Live Commentary: Korean Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened

Sebastian Vettel
© PA Photos
Live text updates from qualifying for tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix, courtesy of Sports Mole.

Good (early) morning and welcome to Sports Mole's live text updates of qualifying for tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam.

With just five races of the season left, it looks like a two-horse race between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel for the 2012 drivers' championship.

Reigning two-time world champion Vettel is the man in form. Can he grab pole and increase his chances of a third consecutive F1 crown? Find out below.


7.10amThat's just about it from us. Click here to read our report from this morning's pacesetting and then join us for coverage of the race, which gets underway in just under 24 hours' time, at 6.30am tomorrow morning. See you then.

7.07amParticularly good from Hulkenburg to outdo the two Mercedes and start eighth.

7.06amHere's the top 10 for tomorrow's race:

1. Webber
2. Vettel
3. Hamilton
4. Alonso
5. Raikkonen
6. Massa
7. Grosjean
8. Hulkenburg
9. Rosberg
10. Schumacher

7.03amVettel seems to have made a mistake in the first sector but he's still good enough for second. That does mean, however, that he starts on the 'dirty' side of the track with Hamiton and Alonso ready to pounce on any errors in third and fourth.

7.02amThe Red Bull garage is awash with celebration as they have secured a front-row lockout.

7.02amMARK WEBBER WILL START ON POLE AT THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX!

7.01amVettel second.

7.01amAlonso fourth.

7.01amHamilton only third at the moment.

7.01amWebber goes on provisional pole.

7.00amAll 10 drivers are out there.

6.59amWebber will be the first of the big guns to set a time, with Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel following in that order.

6.58amOoh! Hamilton almost collides with Rosberg in the pit! All OK though.

6.57amIt's going to be a frenetic couple of minutes as all the cars prepare to blitz the Yeongam circuit! Who will secure top spot for tomorrow's race?

6.56amVettel is the quickest from Alonso, Webber, Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Grosjean. The two Mercedes and Hulkenburg are yet to set a time.

6.55amHamilton's really struggling with lock-ups and he's only fifth-fastest after the first set of runs.

6.54amThe Ferraris of Alonso and Massa are the first to post a time and it's the Spaniard who's quickest.

6.52amIt looks like all the cars will set two hot laps in this final session. At some races this year they've restricted it to one to reduce tyre wear but the circuit in Korea isn't too hot.

6.51amButton's speaking to Sky Sports News and he says that both a lock-up and the yellow flags contributed to his failure to make Q3. When asked what he's hoping for from 11th, he replies: "Go forward." Sound words.

6.50am10 minutes of breakneck speed then and I personally can't look past the imperious Vettel.

6.50amQ3 is underway!

6.47amHere are the ten who will battle for pole: 1 Vettel 2 Alonso 3 Hamilton 4 Webber 5 Raikkonen 6 Massa 7 Grosjean 8 Rosberg 9 Hulkenburg 10 Schumacher

6.46amNot so good from Di Resta at Force India as teammate Hulkenburg was ninth-quickest.

6.45amHere are the seven knocked out at Q2: 11 Button 12 Perez 13 Kobayashi 14 Di Resta 15 Maldonado 16 Ricciardo 17 Vergne

6.43amToro Rosso's Ricciardo had to pull off the track and that meant yellow flags were out. Many drivers have still set personal bests and could be demoted if that's looked at.

6.43amBUTTON'S OUT AT Q2!

6.41amIt's going to be a manic couple of minutes as the majority of the 17 left post times to try and get through.

6.40amJust two minutes left of Q2. Who will be the 10 to fight for pole?

6.37amBlimey, Toro Rosso's Vergne is the fastest man in the speed trap by 5 km/h! That just shows that it's not necessarily paramount to have the fastest car in a raw-speed sense.

6.35amAlonso looks like he thinks his time will be good enough to reach Q3 as he's in the pit. Vettel is told by his engineer to bang in another lap.

6.35amSo it's the three big names of Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton at the top.

6.34amHamilton, despite being the quickest man after the second sector, can only go third-fastest with a 1:38 flat.

6.33amHowever, he's immediately ousted by the force that is Vettel, who sets a 1:37.767.

6.33amOh yes! The Spaniard is the first man under 1:38 with a 1:37.987.

6.32amAlonso's out on track, can he improve on his dismal display in Q1?

6.32amPerez crosses the line in 1:38.981 and I don't think that'll be good enough to reach the top 10.

6.31amVettel's pace in Q1 was around the low-1:38 mark.

