Vettel takes points lead with Korean GP win
Sebastian Vettel has taken the lead in the World Drivers’ Championship from Fernando Alonso after scoring a third consecutive Grand Prix victory in Korea.
The two-time and reigning world champion out-dragged pole-man Mark Webber to the first corner and was not headed for the duration.
Webber went on to secure second, taking the chequered flag 8.2s behind his team-mate.
The Australian was given a glimmer of hope when a small off from Vettel saw the margin sit at just five seconds at the start of the final stint.
The run to the flag would turn into a tyre conservation run for the two Red Bulls however, with Vettel slowly edging away as the team grew increasingly concerned about front-right wear.
Alonso minimised the points damage by taking third from his team-mate Felipe Massa, while Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top five.
Nico Hulkenberg took sixth after pulling off a double passing move on Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean following the second round of stops.
Grosjean went on to finish seventh, with Hamilton following home Toro Rosso duo Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo after high tyre wear – believed to have been caused by wing damage inflicted in an early touch with Sergio Perez – necessitated a third stop.
The race had begun with contact between Jenson Button and Kamui Kobayashi in opposing McLaren and Sauber entries at Turn 3, taking the 2009 World Champion out on the spot.
Nico Rosberg was also a victim of the incident, which saw the Japanese driver out-brake himself into the Turn 3 hairpin.
Pedro de la Rosa was the race’s only other retirement, pulling his HRT into the garage on Lap 40 with a sticking throttle.
Vettel now heads into the final four races with a six point advantage over Alonso.
See below for the full race result
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||55||Winner||2|
|2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||55||+8.2 secs||1|
|3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||55||+13.9 secs||4|
|4||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||55||+20.1 secs||6|
|5||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||55||+36.7 secs||5|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||55||+45.3 secs||8|
|7||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||55||+54.8 secs||7|
|8||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||55||+69.5 secs||16|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||55||+71.7 secs||21|
|10||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+79.6 secs||3|
|11||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||55||+80.0 secs||12|
|12||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||55||+84.4 secs||14|
|13||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||55||+89.2 secs||10|
|14||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||55||+94.9 secs||15|
|15||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||55||+96.9 secs||17|
|16||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||54||+1 Lap||18|
|17||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||54||+1 Lap||19|
|18||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||54||+1 Lap||20|
|19||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||53||+2 Laps||24|
|20||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||53||+2 Laps||23|
|Ret||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||16||+39 Laps||22|
|Ret||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||16||+39 Laps||13|
See below for the updated championship standings
|13||Paul di Resta||44|
|25||Pedro de la Rosa||0|