Vettel finally gets the Championship lead
Have Ferrari and McLaren choked with 4 races to go?
Sebastian Vettel has taken a crucial victory at the Korean GP which sees him move ahead of Fernando Alonso with just four races left. Mark Webber finished in second, making it the first 1-2 of the year for Red Bull, while the Ferrari duo finished in third and fourth – enough to move them ahead of McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship. McLaren had a dismal race – coming away with just one point – while Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen finished the race to maintain his 100% record for the season.
There were a number of key moments in today’s race, none more so than Vettel overtaking Webber at the start. This allowed the German to build up a comfortable lead where he was not challenged. The race win means he is now six points ahead of Alonso, and with the momentum very much with Red Bull it looks like he is certainly the strongest going into the final four races, after Alonso led the way for so long. Jenson Button was taken out of the race on the first lap by Kamui Kobayashi, who was given a drive through penalty, and Nico Rosberg was also caught up in it. Lewis Hamilton struggled with rear suspension failure and a piece of astro turf getting caught on his car, but battled to finish tenth and take a point – obviously not enough to prevent Ferrari moving ahead of them in the standings. After dominating for a period in the summer, McLaren seem to be in a bit of a downward spiral with the Japanese GP, last time out, the only time in the last five races both drivers have finished the race. Felipe Massa continued with his new found form, finishing fourth and at times running faster than team-mate Alonso in the race. He admitted after the race that every point is crucial for Alonso at this stage and so he had not been able to challenge his team-mate for the podium, but he almost certainly would have had a chance of being on it had it been a straight fight. Both Toro Rosso drivers finished in the points for the first time since Belgium and Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth – enough to move him ahead of his team-mate in the championship. Romain Grosjean certainly appeared tentative in the race, after being labelled a “first-lap nutcase” after the Japanese GP, while Vettel’s race engineer was frantically on the team radio to his driver warning him to be careful of his tyres dropping off the cliff in the latter stages, but he held on to the end.
Button and Rosberg’s races were ended after a collision with Kobayashi. They were nearly four abreast, including Sergio Perez, down the straight and into turn three, and Kobayashi drove into the back of Button’s car, bouncing off the McLaren into the Mercedes, and back into the McLaren. This left Button with broken suspension and his race was over (along with Rosberg’s), leading to Button branding Kobayashi as having “pretty poor driving standards” and that the race was more than a lap long – a similar argument to what we heard after Grosjean’s accident in Japan with Webber. Kobayashi was given a drive through penalty and later retired from the race itself. This incident follows a podium for Kobayashi in Japan and at a time when he appears to be facing increased pressure for his seat. Rumour has it that test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez will make a step up to a race seat and be partnered by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. Kobayashi hasn’t quite had the season that his team-mate has – one podium to Perez’s three – and hasn’t impressed quite as much as he did on his debut in 2009, although that is not to say he does not still have his moments. Do you think Kobayashi deserves to keep his seat in Formula One? Where would he go if he loses his drive at Sauber? What are your views on other driver possibilities such as Massa retaining his Ferrari seat and a Hulkenberg move to Sauber?
Comment with facebook
"Thanks for visiting our website, enterF1.com. Have you got a suggestion? A potential improvement? Or if you would just like to get in touch with us then please do!"