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Page last updated at 06:39 GMT, Saturday, 23 October 2010 07:39 UK

Korean GP qualifying as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

0734: Time to go. Thank you for your company and messages over the last two nights, very much appreciated. Keep across the BBC Sport website today for all the fall-out from qualifying, while you can see it all again on BBC One at 1300 BST. You'll be pleased to hear that you will not be reading my nonsense for a third day running as the lovely Chris Whyatt is your host for the race from around 0530 BST tomorrow. Don't miss out. I'll see you soon, take care.

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Lynchie from Melbourne, Australia via text: "Good effort from Webber. If he can just win this weekend the title will be his for the taking. Everyone in Oz is behind you mate!"

RetroGirl on Twitter: "Red Bull have had the fastest cars all year and should've nailed it by now. Respect to McLaren & Ferrari for still being in it!"

0725: The telly boys are mulling over the Barrichello/Schumacher incident during Q2, they believe the block from the Mercedes driver could be punished with a grid penalty. Schumacher sees Williams driver Barrichello in the press zone and comes over to have a chat. Afterwards, Rubens doesn't seem too impressed. "I don't want it to become personal," says the Brazilian. "We have had problems in the past and still having problems like in Hungary. I am a very cool guy and I have respect for the slowest and the quickest ones. We all make mistakes. He just came to apologise that the team did not tell him but he had mirrors. I am a little bit sad."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (3rd on the grid): "It was a nice qualifying for us. We found the pace straight away with the prime tyres and the car was very very quick on the soft. We knew we had a little possibility [to be on pole] but not too much because Red Bull are normally quicker than us in Q3. P3 is our maximum potential today which in a way is good news because qualifying is not our strong point so we are in good shape for the race. We must take care for the weather and we must make sure we finish the race."

Red Bull's Mark Webber (2nd on the grid): "I wasn't that happy on my first timed laps so it was more stable and comfortable for me to do two timed laps. It would have been nice to get pole but it's a good place to start the race. Fernando will be pretty solid off the line, for sure. But that's not going to make or break the world championship."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel (pole position): "It was very close at the end. I was happy with the car in the first run but couldn't put the lap time in especially in the first sector. In the second run I was happier there. In the last run I gave a little bit too much margin and lost in the middle section and I thought maybe it was not enough so I speeded up in the final sector and it was enough for pole. It's good after a difficult day yesterday."

mattlandsman on Twitter: "I'm surprised at the McLaren performance today. Expected better, but those long straights may play into their favour."

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh: "I think it's disappointing. The track temperature was quite cold and that worked against us. It was difficult to get tyres up to temperature and the length of the track here meant you had to push hard to get two laps in. But we have got a fast race car and we are going to give it our best shot."

Fahad in Pakistan via text: "Can't believe these Red Bull guys. Can't believe them."
I reckon that's what the other teams will be saying too!

Criztian on Twitter: "This feels like the end of McLaren's championship run. Unless Vettel and Webber take each other out again..."

McLaren's Jenson Button (7th on the grid): "The car was good yesterday and this morning I felt very happy with the car but this afternoon I just didn't get the tyre temperature. But the good news is I'm on the clean side and there are two long straights so it's going to be a fun start."

0709: Pictures often say a thousand words and Alonso looks absolutely gutted as he sits on the scales, looking out into the middle distance. Meanwhile, there will be a big de-brief in the McLaren garage. "A bit of head-scratching will be going on in a minute," says Button. He really needs something to happen here doesn't he. He's had just one podium in the last seven races and is 31 points behind Webber in the title race.

0706: Hamilton was fourth fastest, Rosberg fifth, Massa sixth with Button in sixth. Coulthard, at the McLaren factory, speaks to operations director Simon Roberts who admits it was a disappointing qualifying. "We thought one of the cars would be on the front row," he says.

0704: And they've done it yet again. Unbelievable. Vettel's 1:35.585 puts him on pole... while Webber joins him on the front row with a 1:35.659. "An incredible performance," says BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan.


0700: Here's Alonso... and he improves to a 1:35.766. Is that enough? Now Hamilton... no cigar. A 1:36.062 puts him fourth. Now it's Vettel... while Webber has a second flier...

