Practice 1: Schumacher fastest in the rain

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.

Michael Schumacher topped the timing sheets at the end of first practice in Korea

Oct.14 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher lived up to his fame as a master of wet conditions with the fastest time in Friday’s first free practice for the Korean Formula One Grand Prix.

Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta was third fastest on his first visit to Yeongam

Mercedes‘ 42-year-old ‘Regenmeister’ (Rainmaster) lapped the Yeongam circuit with a best time of two minutes 02.784 seconds.

Red Bull‘s newly crowned double world champion Sebastian Vettel was second fastest, with a lap 0.056 slower than his illustrious compatriot, on a morning when the times meant nothing.

Six drivers, including Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and McLaren‘s Japanese Grand Prix winner Jenson Button did not set timed laps as the rain fell steadily and made track conditions treacherous.

Even Schumacher’s sure touch failed him momentarily when he skidded off onto the grass at the pit lane entry.

Rookie Paul di Resta was third fastest, denying German drivers a 1-2-3 at the top of the timesheets with team mate Adrian Sutil fourth.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne on friday duty for Toro Rosso

Next up were Sebastien Buemi, in the Toro Rosso, did 13 laps in the wet and ended up fifth fastest, ahead of fellow Ferrari powered Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi who ended sixth on the timing sheets.

With the grandstand largely empty and conditions resembling those on race day a year ago when the start had to be delayed, fans venturing to the track some 320km to the south of Seoul saw little action.

Young French test driver Jean-Eric Vergne took part in practice with Toro Rosso while Indians Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, both hoping to race in their home grand prix later this month, turned out for HRT and Team Lotus respectively.

Vergne will also take part in practice for the team in Abu Dhabi and the season-ender in Brazil.
Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher topped the timing screens at the end of the, rain drenched, first free practice session of the Korean Grand Prix weekend at Yeongam.

Friday, 14 October – Practice 1

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 2:02.784 10
2 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 2:02.840 0.056 8
3 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2:02.912 0.128 12
4 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2:03.141 0.357 12
5 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 2:03.182 0.398 9
6 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2:03.292 0.508 13
7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2:03.391 0.607 6
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2:04.311 1.527 12
9 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 2:04.797 2.013 8
10 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 2:05.183 2.399 5
11 21 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 2:06.350 3.566 11
12 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 2:06.852 4.068 11
13 19 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 2:07.541 4.757 9
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 2:08.218 5.434 5
15 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 2:08.832 6.048 14
16 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 2:09.232 6.448 14
17 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 2:12.658 9.874 7
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:14.508 11.724 4
19 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time 1
20 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time 5
21 9 Bruno Senna Renault No time 1
22 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault No time 1
23 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault No time 1
24 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes No time 1