Honda F1 website
Honda website

Korean GP 2012

OCTOBER 14, 2012

Race Notes - Vettel takes Red Bull 1-2 in Korean GP

Start, Korean GP 2012
© Active Pictures

Sebastian Vettel cruised to his third race win in a row today at the Korean Grand Prix, 8.2 seconds ahead of his Red Bull-Renault team mate Mark Webber in second place. Fernando Alonso was third in his Ferrari, 13.9 seconds behind.

Vettel is now coming on strong, and takes his four win of the season - Red Bull's sixth win - and overtakes Alonso to take a six point lead in the Drivers Championship. Ferrari takes over second place from McLaren in the Constuctors' Championship.

Felipe Massa (20.1s) continued to have a strong showing, and finished in fourth behind his Ferrari team mate. Kimi Raikkonen (36.7s) in the Lotus-Renault was fifth, followed by Nico Hulkenberg (45.3s) was sixth in the Force India-Mercedes, Romain Grosjean (54.8s) in the second Lotus was seventh, Jean-Eric Vergne (69.5s) in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari was eighth, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo (71.7s) was nine, and Lewis Hamilton (79.6s) after struggling with his tyres all afternoon took the final points position in his McLaren-Mercedes.

At the start Vettel was able to get a quick get-away off the grid and was able to overtake polesitter Webber into the first corner. Webber comes back at the third corner, but Vettel holds his team mate off to keep the lead. Alonso passes Hamilton for third. Massa passes Raikkonen for fifth.

Into the hairpin Kamui Kobayashi hits the rear of Jenson Button, and then bounces across and hits Nico Rosberg. Kobayashi pits, while Button and Rosberg are out of the race.

At the end of the first lap, Vettel leads Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean Sergio Perez and Michael Schumacher.

On lap 3 Vettel has nearly a 1 second lead over Webber.

On lap 5 Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m46.3s. Pastor Maldonado, Vergne and Ricciardo battle over 13th position.

On lap 6 Vettel resets fastest lap at 1m46.0s, and then again at 1m45.9s. Vergne and Ricciardo both get past Maldonado.

A local yellow is out where Rosberg's Mercedes sits, the marshals apparently unable to move the car.

On lap 8 Vettel goes faster at 1m45.6s. Kobayashi makes a drive-through penalty for his first lap accident.

On lap 9 Vergne passes Senna for 12th place. Rosberg's Mercedes is craned away from the track.

On lap 10 Ricciardo passes Senna as well. Webber sets fastest lap.

At lap 10 Vettel leads his team mate Webber by 1.9 seconds, followed by Alonso (5.4s), Hamilton (7.4s), Massa (8.7s), Raikkonen (9.8s), Hulkenberg (17.8s), Grosjean (18.5s), Perez (20.0s) and Schumacher (24.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 11 Vettel sets fastest lap again at 1m45.4s. Schumacher, Paul di Resta and Vergne battle over tenth place.

On lap 14 Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Schumacher, Vergne and Heikki Kovalainen make their first pit stops

Webber, Massa, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Bruno Senna pit the next lap, switching from super soft to soft tyres.

On lap 16 Vettel, Alonso and Di Resta pit, swapping to soft tyres. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m45.3s. The next lap Massa sets fastest lap at 1m45.0s, and then it goes to leader Vettel at 1m44.3s.

On lap 18 Kobayashi pits and retires. Perez pits from sixth for his first stop.

On lap 19 Hulkenberg passes Maldonado for eighth place, Maldonado still to pit. Narain Karthikeyan pits.

At lap 20 Vettel leads Webber by 6.3 seconds, followed by Alonso (9.3s), Hamilton (12.8s), Massa (13.3s), Raikkonen (15.8s), Hulkenberg (31.4s), Grosjean (33.6s), Maldonado (36.9s) and Ricciardo (40.6s) in tenth.

On lap 20 Grosjean passes Maldonado for eighth. Massa passes Hamilton for fourth place in the DRS zone.

On lap 22 Maldonado makes his first pit stop, switching to soft tyres. Hamilton seems to be struggling for pace, lapping a second slower than the others in the top ten.

On lap 23 Raikkonen tries to pass Hamilton at turn 3 on the outside, but is unable to make it stick.

