F1 2013 Korean Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton on front row

PUBLISHED: 07:39 05 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:34 06 October 2013

Lewis Hamilton driving around the 2013 Korean Grand Prix track [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton driving around the 2013 Korean Grand Prix track [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

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FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton qualified on the front row for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix today (Saturday).

The 28-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas star from Hertfordshire will start second on the grid at the Korea International Circuit after this morning’s qualifying session.

Red Bull’s reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position once again in Q3 ahead of Hamilton at Mokpo with a lap time of 1m 37.202s. It’s the German’s 42nd pole, sixth of the season and third in a row.

Hamilton improved on his first run to a 1m 37.420s to claim P2 for the Silver Arrows and will start on the ‘dirty side’ of the grid.

Vettel’s Red Bull colleague Mark Webber qualified P3, but will drop back 10 places on the grid due to his penalty carried over from Singapore.

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)

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took fifth place in qualifying with Webber’s grid penalty still to be applied.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest in qualifying for Lotus, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa sixth and seventh respectively in the provisional results. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber colleague Esteban Gutierrez and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen completed the Q3 top 10.

Stevenage-born Hamilton qualified P2 after making two option-tyre runs in Q3, having come through Q2 with a single run. He said afterwards: “I’m really happy with second position today as it felt like I got everything out of the car today.

“The guys have done a great job to get the package as it is here: we came into the weekend knowing that Red Bull had an advantage, so to be as close as I am in terms of performance is a real positive. Hopefully we have closed the gap a littte bit.

2013 Korean Grand Prix Grid

Revised Korean GP grid

1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

5 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

7 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

8 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber)

9 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

10 Sergio Perez (McLaren)

“Our long-run pace yesterday looked good and pretty close to theirs but there will be threats all around us in tomorrow’s race.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s race in Korea, Hamilton added: “A couple of years ago, I was on pole and Seb got past me at the start, so I’d like to repay him on that one!

“I need to make sure we get a good start, position the car as well as possible and when there’s a gap, I’ll be going for it.

“We know that the weather will change a bit for tomorrow and I don’t mind how it turns out. I’d prefer dry conditions but we’ll see what the day brings and roll with it.”

Nico Rosberg in practice ahead of the 2013 Korean Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]Nico Rosberg in practice ahead of the 2013 Korean Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button went out in Q2, in 11th and 12th places respectively, but will both move up one place due to Webber’s penalty. Aussie Webber will start 13th on the revised grid.

Button, who qualified 12th overall but will start 11th due to Webber’s 10-place grid penalty, felt he should have reached Q3.

He said: “On my fastest lap, I lost a tenth and a half behind Kimi [Raikkonen] in Turns 11 and 12. It’s quite frustrating: they’re pretty quick corners, and, when you’re that close to the car in front, it damages your lap.

“It’s difficult – because most of those corners are blind – but we’ve all got radios, so we should all know where other drivers are.

"I’m really happy with second position today as it felt like I got everything out of the car today."

Lewis Hamilton after Korean GP qualifying

“It’s a pity: without that delay, I’m pretty sure I would’ve qualified inside the top 10.”

Former world champion Button added: “Still, there are positives for tomorrow [Sunday]. We’ve got new tyres for the race; Turns One, Three and Four are always very interesting on the first lap; and we’ve got interesting straightline-speed compared to our rivals – both in terms of ratios and downforce levels – so the first couple of laps should be really interesting for us.

“Hopefully, we can go forwards tomorrow.”

Pole-sitter Vettel also topped the timesheets in the Q2 results with a lap time of 1m 37.569s, with Webber through in P3 on a 1m 37.840s behind Hamilton.

The 2013 Korean Grand Prix will start at 7am UK time on Sunday.


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