Sebastian Vettel's relentless march towards the top of the F1 world championship standings finally achieved its aim of overtaking Fernando Alonso as the German racked up a third straight victory at the Korean Grand Prix.
Getting the jump on poleman Mark Webber off the line, Vettel was never headed during the 55 laps, and the 25 points he accumulated were enough to surpass Alonso, despite the Spaniard claiming the final step of the podium. The pair head to India, after a weekend off, split by six points, but the balance of power clearly appears to lie with Vettel and Red Bull, which strengthened its grip on the constructors' trophy with a 1-2 result as Webber came home in second spot.
Alonso's third place, added to a strong fourth for team-mate Felipe Massa, allowed Ferrari to gain enough points to overtake McLaren for second place, as Jenson Button failed to finish and Lewis Hamilton managed just a lone point for the Woking equipe
. Hamilton has also fallen away in a title race he was already an outsider in, with Kimi Raikkonen pulling further ahead after finishing the race in fifth place. Hamilton is now 63 points adrift and, despite 100 remaining on the table between now and Brazil, it would take a lot of bad luck for his rivals to close in.
Webber's second place sees the Australian move to within a point of Hamilton's fourth place overall, while Button's retirement leaves him 84 points behind Vettel, but still comfortable in sixth place as closest rival Nico Rosberg was removed in the same opening lap incident.
Massa, Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso twins Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo all bolstered their chances of retaining or bettering their current seats by making it into the top ten.
In the constructors' race, Red Bull is now 77 points clear of Ferrari, with McLaren dropping six points behind the Scuderia.
for the championship standings following this weekend's Korean Grand Prix - round 16 out of 20 in the 2012 FIA F1 World Championship