0658: Webber now on a flier. Pressure on. He needs something here. He's down in the first sector, can he make it up? He sets a 1:35.973... good enough for second.

0655: Webber sets a 1:36.917 but it is not fastest for long. Alonso posts a 1:35.927... with Vettel second on 1:36.000. Hamilton third (1:36.167). On his in-lap, Hamilton goes over the grass at the last corner but he keeps hold of the car and manages to dive into the pit-lane without hitting the wall. Close. Button in sixth.

0652: Webber is first out. Here's his flying lap, and he starts it by going a little wide at Turn One. BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz says there is a little row between Williams and Mercedes - and those old friends Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. "Rubens has been on the team radio and complaining about Michael and that he was held up for no reason," says Kravitz. "He was asking race director Charlie Whiting to take a look at it."

0650: Q3. 10 minutes. 10 drivers. One pole. This could get lively. Don't go anywhere.

BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan: "Pole is anyone's to grab and it will take someone strong to do that. I am sticking with Lewis Hamilton, there is no better fighter in a situation like this than him."

Ferrari on Twitter: "Now in Q3 Felipe has only one set of new soft tyres while Fernando has two available."

0643: Webber now fastest, followed by Vettel... and there's Massa in third. Red Bull putting their cards on the table. Nico Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Heidfeld, Sutil, Petrov, Alguersuari and Buemi drop out. The Hulk was undone by a little excursion over the dirt on his last flier. David Coulthard, at McLaren's mission control, says the track temperature has dropped in that session which "is affecting Jenson more than Lewis and it will be interesting to see if he can overcome that".

0640: The leading boys are all on the options now. Alonso goes fastest with a 1:36.287. Petrov runs over the kerb, turns on it and then, unsurprisingly, spins. "You can tell it's Petrov because Kubica wouldn't do that," says BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard.

0638: Heidfeld is out and about as the cars all pile out for their flying laps. They could to get two in.

0635: Hamilton is currently fifth (1:36.747) with Button down in ninth (1:37.486). He's struggling at the moment. There's a bit of a pause now as we prepare for the final push. Brundle says he believes the Red Bulls were on the harder 'primes in that little stint.

0633: Massa is on the softer 'option' tyres and goes quickest with a 1:36.672. Alonso is on the harder compound and he's second fastest. But here are the Red Bulls though, Vettel with a 1:36.457 and Webber (1:36.581). Brundle notes that only Vettel, Webber and Robert Kubica have made Q3 at every race this season.

Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was a waste of time. I don't know why we went out so early just to clean up the track for everybody else. It was certainly not my plan to go out first but it doesn't matter; the race is tomorrow and we have to be ready for that."

Vitantonio Liuzzi on BBC Radio 5 live: "Basically we are suffering with (tyre) graining, and I picked up a puncture in practice so didn't get as much running. In my third lap the car was understeering massively so it might be a big problem for the race but it will make things exciting that's for sure."

Mike Blair, NY, USA via text: "McLaren looking good but have we seen the true Red Bull pace yet? Kubica looking good to be a factor. Go LEWIS!"

strictlyMUFC on Twitter: "Supposed to be revising but too nervous for the McLarens! Really hope Lewis & Jenson do well this weekend!"

0627: The bottom seven in Q1 looked like this: Liuzzi, Trulli, Timo Glock, Kovalainen, Lucas di Grassi, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna. Green light and we are off for 15 minutes of Q2. Are there going to be any big-name drop-outs in this session?

0622: Oh dear. More pressure on Liuzzi as he fails to improve and he is out of Q1. That's the fourth time this season he has failed to make Q2. Button is 10th and complains to his team: "I am really struggling to get the tyre working, to get any temperature in them at all."

0620: The flag falls. Adrian Sutil is under pressure and has to do something here to save himself... and he does it with a 1:38.572. That's only good enough for 15th, though. So here's Liuzzi... he needs this to make Q2.

0617: The usual suspects are in the drop zone as is Vitantonio Liuzzi, whose future at Force India is the subject of much speculation. Sauber's Nick Heidfeld gets out of trouble with a 1:38.779.

