Lewis Hamilton may have qualified on pole position for the Korean Grand Prix, but some interesting tyre decisions by Red Bull mean that Sebastian Vettel still looks the driver to beat come race day.
McLaren had looked to have the edge over their leading constructors’ rivals in practice and this was confirmed during qualifying as Hamilton edged out world champion Vettel to post the fastest time.
It is the first time that Hamilton will start on pole since last season’s Canadian Grand Prix and he has now been installed as favourite in the Formula One odds to win in Korea at 11/8.
Red Bull may have seen their run of 16 successive pole positions ended, but their decision to run Vettel and Mark Webber on new super-soft tyres during qualifying could prove pivotal.
Tyre management is expected to be one of the big factors in Korea, which is another reason to oppose Hamilton as he is regarded as being heavier on his tyres than teammate Jenson Button and Vettel.
Red Bull now have all of their prime tyres available for the race, including an unused set of soft tyres, which could in the end settle the outcome of the race.
Vettel has drifted to 7/4 to win the Korean Grand Prix after qualifying second and this looks great value.
Button will begin the race from third on the grid and he could be the driver to profit if Hamilton and Vettel get overzealous in the battle for the lead at the first corner.
Being so good with his tyres will also be a massive advantage in Korea, so Button should certainly be considered at 3/1 to make it two successive victories after his previous triumph in Japan.