Formula One: Vettel fastest in practice

Alonso clocks thirdfastest time ahead of Korean GP.

Afp October 12, 2012


Sebastian Vettel signalled his menacing intent to oust Fernando Alonso at the top of the championship table, driving the fastest lap in practice at the Korean Grand Prix yesterday.

The Red Bull driver is four points behind the Ferrari going into Sunday’s race, after which there are just four grands prix left in what has been a highly unpredictable season.

Vettel, the man in form after imperious back-to-back victories in Singapore and then Japan last week, clocked a time of one minute and 38.832 seconds in the second session, 0.032 seconds ahead of fellow Red Bull driver Mark Webber.

“All in all we can be quite happy, but I think it looks extremely tight,” said Vettel, the double reigning world champion.

“I’m not happy with every run we had today, but I think the track was changing quite a lot this morning, it was better than we expected.”

Ferrari working on various ideas

Alonso, desperate to get back among the points after retiring in Suzuka, registered the third-fastest time, 0.328 seconds slower than his title rival Vettel.

“It’s hard to know where we are compared to the others,” said Alonso, who did not finish in Suzuka because of a puncture moments after the start. “Today we focused mainly on ourselves, working this morning on a comparison of various ideas relating to car configuration and in the afternoon on tyres.”

The McLaren of Jenson Button was fourth fastest. Next up was the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa in a Ferrari and Schumacher’s team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Briton Lewis Hamilton, quickest in the first session at a cool but sunny Yeongam, could only clock the eighth-fastest time in the afternoon.

“I was struggling a bit with the set-up today,” said Hamilton, who needs victory at the weekend to stay in the hunt for the world title.”

Schumacher reprimanded

Meanwhile, Schumacher’s faltering conclusion to a glorious career hit another bump when he was officially reprimanded for impeding two other cars in practice.

The 43-year-old seven-time world champion was adjudged to have got in the way of the HRT pairing of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan in the afternoon practice.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.


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