Yeongam: German legend Michael Schumacher held off heir-apparent Sebastian Vettel to top the timings in a rain-hit opening free practice session for the Korean Grand Prix on Friday.
In conditions so poor that some drivers did not take part, the seven-time champion delivered the fastest time in the closing seconds to wind up narrowly ahead of newly-crowned double champion and fellow German Vettel.
Schumacher, 42, clocked a best lap of two minutes and 2.784 seconds to outpace Vettel, 24, of Red Bull, by 0.056 seconds, as the German pair gave shivering spectators a rare cause to cheer.
Many of the leading drivers did little more than take a short run to check the conditions and some teams took no part at all because of the wet and cold weather.
Both of the Ferraris, driven by Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Brazilian Felipe Massa, stayed in the dry of their garage, as did the Renaults of Russian Vitaly Petrov and Brazilian Bruno Senna.
Finn Heikki Kovalainen of Lotus and Briton Jenson Button of McLaren also took no part and did not clock a time.
Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India was third fastest ahead of his team-mate German Adrian Sutil, Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi of Toro Rosso and Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber.
Britain's Lewis Hamilton clocked the seventh fastest time for McLaren while performing cautious test runs for new parts, but gained at least some familiarity with the track in the conditions.