Korea Grand Prix – Qualifying: 5th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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As qualifying came to a close here in Korea this afternoon, Kimi and Romain certainly proved their class; both drivers putting themselves firmly inside the top ten with P5 / P7 respectively on their first outing at the Korea International Circuit.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position: Q1 – P10 / Q2 – P5 / Q3 – P5
Best Time: Q1 – 1:38.887 / Q2 – 1:38.227 / Q3 – 1:37.625
Laps Completed: Q1 – 5 / Q2 – 6 / Q3 – 6

Key Moments:
Q1: 03mins: Opening run on used soft tyres; goes quickest with third flying lap, fastest in the middle sector
Q1: 10mins: Stays parked in the garage for the remainder of the opening session
Q1: 20mins: Chequered flag; through to Q2 in P10

Q2: 02mins: First attempt on scrubbed super softs; goes P8
Q2: 09mins: Back in the garage; reports mild understeer
Q2: 13mins: Emerges for second shot at the top; new super soft rubber for a single lap dash
Q2: 15mins: Session ends; progresses to the final phase in P5

Q3: 00mins: Straight out for first run; P6 on used super soft tyres
Q3: 08mins: Joins the 10 car scramble for pole on fresh super softs
Q3: 10mins: Qualifying complete; P5 for the Finn

Summary :

  • Kimi’s first attempt in Q1 was good enough to progress to the next phase without using the super softs
  • Romain hovered on the fringes of safety in Q1 with his initial run, opting to complete one flying lap on super soft rubber as a precaution
  • Yellow flags in the final moments of Q2 as the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo stopped out on track; Kimi and Romain investigated for setting their quick times under a caution period
  • Both drivers comfortably progressed to the final stage of qualifying without the need to burn excessive sets of tyres
Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m37.242s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m37.316s  + 0.074
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m37.469s  + 0.227
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m37.534s  + 0.292
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m37.625s  + 0.383
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m37.884s  + 0.642
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m37.934s  + 0.692
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m38.266s  + 1.024
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m38.361s  + 1.119
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m38.513s  + 1.271
 Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.436s                                   Gap **
11.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.441s  + 0.674
12.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.460s  + 0.693
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.594s  + 0.827
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m38.643s  + 0.876
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m38.725s  + 0.958
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.084s  + 1.317
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.340s  + 1.573
Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.180s                                    Gap *
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m39.443s  + 1.235
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m40.207s  + 1.999
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m40.333s  + 2.125
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.317s  + 3.109
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.371s  + 3.163
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m42.881s  + 4.673
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         no time


Quotes: Kimi speaking to Sky Sports

“It’s good for us to be higher up,” said Raikkonen.

“We could have been in a similar position in the last one but I spun.

“It helps us, it will make us a bit better in the race. It’s a safer and better position for the start.

“But the good thing I think is that the laptime is closer to the front, so that should give us better chances in the race because before we’ve been further away in laptime so we knew that it was going to be very difficult.

“Now I think we have a better chance to score better positions.”

“Today was just better overall,” he said. “I think the exhaust hasn’t changed since yesterday.”

The end of Q2 was affected by yellow flags for Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso stopping on track. Raikkonen was among the drivers who improved at that point, but he was adamant he had still obeyed the warning signals.

“I lifted in there. It’s normal,” he said. “Then I went faster than that with used tyres on the next qualifying lap I did.”

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