Korean GP: Lewis Hamilton sets practice one pace for McLaren

Lewis Hamilton grabbed the top spot from Fernando Alonso in the closing stages of first practice for the Korean Grand Prix

Korean GP: Lewis Hamilton sets practice one pace for McLaren

Alonso's Ferrari had occupied first place for the majority of the session.

Ahead of a crucial race for his title hopes following his Suzuka first-lap exit, the Formula 1 championship leader put himself in front early on and then kept improving his time, eventually reaching a 1m39.450s.

With the field then switching to longer runs for the final half hour, it looked unlikely that Alonso would be beaten.

But four minutes from the end, Hamilton produced a 1m39.280s a long way into a stint to depose the Ferrari.

His strong pace continued, and as the chequered flag flew, Hamilton threw in a 1m39.148s on his 23rd lap of the run to give McLaren Friday morning honours by 0.302 seconds.

Red Bull's Mark Webber also made a late improvement, but it was not sufficient to get him above third.

His team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fifth, behind the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa. The Red Bulls both appeared stymied by heavy traffic at the end of the session - nearly tripping over each other at one point.

Mercedes duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were next up, despite Schumacher heading to the garage for a while as he was unhappy with the feeling of the car.

While Romain Grosjean took eighth, his Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was 11th in the revised version of the car, featuring a Coanda-style exhaust among other updates.

The final top 10 spots went to Paul di Resta's Force India and Jenson Button's McLaren.

Jules Bianchi was the best of the Friday drivers in 13th place in Nico Hulkenberg's Force India.

Williams's Valtteri Bottas was back in 18th after a long spell in the pits having various major components changed to allow back to back tests with updated parts.

Giedo van der Garde returned to the Caterham cockpit and was 22nd despite a violent trip over a kerb.

Most drivers completed the session without drama, although Timo Glock was limited to 13 laps as his Marussia required attention to its steering.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.148s 23 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.450s + 0.302s 21 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m39.575s + 0.427s 21 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m39.854s + 0.706s 23 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.088s + 0.940s 21 6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m40.221s + 1.073s 21 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.396s + 1.248s 24 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m40.422s + 1.274s 22 9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m40.440s + 1.292s 19 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.480s + 1.332s 21 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m40.929s + 1.781s 14 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.048s + 1.900s 25 13. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m41.140s + 1.992s 21 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.220s + 2.072s 19 15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.514s + 2.366s 20 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.596s + 2.448s 23 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.021s + 2.873s 25 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m42.027s + 2.879s 23 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m42.104s + 2.956s 24 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m42.175s + 3.027s 13 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m42.706s + 3.558s 22 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m42.820s + 3.672s 19 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m44.517s + 5.369s 23 24. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1m45.735s + 6.587s 22 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Korean GP: Jenson Button says longer DRS will fix Korea overtaking
Previous article

Korean GP: Jenson Button says longer DRS will fix Korea overtaking

Next article

Korean GP: Upgraded Lotus makes debut with Kimi Raikkonen

Korean GP: Upgraded Lotus makes debut with Kimi Raikkonen
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021