Hamilton up against it

Lewis Hamilton cut a downbeat figure with his title hopes looking slim after a difficult day in South Korea.

Hamilton topped the opening practice session at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, but could only manage the eighth-fastest time in the afternoon running, team-mate Jenson Button was fourth.

Hamilton’s best lap was nearly nine-tenths of a second slower than the pacesetting Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Hamilton is 42 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso.

“It’s always difficult to judge too much from a Friday, but we got through our various programmes and got the data we needed,” said Bathgate’s Paul di Resta who was 14th in afternoon practice.