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As the man with the air blower continues to blast dust off the track, this seems like a good time to sign off. I'll be going home to get that thing... what's it called?... oh yeah, sleep. Take a look at the
report for FP2
and make sure you get some rest. Remember that we've got a lie in tomorrow and I'll be here to take you through FP3 and then qualifying from 0230 BST. Enjoy the rest of your Friday.
Virgin Racing on Twitter:
"So that's a fairly normal Friday over. Lotus quicker than us after they switched to options, but a good day."
So Webber sets the fastest time but I would presume there is more to come from the likes of Vettel and Button. Tomorrow is going to be fascinating.
Scott via text:
"Driving through rural India with the laptop going in and out of coverage but great to see fellow Aussie Webber atop the timesheet. We have everything crossed for you Mark!"
Ferrari on Twitter:
"All in all not a bad session. Now there is a lot to work to do in the afternoon for the engineers and drivers to prepare the cars. They will have to do a lot of guessing about the track conditions as they will change a lot."
Phumo on Twitter:
"Need to find time go watch GP this weekend. It's exciting following online. It should be even better on the box!"
That's a wrap. Here's a recap of the second practice times: Webber (1:37.942), Alonso (1:38.132), Hamilton (1:38.279), Kubica (1:38.718), Button (1:38.726), Massa (1:38.820) and Vettel (1:39.204).
And there's a Force India grinding to a halt. Vitantonio Liuzzi has stopped at Turn 15. Felipe Massa complains that his Ferrari is "undrivable" in the last sector. Race engineer Rob Smedley doesn't offer a lot of support though. "Yeah, OK," is the reply. Don't know if Massa wanted a bit more than that.
This is probably how it is going to stay now as a lot of the drivers seem to be on longer runs. Button sets a 1:38.726 which is good enough for fifth.
Craig in Worcester via text:
"Button needs to win this race or his hopes of retaining the title are surely over!"
Button is out and about again after that little overheating situation. He's on the option tyres. Meanwhile, Massa takes a little excursion into the dirt. Couldn't see where it was though.
Anon via text:
"I would love to see Kubica in a Ferrari or a Red Bull. This guy is something else."
JTSimpkin on Twitter:
"Turn 16 looks dangerous even more so knowing there's a concrete wall there, can see that corner causing problems this weekend."
You beauty. Webber posts a 1:37.942 which is 0.190 quicker than Alonso's quickest. An unnamed colleague has just stuck his neck on the line by going for a Robert Kubica victory on Sunday. You heard it here first.
There's a big lump of astroturf sticking up in the air now thanks to Webber's course reconstruction. He then sets the third fastest time but is speeding up...
Sharp intakes of breath here in the office as Robert Kubica gets very wobbly coming out of the final two corners. Wow. He just manages to keep hold of it though. That's commitment. Alonso goes quickest with a 1:38.132. And now here's Webber on the option tyres... what can he do? Er... not a lot. He spins coming out of Turn 12.
And Massa splits Hamilton and Webber with a 1:38.820... but there is his team-mate yet again to beat his time. Alonso sets a 1:38.537 to go second. McLaren tell Holly Samos that they were trying out different engine modes with Button's car and that's why the exhaust overheated.
All change at the top. Vettel's time is now fifth quickest. Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:38.279, then it's Webber (1:38.279), Massa (1:39.030) and Alonso (1:39.114). More changes to come though.
Massa, Alonso, Rosberg, Schumacher and Vitaly Petrov have now gone out on the softer tyres. I wonder if Vettel's time can be beaten? Petrov is the latest driver to shake his hands in anger as a Sauber gets in his way through that final walled bit of the circuit. That section will cause quite a few problems over the weekend I think.
Ferrari on Twitter:
"Vettel is currently the quickest but he is the only one who used so far the soft tyres."
And we have our first sub 1:40 lap time. Vettel has a clear run and sets a 1:39.204. Meanwhile, here's more from BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos
on Button's car: "There are a lot of mechanics looking into that rear end with torches to find out what was overheating."
Lots of hand gestures from Vettel as he gets held up by the Lotus of Jarno Trulli and has to run wide into the muck. There's bit of action in the McLaren pit as smoke is coming out of the back of Jenson Button's car. Someone gets a fire extinguisher to put out whatever was overheating. Where's
when you need him?
Button initially moves up to fifth but then sets a 1:40.006 to go quickest. Schumacher is second after a 1:40.009. Vettel has not yet set a fast time in this session... and here he comes on the the softer 'option' tyres.
