Vettel romps home with 10th victory of the year in Korea

Sebastian Vettel has taken his 10th victory of the year at the Korean Grand Prix, while Red Bull have sealed up the constructors’ championship.

Vettel took the lead on the first lap from Lewis Hamilton, who held up Mark Webber and Jenson Button for most of the second half of the race, preventing any chance of a battle for the lead. Fernando Alonso spent most of his race battling with Felipe Massa, eventually finishing 5th. Here is what happened:

Hamilton leads at the start, but not for long

Hamilton leads at the start, but not for long

At the start, Hamilton retained his lead to the first corner, while Felipe Massa leaped up to 4th place. The Red Bull refused to stay behind though, and out-braked Lewis into Turn 4, taking the lead. Jenson Button slipped from 3rd to 6th position.

While Lewis stuck to the back of Vettel, the main battle was between Webber, Massa and Alonso for 3rd, with Button clinging to the back of this group. After an excellent first few laps, Felipe was now backing his teammate into Jenson.

Button opted not to pass, and pitted on Lap 14, taking on new super-softs. However, he was released alongside Nico Rosberg, with the Mercedes taking the position. While Button sliced past him at pit exit, the excellent straight line speed of Rosberg’s car allowed him to retake the place.

Mark Webber pitted for primes, alongside Felipe Massa. After losing much time to the race leader, Hamilton took on new options on Lap 16, while Fernando Alonso decided on the soft compound.

Petrov launches into Schumacher, taking both cars out

Petrov launches into Schumacher, taking both cars out

Despite indicating a different strategy during qualifying, Vettel took on super-softs at his stop. This timed perfectly with a sudden safety car deployment, for an incident at Turn 3. Vitaly Petrov messed up his braking, and launched into the back of Michael Schumacher, damaging the Renault’s front wing and breaking the steering arm, while Schumacher lost his rear wing. Both cars retired that lap, and Alonso was lucky not to be taken out in the crash.

After the safety car pitted, Button had moved up to 4th, and was challenging Webber for 3rd place. Kamui Kobayashi soon pitted for a front wing change, after hitting the back of Bruno Senna.

After several laps of tussling, a lock-up by Rosberg allowed both Ferrari cars through. Up at the front, Vettel held off Hamilton, while Webber closed in on both of them. Lewis’ tyres soon began to heavily wear, allowing Vettel to tear away, and allowed Mark to close up behind.

Hamilton and Webber both pitted on Lap 34, retaining their positions and taking on prime tyres. The two cars tussled it out in the midfield, while Vettel and Button pitted, oblivious to the cameras.

Vettel seals the second constructors title for Red Bull

Vettel seals the second constructors title for Red Bull

While Webber struggled to pass the McLaren, Alonso pitted from the lead, dropping to 5th, but moving ahead of Massa. As the race progressed, Mark still failed to get past Hamilton, while Button and Alonso joined the increasing queue.

Oddly enough, Webber kept moving off line at Turn 1, preventing any chance at using DRS down the main straight. This continued up until the end of the race, ensuring that Vettel comfortably took the chequered flag.

The stream of cars behind retained their positions, while Jaime Alguersuari, quiet but fast the entire race, swept past Nico Rosberg on the final lap to take 7th place. His teammate Sebastien Buemi was 9th, after a very good day for the Toro Rosso team.

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