There's surely no question now that Sebastian Vettel
will be crowned the 2013 F1 world champion - the only detail left unclear is precisely when it will now happen.
After claiming his eighth Grand Prix victory of the season with his third Korean GP win, coupled with a frustrating race for his chief rival Fernando Alonso
who slumped to sixth place, Sebastian Vettel
could now mathematically seal this year's title battle as soon as Suzuka in Japan in just seven day's time.
It's not exactly likely
to happen as early as that, because not only would Vettel need to win the Japanese Grand Prix
(and on current form, that's not exactly hard to visualise happening) he would also need Alonso to finish no higher than ninth next week.
With Vettel on 272 points, 77 clear of Alonso with five races remaining in 2013, Alonso can force the championship battle on to India by scoring three or more points next weekend. But even if he manages to do that, Vettel's progression to a fourth consecutive title seems ultimately unstoppable.
That leaves Alonso having to turn his attention to tying up second place over Kimi Raikkonen, who pulls ten points closer to Alonso this weekend after finishing in second place and taking his points tally up to 167 meaning that he overtakes Lewis Hamilton
(161 points) for third place in the standings.
Mark Webber drops back in fifth place after finishing pointless thanks to his untimely Red Bull
barbecue in Korean leaving him stuck on 130 points, allowing Nico Rosberg
to close to within eight points in sixth place.
In the constructors' championship standings, Red Bull
have now passed the 400 point mark - 402 to be exact - and are now almost obscenely in command of the title battle with a 118 point lead over Ferrari, who now have only a single point advantage over Mercedes.
Lotus F1 is the only other team to have amassed three digits in the points, but despite making up ground on all the teams ahead of them they are still 44 points behind Mercedes, a lot of ground to make up in the remaining events of 2013 but by no means an impossible task. If Kimi Raikkonen
and Romain Grosjean
can repeat their podium places on a regular basis between now and Sao Paulo, then the Enstone-based team still has a chance of stealing the runners-up spot before the Finn exits for Maranello.
Still all to play for in the 2013 championships, then. At least, as long as you're looking outside of the top spot in both the driver and constructors standings, which really do appear a lock at this point in the proceedings.See full championship standings