F1 2012 Korean Grand Prix: Hamilton 'going all-out' for victory
FORMULA 1 racer Lewis Hamilton is gunning for victory in the 2012 Korean Grand Prix after qualifying third in Yeongam.
Korean Grand Prix facts
* Race distance: 55 laps (191.783 miles/308.630km)
* Start time: 5.00 (local)/07.00 BST
* Circuit length: 3.489 miles/5.615km
* 2011 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 55 laps in 1hr 38m 01.994s
* 2011 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) 1m 35.820s
* Lap record: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB7) 1m 39.605s (202.941km/h)
The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire lines up on the second row at the Korea International Circuit behind the Red Bulls of pole-sitter Mark Webber and reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel.
And he’s going “all-out for the win” tomorrow when the race starts at 7am UK time.
Hamilton was second fastest in today’s third free practice session.
He just scraped through Q1 in 17th place with a lap of 1m 39.180s on Primes.
Lewis Hamilton F1 record
* Age: 27 (January 7, 1985)
* GPs: 105
* Wins: 20
* Poles: 24
* FLs: 11
* 2012 points: 152 (4th)
The 2008 F1 world champion was third in the second phase of qualifying on Options with a lap of 1m 38.000s.
He was then third overall behind the Red Bulls in the top 10 shoot-out on a 1m 37.469s – his fastest lap of the weekend.
Hamilton said: “It’s been quite a tough weekend in terms of getting a fast lap-time out of the car, so third on the grid is very satisfying.
“In Q3 I’ll happily admit that I ragged the life out of the car and got everything from it, yet Mark [Webber] and Seb [Vettel] both claim they had a little bit left over. We’ll see.
“Anyway, Jenson [Button] showed yesterday that our long-run pace is promising, so I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.
“Beating the Red Bulls will be about making a good getaway, making all the right strategy calls, and not making any mistakes.
“There’ll be good opportunity for slipstreaming into the first few corners at the start too.
“I’ll be going all-out for the win tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton’s Korea record
* 2011: Q1, R2
* 2010: Q4, R2
Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, hopes Hamilton can challenge the Red Bull pair on race day.
He said: “Lewis drove a strong lap in Q3 to qualify third, immediately behind the two Red Bulls, and will start tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix from an advantageous position on the clean side of the grid as a result.
“Our long-run pace was pretty good yesterday, so we hope that he’ll be able to bag a hatful of points in tomorrow’s race.”
While Hamilton starts third on the grid, McLaren teammate Button is down in 11th spot.
Button’s best Q2 lap was ruined by yellow flags triggered by Daniel Ricciardo’s ‘off’.
He said: “I locked up in the final sector on my first Q2 lap, ran wide and had to go down to first gear – losing quite a lot of time in the process – so I reckon there was easily a couple of tenths that I could have had there.
“Then, on my final Q2 run, I lost time because of the yellow flags. I knew I could have gained a couple of extra tenths in that final sector, but as things panned out I couldn’t improve because of the yellows.
“It’s just one of those things, but I’ll go forward from here tomorrow.”
Whitmarsh added: “Jenson showed good long-run pace yesterday, so he’ll be aiming to make significant forward progress from the outset tomorrow.”