0615: Five minutes to go. Button is initially in 14th and he can only move up to 10th after a 1:38.631. "The back end of the car does not look as settled as Lewis Hamilton's," says Martin Brundle. "We know that Jenson Button does not like any surprises with the rear grip of his car."

0612: Vettel moves up to second - a 1:37.487, but Hamilton is flying again and a 1:37.113 puts him back to the top again. "That McLaren is beautifully balanced," adds Brundle. Vettel then improves to a 1:37.123.

0610: And here's Hamilton again. He posts a 1:37.517. "There's no doubt about it, the McLarens are fast," says Martin Brundle. So is Alonso though and he sets a 1:37.395. Jenson Button and Robert Kubica have yet to put a time on the board.

0607: Hamilton is on the harder 'prime' tyre and goes fastest but Nico Hulkenberg reminds Williams what he is all about with a 1:38.561. Apparently he had an oil pressure problem this morning. The prediction for the pole time is the 1:36 mark.

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "We have seen drivers making a lot of mistakes and that is going to be critical. If you go off there is a lot of dust and obviously that lap is trashed and probably the next one too. They really have to push the limit because they are so close but one tiny error and they are going to be in the dust."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "McLaren and Ferrari are both very strong and it will be a really fascinating session. It is very tight between the title protagonists. The key will be a clean lap, a traffic-free run. The first sector is over 50 seconds and hopefully we will not lose a lot of time there."

0600: And we are off. Remember that Q1 lasts for 20 minutes, with the slowest seven drivers dropping out. Eddie Jordan is going for a Lewis Hamilton pole by the way.

0559:BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz asks Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali if he is "afraid of the reaction from the public" if Fernando Alonso wins the world title by less than the seven points he gained by team-mate Felipe Massa handing him victory in Germany. "Not at all," says Domenicali.

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From George in Keighley via text: "Why am I up at this time? Too excited to sleep ahead of FC Halifax's FA Cup tie today, and I want to see Kubica take pole!"

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Five mins to go before qualifying, should be a really interesting session throughout the grid. Overcast but dry."

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Renault team principal Eric Boullier has denied reports that Malaysian car company Proton, which owns Lotus Cars, could buy the outfit: 'The team is not for sale. This is very clear. We have a very promising plan, Renault will be with us for many years and we have all the combination to do very well.' The Proton rumours grew out of the protracted legal dispute between Lotus F1 and Lotus Cars over the rights to use the name in F1 (see Jonathan Legard below)."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea: "Orlo, I've been trying to get to the bottom of why Sebastian Vettel only completed nine laps for Red Bull during final practice and was slumped down in 16th in the timesheets. He had a bit of an off when he went out on the softer tyres but the team told me there is nothing to worry about. We have to take their word for it but it could be a bit of concern for Vettel, who said he had limited time to understand the tyres after he picked up a puncture early on in Friday's second practice. Having said that, Vettel has captured eights poles this season so I'd say he probably doesn't have the worry beads out at Red Bull HQ."

0551: If radio is more your thing, remember you can catch qualifying on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 0555 BST. Just nine minutes to go now. Tell you what, this could be a crackerjack qualifying session.

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn on BBC One: "We like the circuit a lot. It is very challenging and there is lots of variety. I think we are going to see lots of overtaking tomorrow. Before we came here we did not really know the grip levels. It deteriorates very quickly. If it gets a bit of dust on it then because the surface is so smooth, you lose a lot of grip. If it rains tomorrow it will be interesting."

0541: More telly gold on BBC One as Jenson Button takes Martin Brundle for a tour of the Yeongam circuit. After talking through Turn One, Jenson, Brundle and the rest of the BBC team then hitch a ride on a tour bus packed with enthusiastic locals to travel down the long straight after Turn Two. Brilliant.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea: "I have to tell you that there are some concerns over tyre performance on Korea's new circuit. The asphalt, which has been very dusty, was washed last night which means any rubber that went down during Friday practice was practically scrubbed off. Most of the teams are concerned about the performance of the soft tyres which are graining. Bridgestone spokesman Andy Stobart says there is some uncertainty over how long the soft tyres will last during the race - and there are worries that it could be a worse-case scenario as it was in Canada, when the tyres lasted for less than 10 laps. So the main protagonists' strategists will have to work out whether using the softs to set a hot lap in the final part of qualifying - as they normally do - could be a risk here."

