Korean Grand Prix race weekend

Continuing my catch up with Formula One, I’m on to this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix. It’s only the second ever Korean GP; FA won it last year.

Practice:

  1. Free Practice 1 (FP1): Wet session; PM ran wide, as did PD and Toro Rosso test driver Jean-Eric Vergne; SV nearly ran into the back of another car and then gesticulated at the driver! MS topped the timing chart (2:02.784) and then touched the armco.
  2. FP2: Wet again; problems with visibility and grip; JD ran wide, as did SB; rain is easing up but the track doesn’t drain well; FM ran wide,as did BS again; rain has stopped but track’s still damp; MW runs wide; BS gets it wrong again … and again; NR runs wide and hits JA as the Toro Rosso was exiting the pit lane! The location of the pit exit is just stupid – right into the middle of Turn 1 – d’oh! 20mins left of FP2 and everyone’s still on intermediate tyres; BS runs wide and spins around; then SV runs wide. SB is the first on super soft tyres with 7mins left of this session; inevitably he spins the Toro Rosso. BS’s engineer asks if he’s ready for dry tyres; “no” is the whole reply. MW on super softs is tip-toeing around; pits for inters. LH was fastest (1:50.828) followed by JB, SV, FA, MW, JA, FM, NR.
  3. FP3: BS spun and broke his wing against the wall

Qualifying:

  1. Qualifying 1 (Q1): It’s not raining but the track is pretty green
    BBC report both Red Bull cars are on super soft tyres – interesting tactic!
    3mins left; bottom 7 are HK, JT, TG, JD, VL, PM, DR
    Chequered flag; bottom 7 are PM, HK, JT, TG, JD, VL, DR
    PM to P16, pushing his teammate (RB) into the relegation zone
    Back of the grid will be: RB, HK, JT, TG, JD, VL, DR.
  2. Q2: 3mins left; bottom 7 are SB, AS, PD, SP, BS, KK, PM
    AS to P9, relegating JA to P11
    Chequered flag
    JA to P10, pushing MS to P11
    PD to P10, putting JA back into P11
    Middle of the grid: JA, MS, SB, KK, BS, PM, SP
  3. Q3: The top 10 shootout is between LH, SV, MW, JB, FM, FA, NR, VP, AS & PD
    NR 1:37.754
    LH 1:36.130
    (FM P2)
    (FA P2)
    (JB P2)
    (MW P2)
    (VP P7)
    (SV P2)
    SV cuts a corner after being told to get back to the pits quickly – is that legal?
    3mins left; order is LH, SV, MW, JB, FA, FM, NR, VP; no time yet from AS or PD
    NR is out of his car; AS is still in the garage
    Chequered flag; 8 cars on track
    SV catching up to PD
    MW pits
    LH 1:35.820
    (FM P5)
    (JB P2)
    (SV P2)
    First non-Red Bull pole position this season!
    Front of the grid: LH, SV, JB, MW, FM, FA, NR, VP, PD, AS
    The two Force India drivers didn’t set a lap time, so they can pick which tyres to start the race; the rest of the drivers will be on the super soft (option) compound.

    Provisional grid: LH, SV, JB, MW, FM, FA, NR, VP, PD, AS; JA, MS, SB, KK, BS, PM, SP; RB, HK, JT, TG, JD, VL, DR.

