- Korean Grand Prix - FP2
Hamilton completes Friday clean sweepChris Medland October 4, 2013
- Korean Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of Friday practice as Mercedes displayed its ability to take the fight to Red Bull in Korea.
The two Red Bulls and two Mercedes were closely matched as Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber were all covered by just 0.171s, with Felipe Massa fifth quickest but 0.441s off the pace after the super soft tyre laps.
There were a number of teams that look set for close battles, with Massa at the head of the Lotus and Ferrari group, although eighth-placed Kimi Raikkonen was over a second off the pace. Raikkonen ultimately only lost out on 15 minutes of running at the start of the session after an impressive job by Lotus to repair his car after a high-speed crash at the end of FP1.
Not only was the Mercedes quick over one lap, but the four top teams were all showed solid pace on the long runs too, with Hamilton confident his team has no tyre degradation issues. As if to highlight the close performance, Massa and Raikkonen indulged in a bit of racing at Turn 4 late on; Massa locking up as he dived up the inside of the Lotus, only for Raikkonen to retake him on exit.
After numerous incidents in FP1 the second session was a quieter affair, although Esteban Gutierrez had a spin at Turn 1 and Charles Pic lost the rear of his Caterham at higher speed in Turn 9 late on. Fernando Alonso also came close to repeating Raikkonen's crash from the morning when he had to correct oversteer in the final corner and ran perilously close to the wall.
There was a slightly strange incident when Romain Grosjean moved over to let Nico Hulkenberg by but appeared to have held the Sauber up. Hulkenberg then decided to pull in front of Grosjean and slow quite heavily while blocking his path.
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1