Vettel takes controlled victory in Korea
6 October 2013 – Sebastian Vettel controlled proceedings to take a fourth successive victory in Sunday afternoon's Korean Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver, who was never troubled after starting from pole position, led home Kimi Räikkönen by 4.2 seconds, while Romain Grosjean ensured that two Lotus cars made the podium ceremony.
As the lights went out, Vettel showed no signs of surrendering his position and comfortably held the lead into the first corner, with Grosjean getting the jump on Hamilton as the field dived towards Turn 3. A little further back, a serious incident was narrowly avoided when the fast-starting Felipe Massa slid backwards into the path of Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, forcing the Spaniard onto the run-off area.
With a stoppage ultimately avoided after the first handful of corners, Vettel was able to bridge the DRS window by the time the overtaking aid was cleared, subsequently edging clear of Grosjean throughout the opening stint. Although the Frenchman showed signs of cutting the gap, the title leader was equal to it on every occasion.
The opening pit-stop phase saw little change at the front, with the top three of Vettel, Grosjean and Hamilton holding station. But the latter began to struggle with his tyres, dropping back into the clutches of team-mate Nico Rosberg at a vast rate of knots. Further drama then followed for Mercedes as Rosberg attempted to make a move, the German's front wing dropping down and forcing an unscheduled pit-stop.
The race was neutralised when Sergio Pérez suffered a massive tyre failure on Lap 31, bringing out the Safety Car and eradicating Vettel's lead. The German bolted clear on the restart and, although Adrian Sutil ended Mark Webber's race to spark another single-file phase, he again survived before romping towards the chequered flag.
Räikkönen snatched second from Grosjean into the first corner just before the second Safety Car period, capping a fine drive from ninth. The battle for fourth place was truly sublime, however, with Nico Hülkenberg equalling his career-best result after fending off the attentions of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in the closing stages.
Rosberg recovered well from his front wing drama to finish in seventh position, while Jenson Button, Massa and Pérez took home the final points. In addition to Webber's retirement, Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne pulled out of the running late on, while Force India's Paul di Resta hit the barriers at mid-distance.
Vettel, whose victory is the 34th of his career, now leads the standings by 77 points over Alonso, with a total of 125 remaining during the final five races of the season.
The 15th round of the 2013 season takes place in Japan from October 11-13, with practice, qualifying and the race covered via the GPUpdate.net Live Report