Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vettel Tops Tight Korean GP Qualifying Session

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

The second race in a late season Asian continent stint, the Korean Grand Prix on the 5.62-kilometer Korea International Circuit is part of the dawning for the 2013 Formula 1 season. Running for its fourth time, the Korean Grand Prix is an event shaky ground for the future. A troubled race financially according to some reports, the grand prix in South Korea is only tentatively scheduled on the 2014 Formula 1 calendar. Even if it does return next year, the Korean Grand Prix will be shifted to an early season event.

Enjoying a late season position on the Formula 1 tour, the 2013 Korean Grand Prix would have appreciated a more cinematic battle for the drivers' championship. Heading into the race weekend, Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel is maintaining a 60-point lead over second place Fernando Alonso. Bad news for the competition looking to make ground up on Vettel is the fact the German driver had won the last two races at the Korea International Circuit.

During qualifying, Sebastian Vettel obtained the top grid position with a 1-minute, 37.202-second lap time in Q3. Two-tenths of a second off Vettel's time, the Mercedes AMG race car of Lewis Hamilton took the grid spot beside the Red Bull-Renault for Sunday's race. Mark Webber was third fastest during the Q3 session placing all three previous Korean Grand Prix pole winners at the top on the time sheet. However, Webber will lose some of his advantage. Due to a penalty assessed following his part in an unsafe incident at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix, Mark Webber will be demoted 10 grid positions for the start in Korea putting the Red Bull-Renault in 13th place. For fourth-place Romain Grosjean, this means he receives the first progression forward for 10 drivers. For the French Lotus-Renault driver, the start is the second race in a row where he is starting in third place.

Driving the Mercedes AMG team's second race machine, Nico Rosberg will start fourth on Sunday after lapping the track in 1 minute, 37.679 seconds. The top-five times in the Q3 session of 2013 Korean Grand Prix qualifying were separated by less than half a second. Behind Rosberg, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will look to pad their manufacturers points position. Ferrari is only seven points ahead of Mercedes AMG.

Photo Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG

Taking the fourth row of Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, the customer Ferrari engined cars of Sauber has placed both team cars in the top-10 for the first time in 2013. Marginally off the pace of Felipe Massa's factory Ferrari, the Sauber-Ferrari of Nico Hulkenberg took the advantage over Esteban Gutierrez. The remaining top-10 competitors starting the 2013 Korean Grand Prix consists of Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus-Renault and the McLaren-Mercedes of Sergio Perez.

Sunday's main event will consist of 55 laps on the Korea International Circuit. Taking place at 3 PM local time, race time for viewing the Korean Grand Prix in the eastern time zone is 2 AM.

2013 Formula 1
Korean Grand Prix
Race Results

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
6 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari
7 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari
8 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
9 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes-Benz
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
12 19 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
13 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault
14 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes-Benz
15 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes-Benz
16 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
18 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Renault
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth
22 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth

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