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Vettel wins Korean GP
14 October 2012
In a week dominated by the latest international music craze, Sebastian Vettel danced his way to a third straight win and moved himself to the head of the F1 world championship into the bargain.
Getting the better of polesitting team-mate Mark Webber as they went through the gears off the line, the Red Bull driver had the advantage of being on the inside for turn one and, once in front, was never headed. Gradually pulling away over the first stint, Vettel twice had enough in hand to pit for tyres and emerge still holding the lead and, despite being advised to cut his pace in the closing stages, was able to come home comfortably clear of the field.
In a largely processional race, at the front of the field anyway, Webber remained second to the end, although similar care warnings to the Australian allowed erstwhile points leader Fernando Alonso to close in at the end of the 55-lap encounter. The Spaniard was able to up his pace on the run to the chequered flag, and had Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa playing rear-gunner through the final stint, even though the Brazilian had the faster car and nobody close enough to threaten.
That was primarily because Lewis Hamilton suffered another nightmare race, pitting three times for tyres and complaining of a 'nervous' handling trait that clearly had him worried. The third stop was compounded by a baulky change on the right front, dropping Hamilton to tenth before he picked up a stray piece of artificial turf - all of which had been relaid prior to the race weekend - and dropping away from a battle for position with the two Toro Rossos.
Behind Massa, Kimi Raikkonen completed the top five, a multi-lap battle with Hamilton a rare highlight midway through a quiet race, while Nico Hulkenberg got the better of both Hamilton and Romain Grosjean in one move to beat the Frenchman to sixth. Jean-Eric Vergne beats STR team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to eighth after passing the Australian late on, while Sergio Perez just failed to catch the wounded McLaren in a chase for the final point.
Jenson Button was never a factor after being taken out on lap one by Kamui Kobayashi, who also terminally damaged Nico Rosberg's Mercedes in the same incident. The Japanese driver retired 16 laps later.
Full report and result to follow....
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