Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Qualifying analysis - Yeongam race set to hold surprises 05 Oct 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Ferrari F138 front wing detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013

Near perfect track conditions made for a relatively straightforward qualifying session in Korea (especially if your name was Sebastian Vettel), even though the level of grip dropped a little as drivers made their second runs in Q3. The general feeling is that Pirelli’s supersoft tyres will be on their degradation limit in the race and this, along with some quite varied set-ups and downforce levels, will almost certainly lend an air of unpredictability to Sunday’s proceedings. We take a team-by-team look at the Saturday formbook...

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 37.202s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 37.464s, P3, will start P13

As usual the Red Bulls had few problems. Vettel set the initial pace in Q3 but though the start of his subsequent run was spoiled when he got too close to Raikkonen during the warm-up phase, it didn’t matter and he was able to abort and save tyres after Hamilton’s second go failed to dislodge him. Webber set his car up with less downforce to give himself a chance of passing people in the race, as of course he starts 13th with his 10-place grid penalty from his Singapore ‘taxi ride’ applied.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 37.420s, P2
Nico Rosberg, 1m 37.679s, P5, will start P4

Hamilton was happy with his car again today and put in a great lap to beat Webber to second place on the grid. He gambled on a single supersoft tyre run in Q2 and that paid off, which gave him two sets to play with in Q3. He’s not sure what to expect in the race despite reasonable long-run pace from the W04. Rosberg said that while he was happy with P4, which isn’t a bad place to start, he was disappointed with his car’s balance as he had struggled with that all day.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 37.531s, P4, will start P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 38.822s, P10, will start P9

Lotus go into the race confident they can fight with Mercedes, after Grosjean qualified fourth and believed he could have challenged Hamilton for second place but for a wheel locking moment in Turn 10 when his lap time was a tenth up on the Briton. As the Frenchman revelled in the revised Pirelli tyre construction, Raikkonen admitted that it doesn’t suit his front-end style of driving and was only 10th, more than a second adrift.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 38.038s, P6, will start P5
Felipe Massa, 1m 38.223s, P7, will start P6

Once again qualifying was a major disappointment for Ferrari, but worse still is that both Alonso and Massa found the supersoft Pirellis were on their limit as far as degradation is concerned. Both said they expect the race to be tough as they try to eke out two-stop strategies.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 38.237s, P8, will start P7
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 38.405s, P9, will start P8

Both Hulkenberg and Gutierrez said that Sauber’s pace is genuine and were delighted to out-qualify the McLarens and Force Indias. The former believes he can keep seventh place in the race, while the latter was happy with his own improvement allied to an upturn in the car’s performance and is also upbeat about race prospects.

McLaren
Sergio Perez, 1m 38.362ss, P11, will start P10
Jenson Button, 1m 38.365s, P12, will start P11

For some time McLaren looked likely to get into the top 10, but it wasn’t to be. Perez felt he got the best out of his MP4-28 and that a long seventh gear will facilitate some overtaking in the race. Button lost a tenth and a half behind Raikkonen on his best lap and narrowly missed Q3 as a result. Like Perez, he believes that his ratios and general level of downforce will be on his side in the race.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 38.417s, P13, will start P12
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 38.781s, P16

Once again the two Toro Rosso drivers struggled with their ill-balanced STR8s. The only consolation was that in not making Q3, both men now have a valuable extra set of supersoft tyres for the race.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 38.431s, P14
Paul di Resta, 1m 38.718s, P15

Though neither driver was able to make it through to Q3, they feel reasonably confident of fighting for points as their cars were set up for the race. Di Resta was lucky to make it through to Q2 after being blocked by Bianchi at the end of Q1.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 39.470s, P17
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 39.987s, P18

Neither of the FW35s had the pace to make it through to Q2, but on top of that Maldonado said he had trouble with traffic on his last quick lap in Q1.

Caterham
Charles Pic, 1m 40.864s, P19
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 40.871s, P20

While Pic complained about understeer, Van der Garde said his CT03 was oversteering too much. But both men said their cars felt better than they had yesterday or this morning in FP3.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 41.169s, P21, will start P22
Max Chilton, 1m 41.322s, P22, will start P21

Neither driver had any real problems in qualifying, but Bianchi was later given a three-place grid penalty for holding up Di Resta at the end of Q1, and a reprimand for his behaviour.

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 merchandise, click here.