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2013 F1

2013 Korean GP preview quotes – Red Bull, Lotus, McLaren

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2012-Korean-Grand-Prix-Practice-Sebastian-Vettel2013 F1 world championship leaves from the dazzling lights of Singapore, and travelling to Yeongam for Korean Grand Prix, the rustic beauty of Formula 1.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying – 2nd, 2012 Race – 1st

“The track in Korea has a bit of an unusual layout. The long straights all come right at the beginning and the turns at the end. I love the curvy part because it is a lot more fun, whereas the straight lines and sharp turns can be a little boring. They are also our weakness, because we often lack in top speed there.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying – 1st, 2012 Race – 2nd

“I like the layout of the circuit in Korea. The track’s got some challenging sections and some good corners. The last sector in particular is fun because it has a nice flow to it and the walls are pretty close, so you have to be very accurate with your line. Something that’s unique about this race is that the drivers all stay in the same hotel. Meal times can be a bit bizarre because everyone sits by nationality and we like to have a good look at what everyone else is eating for breakfast.”

2012-Korean-Grand-Prix-Practice-Kimi-RaikkonenKimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying – 5th, 2012 Race – 5th

“Let’s hope we are able to maintain the strong form from Sunday in Singapore. The car felt good for the whole race and it was a nice feeling racing too. The main focus is to keep this positive feeling and benefit from it in the next races. Last year was my first visit (to Korea) and it’s quite a tricky circuit to learn quickly, but I felt comfortable with it after a few laps. When the car is right, you can go well there. Last year we saw it’s a good place to race with a good car.

“The main target is to have a better weekend overall compared to what we saw in Singapore. Obviously, we didn’t have the best qualifying and it makes things easier if you start in the top ten. My back’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good. It’s not the first time I’ve had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time. For sure, we will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying – 7th, 2012 Race – 7th

“Last year was my first time at the Korea International Circuit and it’s quite an interesting place. It wasn’t so hard to learn, although there are three quite different parts to it with the long straight in sector one, high and medium speed corners in sector two and then the street course nature of the final sector. The trickiest parts are definitely Turns 11 and 12 which are not easy to get exactly right, but overall it’s not too bad and I think the E21 should go well there.

“I’m feeling pretty positive; we had a good car in Singapore and we should have a good car in Korea.
Qualifying in the top three so late in the season shows that we still have good strength in our package, so if we can show comparable pace at the next few races it’ll be a real strength for us.

“The back-to-back races can be quite tiring, but equally they work pretty well logistically as we stay on a similar time zone for a couple of weeks; certainly with Korea and Japan. It’s also quite nice to be able to see some of the countries we visit with a little bit of time between the races. It’s not so nice to be away from your family of course, but it makes for an interesting end to the season with the six races so close together.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“There’s a nice long straight benefitting the DRS effect, meaning there’s a good chance to see overtaking in the race. The layout has a mix of different sections but they flow together well. We see some decent straights in the first section followed by a few interesting corners – some high speed – in the second section, before moving into an almost street-circuit feel through the final part of the track with its stop-start nature and close proximity walls. Although there are good long straights, the number of high- and medium-speed corners means you have to run with a reasonable level of downforce which should certainly be beneficial for us.

“The mixed nature of the track means that compromises are made, and the fact that the circuit isn’t used very much aside from for the Grand Prix weekend means that we should see a reasonable amount of track evolution. The weather can also be quite a challenge, with reasonably extreme temperature variations possible. These factors give the engineers plenty of different considerations as they seek the best setup, but in terms of what’s needed from the car, it’s not a circuit which places a particular premium on one aspect. You need a good all-round package with strong straight line speed and stability, decent traction and change of direction, but also good low speed performance tempered with that.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying – 11th, 2012 Race – DNF

“If there’s one circuit on the F1 calendar that hasn’t been particularly kind to me, then it’s the track in Korea. I had a pretty tough race there in 2010, an average race there in ’11, and I didn’t even have a race there last year – someone smashed into me at Turn Three on the first lap, and my race was over.

“Of course, it would be easy for that to make your head drop, but, in fact, the opposite is true: I travel to Korea next week even more determined than normal to reverse the trend, get the absolute maximum from the car and get a good result. I think we had a solid weekend in Singapore, the engineers, the strategists and the mechanics got the best from the car, and we couldn’t have realistically expected more. That’s the aim again next weekend.

“This is the first of three pairs of back-to-back races that conclude the season. I think it’s very important for us to further consolidate our position in the championship, so getting points in both Korea and Japan will be important. We go into this weekend with maximum commitment.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying – 12th, 2012 Race – 11th

“The Korea International Circuit is an interesting venue – it’s got two very distinct elements, the first half, which is basically a couple of heavy braking zones and three extremely long straights; and the final section, which is a long, undulating section with a mix of high- and medium-speed corners.

“It’s a somewhat technical course, one that rewards precision more than it does commitment, so the main challenge comes from dialling the car into the track, which is satisfying when you get it right because there’s a lot of time to be had from running a well-balanced car.

“The aim is also to have a car that works well in the principal overtaking areas – into Turns One and Three – which means making a little bit of a compromise to the set-up. That’s particularly important because it’s very difficult to overtake once you get into the twisty section, as there’s really only a single racing line. The Korean Grand Prix is a very tough race – it might not have that reputation, but, make no mistake, to do well here is always extremely rewarding.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“This final leg of the world championship – in which we’ll race in six Grands Prix in just eight weeks – is an incredibly tough physical feat. After 13 races, and with the prospect of many more weeks spent on the road and thousands of miles spent away from home, it’s essential to remain fit, focused and dedicated in order to stave off the inevitable burnout that comes at the end of such a long year.

“For Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we go into these final races with the very clear intention of consolidating our position in the constructors’ championship. While improving our position sadly looks impossible, it’s important to consistently achieve top-10 finishes with both drivers in order to strengthen our points cushion over our closest rivals behind. We achieved that in Singapore and will be looking for similar performances from now until the end of the season.

“That may not be a particularly glamorous task for a team that enjoys winning, but it nonetheless calls for constant application, focus and commitment as we count down the remaining races during this important phase of the season.”

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