by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Korean F1 Grand Prix 2012: Qualifying Report - Lewis Hamilton 3rd, Jenson Button 11th

- MP4-27A-04
- FP3: 2nd, 1m38.169s (+0.527s), 12 laps
- Qualifying:
- Q1: 17th, 1m39.180s (on Primes)
- Q2: 3rd, 1m38.000s (on Options)
- Q3: 3rd overall, 1m37.469s (on Options)

“It’s been quite a tough weekend in terms of getting a fast lap-time out of the car, so third on the grid is very satisfying.

“In Q3 I’ll happily admit that I ragged the life out of the car and got everything from it, yet Mark [Webber] and Seb [Vettel] both claim they had a little bit left over. We’ll see. Anyway, Jenson showed yesterday that our long-run pace is promising, so I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.

“Beating the Red Bulls will be about making a good getaway, making all the right strategy calls, and not making any mistakes. There’ll be good opportunity for slipstreaming into the first few corners at the start too.

“I’ll be going all-out for the win tomorrow.”

- MP4-27A-03
- FP3: 3rd, 1m38.511s (+0.869s), 13 laps
- Qualifying:
- Q1: 3rd, 1m38.615s (on Primes)
- Q2: 11th overall, 1m38.441s (on Options)
- Q3: -

“I locked up in the final sector on my first Q2 lap, ran wide and had to go down to first gear – losing quite a lot of time in the process – so I reckon there was easily a couple of tenths that I could have had there.

“Then, on my final Q2 run, I lost time because of the yellow flags. I knew I could have gained a couple of extra tenths in that final sector, but as things panned out I couldn’t improve because of the yellows.

“It’s just one of those things, but I’ll go forward from here tomorrow.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Lewis drove a strong lap in Q3 to qualify third, immediately behind the two Red Bulls, and will start tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix from an advantageous position on the clean side of the grid as a result.

“Our long-run pace was pretty good yesterday, so we hope that he’ll be able to bag a hatful of points in tomorrow’s race.

“By contrast, today was a rather more disappointing day for Jenson, since his best Q2 lap was ruined by yellow flags triggered by Daniel’s [Ricciardo] ‘off’, leaving him 11th on the grid for tomorrow’s race. But for that, he’d have sailed through Q2 into Q3 and would doubtless have qualified much closer to the sharp end of the grid.

“Having said that, he’ll now have an extra quantity of new tyres available to him for tomorrow’s race, so we’ll now work on a strategy that should optimise the efficacy of that unexpected development.

“Jenson showed good long-run pace yesterday, so he’ll be aiming to make significant forward progress from the outset tomorrow.”

~ Official photos and report courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ~

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