Race - Vettel win seals Red Bull title in Korea 16 Oct 2011
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel brooked no argument as he dominated Sundays Korean race, snatching the lead from Lewis Hamilton after the polesitter had led into the first corner and thereafter pulling away to a superb 10th seasonal triumph that left him 12s clear by the end.
While Vettel cleared off into the distance, Hamilton drove brilliantly in McLarens 700th race to keep a faster Mark Webber for Red Bull at bay as McLarens Jenson Button and a charging Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari made it a four-way fight for the runner-up slot.
Three and a half seconds covered them as they took the flag, with Hamilton less than half a second ahead of Webber after they had indulged several times in some breathtaking side-by-side racing.
The one-three result was sufficient to clinch the constructors title for Red Bull, to add to the drivers title that Vettel took in Japan.
Ferraris Felipe Massa had run ahead of Alonso until the final pit stops - which were much less frequent than expected as everyone bar Sauber team mates Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez and HRTs Tonio Liuzzi only made two apiece - but the Spaniard ran longer and came out ahead of him before launching his blistering charge after Button.
Massa was thus sixth, well ahead of Jaime Alguersuari who drove a super race for Toro Rosso to catch and pass Nico Rosbergs Mercedes on the last lap after an earlier attempt had been thwarted.
Behind them, Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso likewise drove strongly to catch and pass Paul di Resta, the Scot bringing his Force India home 10th for the final point ahead of team mate Adrian Sutil. Rubens Barrichello was the final unlapped runner in 12th for Williams.
Bruno Senna was Renaults only finisher, a lap down in 13th, after Vitaly Petrov took Mercedes Michael Schumacher out in a collision on the 17th lap which brought out the safety car. After the race the Yeongam stewards handed Petrov a reprimand and a five-place grid penalty for the next round in India.
Lotuss Heikki Kovalainen was the races other star, capping an excellent fighting drive by grabbing 14th place from the Saubers on the last lap as Perez suddenly dropped back and was passed by team mate Kobayashi. Kovalainens team mate Jarno Trulli was 17th ahead of the Virgins of Timo Glock and Jerome DAmbrosio, which were split by never-say-die Daniel Ricciardos HRT.
Tonio Liuzzi in the other Spanish car was 21st and last, after losing a lot of time when a first-lap collision took off his front wing. HRT also received a 5,000 fine for the unsafe release of Ricciardo from one of his pit stops.
The other non-finisher was Pastor Maldonado, who had already lost a lot of ground after getting a drive-through penalty for pitting the wrong side of a bollard.
Vettels superb drive brings his points tally to 349, ahead of Button on 222, Alonso on 212, Webber on 209 and Hamilton on 196. In the constructors stakes, Red Bull are the champions with 558 to McLarens 418 and Ferraris 310. Behind are Mercedes and Renault on 127 and 72, Force India have 49 to Saubers 40 and Toro Rossos 37, so that fight for sixth remains tight.
Vettel also set the fastest lap of the race - on the very last lap - for the second time this season. Team mate Webber is still the clear leader, however, in the 2011 DHL Fastest Lap Award standings on five, followed by Hamilton and Button on three apiece.
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