Last week, Sebastian Vettel became F1’s youngest double world champ in Japan, and the team celebrated the occasion in a big way, which made the German “tipsy” in his own words. But there was no sign of hangover as Vettel stormed to victory at the Yeongam circuit in typical dominant style.
The champ stole the lead from pole man Lewis Hamilton (first time a non Red Bull was on pole this season) on lap 1, and never looked back. He didn’t really need to, even with the safety car called into action. The McLaren man, under fire recently, drove a good and incident free race to finish second, defending well from Mark Webber, who had to settle for third.
The battle, which spanned for quite a distance, was a good, fair fight, and was also one of the highlights of the race. The other notable moments were when Vitaly Petrov’s Lotus Renault GP car arrowed into Michael Schumacher’s rear on lap 17.
Another was when Fernando Alonso said “I give up, I give up” on the team radio in the final stages of the race. That’s very unlikely for the Spaniard, and the message (in English) could have been Fernando playing mind games, or a decoy. He certainly didn’t look the part on track, had good pace throughout, and was even the fastest man at a point.
McLaren’s man on form Jenson Button had a quiet race, and the Suzuka winner finished fourth, ahead of Alonso and Felipe Massa. Toro Rosso will leave Korea a happy team as Jaime Alguersuari finished seventh and Seb Buemi was ninth, sandwiching Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in eighth. Paul di Resta took the final point for Force India.
The points collected by Vettel and Webber in Korea is enough to seal the Constructor’s championship for Red Bull Racing, who have now won it back-to-back. They have an unassailable 588 points from McLaren’s 418 and Ferrari’s 310. A double double for Vettel and RBR then – others will hope to stop them from doing a hattrick next year.
At the back, Team Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen finished in 14th, ahead of two Saubers and his teammate Jarno Trulli. The Tan Sri Tony Fernandes owned team, which should be called Caterham next season, will be happy to beat two midfielders today.
The next race is the inaugural Indian GP, two weeks from now.