Edeniade on Twitter:
"I'm going to be late for work come the morning but I don't care, we're watching F1 history! Crossing fingers for Renault!"
Button is not happy with a Virgin Racing driver who gets in his way at the end of the lap. He then stops briefly on the track to give himself a bit of space... and off he goes on a flier.
anku_thakur on Twitter:
"I'm hoping for Alonso to win this weekend, Vettel in second and Webber coming third to make the last two races even more spicy."
Virgin Racing on Twitter:
"The stopping area in the box area seems to be improving, a bit grippier now, both drivers will have to adjust over the weekend."
That delay wasn't too long, thankfully. We are back running. Red Bull boss Christian Horner is interviewed by Holly Samos and cheekily suggests that there should be a chicane in the middle of the long straight to help his drivers. "They have done a great job here," he says. "The second and third sectors suit our car and the drivers like the circuit. There is a lot going on."
We've just seen a replay of the incident. Sakon Yamamoto's car comes out of Turn 16, bottoms out slightly and then slides and spins. With the walls around the track at that part of the circuit, there was no choice but to red flag the session.
Oopsie, there's a stationary Hispania in the middle of the track. Red flag. The session has been stopped.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
A fan shows his free ticket - the lucky thing
"Orlo, I've had an exciting lunchtime here. There are a decent amount of fans filling the main grandstand along the pit straight and I popped out to meet some of them in between practice sessions. I got chatting to a group of students from a local high school, who told me they had been given free tickets today, which seems like a good way of getting bums on seats. They also told me their favourite driver was Michael Schumacher and a few of them also wished to tell me that they loved me - which was when I decided to make my escape. The excitement continued when I had my first trip across the bridge which connects the TV compound and outer rim of the circuit to the paddock. It is finished at last. Well done to those workers on the night shift."
The times continue to fall. Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:40.148, then it's Alonso (1:40.167), Webber (1:40.254) and Rosberg (1:40.581).
From Jaymz in York via text:
"Working nights means I can follow the live text coverage but there'll be some iPlayer action when I get home at seven to see how the track looks. Hoping the McLaren boys can do the business and close down the Red Bulls, and Alonso!"
We have just seen wonderful telly shots of Michael Schumacher fighting with his Mercedes around the Yeongam circuit. His Q&A with f1.com this week was quite revealing by the way. He is into skydiving at the moment, rather him than me, and also cried when watching Slumdog Millionaire. See, he does have feelings. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos says that his team-mate Nico Rosberg doesn't like the final sector because it has "too many corners". It certainly looks pretty hairy.
Alonso returns to the top (1:41.153) and he is followed by Barrichello (1:41.201), Kubica (1:41.494) and Button (1:41.706). It seems Ferrari are turning up the heat in FP2.
... and the Ferrari driver sets a 1:41.928 but what's this? It's Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi with a 1:41.832... that's not going to stay top for long though.
It's busy, busy out there. Hamilton sets the fastest time so far with a 1:42.064 then Nico Hulkenberg pops up in second after a 1:42.172. Hang on, though, here's Alonso...
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale:
"It has been a good morning for us. We had a range of aerodynamic bits to try on the car which explains the short runs. There was more grip than expected and there was a lot of track evolution. It's in good condition and we were pleasantly surprised. We've run various configurations with the rear wing and we will do again this afternoon. We'll make a final decision tonight."
Away we go then, FP2 is up and running and it is the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari which is first out.
BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos:
"Red Bull say the circuit was pretty much as expected. There was a slight visibility issue due to the concrete walls in the last three corners. It was hard to see if cars are running slower into the pit lane."
robmccarron on Twitter:
"All this moaning about getting up early. This will be the first GP I can watch at a normal time since I moved to Seoul."
Hamilton produced a real statement of intent this morning as he begins his attempt to close the gap on championship leader Mark Webber this weekend. His title challenge has stuttered recently after retiring in Italy and Singapore and coming fifth in Japan last time out. But as you would expect, there was no sign of surrender when he spoke to the
media on Thursday.
"The goal is to win all the races this season but for the last three we will have a final big push and pull out all the stops," he said. "We were very competitive in the last race and think we had a good shot at challenging for a win. I feel fantastic after a couple of days at home and I'm very positive."
Ferrari on Twitter:
"Congratulations to the Korean fans! This one of the Fridays with the highest attendance of the season."
