|Formula One World Championship hopefuls Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will again be at the forefront of the inaugural Korean Grand Prix in the county of Yeongam. The Korean International Circuit features five slow corners and 3 long straights, including two interesting corners for overtaking opportunities. Within the track’s core, there’s a town centre planned for the future, emulating the Korean GP venue to a city circuit, much like Singapore.|
RBR duo was the fastest of the lot at the Round 17 event in Korea, beating the likes of fellow contenders Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Vettel sprinted his consecutive pole position in a time of 1:35.585 and Webber less than a tenth of a second behind in second position.
For Sunday’s Korean GP, the drivers will take the circuit for a total 55 laps and a cumulative 309km to get ever closer to the penultimate round in Brazil and the finale in Abu Dhabi to declare the new champion for the 2010 season.
Vettel discovered that the Yeongam track suited the RB6 rather well and barely finished the 60-minute session less than a tenth of a second in front of current championship leader and team mate for the all-important pole. “It’s a special feeling to be on pole – it was very close. The track is good here – in the first sector there’s not so much you can do, just hit your braking points at the right time, but the second and third sectors are quite entertaining with nice flowing corners, but it’s easy to make a mistake.”
“It was a small margin for pole, but it was enough and it was a good result. You have to take every race as it comes, Japan was a good result, but now in Korea all the focus is on
the race,” he added.
Webber who’s again vying for a consistent qualifying result lost out to his team mate following flawed first timed laps, and the Australian had to do two timed laps on his last run to make sure he would stick it on the front row. “It worked out okay, but obviously it was very close with Seb and I got second on the grid. It’s not a bad position to start the race, but it would have been nice to get pole, still – we can get a good result from there,” he commented.
One car on the second row and the other on the third: this was the outcome of qualifying for the first ever Korean Grand Prix for Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso in third place and Felipe Massa sixth. Qualifying three saw Alonso produced two fighting comeback laps to try to jump either RBR, but the Spaniard did not quite make the cut as the RBRs simply outran the Ferraris.
Lewis Hamilton, who will start fourth, credited the team for preparing a well setup car to produce competitive qualifying runs. “We were very quick in practice, so I don’t know where the Red Bulls found an extra half a second in Q3. Still, it’s important to remember that we’re still in the fight: we make good starts, and there are some long straights here, which should suit us. I feel that we’re competitive – the car is the best it’s ever been and our long runs are strong,” the Briton said.
Defending champion and team mate Jenson Button did not have the best of qualifying sessions as the Briton was stuck behind Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg and Massa in seventh overall. Rosberg and team mate Michael Schumacher produced a decent double consistency in the Korean GP qualifying session to slot in in fifth and ninth places respectively. Both drivers felt they got the best out of their MGP W01 cars around the track with Rosberg having a particularly good lap to achieve fifth and line up on the third row of the grid.
Completing the top ten were Robert Kubica in eighth overall and Rubens Barrichello who gained a spirited tenth spot for Williams.
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:35.585
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:35.659
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.766
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:36.062
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:36.535
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.571
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.731
8 Robert Kubica Renault 1:36.824
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:36.950
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:36.998