Far from being the dull procession many had predicted, despite the non-arrival of tropical storm Fitow, the Korean Grand Prix again provided entertainment through the field.
Okay, so Sebastian Vettel once again appeared comfortable at the front, racking up his fourth win on the bounce since F1 returned from its summer break to increase his already near-unassailable championship advantage, but he was at least kept honest this time around.
Two safety car periods had something to do with the German remaining in view of the rest of the pack, but the efforts of the two Lotus drivers, in particular, cannot go unmentioned, with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both joining Vettel on the podium. The Frenchman led the early pursuit but a minor mistake, and his team-mate's superior pace at that point, resulted in Raikkonen emerging in second, despite Grosjean's pleas for the order to be reversed when he regained the pace advantage later in the race.
The surprise in the top ten this weekend was Nico Hulkenberg who, once again, pushed his Sauber beyond its limits to hold on to fourth place in the face of concerted pressure. As he had in Italy, the German provided a perfect audition for one of the leading seats still available for 2014, using the C31's better traction to fend off both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in the closing stages.
The two championship contenders had results to forget, with Hamilton dropping away from a front row start to come home fifth, while Alonso never recovered from Ferrari's lack of qualifying performance to achieve his aim of finishing ahead of Vettel.
Behind them, the rest of the top ten all had to overcome adversity of varying degrees before securing points, with Nico Rosberg having his entire nose section drop onto the track as he attempted to pass team-mate Hamilton, Jenson Button needing his own front wing change after being an inadvertent victim of a first lap melee caused by the man who was next up in the order, Felipe Massa. Rounding out the top ten was Sergio Perez, in the other McLaren, who had right front tyre delaminate as he accelerated onto the back straight, but managed to keep his car straight and return to the pits for a replacement....
Among those missing out, honourable mention needs to go to Esteban Gutierrez, who again qualified in the top ten, but came home just 0.8secs shy of his maiden F1 point after running in a closely-matched group with Massa and Perez.
The biggest frustration, however, has to belong to Mark Webber, who again saw a battling raceday performance come to nothing through little fault of his own. The Australian, having been hit with a ten-place grid penalty for hitching a lift to the pits in Singapore, appeared on course for a podium finish before being unable to avoid debris from Perez's accident, the resulting pit-stop then leaving him in the firing line when Adrian Sutil lost his Force India on the restart. A split oil line and ensuing inferno leaves Webber needing a new car for this weekend's Japanese GP....
But who was your driver of the day in Korea? Simply choose from the options below to cast your vote - and don't forget to explain your reasoning in the comments section....
F1 Driver of the Day: Korean Grand Prix
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