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Yeongam: "One of the big stories bubbling away behind the scenes in F1 at the moment is a power struggle surrounding the Lotus team. Boss Tony Fernandes has bought the rights to use the historic Team Lotus name next year, but the Lotus car company - which is a separate entity, also owned by Malaysians - is objecting to this, for reasons which remain unclear. I understand that the issue has become very involved at a high level in Malaysian business and political circles, and that the next few days will be critical in deciding the outcome. Meanwhile, Lotus F1's agreement to use Renault engines next year will not be affected, and Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen are expected to remain as drivers."

0534: So will anyone topple the Red Bulls in qualifying at 0600 BST? They have locked out the front row in seven races this season - including the last race in Japan, with Vettel claiming pole eight times.

Former world champion Alan Jones on compatriot Mark Webber: "He has done the hard yards, he has not fallen into one of the top teams and he is probably better equipped to handle the pressure. I hope Mark wins the title. It will be a boost for F1 within Australia. There are people in Australia following F1 that would not normally do so because he is leading the championship."

CLAPBRICKFILMS on Twitter: "For the pit entry, should the FIA have a 'modified blue flag' for tomorrow to help drivers?"

BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard on McLaren's drivers needing victories if they to win the championship: "That is not lost on the engineers back here in Woking. They are reasonably satisfied with the aero running and tests in Friday practice. They looked good in the Saturday warm-up and they feel they are very much in this championship."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea: "Hello again. Just popped over to see Team Robert Kubica at lunchtime and they believe they have plenty of reasons to be optimistic in qualifying. With the F-duct aerodynamic device working efficiently, Korea's new circuit is suiting the Renault better than they expected and in final practice Kubica set the fastest time seen so far on Korea's new circuit. Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli also says as soon as he laid eyes on the track, which blends long straights in the first sector into a combination of quick corners, he knew it would suit his man. He reckons Kubica will relish the heavy braking as well as tight sections enclosed with concrete walls. Morelli added he immediately sent Kubica a video link to Karun Chandhok's demonstration laps here for Red Bull in September with a message predicting he could even get pole. How nice is he?"

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Anon via text: "I would guess this rounds off my night shift nicely, I think it'll be a McLaren one-two this weekend, however, Kubica could help their title hopes."

0520: There's a wonderful sequence on the telly of Coulthard at the McLaren Technology Centre. Absolutely incredible. It's a cross between an operating theatre and something out of a James Bond film. Keep an eye on the BBC Sport website later today to watch it again. Back at the track, we can now see that EJ is wearing plum trousers. Goodness.

shepherdsami on Twitter: "Hoping for a miracle from Jenson. If he can't pull it, then I'll support Mark - he paid his dues, may not get another chance."

0515: Bad times in the office. It has just been revealed that my colleague's Kubica bet totals £4 for qualifying and the race. No fried breakfast for me then if it comes in.

0512: BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle is out and about on the track, right at that controversial pit-lane entrance. He says he is pretty surprised they didn't fix the problem overnight but presumes they will make alterations for next year. He also highlights the resin that is on the surface of the newly-laid track before he has to get out of the way to avoid one of the sweeping trucks that are mopping up the dirt.

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard: "Whatever happens to Renault's Russian driver Vitaly Petrov in qualifying at 0600 BST he will drop five places on the grid for his part in an accident at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix. Petrov has described this circuit as tricky. It's always interesting to hear the language used by drivers. Lewis Hamilton, for example, always talks about challenges, whereas Petrov has regularly found tracks new to him 'tricky', and more often than not, struggles. 'It's very narrow, particularly at turns four and five, and there are tricky corners in sector two. It's very slippery so not an easy track, but easy to make mistakes!'"

