Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft helps Hamilton lead the way in Korea

Both sessions were held in warm and dry weather with ambient temperatures peaking at 24 degrees centigrade.

Yeongam – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the Korean Grand Prix weekend so far during the second free practice session today, running on Pirelli’s P Zero Red supersoft tyre. This has been nominated alongside the P Zero White medium compound: exactly the same combination as used in Singapore two weeks ago.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W04
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W04

Photo by: XPB Images

Hamilton completed a clean sweep of both sessions at the Yeongam circuit, going fastest in the morning as well on the P Zero White as he worked towards a race set-up. But it was his time in the afternoon, 1m38.673s, which proved to be quicker than anybody else could manage all day. Hamilton set his fastest time halfway through the afternoon session, with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel going second-quickest, also on the supersoft compound. Both sessions were held in warm and dry weather with ambient temperatures peaking at 24 degrees centigrade. However, more mixed conditions are predicted for the rest of the weekend, which could lead to a wet race on Sunday.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The teams have quite a lot of data on the medium and supersoft already from Singapore, but this circuit is a completely different proposition. The lateral energy loadings in particular are much higher, which makes the process of reading the wear and degradation rates accurately on differing fuel loads absolutely essential when it comes to formulating a strategy.

The track was very ‘green’ at the start of free practice this morning but this is what we expected and it got quicker as more rubber was laid down. Despite the slippery surface the teams didn’t encounter much graining and there were no big surprises generally speaking, which allowed everybody to get on with their programmes as anticipated. We’re seeing a time difference of about a second between the two compounds at the moment, although we would expect this to come down a bit tomorrow.

So there is plenty of scope to formulate some interesting strategies, but the big question mark will be surrounding the weather and safety cars. Some uncertain weather is expected over the remainder of the weekend and Korea also has quite a high safety car probability, which can obviously change the complexion of the race. Under these variable circumstances, it’s always best to have as much information under your belt as possible, which is why the work done in free practice is so important.”

Pirelli Motorsport

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Mercedes
Article type Practice report
Tags hamilton, korean gp, mercedes, pirelli