Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Korean Grand Prix, indicating he will yet again be the man to beat in qualifying later Saturday.
Vettel had trailed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Friday’s sessions, but turned the table on Saturday with a lap of 1 minute, 37.881 seconds at the Yeongam circuit, a tenth of a second faster than teammate Mark Webber.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Hamilton were third- and fourth-fastest, almost half a second off Vettel’s pace. Hamilton had brake issues early in the hour-long session and his car was returned to the garage for repairs.
Vettel’s form has been flawless of late, taking pole in the past two races and winning the past three. He’s aiming for his third consecutive victory at the Korean Grand Prix and a fourth-successive Formula One drivers’ championship.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is a distant 60 points behind Vettel in second place in the championship standings, set the fifth-best time, six-tenths of a second behind the German. The gap between the best Red Bull lap and the best Ferrari lap on Friday had been four tenths.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean was sixth-fastest, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was seventh and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen was eighth. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Jenson Button completed the top ten.
The final practice session was held under sunny skies, though there is the possibility of rain for Sunday’s race due to the presence of large tropical storm south of the Korean peninsula.