2013 Korean Grand Prix - Practice Sessions


Yeongam, October 4, 2013 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the Korean Grand Prix weekend so far during the second free practice session today, running on Pirelli’s P Zero Red supersoft tyre. This has been nominated alongside the P Zero White medium compound: exactly the same combination as used in Singapore two weeks ago.

Hamilton completed a clean sweep of both sessions at the Yeongam circuit, going fastest in the morning as well on the P Zero White as he worked towards a race set-up. But it was his time in the afternoon, 1m38.673s, which proved to be quicker than anybody else could manage all day. Hamilton set his fastest time halfway through the afternoon session, with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel going second-quickest, also on the supersoft compound.

Both sessions were held in warm and dry weather with ambient temperatures peaking at 24 degrees centigrade. However, more mixed conditions are predicted for the rest of the weekend, which could lead to a wet race on Sunday.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The teams have quite a lot of data on the medium and supersoft already from Singapore, but this circuit is a completely different proposition. The lateral energy loadings in particular are much higher, which makes the process of reading the wear and degradation rates accurately on differing fuel loads absolutely essential when it comes to formulating a strategy. The track was very ‘green’ at the start of free practice this morning but this is what we expected and it got quicker as more rubber was laid down. Despite the slippery surface the teams didn’t encounter much graining and there were no big surprises generally speaking, which allowed everybody to get on with their programmes as anticipated. We’re seeing a time difference of about a second between the two compounds at the moment, although we would expect this to come down a bit tomorrow. So there is plenty of scope to formulate some interesting strategies, but the big question mark will be surrounding the weather and safety cars. Some uncertain weather is expected over the remainder of the weekend and Korea also has quite a high safety car probability, which can obviously change the complexion of the race. Under these variable circumstances, it’s always best to have as much information under your belt as possible, which is why the work done in free practice is so important.”

FP1: FP2:
1.Hamilton 1m39.630s Medium Used 1.Hamilton 1m38.673s Supersoft New
2.Vettel 1m39.667s Medium Used 2.Vettel 1m38.781s Supersoft New
3.Rosberg 1m39.816s Medium Used 3.Rosberg 1m38.797s Supersoft New

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Supersoft Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 1,785 4,458 N/A N/A
sets used overall ** 22 44 N/A N/A
highest number of laps ** 21 26 N/A N/A

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

What is popularly known as g-force is in fact acceleration. These are the maximum values while braking and cornering:

-Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force): -4.94 @ T1
-Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):  4.99 @ T8

Pirelli facts of the day:

Pirelli is the world’s fifth-biggest tyre-maker, which is present in more than 160 countries, with 22 production sites in four continents, employing over 34,000 people. One of Pirelli’s key priorities is research and development, to which the company devotes 3% of its annual revenue. The biggest market for Pirelli tyres is currently central and south America, closely followed by Europe.