Practice One - Hamilton quickest in Korea 22 Oct 2010
After all the fears about the track surface of the Korea International Circuit, Friday's first practice session at the Yeongam venue went off without a hitch, as Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica led the way for McLaren and Renault respectively.
Hamilton sat out most of the session as others ran round helping the green surface to partially rubber in. It was very dusty and slippery initially, as Jaime Alguersuari, Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld and Sebastian Vettel set the initial pace.
Things got more serious as Jenson Button pared down to 1m 43.095s to go half a second clear, then Williams Nico Hulkenberg was the first to dip below 1m 43s with 1m 42.678s. Williams momentarily occupied the top two slots as Rubens Barrichello came up with 1m 42.883s. Then it was Nico Rosberg for Mercedes with 1m 42.532s.
Hamilton left the pit lane with 12 minutes left to run, and soon banged in a fastest time of 1m 42.208s, only to be beaten immediately by Button with 1m 41.940s as Kubica chipped in with 1m 41.981s for second.
Literally in the last minute, however, Hamilton lapped in 1m 40.887s, setting the fastest time in each sector, and Kubica was the only other runner below 1m 41s with 1m 40.968s.
Behind them, Rosbergs 1m 41.152s left him third, with Sebastian Vettel coming up to fourth on 1m 41.371s. Interestingly, the Red Bull driver supplanted Hamiltons times in sectors two and three, the twiddly bits on which the RB6 had been expected to excel, but was still 0.484s off the 2008 champions overall time.
Button was fifth with 1m 41.940s, ahead of a revitalised Michael Schumacher on 1m 42.022s, Webber on 1m 42.202s, Heidfeld on 1m 42.293s in the lead BMW Sauber, Hulkenberg and Barrichello on their 1m 42.678s and 1m 42.883s, and Vitaly Petrov in the second Renault on 1m 42.896s.
Felipe Massa had the quicker Ferrari as the reds focused on their usual Friday morning work rather than chasing fast times, the Brazilian posting 1m 43.054s. Then came Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 43.309s, Adrian Sutil in the lead Force India on 1m 43.602s, Fernando Alonso on 1m 43.928s, Sebastien Buemi on 1m 43.940s, Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 44.887s and Alguersuari on 1m 45.151s.
Virgin were easily the fastest of the new teams as Timo Glock got in an excellent 1m 45.588s lap, comfortably ahead of temporary team mate Jerome dAmbrosio on 1m 46.613s, Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 47.115s for Lotus, and Sakon Yamamoto in 1m 50.347s in the faster HRT. The Japanese racers team mate Bruno Senna went off after lapping his F110 in 1m 50.821s. Jarno Trulli had problems in the second Lotus, taking 24th place with 1m 51.701s.
As expected, there were plenty of off-track moments, starring the likes of Trulli, Yamamoto, Massa and Alonso, Buemi, Senna, Kobayashi, Glock and dAmbrosio. Only Sennas car sustained minor damage, however.
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