Hamilton makes a big splash in wet practice

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton reminded his critics – and perhaps even himself – of his talent when he dominated practice for tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix.

He and team-mate Jenson Button, the current hero of McLaren, swapped the fastest time as conditions improved slowly from rain and heavy spray to the vestige of a dry racing line.

Button set the early pace before Sebastian Vettel moved ahead. Button replied but was in turn beaten by Hamilton. Button's next response put him back ahead before Hamilton upped the ante again. Subsequently he improved to 1min 50.828sec, and Button's best of 1:50.932 left him 0.104sec shy.

It was a much-needed fillip for Hamilton (right), who admits that he needs to do a better job tomorrow. He hasn't finished on the podium since he won the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring in July. He has also collided with rivals in the recent Belgium, Singapore and Japanese grands prix as Button's star has continued to rise. Button is second in the world championship behind newly crowned Vettel, and won the race in Japan last weekend. Hamilton, meanwhile, lies fifth overall, and is desperate to rekindle the magic.

"Today's times don't really give us a read on pace and set-up, particularly as the weather will be better for the next two days. Still, if it rains on Sunday we're in a good position – which is a positive," Hamilton said.

"It would be great to get the pole here tomorrow: we are quick, the car is good and Jenson showed at the last race that we can be very competitive. So I have no doubt that we'll be able to challenge the Red Bulls."