tyre and on several occasions he could be seen nodding his head sitting in his car in the garage whilst Button was out there reeling off laps. Then to top it all off, towards the end of the session he badly locks up a new set of soft tyres heading into turn 1 declaring that they are ruined and he needs to box the same lap.

    I can’t help but think it’s not just coincidence that Hamilton and Button have taken such different approaches to setup ever since Hamilton announced his imminent departure from the team.

    1. @panache

      I can’t help but think it’s not just coincidence that Hamilton and Button have taken such different approaches to setup ever since Hamilton announced his imminent departure from the team.

      It’s hardly unprecedented. They chose wildly differing set-ups at Spa, much as they did at Monza back in 2010.

    2. Its not coincidence at all that they have been making differing choices in their setup for almost as long as they are together in the team @panache, as both like quite different characteristics in the car handling

    3. to add to that, if anything it shows that Hamilton copes with being beaten by his teammate on pace in a session as badly as most other drivers would!

    4. I can’t help but think it’s not just coincidence that Hamilton and Button have taken such different approaches to setup ever since Hamilton announced his imminent departure from the team.

      I always had a theory on Mclaren’s car development since Button joined in 2010. It seems obvious that both drivers have a different driving style and prefer different car characteristics.

      In 2008 and 2009, Mclaren’s focus was solely on Lewis Hamilton, which is why we saw him being significantly more competitive than Kovalainen throughout the season. Post 2010, Whitmarsh seems to want to develop a strong car that will suit both drivers, and create updates accordingly. We saw that in 2010, Mclaren started off with a relatively strong car, but when it came to mid season, the car started struggling. We saw Button and Hamilton gambling on different car setups from time to time… and also use different updates form one another. Generally, Button made the wiser choice.

      I cant help but feel that Lewis is getting increasingly frustrated with a car being developed to also suit a driving style completely different from his own. I can only assume that this must have been an issue for the past three seasons, and after he announced his departure there is some more tension added to the car setup/development situation at Mclaren

      It’s just a theory so who knows…

    5. @panache

      Hamilton posted the fastest time in the morning… actually faster then Jenson’s FP2 time, I think it’s early to make such conclusions mate.

      1. Too early for conclusions but not a good sign (for Hamilton fans) that again he started well and is now going backwards.

        I think panache is basically right. Button at McLaren has been a disadvantage for Lewis in terms of car development. This season too he was doing fine but the team had to readjust to allow Button to catch up. Now he’s leaving, Hamilton starts well and things go down ill, weird huh? At the same time I doubt Button will ever win a championship for McLaren. So to me it just seems a counter-productive set-up, Hamilton is well out.

        1. I think people are making conclusions far too quickly here… I’ve read time and again that the development of the car for BUT and HAM is actually pretty much the same, they just need a different set up balance (well BUT doesn’t like an ‘oversteer-y’ balance and as long as there is some balance HAM is happy)

          It’s not unknown for any team to smash FP1, slack a bit in FP2 and then correct it for FP3 – as is the point of practice sessions. I will be surprised if HAM isn’t back up there come tomorrow morning and Quali, if he isn’t he might as well pack up, go home and let the reserve driver have the last few races for some development time!

    6. So you seem to suggest Ham’s clumsy specialty in car setup has eaten his time in FP2. Who knows? But then MW’s affirming gesture might be that he more or less knew Ham’s taking wrong direction… Well just as one who wants to see the top 3 go head to head till the last GP, this is quite disappointing if indeed his ego or pride is doing self infliction. Got to see thru the weekend anyway.

  10. Mclaren is still the team to beat ,RBR was 0.3 secs slower than Button without the use of DRS..seems though that mclaren doesn’t really “like” Hamilton any more.

    1. Ferrari was up there with Button as well. Well, Alonso… But Massa ran on softs.

    2. How do you know he wasn’t using DRS and why wasn’t he?

      1. they never use DRS when they test race settings

  11. For me what was striking was how the totally different setup approaches almost evened out on one lap. First things first, I double checked the track map instead of accepting the ‘first part quick, back part slow’ lines. The first sector comprises of a slice of Monza. Long straights followed by hard barking zones and tight hairpins (except the flat-out Turn 2). The second sector comprises of four slow corners, four high-speed ones (two of which is flat-out on one lap and the other two of which are decreasing radius ones), and one mid-speed corner – totally neutral sector, things should even out here, slightly high downforce required still. The third sector is the quick one in fact: three high-speed ones (the last sequence), two mid-speed ones and just one slow one. Red Bull unsurprisingly performed best here.

    So back to the original statement. Red Bull and Macca went for a very high downforce setup and sticked to it so far, based on the sector times, whereas Ferrari and the well-performing (on one lap for sure) Mercedes went for a lower downforce setup, gaining half a second on the McLarens and the early Red Bull runnings in the first sector. They ended up pretty much at the same lap time.

    And here is got interesting: I think Red Bull really nailed its DDRS only for the final basic setup work runs, just before the long run as I saw their first sector times tumble without their second and third sector times remaining intact and good. That’s why I think betting for a Red Bull front row lockout is a good one – Webber was close to Vettel all day long, mostly ran quicker, so it should be tight, but I expect Vettel to find those extra milliseconds, when it matters. Greats remain greats.

    I already expressed my views on race pace as a comment on post #1.

    1. I messed up the most important line of the post. My English, sigh…

      And here it got interesting: I think Red Bull really nailed its DDRS only for the final basic setup work runs, just before the long run as I saw their first sector times tumble without compromising their second and third sector times, which remained good


  12. Red Bull judging from this will likely be on pole position. Wether McLaren can then catch (and pass) them in the race reamins to be seen

    1. McLaren can then catch (and pass) them

      Red Bull are the team to beat but the runner-up group is lead by Ferrari, I think. I expect them to show better race pace than the McLarens. It’s tight between the top four anyway and Mercedes and Force India look like they could easily infiltrate the top 10.

      I don’t know how exciting this weekend will be but it’s gonna be at least interesting watching the championship fight progress through the GP.

  13. It`s too early to read anything into this yet, it`s close between the top teams. We`ll have to wait for FP 3 and qualifying for conclusions.

    Korea does not suit Red Bull that well, I would be surprised if they will dominate this weekend. Remember they did not manage to take pole last year.
    If they are able to be dominant this weekend I got a feeling it might well be “game over” for the other contenders for the WDC. If Red Bull is strong in Korea they will shine on the remaining tracks as well. But Korea is more suited to McLaren and Ferrari due to the horsepower advantage they have over Red Bull, so let`s wait and see.

  14. I have a sneaky feeling it’ll be Alonso and Vettel and Alonso because the lap times weren’t very far off each other add to that Vettel’s speed and Alonso’s consistency, I see the two top drivers battle it out for the first corner.

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