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Korea 2010 - Free Practice 3 highlights - Lap by lap coverage of the final practice session before qualifying

Published by Christine

Kovalainen gets some more practice on the brand new Korea track
Credit: Lotus Racing

The most curious aspect of FP3 was how the track would be after a night off, and the answer is - not great. Many reports came in that it was just as slippery, if not more so, than it had been Friday morning. That led to a rather quiet start to proceedings, but with just an hour to get in some qualifying simulations, the teams eventually had to take to the track.

Kubica took top honours for the morning, showing some excellent Renault pace, but Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull were all right there with him. Towards the back, Senna finished ahead of Yamamoto, despite limited running so far in the weekend.

Here's how Free Practice 2 in Korea played out.

As it happened: 2010 Korea - Free Practice 3

  • 02:30

    Good morning everyone! You're just in time to enjoy the final hour of practice before qualifying for the Korean GP.

  • 02:33

    Yesterday we saw the first and tentative laps from the drivers at this new track, but today, they should be going all out to get some good times.

  • 02:34

    A few tweaks to the circuit have been made, after drivers complained to Charlie Whiting last night.

  • 02:37

    The Turn 16 left hander has a higher kerb, after a few cars bottomed out there - notably Yamamoto who caused red flags in FP2.

  • 02:38

    Turn 18 has a bit of a higher kerb after drivers were cutting the corner. It also seems the pit lane entrance has been looked at but not sure of any specific changes there.

  • 02:39

    TweetTweet from @rf1paddockpass: Slightly overcast and a bit cool this morning but should remain dry today

  • 02:41

    TweetTweet from @HockeyKamen: @factbytefactbox Hopefully it won't be dusty as well.

  • 02:42

    Now, a little bit of admin. For UK viewers, the BBC will be streaming FP3 here:

  • 02:43

    Autosport live will have some rather good text updates going here:

  • 02:43

    And live timing always adds another dimension to your viewing:

  • 02:44

    What you need, above and beyond anything else, though, is to join in the Sidepodcast comments. You can use the fabulous dashboard: or direct on the live thread:

  • 02:44

    Pop by and say hello!

  • 02:50

    Yesterday had x1 Hamilton and x1 Webber taking top honours for practice - who will it be this morning?

  • 02:52

    If you want a quick roundup of Friday, and are at a loose end for 60 sends, I highly recommend a podcast called F1 Minute. Eh-hem.

  • 02:52

    TweetTweet from @MyLotusRacing: 10 minutes to go. First fire ups done. Drivers in the garage. All set for P3 in Korea!

  • 02:55

    Aww, Heikki's girlfriend is not very well at all, although she's still smiling: The FBFB hopes she gets well soon, but also thinks that having an F1 driver as a boyfriend is good if you get top notch medical centre care!

  • 02:56



    Wind Speed0.5mps
  • 02:57

    Temperatures way down on yesterday, which may or may not affect how quickly the track comes together.

  • 03:00

    Green flagSession started.

  • 03:00

    Trulli leads the pack, although he gets away very slowly.

  • 03:02

    Everyone has bundled out on track, except for Schumacher, Vettel, Webber, Barrichello and Kovalainen.

  • 03:03

    It looks like installation lap times are on the cards today, as many drivers return to the pitlane immediately.

  • 03:05

    TweetTweet from @eddstrawF1: Shame they have changed the track - exit of Turn 16 yesterday was a brilliant place to watch! But is sensible to have modified it.

  • 03:07

    All the drivers have returned to the pitlane. A moment of calm.

  • 03:10

    Vettel breaks the silence and heads back out on track.

  • 03:10

    TweetTweet from @alexjsnell: Lucas confirming that they've done as expected & put a big 'lump' on the inside of turn 16! ;) #F1

  • 03:11

    TweetTweet from @MyLotusRacing: Initial reports from both Jarno and Heikki are that track is no better than yesterday, possibly worse in places #fb

  • 03:12

    A few of the drivers aren't even in the car at the moment, Alonso chats with his engineers, Hamilton views some data on screen, Senna takes some refreshment. Come on chaps, laps to be done.

  • 03:12

    Vettel returns to the garage, all drivers now have an installation lap complete. Who will be the first to set a time?

  • 03:15

    Some information about Turn 7 - given the short distance from the sharp left-hander at Turn 6, initial speeds are low compared to earlier corners on the lap.

    Braking Analysis
    Turn 7
    (forecast data from Brembo)
    Initial Speed156km/h
    Final Speed134km/h
    Stopping Distance14m
    Braking Time0.35s
    Maximum Deceleration2.07g
    Maximum Pedal load55kg
  • 03:16

    Yesterday, Senna entered Turn 7 backwards on full lock - presumably the pedal load was a bit difference for him then.

  • 03:16

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Fernando left the garage walking towards the FIA garage for wheighing

  • 03:16

    The ever-keen Alguersuari heads out for another lap.

  • 03:20

    Jaime becomes the first man to set a lap time - 1:45.671. Much faster for him than yesterday's debut, but a way to go before beating the top times of FP2.

  • 03:21

    Lewis watches TVHamilton views practice from the comfort of his garage.

  • 03:22

    Buemi joins his teammate, with a time almost a second slower. I suspect Jaime has opened the floodgates for times now.

  • 03:23

    For reference, the fastest times from yesterday were 1:40.887 (FP1 HAM) and 1:37.942 (FP2 WEB).

  • 03:25

    Interview with Andy Stobart: "It's rather slippery out there, but I think we knew that from watching on screens. We know it's a very new surface. The tyre isn't gripping, it isn't interacting, it isn't ripping and shredding as it should do on the tarmac, it's sliding across it, and we get this situation of graining. It makes things worse.

