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Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix; takes championship lead

YEONGAM (SOUTH KOREA), OCT 14 (AGENCIES/ IANS)
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Published on 14 Oct. 2012 9:50 PM IST
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Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday to move ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the Formula One championship standings by six points with four races remaining.

Vettel started second on the grid behind Mark Webber but overtook his teammate on the first turn and never relinquished the lead, finishing 8.2 seconds ahead of Webber. Alonso was third, 13.9 seconds off the pace, reports Reuters.

“The foundation was there with a good start,” Vettel said. “I wasn’t sure because I was starting on the dirty side of the grid but I was able to get some good grip and get inside at the first turn.”

Vettel, who also won the previous races in Singapore and Japan, is moving within sight of a third straight championship title _ something only previously achieved by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

Webber claimed his first second-place finish of the season but the Australian was disappointed with his start from pole.
“The initial launch was not good,” Webber said. “There was some wheel spin and from there I knew I would have issues. It was very mediocre.”

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fourth, followed by Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton finished a disappointing 10th, despite starting third on the grid.

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean avoided the first-lap incidents that he was involved in at the Belgian and Japanese GP’s to finish seventh ahead of Toro Rosso drivers Jean Eric-Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo.

It was Vettel’s fourth win of the season and the first 1-2 finish for Red Bull. Vettel leads the driver’s standings for the first time this year.

Alonso has not won since the German GP when it looked like he was going to run away with the championship. He was the innocent victim of first-lap collisions in Belgium and Japan.

Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi made contact with Jenson Button on Turn 3 of the first lap, sending the McLaren driver to an early retirement. Kobayashi was handed a drive-through penalty for causing the collision. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg also went out on the first lap.

Hulkenberg to leave Force India for Sauber
Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg will be driving for Sauber in the 2013 Formula One season, BBC reported Sunday. The report said Mexican Esteban Gutierrez will be Hulkenberg’s teammate next year, leaving Kamui Kobayashi without a seat. Kobayashi’s current teammate at Sauber, Sergio Perez, will be shifting to McLaren in 2013.

“Sauber have not yet officially confirmed Hulkenberg but the deal is understood already to be done,” said the report.
The report also claimed that former Force India driver Adrian Sutil is in the reckoning to be Hulkenberg’s replacement at the Silverstone-based team. Force India parted ways with Sutil last year and elevated Hulkenberg from the role of a reserve.

The report added that Kobayashi, former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Alguersuari are also in the running for the Force India seat.

 
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