On lap 24 Raikkonen passes Hamilton in the DRS zone for fifth place, but Hamilton comes back at the next corner and retakes the position.

On lap 25 Alonso closes to within 1.4 seconds of second placed Webber. Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m44.1s, his lead is up to 9 seconds.

On lap 26 Hamilton and Raikkonen continue to battle. Vettel goes quicker with a 1m 43.9s.

On lap 27 Hamilton pits, the first driver to make his second scheduled stop, for another set of soft tyres.

Hamilton complains that his car is still difficult to drive on his new set of tyres.

On lap 28 Webber responds to Alonso and sets fastest lap at 1m43.7s.

On lap 29 Di Resta pits and switches back to soft tyres. Massa sets fastest lap at 1m32.7s, and closes his gap behind Alonso to 2.7 seconds.

At lap 30 Vettel leads Webber by 8.3 seconds, followed by Alonso (10.6s), Massa (13.0s), Raikkonen (24.2s), Hulkenberg (40.8s), Grosjean (41.4s), Hamilton (47.7s), Ricciardo (49.9s) and Vergne (54.9s) in tenth place.

On lap 30 Grosjean passes Hulkenberg at turn 3, but the German responds and retakes sixth. Grosjean pits the next lap, staying on soft tyres.

On lap 33 Webber pits from pits from second place and stays on soft tyres. Hulkenberg, Schumacher, Senna and Timo Glock pit as well for soft tyres.

Hulkenberg and Grosjean resume their battle, and Grosjean passes Hulkenberg at turn 3 to take ninth place. Grosjean sets fastest lap at 1m43.5s.

On lap 34 Perez makes his second stop.

On lap 35 Alonso pits and rejoins behind Webber, but with backmarkers in between. Vettel locks up his tyres and runs wide, but continues. Grosjean drops a wheel in the grass but continues.

On lap 36 Vettel pits from the lead. Massa pits as well. Both stay on soft tyres. Perez passes Maldonado for 13th. Perez sets fastest lap at 1m43.0s.

Vettel now leads Webber by 5.3 seconds, Alonso is a further 4.5 seconds back. Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m42.6s.

Massa closes up behind his team mate Alonso.

On lap 38 Di Resta passes Schumacher to take 11th place.

On lap 39 Vergne pits and changes to super soft tyres. Massa is told over the radio not to get to close to his team mate Alonso ahead, and to back off another second.

On lap 40 Grosjean makes a run at Hamilton at turn 3, but is forced wide. Hulkenberg makes a run out of the corner and passes both of them to take sixth place.

At lap 40 Vettel continues to lead Webber by 8.1 seconds, followed by Alonso (12.9s), Massa (15.2s), Raikkonen (30.3s), Hulkenberg (44.2s), Hamilton (45.1s), Grosjean (45.7s), Ricciardo (55.5s) and Vergne (64.1s) in tenth.

On lap 43 Hamilton pits from seventh place for his third stop, switching back to super soft tyres and rejoins in tenth. Massa closes to 1.2 seconds behind Alonso. Perez passes Schumacher for 12th place.

Red Bull warns Vettel to take care of the wear on his right front tyre, telling him to be careful in the high speed corners.

On lap 46 Hamilton closes on Vergne in ninth place.

On lap 48 Massa sets fastest lap at 1m42.2s. Alonso is slowly closing on Webber. Red Bull continues to warn Vettel of tyre wear issues.

At lap 50 Vettel leads Webber by 10.0 seconds, followed by Alonso (13.9s), Massa (17.7s), Raikkonen (36.2s), Hulkenberg (43.2s), Grosjean (49.1s), Ricciardo (64.4s), Vergne (65.8s) and Hamilton (6.6.5s) in tenth place.

On lap 51 Hamilton still looking for a way past Vergne. Schumacher complains of gearbox problems. Red Bull warns Vettel that his front tyre might now be down to the cords.

On lap 53 Vergne passes his team mate Ricciardo for eighth place.

On lap 54 Hamilton picks up a large piece of astroturf and is dragging it from the sidepod of his car, but continues.

Webber sets fastest lap at 1m42.0s.

Vettel survives his tyre woes and wins his third race in a row, followed by Webber and Alonso.