Grand Prix 2012 Korean Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The 2012 season is down to the final quarter with just five races remaining.

McLaren seem to have run out of steam and barring an incredible run of results, coupled with some misfortune for the other front runners, it looks like they won't be taking any silverware home with them this year. Again.

Alonso has enjoyed an incredible stint at the front for the previous eight races since the European GP.
What's more incredible is that includes two non-scoring races, thanks mainly to his rivals messing up, all too frequently.

That looks to be coming to an end though as Red Bull seem to have rediscovered their form from last year and barring mistakes, Vettel should pass him at Korea to take the lead in the WDC.
In fact, it's hard to see past Vettel and Red Bull for both championships now, which would make it three in a row for both.

Which means it's all about the runner up places now.
Second place could go to any one of five different drivers: Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Webber, and Button.

A decent result for Massa finally saw him break clear of the bottom group of points scorers; jumping Pérez into ninth place, who ironically managed to take himself out trying to overtake the driver he's replacing at McLaren next year.
As Brundle would say, "he ran out of talent".

Can Kobayashi repeat his podium and improve his prospects for next year?

Can Grosjean get past the first corner without hitting anyone?

All these questions and more will be answered in a little under six days.

Last year's podium consisted of Vettel, Hamilton and Webber and it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see that repeated this year.

Circuit details and stat's here:
Ferrari claims they are bringing big upgrades to each round from here on out, so they better work if they don't want to see Red Bull on top again. Everyone is talking about the impressive turnaround in performance from the F2012 from the beginning of the year until now, but the Red Bull is equally impressive. They looked pretty lost at the beginning of the season and are now the top team. (I won't say top car b/c I think the McLaren is still better, but that can change with another impressive result this weekend)
McLaren have set up issues and the alleged breakdown in relationship between Lewis and Jenson is not going to help. Very bizarre how they can go from pole position to proppin up rear of top ten in two weeks. Redbull go very well here and I'd imagine they'll carry the momentum from Japan. Hamilton got pole last year but in the end he couldn't keep up with Vettel.
How do you know that there has been a breakdown in relations? I haven't seen any mention of it apart from here. But then I live a sheltered life.
Yeongam is yet another circuit that Vettel has previously been successful on (its a lot like Abu Dhabi), but unlike Suzuka both Hamilton and Alonso have a better record here. Hamilton's pole last year, lets not forget, was the only non-Red Bull pole of the entire year.

No rain expected though, so no 2010 on this occasion!
I've never known what quite to make of this circuit.

There are a couple of interesting corners, but it's far too flat in a country that is naturally quite hilly, and appears to have a straight designed for no other purpose than to let it be proclaimed as the longest straight in the sport.

I'd expect Red Bull to be strong here, naturally, but beyond that - seems like a total toss up. I wonder if there's a decent bet to be had on a Force India podium..
Definitely a dodgy exit....

There was supposed to be a city built in the middle of the circuit... The last 2 times we've been there, there's been nothing there...
I've never known what quite to make of this circuit.

You bugger, you just took the words out of my mouth. ;)

If it's true that Ferrari are bringing upgrades that could work in their favour, Red Bull should be quick with their "not DDRS" system, McLaren could have the oomph down the straight. Basically what I'm saying is I haven't a clue, hoping against a Vettel lights to flag tho, just to keep things interesting.
The DRS zone is once again on the back straight but extended by 196 metres, with the detection point now 90 metres before turn 1.
Aren't there two DRS zones? I seem to remember that last year if you passed the car in front at the first one, you'd just get re-taken at the second one.
Or am I confusing this with something else?
I think the issues was that the DRS detection point is at the end of the pit straight, and DRS zone is on the following straight. A couple of times a driver would get past on the run in to turn 1, only to allow the other driver back past in the DRS zone, I think Webber got shafted that way.
Alonso needs a good result here if there is any chance of him achieving his championship ambitions.
He does need a good result, but I don't think beating Vettel is a must here. Even if Alonso loses his championship lead in Korea, he still has a great shot of getting the title in the final four races. I lost a lot of confidence for him after Japan, but for some reason this week, I am feeling more and more positive for him and Ferrari. Not sure if it's all fluff written about how "Ferrari is not giving up" and are "bringing strong developments here on out", but there's just something inside me that makes me feel like he's got it.
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