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Senna misses cut as Hamilton escapes Q1 cut

Lewis Hamilton came close to dropping out of qualifying at the first hurdle in Korea, but was saved by a scrappy lap from Bruno Senna.
Lewis Hamilton escaped a potentially embarrassing exit in the first phase of qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix as Bruno Senna was forced to abort a last-ditch lap that could have sealed the Briton's fate.

Despite being tipped as the man to split the Red Bulls at the head of the grid - Sebastian Vettel appears out of reach already - Hamilton was sitting in the pits through the closing moments of Q1, watching helplessly as his name slid down the timesheets. Coming to rest in 17th spot as both Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso improved, Hamilton's fate was in Senna's hands but, when the Brazilian made a mistake on his final run, Hamilton was able to breathe easier again.

Alonso fared little better than his rival, having to bolt on a set of Pirelli's supersoft tyres in a bid to survive. His lap wasn't a clean one, however, and the Spaniard only moved from 17th to 16th, albeit safe with only Senna left to cross the line at that points.

The Brazilian's scrappy lap left him on the sidelines just a third of the way through qualifying for the second weekend in a row, and he will join the usual suspects at the back of the grid, lining up ahead of Vitaly Petrov, who got the better of the Caterham battle this time around. Charles Pic, who faces a ten-place grid drop for an engine change, will start from the very back despite out-pacing Timo Glock - the first time the Marussia veteran has been outgunned by a team-mate in Korea - with Pedro de la Rosa getting the better of a brakeless Narain Karthikeyan at HRT.

Vettel duly set the pace, lapping in 1min 38.208secs to lead RBR team-mate Mark Webber and McLaren's Jenson Button in the top three.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW34
Ferrari team with new SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Gutierrez with Ferrari SF15-T
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
Kevin Magnussen - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
The McLaren-Honda MP4-30

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