Formula 1 News

Vettel on top for Red Bull in Korea FP3

Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull 1-2 in the final practice session for this weekend's Korean Grand Prix
Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 5th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - After a Mercedes-led Friday, it was advantage Red Bull in final practice for this weekend's Korean Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel set the pace ahead of his team-mate, Mark Webber, with the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton third and fourth.

The lap times suggest that Mercedes are lacking about four tenths of a second per lap to the Red Bulls, but the reality may be somewhat closer. Lewis Hamilton pulled out of his first flying lap on the supersoft tyres when he found himself in traffic, and therefore was unable to take advantage of the maximum grip available from the option tyres. Both Red Bull drivers set their best times on their first supersoft tyre laps, when the tyres were at their best.

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest for Ferrari, with Felipe Massa seventh, a third of a second behind his team-mate. Massa has previously been strong at the Korea International Circuit and will be looking to score a large haul of points tomorrow. Alonso does not look like his car has the pace to challenge for pole position, but he will be hoping to carry his FP3 pace into qualifying in order to start the race as high as possible up the grid and use his recent first lap form to get as close to the front as possible in the early stages of the race.

At Lotus, Romain Grosjean continues to have the edge on Kimi Raikkonen. The Frenchman set the sixth fastest time, splitting the Ferraris and a tenth of a second faster than Raikkonen in 8th place. Grosjean has yet to score his maiden Formula One victory, but looks unlikely to have the pace to do so this weekend if the race takes place in dry conditions. If it rains, however, Lotus could be in with a chance of topping the podium on Sunday.

Nico Hulkenberg was an impressive ninth for Sauber, showing that the car has good pace in Korea. He and Esteban Gutierrez will be hoping to feature in the points in tomorrow's race. Gutierrez is still looking for his first points finish in Formula One in his rookie season and has a chance of scoring them on Sunday.

Jenson Button rounded out the top ten for McLaren. He expressed optimism yesterday that McLaren could challenge Lotus this weekend, but there does seem to be a gap of a few tenths between the two teams and McLaren appear unlikely to have the pace to beat Lotus tomorrow in a straight fight in dry weather.

Qualifying starts at 2pm local time this afternoon.

Full results from FP3:

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:37.881 17
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.018 0.137 17
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.318 0.437 16
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.332 0.451 15
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:38.486 0.605 13
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:38.701 0.820 19
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.816 0.935 14
8 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.857 0.976 17
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.961 1.080 16
10 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.114 1.233 14
11 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.128 1.247 15
12 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.196 1.315 16
13 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:39.204 1.323 17
14 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.274 1.393 15
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:39.327 1.446 17
16 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:39.371 1.490 19
17 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:39.665 1.784 15
18 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:40.128 2.247 17
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:41.360 3.479 19
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:41.614 3.733 20
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.646 3.765 14
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.267 4.386 17

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