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autoviva2010-10-22 12:03:42

Drivers get the first grip in Korea

Drivers get the first grip in Korea

Today Formula One drivers had the first contact with the Korean Grand Prix circuit. During the two sessions the drivers got used to the slippery conditions, with no major situations and no one making a visit into the barriers as many thought possible. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the morning session, while Red Bull’s Mark Webber got the best of the pack in the afternoon.

The major concern from drivers with at Yengoam seems to be the pit entry, with some drivers saying that it may cause some drama.

Morning session

With everyone taking the first real measurements of the straights and turns of the Korean circuit of Yengoam, Lewis Hamilton got the best run in the morning free practice with a time of 1m40.887 seconds.

No big conclusions could be taken from the first laps at the Yengoam circuit as clearly everyone was still testing the track. There was still no idea of who might be the pace-setter during the weekend.

Hamilton was followed by Renault’s Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg was third ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button in the second McLaren. Times really don’t matter at the moment as the track is getting quicker and quicker with the rubber from the tyres, handing more grip.

Schumacher stayed close to the front pack taking sixth for Mercedes, ahead of championship leader Mark Webber. Nick Heidfeld (Sauber) and Williams duo Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello completed the top 10.

As usual Ferrari started in a slow pace, with both drivers out of the top 10. Massa was 12th, while title contender Fernando Alonso was only 15th.

Turns 1 and 11 seem to be the trickiest so far at the Korean track, as several drivers went off the track in both corners' run-off.

Second free practice

In the afternoon Korea saw a very wide-open session with Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault all featuring in the top four. The championship leader Mark Webber was the quickest on his RB6.

With the track getting faster as well as drivers getting more and more confident, almost every front-runner took a sip of the lead.

After a calm morning session Ferrari was stronger on the second session Alonso was an early pace-setter and finished the session in second place. Michael Schumacher also tasted the lead during the session, as well as Hamilton and Button.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel also led during the session, although in his first lap on soft tyres we went off the track escaping Jarno Trulli's Lotus.

With Alonso taking second place in the session the top six was completed by Hamilton, Kubica Button and Massa. Vettel in the second Red Bull was 7th, being followed by Petrov, Rosberg and Kobayashi.

Pit entry only concern for drivers

After the first contact with the Yengoam circuit, drivers seem to be a little concerned with the pit entry. One of those drivers was Vettel that said that their might be some drama caused by the entry.

"I think the pit entry is quite on the edge because it is blind, you cannot see if someone goes in and they have to go slower than someone who stays out," said Vettel. "Especially if you are behind someone trying to pass and he chooses to pit it could be difficult.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg reckoned changes to the marshalling arrangements could make this section of track safer.

"The pit entry definitely is a concern, but what you have to do is to act as if it was a street circuit in that area, and if someone is going slower then you need a well-positioned marshal who gives double waved yellow [flags] or something like that because it is really blind and you need good information about what is going on in there," said Rosberg.




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