Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix from team-mate Mark Webber after a tense finish that saw several drivers take their tyres to the absolute limit over the 55 laps.
Vettel took the lead from Webber at the start after using KERS to get past on the inside into turn one. He fended off his team-mate in turn three and from that point onwards built up a gap that proved to be unassailable. Webber got close at the second (and final pit stop) after Vettel ran wide at turn three on his in-lap. The lead Red Bull soon rebuilt the gap, but it was to the detriment of his tyres and the nerves of the team on the pit wall.
Race start and Sergio Perez hit Jenson Button’s McLaren before his Sauber team mate (Kamui Kobayashi) did the job properly. he Sauber driver appeared to miss his braking point and collided into the McLaren twice and sending it into immediate retirement with right-front suspension damage.
Nico Rosberg also sustained a cut left-rear tyre and a puncture to his sidepod and radiator in the incident which accounted for his Mercedes a lap later. As he parked on the run down to Turn Three, the DRS zone was effectively negated for several laps until the silver car could be removed. Later Kobayashi was given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, and retired as a result of damage his C31 incurred.
The remainder of the race was mostly about tyre care. With Korean International Circuit being one of the newest in the Formula One calendar, and not used for any other racing during the year, it was hard to predict exactly how long the tyres would last. Many fans, driver’s and teams were keeping a close eye on tyres and did not even think about track itself. The sustainability of the run offs and just how many cars ripping at the astro-turf on each lap.
Coming into the final few laps of the race, Lewis Hamilton picked up a chunk of astro-turf on his right-hand sidepod. As that affected his MP4-27’s aerodynamics he dropped away and was lucky to resist Perez at the flag by a scant 0.3s. With only a few race’s left with the British team, running with a ‘green wing’ out the side of his car was not how Hamilton’s fans wanted to see him end his race.
Further back on the grid, the Caterham drivers also had a close race, swapping position on more than one occasion before Vitaly Petrov made it stick as Heikki Kovalainen fell back. They finished 16th and 17th as Timo Glock led Marussia partner Charles Pic in their wake. At one stage the German kept the green and yellow cars honest before falling back
|Mark Webber||ly Second|
|Felipe Massa||P4 Fan’s Choice|
|Paul di Resta||P12|
|Kamui Kobayashi||Retired (withdrew)|
|Pedro de la Rosa||Retired (throttle)|
|Nico Rosberg||Retired (collision)|
|Jenson Button||Retired (collision)|
Published with permission from Girls Like F1 Too!.