Denied a victory with which to clinch his second F1 world championship, Sebastian Vettel returned to winning ways just a week later with an easy run in the Korean Grand Prix.
The German started second after Red Bull Racing missed pole position for the first time all year, but took only four corners to hit the front, and pulled away thereafter. Although his team warned him of the need to save his tyres for the closing stages, Vettel still came home over ten seconds ahead of his nearest rival, erasing the memory of the engine failure that ended his 2010 race at Yeongam.
Behind the German, polesitter Lewis Hamilton ran second almost throughout, despite race-long pressure from Mark Webber. While the Australian had the benefit of KERS and
DRS, Hamilton's McLaren exhibited greater traction out of corners that allowed to remain out of reach, even though the Briton complained of understeer for the entire 55 laps.
Webber could have come under threat from Jenson Button in the closing stages, but the Japanese race winner never quite got close enough and had to settle for fourth after being shuffled back to sixth on a frenetic opening lap. Third place for the Australian also confirmed RBR as 2011 constructors' champion.
Fernando Alonso closed on Button at the end of the race, having been bottled up behind Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa for much of the afternoon, and, like eighth-placed Nico Rosberg, parked up after the chequered flag as the spectre of running low on fuel returned. Rosberg had appeared on course for seventh, having earlier battled Button for higher, but succumbed to Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari with a lap to run. The second STR of Sebastien Buemi sandwiched Rosberg in ninth, having overcome Paul di Resta in the closing stages.
Full report and results to follow....