Hamilton quickest as Raikkonen crashes in Korea

2013 Korean Grand Prix first practice

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Korea International Circuit, 2013A minor spin during practice in Korea didn’t keep Lewis Hamilton from heading the times sheet after the first 90 minutes of running.

But Kimi Raikkonen had a bigger drama as he crashed at the final corner moments before the session ended. The Lotus driver lost control of his car in the middle of turn 17 and spun into the barrier nose-first.

Moments earlier Sebastian Vettel had given a reminder of Red Bull’s potential by lapping just three-hundredths of a second slower than Hamilton on much older tyres.

The first practice session for the Korean Grand Prix began in bright, sunny conditions with the track temperature already 30C. After taking to the track for their first installation laps several of the drivers reported the track’s new pit lane exit was very bumpy.

Rodolfo Gonzalez was the first driver to set a time but was clearly struggling for grip. He’d already run wide more than once before he lost the car at the exit of turn 13, knocking the car’s nose off. “I’m really sorry guys,” he told the crew as he brought Jules Bianchi’s car back into the pits.

Several other drivers lost control of their cars on the slippery track without crashing. James Calado, the only other reserve driver participating in the session, also had a spin, as did Hamilton.

Felipe Massa’s session was spoiled when a puncture was detected on his front-left tyre shortly after he took to the track for his first timed run halfway through practice. He returned to the pits and only reappeared in the final minutes.

Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg made it both Red Bulls and Mercedes in the top four. Jenson Button gave McLaren some encouragement with the fifth-fastest time.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’39.630 20
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.667 0.037 20
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.816 0.186 19
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’40.117 0.487 20
5 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’40.215 0.585 22
6 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.374 0.744 18
7 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’40.396 0.766 19
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’40.677 1.047 15
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’40.860 1.230 20
10 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.880 1.250 13
11 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.899 1.269 20
12 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’41.432 1.802 18
13 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’41.482 1.852 22
14 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.626 1.996 21
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.924 2.294 19
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’42.002 2.372 20
17 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.043 2.413 18
18 14 James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1’43.008 3.378 21
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’43.660 4.030 20
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’43.883 4.253 19
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’44.100 4.470 14
22 22 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’46.810 7.180 10

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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10 comments on Hamilton quickest as Raikkonen crashes in Korea

  1. Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 4th October 2013, 3:52

    VET as usual sitting pretty :(

  2. Laine Baker (@bainelaker) said on 4th October 2013, 4:10

    “One more lap, Kimi, one more lap is OK”
    Kimi: “I hit the wall, so…”

  3. Aldoid said on 4th October 2013, 5:01

    Looks like we’re on for another RBR dominated snooze-fest… not blaming them: the other teams need to raise their game, but I’m bored now. Bring on next year, & let’s hope at least one other team can stay with them.

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th October 2013, 6:07

    I am not going with the pessimists. I think the Mercedes guys will upset Red Bull by taking first row and giving Vettel a fight for it. And who knows, Webber might also add to the battle

  5. JCost (@jcost) said on 4th October 2013, 7:18

    And the Oscar goes to… Sebatian Vettel

  6. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 4th October 2013, 7:29

    Merc’s only chance, and our only chance of a race worth the name, is to lock out the front row.

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