    The layout of the track with this dusty surface even meant we had graining in two directions because we have some adverse camber corner. This session is going to be very interesting to see how much the track improves over the session.

    Other places will have a lot of support races, so that even though the rubber is different, they are cleaning the track."

  • 03:27

    Big moment for SutilSutil has a bit of a wobble. Quite a lot of a wobble actually.

  • 03:28

    RadioTeam radio from Alguersuari: "Great big oversteer, great big oversteer." "Keep pushing."

  • 03:29

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Both the F10 are fitted with the blown rear wing and an updated floor, which was positively tested yesterday

  • 03:29

    Buemi has jumped to the top, he and Hulkenberg have dropped the times into the 1:41s.

  • 03:30

    Ted Kravitz reports that the circuit right now is about as dusty as it was in the early part of Friday. As if to illustrated the point, we see a replay of Trulli running wide.

  • 03:31

    TweetTweet from @VirginRacing: Good effort by @LucasDiGrassi, going faster than KOV and Timo, clearly settling in despite missing FP1

  • 03:32

    Hamilton backs off to give himself space for a first laptime.

  • 03:33

    Half the session gone already, and exactly half the drivers have times. More work to be done.

  • 03:34
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Liuzzi245kph
    Sector 2Hulkenberg193kph
    Sector 3Alonso288kph
    Speed TrapLiuzzi313kph
  • 03:34

    Alonso has jumped up to P1 - 1:40.795. I suspect the times will be dropping rapidly now.

  • 03:36

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Adrian: that wasn't a tidy run. It was too early to be out there as the grip was too poor. Very low traction.

  • 03:38

    Tumbling times now, Alonso and Hamilton alternating fastest laps.

  • 03:39

    Rosberg and Schumacher have yet to set times, but are out on track now. Everyone else has a time. Field spread of 7.7 seconds with fastest 1:39.217 and slowest 1:46.977.

  • 03:40

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "Jenson, there's still time to gain in sector 3, possibly because of traffic."

  • 03:41

    Button clearly found that time, jumping up to P1 - a 1:38.540.

  • 03:41

    According to McLaren live data, both their cars are 0.4 seconds faster than anyone else through sector 1.

  • 03:44
    Battle For 1st
  • 03:46
    Current Bottom Five
    20Jarno Trulli
    21Lucas di Grassi1:44.129
    22Nick Heidfeld1:44.577
    23Bruno Senna1:46.133
    24Sakon Yamamoto1:46.893
  • 03:48

    Just under 13 minutes to go now, lots of drivers in the garages. It looks like everyone is gearing up for their last qualifying-simulation runs.

  • 03:48

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Replays show the modification to the kerb at Turn 16 is beginning to degrade as drivers continue to clatter over the soft concrete patch.

  • 03:49

    Two cars remain on track - Rosberg and Heidfeld.

  • 03:50

    Ten minutes left. Just Heidfeld out there now.

  • 03:50

    I do believe they call this the calm before the storm.

  • 03:51

    RadioTeam radio from Senna: "Took a long time for the tyres to start getting temperature, but the rear end is very limited at the moment. It's very easy to lose the rear end... Anything just creates oversteer. A bit difficult at the moment."

  • 03:52

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Marshals are now showing the slippery surface flag for the debris from that degrading kerb at Turn 16.

  • 03:55

    Hamilton has bolted on the soft tyres, and ran very wide at one corner, picking up plenty of dust.

  • 03:56

    Ted reports Hulkenberg still has the engine cover off his car, and is pondering if the Williams has a problem.

  • 03:56

    Trulli stopped in Sector 1.

  • 03:56

    No yellow flags, looks like he's off the racing line.

  • 03:57

    More dust from Hamilton as he tries to avoid traffic and runs off the track a couple of times.

  • 03:57

    Hulkenberg is the only driver still in the garage, and with just two and a half minutes to go, it's unlikely he'll be out now.

  • 03:58

    Kubica jumps up to P1 with a 1:37.932, while Alonso appears to have his lap ruined by Rosberg.

  • 03:58

    Kubica is almost half a second up on second place Button.

  • 03:59

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Suspected puncture for tonio, he is called to the box as a precaution

  • 04:00

    Chequered flagSession complete.

  • 04:00

    Kubica improves on his own time, as Alonso goes second.

  • 04:01

    Hulkenberg did manage to get out, completing a lap for 8th place - ahead of Barrichello in 12th. Not too many problems for Hulk, then.

  • 04:02

    RadioTeam radio from Alonso: "Nearly crashed with Rosberg the lap before, he was completely stopped in Turn 15."

  • 04:02
    Top Five
    1Robert Kubica
    2Lewis Hamilton1:37.402
    3Fernando Alonso1:37.426
    4Mark Webber1:37.441
    5Nico Rosberg1:37.629
  • 04:04
    Recent Lap Times
    Lewis Hamilton
    Lap 131:48.2
    Lap 141:46.2
    Lap 152:02.2
    Lap 161:37.4
  • 04:05

    It's worth mentioning, of course, that in that lap graph, lower is better, and his final lap saw him second.

  • 04:06

    Three different teams have topped practice so far then, with McLaren, Red Bull and now Renault taking top honours.

  • 04:06

    Kubica found some real speed at the end of that session, whilst Ferrari (who had looked a little slow previously) picked up their pace considerably.

  • 04:07

    Of the top five dominating the sport, Button was a little further back on the others - 7th - but nowhere near as far down as Vettel who wound up 16th!

  • 04:08

    We will be back in 90 minutes for qualifying - I hope you will join me - it's going to be fascinating!

All content in the series Korea 2010