Not unlike the heady world of telly soaps, F1 is awash with rumour and counter rumour. One such piece of gossip concerns Felipe Massa and whether he will be driving for Ferrari next season, with rumours linking him with a move to Renault or Sauber. Anyways, the Brazilian has rejected the claims in an
interview with BBC Sport,
saying: "Every year it's the same. It doesn't change anything. It's never a problem for me. I'm still here and preparing everything for next year."
If you are joining us for the first time this morning and would like to know more about this newly-finished circuit, then worry no more. I have the answers. You can take a lap of the track on the
simulator with Mark Webber
and you can also read a
from our very own Sarah Holt.
As you're up early doors to watch FP2, you might as well get involved with this text commentary before you go to work. Tweet me on
or text me on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide) with FORMULA 1 before your message. Remember that coverage is on the Red Button, BBC Radio Five live sports extra and in the console at the top of this page from 0555 BST.
If you missed the first session from the brand spanking new Yeongam circuit earlier on then here's a little summary.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
set the fastest time, using the new version of the team's F-duct aerodynamic device which they tested in Friday practice in Japan. Renault's Robert Kubica was second quickest, with Nico Rosberg third and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel fourth. The track, as predicted, has pretty low grip level and is very dusty, although it did improve at the end of the session.
Hello gang. I knew you'd be back. You wanted to be a part of history, right? Did you manage to get some sleep or are you completely bonkers and going all the way through? Whatever you are doing, welcome to the second practice session for the Korean Grand Prix.
I'm now going to try to find a caffeine hit in order to keep me awake and I'll be back at around 0530 BST for FP2. You get some rest now and make sure you set your alarm. If you don't fancy going to bed, you can read the
first practice report.
Broom man has now been joined by a marshal with an air blower. Thank goodness for that. There's lots of white dust still getting moved off the circuit.
Anon via text:
"Great to see Lewis on a charge... fingers crossed he can keep the momentum through until Sunday and beyond. C'mon McLaren!!!"
We still have telly pictures from Korea... and I can see a marshal with a broom sweeping the exit to the pit lane. I do hope he gets some help soon. There's a lot of track to clean if he doesn't.
GiantGnomes on Twitter:
"Just loving the idea of a new track, tricky surface and a lot at stake. I just want everyone safe come Sunday evening."
Anon via text:
"Incredibly impressive from Lewis considering his lack of running."
timmyhutton on Twitter:
"Despite an early start tomorrow, happily staying up to watch f1 history! Hoping for a surprise result this week, come on Lotus!"
There we go - the first-ever practice session at Yeongam comes to a close. Hamilton sets the fastest time with Kubica (1:40.968) moving up to second right at the very end. Rosberg (1:41.152) was third with Vettel (1:41.371) fourth.
The answer to my last question is: almost. Hamilton lights up the timing screen... and he posts a 1:40.887.
Button now quickest - 1:41.940. Will we get a sub 1:40 today? Up pops Renault's Robert Kubica with a 1:41.981 to go second. Hamilton third after a 1:42.208.
Vettel is right behind Yamamoto at the end of the lap and the Red Bull driver has to back off as the Hispania man veers right across him at the final corner. That's close.
There's the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, he goes fastest with a 1:42.532. Elsewhere, we will not see the Lotus of Jarno Trulli again this session as he has a gearbox problem. Eight minutes left.
BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Korea:
"Michael Schumacher was told that he was the face of F1 to many Koreans, and that they wanted him to finish on the podium. He smiled, thanked the reporter and said: 'We need luck to score a podium but it wouldn't mean very much because I have different ambitions. Having a podium once in a while is not why we're here.'"BBC Sport's Sarah Holt adds:
"BBC presenter Jake Humphrey has just come back from filming in Mokpo this morning - the closest city to the circuit - and says when he asked the locals to name an F1 driver they all said Schumacher. The legend lives on
The Hulk is now fastest with a 1:42.678, then it's Barrichello (1:42.883), Button (1:43.096), Kobayashi (1:43.309), Webber (1:43.414) and Vettel (1:43.599). Ted Kravitz says Hispania are not too concerned about the problem Senna had earlier and are happy for team-mate Sakon Yamamoto to embark on an eight-lap run. We are getting shots of a very rueful Senna, chin resting on his hand, looking out on the track. Penny for his thoughts.
That's the first big spin. And it's the Hispania of Bruno Senna at Turn Nine, it looks like a suspension problem. Yellow flag. McLaren have removed the rear wing on Hamilton's car. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos
says that Lewis Hamilton now has on the new version of their F-duct aero device - the one that stalls the main plane - as McLaren say it is running better here.
