• Korean Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel fastest again in final practice in Korea

ESPN Staff
October 13, 2012
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel hinted at Red Bull's potential to dominate qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix by setting the fastest time in final practice by 0.527s.

Red Bull looked like the team to beat on Friday but Vettel raised the bar again on Saturday morning with a best time of 1:37.642 on his final super-soft tyre lap. Lewis Hamilton was second fastest as he had a more straightforward session than on Friday, but both he and his McLaren team-mate look set to be battling it out for the second row come qualifying.

Mark Webber in the second Red Bull didn't set a time on the super-soft tyres after an engine mapping issue towards the end of the session meant his Red Bull would not fire up. The Renault Sport V8 finally came to life in the final minute of the session but he did not have enough time to get out on track and set a time.

The Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen slotted in behind the McLarens in fourth and fifth but were roughly a second off the pace. Raikkonen's car featured the new Coanda-effect exhaust, which he will also use in the race, but the team believes there isn't much between the old and new layouts and the lap times appear to confirm that theory.

Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest and in touch with the Lotuses, but a long way off the pace of his main title rival Vettel. The Ferrari was losing 0.6s to the Red Bull in the final sector alone, which hints at a fairly significant downforce deficit.

Felipe Massa was eighth fastest ahead of Pastor Maldonado, who improved on his Friday time by a massive 2.2s to go ninth fastest. Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten while the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were shunted down the order to 12th and 13th. However, with traffic hindering several attempts at hot laps by various drivers, the true order could be different come qualifying.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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