Korean GP 2013: preview

It’s difficult to know whether Lewis Hamilton is feeling horny or broody (he’s tweeted both pictures of monkeys in flagrante and of puppy dogs this week), but whichever it is, he’s feeling fast. Comfortably quickest in both practice sessions in the strangely appealingly landscape in Yeongam this morning, he gave us some hope.

Of course Hamilton’s task is all but impossible, he’s nearly 100 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel and nearly 40 behind Fernando Alonso who remains the ‘official challenger’ for the title in the six match races that remain. Alonso has been invoking Oracle Team USA’s astonishing comeback in the America’s Cup. He’s clutching at straws — or is that wet ropes — but we’re going with it. So here’s our guide to Ten Things We Want To See at Mokpo This Weekend.

1 Vettel not making Q3

Sorry Sebasti-fans, we don’t have anything against your man, but Singapore wasn’t exactly exciting. And it’s not like he hasn’t shown that not starting from pole is any impediment.

2 Hamilton on the front now, Alonso on the third

That way, what with the haste Fernando is getting the Ferrari of the line, Lewis could still be leading at the end of lap one. And still be at the end, with Alonso second — the best possible result for the championship

3 A result for Webber

If Red Bull have to get a car near the front, wouldn’t it be nice if it were the number two RB9? Webber is royally hacked off with F1, with his team-mate and the authorities. He just seems too nice a guy to leave F1 with anything other than good memories. Be good to see him channel that penalty into a storming drive.

4 A podium for Hulkenberg

Nico is the real deal and yet it’s possible he’s not going to be in F1 next year because he is too tall? Sauber appears to be chasing money, what with its teenage Russian and the possibility of Massa or even Barrichello joining him, because they have money and are tiny. Lotus too are talking to Massa. This isn’t looking good for Nico and that would be bad for F1.

5 A good set-to between Räikkonen and Alonso

Don’t tell us there’s no-needle there, a bit of a ding-dong between the pair would raise tensions nicely between Ferrari’s ‘Class of ’14’. Nothing car-bending tho’, Kimi’s big shunt this morning can’t have done that back any good.

6 Another good weekend for Grosjean

Romain might be on the verge of showing he has the craft to go with the pace. He showed that in Singapore. Like The Hulk, he could well be the future of F1, so let’s get on with it, because the present is a little dull.

7 Some right stuff from Ricciardo?

Remember when McLaren signed Perez and almost immediately the light went out on the Mexican’s talent….?

8 McLaren

This is getting embarrassing. We’re bombarded with cartoons, comics and cute little brand movies reminding us just how great this team is. Is? Or was? That car has not got any faster all season.

9 A wee smile out of Paul?

Boss, you don’t need us to tell us you have six races to prove it. You can do it. You have done it. Do it some more.

10 Rain

In qualifying (unlikely apparently) and in the race (very possible, apparently). Korea seems to have swerved Typhoon Fitlow, but not entirely. Rain makes anything possible. Even for McLaren.

So let us know what you would like to see in your fantasy Korean GP. For the real thing it’s early starts for those with Sky this weekend. 0600 for qualifying and 0700 for the race (programmes will start even earlier). For those without, it’s 1315 BBC1 for qualifying with Suzi and the boys and 1400 for the race. Radio 5 Live has the race live and Sports Extra has the qualifying.

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