McLaren's Jenson Button goes quickest with a 1:43.096. The Sauber of Nick Heidfeld is third after a 1:44.139. Kravitz says there has been a brake issue with the front right wheel on Mark Webber's Red Bull. "That have taken it apart and are putting back together," says Kravitz. "It is nothing serious looking but it has delayed him." The only driver yet to set a time is Lewis Hamilton.
And there's Vettel. The Red Bull driver, who won last time out in Japan, sets the fastest time so far of 1:43.599. By the way, if you haven't seen it, it is well worth looking at a
between the German and Fernando Alonso during a TV interview yesterday.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Korea:
"A new track can throw up unexpected challenges and running on a top layer of asphalt that has been laid just two weeks ago could throw up even more. The idea of the track cracking up under pressure has been ruled out but there are serious concerns about the level of grip. Here's Renault's Robert Kubica: 'We are concerned about the slippery conditions. It will be even more slippery than we think and track evolution will be difficult to predict.' Lotus driver Jarno Trulli, a veteran of more than 200 races, says he has two worries about the track. 'The first corner from the start is very tight,' Trulli says. 'The pit entry is a question mark because the following drivers will need to slow down as much as a driver coming into the pits and it is very hard to show that you are coming in.'"
That pit lane entrance really does look tricky, Kobayashi runs wide and throws up even more dirt. Not that they need any more dust down there. BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz:
"The men on the front jack are standing a couple of metres from the end of the pit box. Some of the drivers have slid right into the front jack. It is certainly going to be a factor and we might see some pretty hairy pit stops unless they get the hoses and the brooms out."
DavidWanna on Twitter:
"Looks like the track will be a great "leveller" - but hope the experience of Webber clinches it for him."
There are lots of rumours swilling around about the driver line-up at Williams for 2011. The chat is that the team are losing three sponsors next season and may have a pay driver - Force India's Adrian Sutil and GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado are the names mentioned - to replace Nico Hulkenberg. Anyway, The Hulk posts the fastest time of 1:44.509, Webber second, and Rubens Barrichello is third (1:45.350).
Massa is on the team radio, we didn't catch what he said apart from the word 'asphalt'. Not happy with the track, maybe? Race engineer Rob Smedley tells him just to get some more laps in. Webber is fastest with a 1:44.837, then it's the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg (1:45.910), Schumacher (1:46.679) and the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi (1:46.830).
Dave, Wigan via text:
"I cannot believe none of you guys haven't been racing this new track on the latest F1 computer game! I have done over 40 laps and got my time down to a 1.38.880. Will they catch me?"Wonderful research Dave. That's what I call commitment.
Whoops, Felipe Massa runs ride just before the final 'street circuit' section of the track and then has a moment after running over the rumble strips coming into Turn One. Tricky times.
BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie:
"I sat down with Fernando Alonso and his race engineer Andrea Stella in Korea to talk about their relationship and what makes a strong team. Since the beginning of the year, Alonso has managed perfectly to get Ferrari working with him and supporting him through and through. It is the first time the Spaniard has worked so closely with Italians and he thinks the similarity in humour and taste means they have a lot in common. Alonso also talked about how he is always on e-mail or the phone to the Ferrari factory and speaks to the team many times between races, if he cannot go to Maranello. After our chat, Alonso and Stella cycled off to have a final check of the track together to plot the strategy for this weekend."
keshav201090 on Twitter:
"Morning Mark! Following the live text from lecture theatre! Hoping for a Mark Webber victory on this new track!"Hi keshav201090, either you are not in my time zone or they are working you very hard at uni nowadays.
There he is, championship leader Mark Webber posts a 1:49.308 on his first timed lap. Meanwhile, on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, chat has just touched on whether the Australian could slot in as Fernando Alonso's team-mate at Ferrari. That could be a lively combination.
The times are a-falling. Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi sets a 1:52.318 but then Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher trumps it with a 1:50.140. Hispania Racing's Sakon Yamamoto, who went a little wide earlier on, is third quickest with a 1:58.718.
Ferrari on Twitter:
"Again Felipe reported that the track is very very slippery with no grip at all... "
No other times as yet, Alguersuari is still the only man on the board. Kravitz reports that Lewis Hamilton is now running the old specification front wing on his McLaren while for comparison, team-mate Jenson Button has the new spec one on. He adds Ferrari have taken the F-duct aero device off Felipe Massa's car and are still undecided as to whether to use it this weekend or not.
