After trailing Fernando Alonso by nearly 20 points a few races ago, Sebastian Vettel is doing all he can to claim a third consecutive world driving championship after winning the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon in Yeongnam . The German won his third race in a row, finishing 8.2 seconds ahead of his Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso had to settle for third. Vettel now leads the championship for the first time this season by six points with four races remaining.
"I think it was a perfect day for me and the team" said Vettel later. "It was important to get a good start. I was able to out-accelerate Mark and get side by side. I had the inside for turn three and a good exit, which meant I could stay ahead for turn four. I was in the lead, but we have seen before that it doesn't always stay that way. My one mistake today was a lock-up going into turn three, but with the tyres it was marginal for everyone. You couldn't push so much and on the inside turns, my front right didn't look too good. We were able to pull away in the first and second stint and hold it for the third. We will have to do our best to remain where we are now. We have to just keep it simple and do our job".
The race got off to an exciting start as Kamui Kobayashi, fresh off his third place finish on home turf in Suzuka, struck Jenson Button's McLaren at turn three, severing Button's front wing and forcing the Englishman to abandon the race. Nico Rosberg was also a victim of the incident, parking his Mercedes off the track as well. For his shunt, Kobayashi was hit with a drive through penalty and never recovered, retiring midway through the race.
Vettel got a good start in the race, taking advantage of a poor Webber start and the German driver never looked back, still coming out onto the track in the lead after his two scheduled pit stops. The world champion continued to develop a gap which began at three and a half seconds on lap 13, before increasing to 5.1 seconds on lap 18. Vettel's biggest lead came on lap 38 when he sat 8.8 seconds ahead. Despite a great number of warnings from the pits to be careful of a weak front right tire, Vettel only lost six tenths of a second when he crossed the finish line.
Vettel will be aiming for a fourth consecutive victory in two weeks' time at the Indian Grand Prix in New Dehli on October 28th.
Yeongnam, South Korean Grand Prix - Top 10 final standings:
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing
2. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing
3. Fernando Alonso (SPA) Ferrari
4. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari
5. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus Renault
6. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India
7. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus Renault
8. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso
9. Daniel Riccardo (AUS) Toro Rosso
10. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren
World Championship Standings- 1. Vettel- 215 points; 2. Alonso- 209; 3. Raikkonen- 167; 4. Hamilton- 153; 5. Webber-152; 6. Button- 131; 7. Rosberg- 93; 8. Grosjean- 88; 9. Massa- 81; 10. Perez-66.