Vettel moves ahead in final practice
5 October 2013 – Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets during final practice for the Korean Grand Prix on Saturday morning. The Red Bull driver, who clocked an effort of 1:37.881 with the Super Soft tyres, led team-mate Mark Webber by 0.137 seconds, as Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton watched on from third and fourth.
Following a season-long trend, the first 45 minutes of the hour-long session was used for Medium-tyre runs. Hamilton, who suffered a slight delay in the early minutes due to vibrations on his brake pedal, was again the man in charge during this race preparation phase, continuing the form that saw him top both outings on Friday.
But when the switch to Super Softs arrived, Red Bull moved to the fore. Webber was the first of the frontrunners to head out for a timed attempt, initially clocking a 1:38.132 before lowering his benchmark to 1:38.018. Vettel then made his mark, finding an improvement of 1.2 seconds between compounds and breaking the 1m37s barrier.
Rosberg and Hamilton thus fell back, the pair over four tenths of a second adrift of the ultimate pace. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean followed in fifth and sixth, although the latter has more to yield after a mistake in the final sector. Felipe Massa, who ended the Medium tyre period a lowly 15th, enjoyed a better level of performance on the softer rubber, taking seventh position ahead of Kimi Räikkönen.
The final top ten positions narrowly went to Nico Hülkenberg and Jenson Button, with the upper midfield battle set to be an extremely close one this weekend. At the tail end of the order, Caterham again demonstrated more pace than key rivals Marussia.
Saturday's qualifying hour at the Korea International Circuit gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +9) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature