Vettel Wins In Korea To Take Championship Lead
Sebastian Vettel dominated today’s Korean Grand Prix to secure his third consecutive win and take the lead of the drivers’ championship by six points. Vettel took his Renault-powered Red Bull Racing to the win, 8.2secs over team-mate Mark Webber, to secure a Red Bull-Renault 1-2 finish. The win also takes the total of Renault-engined victories in F1 to 149.
Lotus F1 Team’s Kimi Raikkonen finished in fifth position, while Romain Grosjean claimed seventh overall, giving the team a double points scoring finish. Kimi duelled with Lewis Hamilton for the first part of the race, but got past in the first round of pit stops. From that point on, the Finn maintained track position to score a further 10 points and maintain third in the drivers’ title race. Romain had a busy race as he battled with Hamilton and then Nico Hulkenberg, who ultimately got past on track in the final third of the race. Romain then brought the E20 home in seventh, his eighth points’ scoring finish of the year.
Williams F1 Team had a more difficult weekend, with Pastor Maldonado passing the flag in 14th and Bruno Senna 15th. Chez Caterham F1 Team, Vitaly Petrov finished in 16th and Heikki Kovalainen 17th ahead of both Marussia cars.
Red Bull Racing extends its lead of the constructors’ championship to 367 over Ferrari’s 290. Lotus is now just 29 points from McLaren in fourth, while Williams is eighth and Caterham 11th. In the drivers’ championship Vettel has 215, Alonso 209, Raikkonen 167, Hamilton 153 and Webber 152. Grosjean is eighth, Maldonado 15th ahead of Senna in 16th. Kovalainen remains 20th with Petrov 21st.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
After securing our 200th pole with Mark yesterday, it’s been a good weekend for Renault in terms of results, but we’ve worked hard to get there. The 1-2 result for Red Bull might have looked easy, but we have to manage the engine maps carefully, particularly towards the end of the race when tyre wear is high. Taking the lead of the drivers’ championship and extending the lead in the constructors’ championship is positive, but things can change very quickly and we will remain focussed at the track and at Viry to maintain reliability and performance in the final four races of the year.
A good double points finish as well for Lotus to put four Renault-powered cars in the points. We have worked solidly with the team this weekend to optimise the Coanda exhaust system introduced on Kimi’s car. This requires a new set of engine maps and different engine settings, but we have made good progress in this area and between now and the next event we will be able to further optimise everything to be closer to the podium.
It’s been a tough weekend for Williams and Caterham, but with two weeks between now and the next race we can work with both to come back stronger in India.
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