Vettel wins Korean GP, takes championship lead

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 10:10 hrs

Yeongam (South Korea), Oct 14 (IANS) Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel took the lead in the Formula One drivers' championship with a comfortable victory in the Korean Grand Prix here Sunday.

Vettel got ahead of his teammate Mark Webber on the opening lap and maintained the lead over the pole sitter through the 55-lap race. Vettel overtook the championship lead from Fernando Alonso, who came third in the Ferrari followed by teammamte Felipe Massa.

It was Vettel's (215 points) third successive win, giving him a six-point advantage over Alonso (209) going into the Indian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

"The start was very important. We started from the dirty side. I had a very good launch and could see that Mark was struggling a little bit. I was able to get side by side and then had the inside into turn one," said Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen (167), a distant third in the standings, drove his Lotus in fifth place, ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

It was a day to forget for the McLaren team which could only collect a point and conceded the second place to Ferrari in the constructors' championship led by Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton was lucky to come home in 10th place after picking a sheet of astro-turf on the penultimate lap while Kamui Kobayashi ended Jenson Button's race on lap 1 with a huge contact from behind at turn three, damaging the right-front suspension of the Briton's car.

The Sauber driver, who eventually retired on lap 16, also swept away Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in the collision.

Lotus' Romain Grosjean finished seventh while Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo did a brilliant job in the Torro Rossos, finishing eighth and ninth from 16th and 21st grid positions.

Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, who announced his retirement at Suzuka last week, crossed the finishing line in 13th place behind di Resta in the other Force India.

India's Narain Karthikeyan completed the race following retirements in Singapore and Suzuka. He finished 20th.

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