Korean Grand Prix – Race

It’s the first Korean Grand Prix and it should be an interesting one. Qualifying wasn’t very exciting but the rain could make the race a lot more eventful.

Provisional grid: SV, MW, FA, LH, NR, FM, JB, RK, MS, RB, NHu, KK, NHe, AS, [VP*] JA, SB, VL, JT, TG, VP, HK, LdG, SY, BS
*VP has a 5 grid spot penalty from the start line incident at the Japanese GP
MS escaped penalty for blocking RB in qualifying yesterday.

The race start has been delayed by 10 minutes because of the rain … and now it looks like it’ll start behind the Safety Car.

01/55[SC]: JB tells his team it’s so, so wet out there.
FA says “It’s completely impossible; it’s the worst conditions I’ve ever driven in.”
JB: “We’re driving completely blind. I can’t see the front of my tyres.”

Red flag! The race is stopped because of the weather.

04/55[SC]: The race is restarted behind the Safety Car – no passing while the SC is on track
On board with MW shows how little visibility they have following the other cars
Pit-car from SV saying there’s lots of spray but it’s slightly better than before

05[SC]: SV, MW, FA, LH, NR, FM, JB, RK, MS, RB
LdG pits from P22 – another set of extreme wets
Pit-car from JB saying it’s a little better but still very, very wet
SY runs wide but recovers

06[SC]: Rain seems to be easing up
Air temperature now 19°C; track 17°C; wind 0.9m/s; humidity 88%
Pit-car for RB say expect light rain to continue for 25mins

09[SC]: Some of the midfield is bunching up – how long before there’s contact?

10/55[SC]: BBC report that LH has been asking his engineer which engine mapping to use to burn off more fuel, because following the SC isn’t using up as much as they would at race speed
Is the rain getting heavier?

11[SC]: Pit-car from MW asking if he’s as keen as LH to restart; MW says he doesn’t see any improvement

13[SC]: BBC say LH’s engineer has told him (LH) that the other drivers aren’t as keen to go racing as he is 🙂

14[SC]: LdG in the pits again – another set of extreme wets
LdG is 10secs faster as he catches up to the back of the pack, so they should be able to start racing again soon

15/55[SC]: An FIA official checks on the weather and seems happy with it, so let’s get on with it!
BBC say RK has told his team it’s still not improved enough to restart

16[SC]: Pit-car from LH saying it’s dried up enough it’s almost time for intermediate tyres
Still no word when the Safety Car will pull off

17[SC]: On board with MW – visibility isn’t great but it’s better than it was
Lights off on the SC – it’ll pit at the end of this lap 🙂
Order is SV, MW, FA, LH, NR, FM, JB, RK, MS, RB

18: Green flag – we’re racing at last
MS passes RK into Turn 1 to steal P8
NR takes P4 from LH
JB attacking FM
JT has spun in Turn 1
MS all over the tail of JB

19: SC, MW, FA, NR, LH, FM, JB, MS, RK, NHu
AS out-brakes himself into Turn 1
SV fastest lap 1:57.805
MW spins, taps the wall, back across the track and takes out NR
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows he ran wide, over the painted lines and that’s what started his spin

20/55 [SC]: Some of the midfield pit – NHe, KK

21[SC]: SV, FA, LH, FM, JB, MS, RK, NHu, RB, AS
VP pits – changes to intermediates
BBC report both Saubers on inters too

22[SC]: Recovery vehicle on track, removing MW’s Red Bull

23[SC]: The crane moves MW’s car across the track – they’ll drop mud and stones on track – well done!
SC in at the end of this lap
Pit-car radio for JB say they expect light rain in 5-10mins time – should be short duration
Order is: SV, FA, LH, FM, JB, MS, RK, NHu, RB, AS

24: Green flags again
SV pushing hard to re-open his lead
FM has half a look at LH
JB is closing on FM
JT tries to pass BS but instead loses his front wing when BS closes the door

25/55: SV, FA, LH, FM, JB, MS, RK, NHu, RB, AS; retirements: MW, NR
SV f/lap 1:54.438
JT is in the garage but he’ll probably rejoin once they fix the Lotus’ nose section

26: JB off line, trying to cool his tyres – how long before he moves to inters? Or can he keep them working for the next downpour?
KK dives past SY but then runs wide

27: “Incident involving cars 18 and 21 under investigation by the stewards” – that’s JT and BS on the previous lap
LdG spins and slams the Virgin backwards into the wall
MS has passed JB for P5

29: JB pits – inters going on – rejoins behind KK
AS pits too – team didn’t seem to be ready
BBC confirm that JB’s extreme tyres were completely worn down
Pit-car from SV says he doesn’t think his tyres will go the distance; his engineer says there’s more rain coming

30/55: SV, FA, LH, FM, MS, NHu, RK, RB, JA, VL; retirements: LdG, JT, MW, NR
FA f/lap 1:53.480
HK spins after making contact with SB
AS spins on his fresh inters; BS runs wide at the same spot
BBC interview MW – “my fault – I got on the kerb”; “totally my mistake”; “conditions were fine”

31: FA f/lap 1:53.268
NHu pits from P6 – inters – rejoins P10 but VP immediately pressures him and takes the place from him
SB has spun the Toro Rosso – replay shows he had a go at passing TG, couldn’t slow in time, T-boned TG and took them both out
Safety Car deployed

32[SC]: Pit stops for LH, FM, MS, and more – SV and FA didn’t pit
SC waves everyone past as they wait to pick up SV
Replay of RK trying to leave his pit box despite the lollipop still being in front of his face – nearly hit AS

33[SC]: SV pits, as does FA
Problem changing FA’s front right – he rejoins behind LH
“Incident involving cars 18 and 21 – no further action” (that was JT & BS)
SC picks up SV, who now has LH right on his tail
Replay of FA’s pit stop shows a wheel nut escaped; BBC says same thing happened in a practice on Thursday

34[SC]: SV, LH, FA, FM, MS, RB, VP, NHu, RK, KK (JB P12); retirements: TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
“Incident involving cars 16 and 24 under investigation by the stewards” – that’s SB and TG
Expect a similar note for RK’s pit stop too
Pit-car from LH says his front tyres are going off and he’s maxed out the things he can change
SC in at the end of this lap
SV going very slowly

35: Green flags again
LH runs wide in Turn 1 and FA steals back P2
“Incident involving car 19 under investigation – pit lane speeding” – that’s HK

36: FA has opened a gap over LH already
Drive-through penalty for HK for speeding in the pit lane
AS dives down the inside and forces JB to run wide, pushing him down to P15 – at least there was no contact

37: FA f/lap 1:52.445
AS manages a clean pass on NHe for P12

38: SV f/lap 1:51.909
AS runs wide – takes to a side road and cuts a corner – drops to P14

39: SV f/lap 1:50.852
Pit-car radio for FA – protect your tyres

40/55: AS runs wide in Turn 1 and hands P15 to JA
SV, FA, LH, FM, MS, RB, VP, NHu, RK, VL; retirements: TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
LH f/lap 1:50.710

41: FM f/lap 1:50.673
VP is off – big impact – wrecked the Renault – total absence of marshals

42: That’s three-quarters distance, so if the race is stopped now they’ll get full points
BBC say it’s getting dark in the pit lane

43: FA f/lap 1:50.257
How long before SV / Red Bull complain about the lack of light and say the race should be stopped?

45/55: SV, FA, LH, FM, MS, RB, NHu, RK, VL, KK; retirements: VP, TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
Pit-car from SV saying visibility in Turn 1 is dangerous – hmmmm 🙁
Oh, and then SV posts his fastest Sector 1 time
Pit-car for LH asking about light level – LH says it’s fine

46: SV sounds sick on the main straight
FA passes SV in Turn 1
The Red Bull is leaving engine parts along the track as LH passes SV
SV pulls off close to a marshals station but no response from the “safety” team
SV grabs a fire extinguisher and uses it on his own car
That’s both Red Bulls out

47: FA, LH, FM, MS, RB, NHu, RK, VL, RK, AS; retirements: SV, VP, TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
AS has a look at KK and gets it wrong again – takes himself out and probably put an end to KK’s race too

49: JB pushing JA for P11

50/55: FA, LH, FM, MS, RB, NHu, RK, VL, RK, AS; retirements: SV, VP, TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
BBC report JB’s inters are worn down too

51: RK has a little look at NHu for P6
FM touches wet paint in the same place MW did but he keeps the Ferrari on track

52: NHu pits from P6 after running wide
JB spins but keeps the McLaren out of the wall

53: “Incident involving cars 14 and 23 will be investigated after the race” – that’s KK and AS
RB loses P6 to VL

54: FA, LH, FM, MS, RK, VL, RB, KK, NHe, JA; retirements: AS, SV, VP, TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR
JA challenging NHe for P9
JA slides wide but holds on to P10

55/55 = final lap: Lots of camera flashes going off as FA tours around on the final lap
On board camera with LH shows just how dark it is out there – the track-side cameras make it look a lot brighter

FA takes the chequered flag – that’s 3 wins from the last 4 races
LH over the line for P2
FM brings the Ferrari home for P3
P4=MS, 5=RK, 6=VL, 7=RB, 8=KK, 9=NHe, 10=NHu
P11=JA, 12=JB, 13=HK (+1 lap), 14=BS (+2 laps), 15=SY (+2 laps)
DNF: AS, SV, VP, TG, SB, LdG, JT, MW, NR

It’s really dark on the podium – sun has set very quickly
One of the officials wasn’t sure who to present the Constructor’s trophy to – d’oh!

Post-race interviews:
FA: “One of the best races of the year for us”
LH: “My tyres were shot right at the end”
FM: “Good points for the team”; as it got dark, bright lights on the steering wheel meant it was hard to see ahead
FA: “Anything can happen in one race”; “still four or five contenders”

2 Replies to “Korean Grand Prix – Race”

  1. FIA official site reports: “FIA stewards decided Buemi caused an avoidable accident when he collided with Virgin’s Timo Glock at Turn Three on Lap 30”; “Sutil, meanwhile, was given the same penalty for colliding with BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi at Turn Four on Lap 47. Sutil was additionally fined $10,000 after admitting he had been aware of brake problems throughout the Yeongam race.”

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