F1 2013 Korean Grand Prix: Hamilton fastest in practice ahead of qualifying

PUBLISHED: 11:06 04 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:07 04 October 2013

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in practice for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in practice for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

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FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton took the fight to Red Bull in practice for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix by setting the pace in both of today’s free practice sessions.

The 28-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas star from Hertfordshire clocked a best lap of 1m 39.630s in first practice to top the morning timesheets at the Korean International Circuit.

And the 2008 F1 world champion also went quickest in FP2, going faster than Sebastian Vettel with a lap of 1m 38.673s.

Hamilton’s Silver Arrows colleague Nico Rosberg completed Friday’s practice sessions for the 2013 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix in third position after a strong day of running.

“I was very happy with how the sessions went today and it’s the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me,” said Hamilton afterwards.

F1 Korean Grand Prix

* Race distance: 55 laps (308.630km/191.783 miles)

* Start time: 15:00 (local)/06:00 (GMT)

* Circuit length: @5.615km/3.489 miles

* 2012 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB8) 55 laps in 1hr36:28.651s (191.939km/h)

* 2012 pole: Mark Webber (Red Bull RB8) 1m37.242s (207.873km/h)

* Lap record: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB7) 1m39.605s (202.941km/h)

“We haven’t changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well.”

Ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session, Hamilton added: “We can still make improvements overnight, and I have some things I want to do with the set-up, but it’s been a good start for us.”

The two Mercedes drivers completed a total of 103 laps in today’s three hours of running time, seven laps short of two race distances.

Rosberg conducted a single evaluation run of the team’s passive drag reduction device this morning in first practice.

Tyre evaluations and set-up fine-tuning were the order of the day, with both cars in the top four in both sessions.

Rosberg said: “The track is really great and the small changes that have been made this year are good improvements, especially the pit exit which is now much better.

“Generally it seems that we had a good day but Red Bull is always very hard to beat.

“We were quite close to them today and I hope this will continue the whole weekend.

“My only concern after the long runs was graining on the front tyres, which is something we need to work on tonight and watch out for.

“We have brought also some new bits and pieces to Korea which are working well and leaves me optimistic for a strong result this weekend.”


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