F1 Korea FP2 Results & Full Report: Webber Fastest As the Spins Continue at Yeongam


What Happens When the Track Rubbers In, Somewhat

2:34am EST — Mark Webber (1:37.942) was the fastest driver for the second practice session of the inagural Korean Grand Prix at the Yeongam circuit, improving from his seventh fastest time in the first Friday practice session. He was followed by Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica, and Jenson Button as the fastest five. Final title contender Sebastian Vettel was seventh fastest, just slower than Felipe Massa. The Ferrari duo improved, as has been their wont all season, from fifteenth and twelfth, respectively. Hamilton dropped from fastest in the first session, as Kubica did from second fastest. Button was fifth fastest in both as a fire in the rear of his car kept him from running during much of the second session, as rear changes did to Hamilton in the first session.

Again, Alguersuari was the first driver out of the garage in Korea. He was soon followed by di Grassiwho had no running in the first session, with Virgin Racing reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio taking his car, Buemi, Vettel, Hulkenberg, and Trulli. Half the field soon followed. Times were immediately quicker than the early times from the first practice, but six or more seconds off Hamilton’s fastest pace. Hamilton’s first time, just six minutes into the session was a 1:45.093, with ten drivers having already posted a time. Buemi, Liuzzi, and Hulkenberg were soon quicker than Hamilton, having a couple more laps in for the second session, until the Briton was up on everyone by nearly two and a half seconds. Ten minutes gone in the session had Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Sutil, Liuzzi, and Petrov as the fastest five, though Button soon moved up fourth fastest, only to have Alonso (1:41.928) go fastest and drop everyone down a position, only to lose his position to Liuzzi, then Petrov. Button was fastest again, then Alonso as the track rubbered in and the drivers gained mastery of it.

Alonso (1:41.153) led about fifteen minutes into the furious session, with Barrichello, Schumacher, Kubica, Button, Petrov, Liuzzi, Heidfeld, Massa, and Sutil the fastest ten. Hamilton was twelfth fastest while neither Red Bull driver had posted a full lap time. Rosberg soon overtook Barrichello via lap time, but was still four tenths off Alonso’s fastest lap (1:40.167), which was over seven tenths faster than Hamilton’s from the morning session. Nearly twenty minutes into the session, Webber’s early pace put him at third fastest, as Hamilton went faster than everyone else, beating Alonso by just under two thousandths. At that point, only the Red Bulls, Alonso, and Yamamoto were circulating. Neither HRT driver, Vettel, or Trulli had posted a time, though everyone else had. Meanwhile, according to Ferrari on Twitter, “The crew is changing the rear wing on Felipe’s car. Now he is going to use the blown one.”

In continued bad luck for HRT, Yamamoto was sitting on the circuit, having had a bit of a spin and then touched the wall with the front wing at Turn 16. He caused a red flag as the car stalled and halted running with time still ticking away in the session. At this point, with nearly one third of the session run, Hamilton (1:40.148) led Alonso, Webber, Rosebrg, Barrichello, Massa, Kobayashi, Schumacher, Kubica, and Button as the fastest ten. One and a half seconds separated the McLaren teammates. The session restarted about five minutes later. By that point, many of the times seemed to have settled in as teams likely began testing qualifying and race set-ups with the track a bit more grippy and less dusty.

Schuamcher was at the top fifty minutes in, taking a tenth off of Hamilton’s time for a 1:40.009. The top ten were covered by just over a second (Schumacher to Kubica). Soon Button was on top by three thousandths. The halfway point brought most of the drivers back into the garages. Button still led, then Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, and Webber, while Vettel set his first time of the session, slowest with a 1:54.571. Meanwhile, Button brought a fiery McLaren into the garage for some extinguishing, though he and everyone in the pit was fine. Then, Vettel was fastest and the first driver to a 1:39s time, by eight tenths over Button’s posted time. Webber joined his teammate at the top, just .047 off Vettel’s time just under fifty-six minutes into the session. Schumacher moved up to third fastest in an encouraging session for the German. Hamilton went tops just over a half hour left, besting Vettel’s time by nearly three tenths, to be the first man with a 1:38s lap time.

Times began to drop and switch about as only a half hour remained in Friday running. Webber, Hamilton, Massa, Alonso, and Vettel were the fastest five, with Button tenth fastest at that point. next lap, Hamilton was fastest, this time by a half second and a lap time of 1:38.279 on the softer tire, with Massa second fastest, also on the option. Senna had yet to set a time. Fastest new team driver Kovalainen was 2.7s slower than the next slowest Buemi, who was 2.6s off of Hamilton’s fastest time. Alonso overtook Massa for second fastest, two tenths slower than Hamilton. The top five championship contenders were 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 14th (Button’s car being fixed after the fire incident). Kubica was soon third fastest, before Alonso went fastest. Webber had quite the moment, spinning off the track at Turn 12, but kept from hitting anything. Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica, Massa, Webber, Vettel, Petrov, Rosberg, Kobayashi, and Heidfeld were the fastest ten with twenty minutes left to run and test.

Webber seemed entirely unaffected by his excursion, posting the fastest time ever on this Korean circuit: 1:37.942, two tenths faster than Alonso. Senna was still unable to post a time, as his morning suspension issue had affected the gearbox as well, forcing a much more complicated fix for the fledgling team. Button was back into his repaired McLaren with fifteen minutes to go and onto the circuit around the ten minute mark. Webber still led Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica, and Massa as the fastest five, as most of the drivers’ times suggested they were on heavier fuel loads. Only Kobayashi, Heidfeld, Sutil, and Senna were in the garage with five minutes left. Button improved to fifth fastest in his no longer fiery car. Liuzzi ended his session two minutes early by going offline and then off the track. In the final minute, Massa was complaining back to his engineer Rob Smedley that the circuit was very difficult, to which Smedley had a succinct and not particularly helpful response of “yeah, ok.” The times did not change at the end.

Final Times from FP2:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Mark Webber 1:37.942 23
2. Fernando Alonso 1:38.132 +.190 30
3. Lewis Hamilton 1:38.279 +.337 29
4. Robert Kubica 1:38.718 +.776 29
5. Jenson Button 1:38.726 +.784 19
6. Felipe Massa 1:38.820 +.878 32
7. Sebastian Vettel 1:39.204 +1.262 22
8. Vitaly Petrov 1:39.267 +1.325 28
9. Nico Rosberg 1:39.268 +1.326 29
10. Kamui Kobayashi 1:39.564 +1.622 26
11. Nick Heidfeld 1:39.588 +1.646 25
12. Michael Schumacher 1:39.598 +1.656 26
13. Rubens Barrichello 1:39.812 +1.870 35
14. Tonio Liuzzi 1:39.881 +1.939 27
15. Adrian Sutil 1:39.971 +2.029 22
16. Nico Hulkenberg 1:40.478 +2.536 30
17. Jaime Alguersuari 1:40.578 +2.636 29
18. Sebastien Buemi 1:40.896 +2.954 32
19. Heikki Kovalainen 1:42.773 +4.831 29
20. Jarno Trulli 1:42.801 +4.859 19
21. Timo Glock 1:43.115 +5.173 26
22. Lucas di Grassi 1:44.039 +6.097 29
23. Sakon Yamamoto 1:45.166 +7.224 19
24. Bruno Senna 1:46.649 +8.707 3r
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