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Sunday, October 14, 2012


Sebastian Vettel swept into the Formula 1 world championship lead by delivering a dominant victory in the Korean Grand Prix. Vettel's third consecutive race win came at the head of a Red Bull one-two, with team Mark Webber in second. Vettel took the lead from Webber at the start after using a squirt of KERS to get past on the inside into turn one. He fended off his team-mate in turn three and from that point onwards built up a gap that proved to be unassailable. Webber got closest at the second and final pit stop after Vettel ran wide at turn three on his in-lap. The lead Red Bull soon rebuilt the gap, but it was to the detriment of his tyres and the nerves of the team on the pit wall. In the final laps Vettel's race engineer sent repeated warnings to the cockpit to tell Vettel to look after his front right tyre in the knowledge that any problems would result in an immediate and severe drop off in performance. However, Vettel's tyre management proved to be spot on by the finish as he crossed the line with a personal best and the fastest final sector of the race.

Behind the Red Bulls, Alonso remained in touch throughout the race to take advantage of any problems ahead and he finished the race 5.7s off Webber. Massa was a further 6.2s off his team-mate after his pace dropped in the final laps, but he still had a 16.5s buffer to Raikkonen as he crossed the line. Nico Hulkenberg had a very strong grand prix after outracing Romain Grosjean throughout the afternoon to take sixth place. He passed the Lotus twice on track, the second time by taking advantage of Hamilton holding off Grosjean as they battled for position. Jean-Eric Vergne finished ahead of his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in eighth after Ricciardo struggled with his tyres towards the end of the race and conceded position.

Both Mercedes and Sauber failed to score points, leaving their battle in the constructors' in stasis with a 20-point gap between the two teams. Kobayashi went from hero in Japan to zero in Korea when he piled past Button and Nico Rosberg at turn three on the first lap and hit both. The Sauber driver appeared to miss his braking point and collided with Button's right wheels before puncturing Rosberg's sidepod and radiator. Button retired on the spot with Rosberg stopping on track a lap later and Kobayashi withdrawing 15 laps after that.
The Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam
55 laps, 308.630km, Weather: Sunny.

Pos      Driver              Team               Time
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull        1h36:28.651
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull         +    8.231
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari          +   13.944
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari          +   20.168
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus            +   36.739
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India      +   45.301
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus            +   54.812
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso       + 1:09.589
 9.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso       + 1:11.787
10.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren          + 1:19.692
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber           + 1:20.062
12.  Paul Di Resta         Force India      + 1:24.448
13.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes AMG     + 1:29.241
14.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams         + 1:34.924
15.  Bruno Senna           Williams         + 1:36.902
16.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham         +    1 lap
17.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham         +    1 lap
18.  Timo Glock            Marussia         +    1 lap
19.  Charles Pic           Marussia         +   2 laps
20.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT              +   2 laps

Fastest lap: Mark Webber - 1:42.037

Not classified:
Driver               Team             On lap
Pedro De la Rosa     HRT                17
Kamui Kobayashi      Sauber             17
Nico Rosberg         Mercedes AMG        2
Jenson Button        McLaren             1

After 16 races:                
Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1. S.Vettel       215      1. Red Bull         367
 2. F.Alonso       209      2. Ferrari          290
 3. K.Raikkonen    167      3. McLaren          284
 4. L.Hamilton     153      4. Lotus            255
 5. M.Webber       152      5. Mercedes AMG     136
 6. J.Button       131      6. Sauber           116
 7. N.Rosberg       93      7. Force India       89
 8. R.Grosjean      88      8. Williams          58
 9. F.Massa         81      9. Toro Rosso        21
10. S.Perez         66       
11. K.Kobayashi     50       
12. N.Hulkenberg    45       
13. P.Di Resta      44       
14. M.Schumacher    43       
15. P.Maldonado     33       
16. B.Senna         25       
17. J.Vergne        12       
18. D.Ricciardo      9