F1: Korean Grand Prix Preview
Just one week after the Japanese Grand Prix, the third ever Korean Grand Prix comes to our screens. With only two previous races; one wet and one dry there isn’t a huge amount we can garner from the history other than Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari have had either a win or a pole position here, Red Bull having both.
F1: Korean Grand Prix Preview
The DRS zone has been extended this season which should see most of the overtaking coming down the straight and into the slow right hand third corner. Comparisons can be made to both Suzuka and Hockenheim which would suggest that both Red Bull and Ferrari will be strong, Red Bull will certainly be favourites following their dominant performance in Japan at the weekend. Ferrari are not bringing many updates this weekend so it might be damage limitation for Fernando as he looks to keep his lead of the championship.
McLaren have reported that Lewis Hamilton had suspension damage which was to blame for his poor qualifying performance compared to Jenson Button in Japan, I’m not sure if they fixed it for the race or whether it can also be blamed for the poor race pace that Lewis showed. Regardless of this damage, the McLaren certainly wasn’t as fast as the Red Bull and Jenson Button also seemed slower than both Massa in the Ferrari and Kobayashi in the Sauber. McLaren will be looking to bounce back this weekend and at least get a podium to keep alive their chances in both championships.
One team looking forward to testing their updates will be Lotus who have a new exhaust system similar to that used by both Ferrari and McLaren. The Lotus team are excited by this and other updates they have but will they get it working correctly for Qualifying and the Race? With their double DRS system still not working properly, many in the paddock will be sceptical that this exhaust will show gains straight away but only time will tell.
With Red Bull’s own Double DRS system was working well in Japan after a poor showing in Singapore, it could be very difficult for any car to knock either Sebastian or Webber out of the front row. If Vettel secures pole position I think we will see something similar to Japan and a comfortable win but I have a sneaky feeling Mark may put the Red Bull on pole after a frustrating time in Japan!
Here are my predictions:
- 1st Mark Webber
- 2nd Romain Grosjean
- 3rd Sebastian Vettel
- 4th Lewis Hamilton
- 5th Fernando Alonso
- Fastest lap Sebastian Vettel
I’ve gone for a bit of a punt with my predictions, I don’t know why but I really fancy Webber to win on Sunday. The Red Bull is looking good and will be strong; we never saw how much pace Mark had in Suzuka because of the Raikkonen qualifying issue and Grosjean in the other Lotus taking him out at the start of the race. I think Mark is due a bit of luck and a good race!
Lotus should take a step back towards the front in Korea and Grosjean does generally qualify well and if he can keep his nose clean on that first lap a podium is well within his grasp. If Vettel does get pole position and I am confident he will win but if Mark can pull out all the stops the first lap will be interesting.
It may well be close between Alonso and the McLarens and don’t rule out a Sauber or Williams mixing the grid up and taking valuable points away from championship contenders.
The big question is will Fernando Alonso lose his championship lead which he has held since Valencia on the 24th June? This is going to be a huge race and without a crash or mechanical failure, Alonso may well be looking at his name with the number two next to it.
Check back next weekend for my round up of all the action.
Qualifying – 06:00 BST – BBC 1 05:00 – Sky F1 05:00 – Highlights – BBC 13:00
Race – 07:00 BST – BBC 06:00 – Sky F1 05:30 – Highlights – BBC 14:05