Race:
It’ll be interesting to see if Red Bull’s tactic of keeping an extra set of soft (rather than super soft) tyres works out for them
Grid is unchanged: LH, SV, JB, MW, FM, FA, NR, VP, PD, AS, JA, MS, SB, KK, BS, PM, SP, RB, HK, JT, TG, JD, VL, DR.
AS is starting on the soft tyres; the rest of the top 10 are on super-softs
LH leads everyone away on the formation lap
Pit-car for MW warning of a few drops (of rain) at Turn 13
LH bunching everyone up before they reach the grid
01/55: LH keeps P1; JB challenging SV in Turn 1
Contact further down the field in T1
SV attacks LH into Turn 2
JB swamped – pushed back to P6 by the two Ferrari
SV takes P1 from LH
02: SV, LH, MW, FM, FA, JB, NR, VP, PD, MS
Poor first lap for the McLaren team
VL pits – new nose
04: Team’s weather forecast says it’s raining but track doesn’t appear to be wet yet
Pit-car for SV warns of light rain in Turn 4
05/55: SV, LH, MW, FM, FA, JB
LH fastest lap 1:45.020
NR closing on JB
06: LH can’t get quite close enough to SV to enable DRS
Pit-car from PD complaining of graining on the front tyres
07: Track temperature down to 24°C due to the clouds
08: SV continues to open the gap over LH
10/55: SV, LH, MW, FM, FA, JB
JB closing up to the back of FA
We’re entering the pit-stop window but are the teams holding off in case it rains?
11: KK and RB pit
JB looks at making a move on FA
12: SV f/lap
BS locks up and runs wide
13: Pit-car from FM sounds panicked; engineer says they’ll add front wing when he stops
FA looks like attacking his teammate but FM defends
FA getting ragged as he fends off JB and attacks FM
14: Pit-car for JB – “box to overtake”
JB pits, as does NR – NR released inches ahead of JB
NR makes a mistake on the pit exit and JB passes the Mercedes
NR fights back and passes JB again
15/55: MW pits; so does FM, VP and MS
JB still fighting with NR
JB uses DRS and blasts past NR
16: LH pits from P2
FA pits too – slithers out of the box – almost collects MS at the pit exit
JB easily past AS for P5
MS spun in Turn 3
17: SV pits – super softs
Safety Car deployed
VP kicking up sparks – lots of front damage
Replay shows VP rams into the back of MS and broke the Mercedes’ rear wing
18[SC]: VP pits for new front wing – team checking front suspension – his race is over
19[SC]: Another replay shows FA and VP fighting into the corner; both miss their braking point; FA runs wide but VP ploughs into MS
20/55[SC]: SV, LH, MW, JB, NR, FM, FA, JA, PD, AS
SC in at the end of this lap
SV backs everyone up briefly and then makes a dash for it
21: JB attacking MW but MW holds his line and keeps P3
22: Car 12 (PM) under investigation – “bollard at pit entry”
Drive through for car 12 – “wrong side of bollard at pit entry”
23: PM serves his penalty
Incident involving MS & VP will be investigated after the race
24: Incident involving car 22 (DR) under investigation – unsafe release from pit stop
KK & BS battling over P14
25/55: SV, LH, MW, JB, NR, FM, FA, JA; retirements: MS, VP
Pit-car radio for KK telling him to pit so they can replace his broken front wing
NR defending P5 from the Ferraris
26: FA all over the gearbox of his teammate, who in turn is pushing NR hard
27: NR locks a brake and both Ferraris blast past
Half distance
30/55: SV, LH, MW, JB, FM, FA, NR, JA
31: Debris between Turns 3 and 4
SV f/lap 1:42.264
PM has driven into the Williams garage and retired
32: SV told to move his brake balance forward to save his rear tyres
Unsafe release of car 22 (DR) will be investigated after the race
33: MW closing on LH
MW tries to pass around the outside by LH keeps P2
34: LH pits with MW still right on his tail
LH stays ahead of the Red Bull; they’re both on new prime (soft) tyres
LH runs wide; MW swipes past; LH fights back
35/55: SV pits, as does JB
MW gets to use DRS again and has another go at LH
36: LH has opened a small gap
37: SV f/lap 1:40.974
38: FA pits from P1 – rejoins just ahead of his teammate
39: LH asks if the team put all the front wing on; yes … but it’s not like they could change it now if they hadn’t!
40/55: SV, LH, MW, JB, FA, FM, NR, JA, PD, SB; retirements: MS, VP, PM
FA f/lap 1:40.912
Pit-car for LH suggests he save KERS for Turn 2 to defend against MW
41: FA f/lap 1:40.623
44: MW still all over the rear of LH
Pit-car for JB suggesting he get onto the back of MW
45/55: SV, LH, MW, JB, FA, FM, NR, JA, PD, SB
FA is closing in on JB
47: Pit-car for SV telling him to ease up on his tyres
MW closer than previous laps – trying hard but can’t make a good move on LH
48: MW makes a move; LH fights back
50/55: SV, LH, MW, JB, FA, FM, NR, JA, SB, PD
Pit-car for LH telling him to use “blue button” – increase the fuel?
51: FA is now within striking distance of JB
52: Pit-car for FA saying “mixture 5, full power”
MW takes a look but can’t get alongside
53: FA struggles through Turn 1
54: Pit-car from FA – “I give up, I give up”! That’s got to be a decoy!
JA dives down the outside of NR, can’t make the apex and NR holds on to P7
55/55: Pit-car for MW saying “use the overtake button” – I’m sure he’s thought of that 🙂
LH f/lap 1:40.459
JA takes P7 from NR
SV takes the chequered flag and his 20th victory
LH is 12secs back in P2
MW over the line; Red Bull win the Constructors’ Championship
FA & NR park off track; fuel must be tight

Provisional result: SV, LH, MW, JB, FA, FM, JA, NR, SB, PD, AS, RB, BS (+1 lap), HK, KK, SP, JT, TG, DR, JR, VP (+3 laps)
DNF: PM, VP, MS.

4 Replies to “Korean Grand Prix race weekend”

  1. “Renault’s Vitaly Petrov has been punished by the Korean stewards for his collision with the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher during the Yeongam race on Sunday. Petrov receives a reprimand and a five-place grid penalty for the next round in India. After investigating, the stewards decided the Russian driver was at fault for the accident, which occurred on the approach to Turn Three on Lap 17. Although Petrov was able to make it back to the pits he subsequently retired. The damage to the rear of Schumacher’s Mercedes was similarly terminal.” [source: FIA]

  2. 2011 Drivers’ Championship

    1 S Vettel 349
    2 J Button 222
    3 F Alonso 212
    4 M Webber 209
    5 L Hamilton 196
    6 F Massa 98
    7 N Rosberg 67
    8 M Schumacher 60
    9 V Petrov 36
    10 N Heidfeld 34

    2011 Constructors’ Championship

    1 Red Bull 558
    2 McLaren 418
    3 Ferrari 310
    4 Mercedes 127
    5 Renault 72
    6 Force India 49
    7 Sauber 40
    8 Toro Rosso 37
    9 Williams 5
    10= Lotus 0
    10= Virgin 0
    10= Hispania 0

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