0506: And there's Coulthard at the McLaren Technology Centre. No F1 white jeans for him, maybe McLaren don't allow them in. Coulthard quips that if he was in Korea, he might have been able to sort out the height differential between Eddie Jordan and Jake Humphreys. As a shorty myself, that's harsh. By the way, EJ has white flowery number on. Very 70s.

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Michael, Aberdeen via text: "Robert Kubica on pole seems like a possible outcome. In terms of driver skill he's the best, but the Red Bull's might have the edge... again."

0500: And we are go for our telly coverage. It's also being streamed at the top of this page. The show begins with Jake Humphrey asking bemused locals about who is going to win the race on Sunday. Alonso seems favourite with them. Apparently the bookies have Vettel favourite for pole, Webber second with Hamilton third. And my colleague has just put his money where he mouth is and placed a bet on Kubica for pole. If it comes off, the teas - if not a fried breakfast - is on him.

edramx on Twitter: "My pick is Vettel on pole and Webber for race."

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Yeongam: "A number of changes have been made to the track in the interests of safety following complaints by the drivers after Friday practice. Their biggest worry was over the pit-lane entry - they were concerned that, because it is on the exit of a blind corner, drivers coming into the pits could easily be hit from behind by those still racing. The drivers have now been told they can ignore the white line on the track defining the entry and cut in from the racing line to avoid this problem. A dangerously protruding wall at Turn 16 has been moved back, kerbs have been filled in there and at Turn 18 and drivers can also ignore the white line on the pit exit to avoid getting dust on their tyres."

0448: There were some interesting quotes that came out of Friday qualifying. Hamilton, who like McLaren team-mate Jenson Button is running with the new version of the team's 'F-duct' aerodynamic innovation which was tested in Friday practice in Japan, said he believes they are as competitive as the Red Bulls while his old friend Fernando Alonso said the 2008 champion is one of the favourites for race. Read more here. Anyway, more to come on the overnight changes to the track in a minute...

fusenUK on Twitter: "If Vettel's practice times are anything to go by then I don't think he'll get pole. Either Webber or Hamilton. Hoping Lewis."
One of my colleagues in the office has just gone for Kubica - pole and race win. Crazy scenes. Maybe that prediction has come from lack of sleep.

0441: I knew you would be back. In case you are joining us for the first time today, qualifying gets going at 0600 BST with the BBC One coverage starting at 0500 BST. It will be well worth tuning in and not just to see Eddie Jordan's shirt. They are running a piece with David Coulthard who is at the McLaren factory in Woking to look at the link between the team working at the track and the team working at the track. Should be good.

0439: Hello again. Still with me?

0419: So where's your money now then? That was a pretty frantic end to third practice. Can Kubica cause a shock by grabbing pole? When I woke up this morning/night, I had Vettel in my mind for pole - so I suppose I should stick with him really. I'm going to grab a very quick break but I'll be back soon for qualifying. Don't fall asleep on me now.

Force India on Twitter: "Adrian [Sutil] reports the changes to turn 16 have made the track less bumpy, but the kerbs are really slippery. You can't touch them at all."

McLaren test driver Gary Paffett: "The pace of the McLaren is very good again. They were competitive during the session and I would say the team will be pretty happy. It is pretty close at the top which is what you would expect."

Virgin Racing on Twitter: "Still a couple of tenths to find for Timo [Glock] but an encouraging performance, looking good for quali. Lucas [di Grassi] has a bit more work to do on setup."

0405: We have just seen a replay of the Alonso/Rosberg incident right at the end of the practice and I can now see why Alonso went berserk. The Spaniard really was blocked by the Mercedes driver at Turn 15. "I nearly crashed with Rosberg. He was completely stopped," Alonso tells his team over the radio. McLaren test driver Gary Paffett calls it "one of the worst blocking incidents I have seen for a long time". "I will be surprised if he gets away with that," he adds.

Chequered flag
0401: It's all over. Kubica tops the times with a 1:37.354, ahead of Hamilton (1:37.402) who was just 0.048 seconds behind. Alonso was third (1:37.426), Webber fourth (1:37.441) and Rosberg fifth (1:37.629). The top four drivers are separated by just 0.087 seconds. Tasty. Very tasty.

