Skip to main content

Title race may be over but Lewis Hamilton aiming for F1 win in Korea

October 4, 2013 -- Updated 1651 GMT (0051 HKT)
Lewis Hamilton stood out from the rest of the field Friday in practice for the Korean Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton stood out from the rest of the field Friday in practice for the Korean Grand Prix.
  • Lewis Hamilton posts the fastest practice times ahead of the Korean Grand Prix
  • Sebastian Vettel was about one-tenth of a second slower than Hamilton in the second session
  • Vettel has won the last two races in Korea and is on course for a fourth world title in a row
  • Fernando Alonso, second in the individual standings, came seventh in the second session

(CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton realistically can't win the title but the former world champion hopes to challenge powerhouse Sebastian Vettel at the Korean Grand Prix after posting the fastest practice times Friday.

Hamilton's time of one minute, 38.673 seconds in the second session in Yeongam was about one-tenth of a second quicker than Vettel, the triple reigning world champion who has captured the last two races in Korea.

"It's the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me," Mercedes' Hamilton was quoted as saying by Formula One's website. "We haven't changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well. I love this track."

Read: F1 interactive

Vettel admitted there was "some room for improvement" in his Red Bull.

Engines on, Formula 1 returns!
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
Fernando Alonso's drive to the top

"It will be close with Mercedes," he told Formula One's website. "Of course we're not sure what others were doing with their fuel loads today, but it seems close ahead of tomorrow's qualifying.

"I like the track here, it's a shame it's so far from Seoul, which is a great city, but it's good coming here as it's quieter than some other races, which means we can focus on our job."

Read: The secret of Vettel's success

The only driver with half-a-chance of catching Vettel, Fernando Alonso, was a distant seventh in the second session.

He trails Vettel by 60 points with a mere six races remaining and admitted this week he needed a comeback similar to Oracle Team USA's in the America's Cup sailing to overtake the German.

But Alonso didn't sound optimistic Friday.

"There is every probability that, again here, we can expect to struggle in the race," Ferrari's Alonso told Formula One's website.

"It won't be easy for us in performance terms, but we know that apart from that, we can do well on Sunday. Now, we must try and get the most out of what we have available and put everything together tomorrow and in the race."

Kimi Raikkonen, Alonso's teammate next season, crashed in the first practice session but was unhurt.

Read: Raikkonen to rejoin Ferrari quoted the Finn as saying he would take action at the end of the season to fix a lingering back problem.

"It is not really surgery, but for sure we are probably going to do something," said Raikkonen. "I know what the issues are."

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.