Korea Grand Prix – Friday Practice: “I hit the wall”
After a massive effort from the boys in the garage, Kimi Raikkonen joins Romain Grosjean following his heavy crash in FP1 to maximise running in FP2… Here’s how it went.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.673s 31 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m38.781s +0.108s 30 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.797s +0.124s 32 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m38.844s +0.171s 35 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m39.114s +0.441s 30 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.226s +0.553s 34 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.444s +0.771s 31 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m39.757s +1.084s 33 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.774s +1.101s 29 10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m40.006s +1.333s 34 11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m40.007s +1.334s 34 12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.152s +1.479s 31 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.186s +1.513s 33 14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.210s +1.537s 34 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.446s +1.773s 30 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.552s +1.879s 26 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.117s +2.444s 35 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m41.289s +2.616s 34 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m42.461s +3.788s 36 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m42.798s +4.125s 35 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.108s +4.435s 31 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.441s +4.768s 29
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in opening practice for the Korean Grand Prix as Kimi Raikkonen suffered a big crash at the end of the session.
As the session was coming to a close, Raikkonen lost control of his Lotus and crashed heavily at the final corner, causing heavy damage to his car.
The Finn was able to walk away from the crash, but the team faces a race against the time to have the car ready for second practice.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.630s 20 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.667s +0.037s 20 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m39.816s +0.186s 19 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.117s +0.487s 20 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.215s +0.585s 22 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.374s +0.744s 18 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m40.396s +0.766s 19 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m40.677s +1.047s 15 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.860s +1.230s 20 10. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.880s +1.250s 13 11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.899s +1.269s 20 12. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m41.432s +1.802s 18 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.482s +1.852s 22 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.626s +1.996s 21 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.924s +2.294s 19 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m42.002s +2.372s 20 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.043s +2.413s 18 18. James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1m43.008s +3.378s 21 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m43.660s +4.030s 20 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m43.883s +4.253s 19 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m44.100s +4.470s 14 22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1m46.810s +7.180s 10
Video: Kimi’s crash in FP1
“I went off,” Raikkonen explained. “I just lost the rear of the car and that was it; it was nothing special. These things can happen, but luckily the team managed to fix the car for the second session, so we didn’t lose much [time].”
In the second session, Raikkonen complained about the steering of the car pulling to the right but suspects it can be solved with more work.
“It was related to my crash, as the team didn’t have time to work on the power steering, so it wasn’t right after the crash,” he said. “They had to fix the car in a short period of time and ran out of time to sort the steering problem before the start of the second session.”
Raikkonen said the impact had not hurt his back, which he struggled with in Singapore, but the kerb on the exit of Turn 8 had caught his attention when he ran wide at the corner.
“Well, it’s not ideal, particularly on the kerb coming out of Turn 8,” he added. “That kerb is not very smooth and once I couldn’t get out of it and it wasn’t very nice. So I’ll try to stay away from it, because when you touch it at high speed it kinds of pulls you even further into it.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 8th/8th: “Obviously it didn’t help that I destroyed part of the car this morning; maybe I ran out of talent there! It didn’t cause too much damage and the car was fine for the second practice, even if the guys had quite a hurry to fix it. They did a good job and we managed to complete everything we wanted today. The car feels quite strong – especially on the long runs – so that’s good news for the race. On the short runs it wasn’t exactly as I wanted, but we still have some time to make improvements there.”
Romain Grosjean – 7th/6th: “My first two runs this morning weren’t perfect, so we decided to change a few things during the break but that didn’t exactly go to plan either. Finding the right balance for a full lap here is quite tricky as the different sectors are quite unique from each other, but eventually we returned to a more conventional setup for a run on the option tyres and the car felt much better. This circuit is a bit more front limited which doesn’t particularly help us, but hopefully the track evolution will bring it towards us a bit more tomorrow. Half a second to the leaders is a bit of a gap and they look pretty quick, so I think top five is a realistic target in qualifying, but of course we’ll do our best to catch them.”
Alan Permane: “It was a fairly routine Friday aside from Kimi’s small off this morning which looked a lot worse than it was, resulting primarily in some front trackrod and rear corner damage for us to repair. We lost some time at the start of the second session whilst the rectification work was completed, but this didn’t impact on our programme today. We completed long runs with both cars in the afternoon to give us plenty of data for analysis ahead of Sunday. As illustrated a few times, the track was quite slippery to start the weekend, which is something we expect to see improve throughout tomorrow and Sunday. The tyres are behaving as expected, with a smaller performance difference between the two compounds than what we saw in Singapore, which is in line with our predictions.”