Mercedes GP chief strategist James Vowles:
"We did various simulations before we came here. We have to treat the track as a living entity. Every time the drivers go out the track will feel different. The pit lane is very dirty and we are a little bit concerned. In eight years of doing this, it is the worst I have seen."
And the first time we have is a 2:16.178... it's been set by Alguersuari. BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz:
"Red Bull have got a new hole in the end of the floor that feeds the diffuser. They have spent a lot of time putting hi-vis paint on this morning to try that out and other stuff they have."
Ferrari on Twitter:
"Both drivers are back in the garage. As expected, they reported that the grip level is very low."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Korea:
"All the drivers I spoke to here are looking forward to getting their teeth into a new circuit. F1 track architect Hermann Tilke says he designed Korea's 3.5-mile circuit with twin challenges in mind - long straights in the first section, a combination of technical medium and high-speed corners in the second and a blend of both in the final third. Some of the drivers have described it as a neutral circuit, favouring neither of the main protagonists Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari. But Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, winner of the last race in Japan, ominously says: 'Sector one doesn't look like our home ground but I think sector two and three should give us a possibility to catch up.'"
fusenUK on Twitter:
"These cars seem to be going around so gingerly, wonder how many yellow flags will be out this weekend."
Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari is not comfortable out there. "The track is very, very dirty. Very slippery," he says over the radio. The cars are creeping around the circuit at the moment.
elniallo on Twitter:
"Can't wait, at work about 200 miles from the track, will be there on Sunday!!!"
Green light. We are off. The first car out on the track is... the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen. History made. BBC F1 commentator David Croft notes that the tyres are picking up a lot of dust early doors.
If you want some more info on the Yeongam circuit, take a look at the
latest blog from our intrepid reporter Sarah Holt.
I'm loving the mention of Korea's 'Love Hotels'. Don't tell the wife. Anyway, in case you were wondering about the track layout, with its mixture of long straights and sweeping corners have a
drive through of a lap
courtesy of Red Bull's Mark Webber.
Here's your line up for the rest of the day. First practice gets going at 0200 BST for 90 minutes with the second session starting at 0600 BST. There's coverage on the Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and at the top of this page from 0155 BST. For the rest of you lucky people, there's me on this text commentary thingy. Sorry about that.
RyanBarmanroy on Twitter:
"Edinburgh University Library at ridiculous AM. We're counting on Lewis to make this a worth while night."
Tiirshak on Twitter:
"From driving Korea in the new F1 game, it looks like a decent track, but worried about it's state. Any update on the weather?"Morning. It looks pretty sunny there at the moment but apparently there could be a bit of rain on Sunday morning, with the possibility of it affecting the race. Have a look at BBC weatherman
Ian Fergusson's blog
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"The idea for a grand prix in Korea was first floated in 1996 and now here we are after plenty of will-it-won't-it fretting over whether it would actually happen. The circuit passed muster only 10 days ago and we sit here at BBC HQ this morning surrounded by drilling, clanking and the chug of diggers as construction work continues to try to get it finished in time for race day on Sunday. Most of the drivers seem pretty nonplussed about what's going on around them. Veteran Williams driver Rubens Barrichello summed it up with his first impression of Korea: 'I tell you I like it! I don't have a problem.'"
Now this is where you join in. I will need all of your messages tonight to keep me company through the wee small hours. And yes, I can hear all of those violins. You know the drill by now - who is going to struggle/shine this weekend, where you are currently watching the action, what will happen in the title battle and what you think of the shock news that
Beverley Callard is leaving Corrie.
Actually maybe not that last one. You can use
or text on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide) with FORMULA 1 before your message. Ace.
A very good morning to you, wherever you are on this glorious planet of ours and whether you are just getting up, just getting in or staying on through - you crazy fool. I'm certainly sensing the hand of history upon my shoulders this very night as we prepare for the first meaningful action at the Yeongam circuit in Korea. This is a venue that was only given the
green light by F1 inspectors
10 days ago and has not yet been driven by any of the current drivers on the grid. The top layer of asphalt was only laid two weeks ago and it is also expected that the surface will be pretty greasy. Tell you what, this is going to be a lot
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the first man who walked on the moon for completely butchering his famous quote. I'm positive Neil Armstrong is reading this somewhere. I'm fairly sure he wouldn't mind me tweaking it, though, as Formula 1 enters the great unknown. Welcome, for the very first time, to our coverage of the Korean Grand Prix.
One small drive for man, one giant leap for F1.