6.28amMany of the drivers leave it as late as possible to set a time because the track 'evolves' as more and more rubber screeches across it. Perez is the first man out in Q2.

6.27amSo, 15 more minutes of pace-setting before the top-10 shootout.

6.27amQ2 is underway!

6.26amThe camera's close up on Vettel in his cockpit and the German looks the picture of confidence.

6.25amImpressive stuff from Sauber then to go P 4 & 5.

6.24amAt the front, the top five in that session were: 1 Vettel 2 Webber 3 Button 4 Perez 5 Kobayashi

6.23amThese are the seven men who have been eliminated: 18 Senna 19 Petrov 20 Kovalainen 21 PIc 22 Glock 23 De La Rosa 24 Karthikeyan

6.22amAmazingly, Alonso could only manage 16th fastest on his pair of super-softs!

6.22amSenna pulled into the pit and Hamilton has qualified by the skin of his teeth!

6.21amHamilton down to 16th and there's two men still to cross the line!

6.20amHamilton's now 14th as times improve, he's in real danger of going out!

6.19amAlonso felt that his original time wasn't quite good enough so he's gone out on a pair of super-softs. Potentially wasteful, that.

6.18amSenna goes 11th and now Sauber's Kobayashi is the man in danger of elimination.

6.17amWebber goes second so there's a Red Bull double at the top.

6.16amThe Brazilian is out on track trying to get himself through to Q2.

6.14amAt the moment, the man in danger of being eliminated with the new teams is Williams's Senna.

6.13amVettel shows his hand with a 1:38.208, 0.679 quicker than the next man!

6.12amHamilton's first flying lap is only good enough for third place. Remember, all the big guns need to do is finish inside the top 17.

6.11amAnd Vettel's teammate Webber finally leaves the pit so all cars are now either out on track or have already set a time.

6.10amHamilton and Vettel are now both out on track and expect them to set the pace.

6.10amThe Brazilian isn't quickest for long, however, as Raikkonen is the first man under 1:39.

6.09amThere's now two Ferraris at the top as Massa shaves 0.469s off Alonso's time with a 1:39.074.

6.07amBut it doesn't seem to be a major problem for anyone as Alonso goes top with a 1:39.543.

6.07amThere's yellow flags out.

6.06amMaldonado is now top of the pile thanks to a 1:39.716.

6.05amThe straight here at Yeongam is the fourth-longest on the 2012 race calendar.

6.04amKovalainen's fellow countryman Raikkonen, who is third in the drivers' rankings, is also out setting a time.

6.03amThe Finn stops the clock at 1:42.028.

6.02amKovalainen will be the first to set a time.

6.00amSo, we'd expect to see the cars of Kovalainen, Petrov, De La Rosa, Karthikeyan, Glock and Pic eliminated but which of the bigger guns will join them in failing to make the grade?

6.00amQ1 is underway!

5.57amThe two compounds of tyre available to the drivers this weekend are the red-marked 'super soft' and yellow-marked 'soft' Pirelli rubbers.

5.56amThe circuit in Korea is one of those that's notoriously hard to overtake on so getting that pole position in essential.

5.51amLooking at the drivers' rankings, Alonso still leads the way by four points from Vettel but the German's on a real charge at the moment after picking up maximum points in Japan while Alonso was forced to retire.

5.49amHamilton actually topped the first practice for this year's race but then dropped to eighth in yesterday's second practice. He admitted that he was confused by the team's dip in performance.

5.46amLast year McLaren's Hamilton took pole but was then jumped at the start of the race by Vettel, who went on to win.

5.45amThe circuit at Yeongam is extremely technical. The turns have varying angles throughout and it's a real test of concentration for all the drivers.

5.43amNext up is a 15-minute Q2 session where another seven are knocked out before the final 10-minute pole-position shootout.

5.42amFirst, there'll be a 20-minute session called Q1 where the slowest seven cars will be eliminated. These seven usually consist of the six cars of the new teams - Caterham, HRT and Marussia - and one other.

5.41amFor any F1 newbies out there, here's how today's 'quali' session will work...

5.38amThe German, 25, won here at Yeongam last year from Lewis Hamilton to wrap up the Constructors' title for Red Bull.

5.36amEarlier this morning Vettel continued his dominance by topping the timesheets in final practice. Can anyone stop the German getting that crucial pole position?

5.34amMorning all! Qualifying starts in just over 25 minutes at 6am.


Sebastian Vettel
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0