When Korea first made its bid for a Formula One, many fans and media alike thought it would be a mess. The 2011 Korean Grand Prix weekend showed the world that it was wrong. The country proceeded to have wonderful hospitality and the track provided some of the best photos opportunities for the photographers.
The Korean International Circuit is the one track that can wreak major havoc on the cars and more so on the tyres. Hermann Tilke proved that he knows what he is doing when he is designing tracks. The circuit has demanding corners and fast straights. With it only being used currently for Formula One, the track does accumulate a lot of dust over the year (between the races). Driving on the dirt in a road car is hard enough, driving on it in a Formula One car would be near impossible.
Q1 and first out on track was Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen. With no other driver on track, it’s always good to see one of the smaller teams get the air time. With the season coming to an end, even the back markers are fighting for positions. Being tenth in the constructor’s race can be the difference between millions of Euros. Between the life and death of a team.
Ten minutes into Q1, with most driver’s on track, Narain Karthikeyan lost the rear end of his HRT and narrowly missed a Force India (who is slowing for Turn 3). Karthikeyan reported that his brake pedal had stuck to the floor but fortunately, there was no damage as he slid into the acres of run-off at this track.
Q2 and the track seemed pretty quiet for most of the 15 minutes. Most teams and drivers will hold back, waiting for the final few minutes to go for their fastest laps. Hoping to be the last across the line, knowing what time every other driver has and beating it. Q2 and three minutes before the checkered flag, a Toro Rosso stopped out on track, bringing out a yellow flag and causing lost time in that one sector.
Big surprise in Q2 as McLaren’s Jenson Button failed to make it into Q3, the top ten shoot out. As he sets to say good-bye to his teammate at the end of the season, many fans have turned to Button as their number one British driver. Here at the Korean International Circuit, he failed to hit the mark.
Q3 and it was blatant to see that every driver is understanding that the 2012 season is coming to an end and the race for the Driver’s title is in full swing. Pole was in constant flux as each driver passed the finish line, constantly superseding the previous. By the end of the Top Ten Shootout, Sebastian Vettel appeared to have pole in the bad with three minutes left. Against all odds, Mark Webber snatched away the position from his teammate as the checkered flag fell, refusing to relinquish it back to his teammate.
“This is my first [pole] on track [after inheriting pole at Monaco]. I’m happy to get the job done reasonably well. We did it when it counted and that’s what it’s all about. I’m happy to start on pole, but tomorrow is the main day. Off the back of Suzuka we feel we had improved the car, but you never get ahead of yourself. We came here knowing it’s not going to be a given, we’ve got a good car here for sure.”
Mark Webber holds pole position Sunday at the Korean International Circuit but will he be able to hold the position during all 55 laps and take the win?
|Sebastian Vettel||P2 Fan’s Choice To Win|
|Paul di Resta||P14|
|Pedro de la Rosa||P22|
|Narain Karthikeyan||No time set|
Q1 107% Time 1:45.082
Note – Pic drops ten places for an unscheduled engine change. Karthikeyan failed to set a Q3 time within the 107% requirement – races at stewards’ discretion.
Published with permission from Girls Like F1 Too!.