McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in practice on Friday for Sunday’s Formula One Korean Grand Prix.
The Briton clocked a lap of 1 minute, 50.828 seconds and was 0.104 seconds faster than teammate Jenson Button on a track that was dampened by steady rain. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who clinched his second straight drivers championship at last weekend’s Japanese GP, was third fastest but almost two seconds off Hamilton’s best.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who won here last season at the inaugural Korean GP, was fourth followed by Red Bull’s Mark Webber.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race will be held Saturday.
The rain was heavier in the morning session and eased during the afternoon practice but drivers were unable to test their dry tires.
Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, who had the fastest time in the rain—drenched morning practice, dropped down to 14th place in the afternoon.
Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari was sixth followed by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was eighth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi and Force India’s Paul di Resta rounded out the top 10.
Hamilton is hoping to change his luck in Sunday’s race. In the five races since winning the German Grand Prix in July, the 2008 world champion has gone without a top—three finish and is coming off back—to—back fifth place finishes in Singapore and Japan both of which involved crashes with Massa.
Hamilton finished second in last year’s inaugural Korean GP, a race won by Alonso, who overcame treacherous conditions at the Yeongam track. Drier conditions are predicted for this year’s race.