0358: Well this is an interesting end to the session. Hamilton goes wide again after getting past Michael Schumacher, then Alonso expresses his anger with plenty of hand gestures after being held up - maybe by Nico Rosberg - while Sebastian Vettel gets a bit lairy and is all over the grass. Crikey, qualifying is going to be interesting.

0355: BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz says Alonso is back out on the track after a quick change to his rear change. It looks like The Hulk's session is over. "He coasted into the pit-lane with his engine cut," says Kravitz. "They fired up the engine and it seemed to be OK but the engine cover is still off and there's a few glum faces."

0351: Hispania's Bruno Senna is complaining of oversteer. "It is very easy to lose the rear end. The rear end is very weak," he says. Mercedes Nico Rosberg, him of the yellow marigold driving gloves, is second quickest after a 1:38.566. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, is currently 10th fastest. Nine minutes to go.

Renault technical director James Allison: "Friday was all right. We are doing OK but we will only really know where we are this afternoon. The underlying car behaviour was quite good. We showed some potential in Japan and we are looking reasonably good here. We have to make sure we bring it home and get some points."

0344: More changes at the top. It's Hamilton (1:38.540), Renault's Robert Kubica (1:38.766), Webber (1:38.777) and Button (1:38.939).

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea: "Championship leader Mark Webber has had a double boost ahead of third practice in Korea. First of all the Australian, who has a 14-point lead at the top of the standings, has opted to use a fresh engine for the rest of the weekend. That means he is also now on the last one of his eight-engine quota, as are McLaren rivals Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and his team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took his last engine a while ago after being hit by problems earlier in the campaign but he reckons he's not worried it despite the risk of a 10-place penalty for taking a ninth. AND the second boon for Webber is that the last Australian to win the world title - Alan Jones in 1980 - joins the stewards' panel in Korea. That's got to help hasn't it?"

0338: Hamilton goes a little wide at Turn 11, I think, and throws up a lot of dirt but still sets the quickest time of 1:39.705. He even had the Hispania of Bruno Senna in front of him right at the very end as well. Then Alonso sets a 1:39.217. It's like a qualifying session this. Red Bull's Mark Webber is now second after a 1:39.589, more on the Aussie from our very own Sarah Holt in a mo.

0336: And the big boys come out to play. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso sets a 1:40.795... but here's Button to beat it with a 1:40.794... then Alonso takes the fastest time back with a 1:39.942. Anything you can do...

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Alguersuari's tyres did look a right mess. I'm assuming they were new tyres and they looked sticky in every plane and that's the hard tyres after around eight laps. Certainly among the top teams will try to do this race on one stop but for some of the other teams that tend to eat their tyres, two stops are a possibility."

0329: Ted Kravitz says the track is as dusty as it was on Friday, which is interesting. Buemi improves to a 1:41.349 then it's the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg (1:41.449) and the Force India of Vitantonio Liuzzi (1:42.071). Hamilton backs off at the end of his out lap to give himself more space, and he's off for on a flier.

0323: Force India's Adrian Sutil slides across the grass after going a little wide while Buemi sets a 1:42.980 to record the fastest time for now. Alguersuari, who is complaining of oversteer, is second.

0319: Yay, we have a time. Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari sets a 1:45.671 with team-mate Sebastien Buemi posting a 1:46.410.

SmokeWeasel on Twitter: "Setting my body clock for a weekend of night shift, glad to have something interesting to keep me awake."
Good luck, the clock setting is not pleasant is it?

0310:BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz has been working hard along the pit-lane sniffing out a few stories and he has dug out something on Karun Chandhok, who has not raced for Hispania since the British Grand Prix in July. Kravitz says: "He does have some sponsorship from India and he could be heading to Lotus, initially as a reserve driver with the potential of a race drive in 2012."

