The first two practice sessions at the all-new Korean Grand Prix got underway today. In the morning session, both Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team drivers, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna, familiarized themselves with the new layout and were soon able to improve their times.
The Japanese driver clocked a best time of 1.50.347 and ended up 22nd after 29 laps, while the Brazilian ended up 23rd (1.50.821) and was only able to do 15 laps before his car ground to a halt because of a technical issue. But in the afternoon the problems were solved and both drivers were able to continue gaining experience and keep improving their times by more than 4 seconds each. Sakon Yamamoto finished 23rd (1.45.166) and Bruno Senna was 24th (1.46.649).
Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “The circuit was very green at the beginning but it improved during the day and the lap times continuously got quicker. Everyone had to get used to the circuit and learn about it. There are some nice parts and it’s a mix of fast and slow corners. In the morning session, Sakon completed many laps and it was very important to get track time. Unfortunately, we had a technical failure on Bruno Senna’s car and he had to stop before the end of the session. This is also the reason why he started late in the second practice. After this difficult day for us, we are focusing on qualifying and the race, where we hope to be a bit luckier and get more experience on this new circuit.”
Sakon Yamamoto, Race driver #20: “This is the first Korean Grand Prix and therefore first time for everyone to race here at this circuit. As expected, the track was quite slippery in the morning but the grip level got better and better. We did many laps and got as much data as possible. We finally managed to use both tyre compounds in preparation for the race. Now we have to keep on working hard for tomorrow.”
Bruno Senna, Race driver #21:“It was not an effective first day for us here in Korea. In the first practice, we had a technical failure and I had to stop the car prematurely. Some parts had to be changed on the car and that’s why we could only set one lap time in the afternoon. The mechanics did a great job and managed to fix the car before the end of the session. Now we have to focus on tomorrow, when we will hopefully be more successful.”