0305: All of the drivers have completed their installation laps. No times on the board as yet though. There's been a few modifications to the track by the way. There are new kerbs at Turns 16 and 18. While Gary Paffett reveals there was a lot of discussion last night in the drivers' briefing about that controversial pit-lane entry. Paffett says one driver suggested the driver coming into the pit-lane should raise his hand to indicate his intention. Paffett didn't reveal who though. He says: "From the first time I drove the track on the simulator I noticed it was going to be a sensitive point. In a flat corner, the pit-lane entry is on the right which means you have to lift on the racing line. It's quite difficult to know what to do."

McLaren test driver Gary Paffett: "It was fairly smooth running yesterday. It was very dusty when we turned up. Halfway through the drivers said the grip level was very good and by the end the grip level was possibly the highest we have had all year."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "We had an interrupted day with Sebastian on Friday. He had a puncture, so loses those tyres, which is why he had to run early (on the option tyres). But both drivers enjoyed the track and we're ready to go today. Hopefully we can have both our cars competitive and right up there."

0300: Green light. We are up and running. And it's the Lotus of Jarno Trulli which leads out the train of cars.

Scarecrows at the Yeongam circuit
Worzel Gummidge they are not
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea: "Hello again. We were welcomed by some weird and wonderful locals at the entrance of the Yeongam circuit which - yes, you've guessed it - is still being finishing ahead of Sunday's inaugural grand prix. And they are scary scarecrows, aren't they? It has been a sedate morning in the wide and spacious Korean paddock but now we are being treated to what sounds like South Korean garage rock, which really is waking us all up ahead of third practice. The teams still have a lot to learn in this session because the circuit is constantly evolving, with none more eager than McLaren and Ferrari to find out if they have really closed the gap on Red Bull."

scouser_in_ROK on Twitter: "Track layout is really exciting, reminds me a lot of Canada! Wish I had made plans to come down from Seoul now! Lewis to win!"

0249: The plan for today then. An hour of third and final practice gets going at 0300 BST, with coverage on the Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and in the console at the top of this page from 0255 BST. Qualifying begins at 0600 BST, with Jake Humphrey and the boys on your BBC One telly screens from 0500 BST.

0245: So what did you make of it all? Did you like the track lay-out? What's going to happen today? Are Red Bull going to boss qualifying again, or are they going to let someone else have a turn? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter or text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FORMULA 1 before your message.

0241: So it was a pretty eventful day at the Yeongam track on Friday. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first qualifying, with Red Bull's championship leader Mark Webber setting the pace in FP2. The track, with its three different sections, seems to be levelling out the teams. I don't know about you but I really liked it. However, some of the drivers aren't happy - claiming that the pit-lane entry is dangerous. Lotus driver Jarno Trulli said afterwards: "It's very dangerous. It is a big issue."

Force India on Twitter: "Little cooler today and overcast but no rain for today scheduled - later in the night maybe."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Morning from the Korea paddock, more overcast this morning with light rain forecast for overnight before the race."

0235: Howdy. And a very good morning to you. How are you feeling? Did you manage to get any sleep? I inadvertently went for a two-sleep strategy and I'm not feeling too bad in truth. I probably feel a bit better than some of the tired and emotional people I saw on the way in. London on a Friday night. Can't beat it.

0230: The smell of fresh paint and new asphalt, workmen busily completing construction and dust. No, it wasn't a normal day at the BBC, it was the first ever day of practice at the Korean Grand Prix. Now it all gets serious. Ready for a bit of qualifying from Yeongam? Welcome aboard.

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Live Leaderboard


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

see also
Drivers criticise new Korea track
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Webber heads rivals in practice
22 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso tips Hamilton as favourite
22 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Korean GP practice as it happened
22 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Korean GP practice photos
22 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
I am staying at Ferrari - Massa
22 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton 'excited' by title race
21 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren pair 'must beat Webber'
20 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Massa will help Alonso title push
19 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Webber eyes title boost in Korea
16 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton retains hope over title
13 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull to treat drivers equally
13 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Korean Grand Prix given go-ahead
12 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull rivals 'can aid McLaren'
11 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Title a tough task now - Hamilton
10 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel wins as McLaren slip back
10 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
I must win to take title - Webber
10 Oct 10 |  Formula 1

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