Vettel controls thrilling Korean Grand Prix

By on Sunday, October 6, 2013
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel secured his fourth consecutive victory after controlling the Korean Grand Prix from start to finish.

Vettel led away at the start and was never challenged at the front.

Kimi Raikkonen finished in second, with Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean in third.

The race start was hectic in the midfield, with Felipe Massa making an error under braking for turn three and spinning at the apex, narrowly missing team-mate Fernando Alonso. Also caught up in the incident were Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil, who had to pit for repairs.

Grosjean jumped ahead of Lewis Hamilton into turn three, while Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg managed to get ahead of Alonso.

Vettel eased out into the lead ahead of Grosjean and Hamilton, the duo in turn pulling out an advantage over Nico Rosberg.

The first round of stops allowed Hamilton to close in on Grosjean, but the Frenchman defended and soon pulled away from the Mercedes driver.

Hamilton began to struggle with his tyres but when Rosberg caught up, the nose cone on the German's Mercedes collapse, forcing him into the pits.

The delays suffered by the Mercedes drivers allowed Kimi Raikkonen to gain a couple of positions and the safety car was deployed when Sergio Perez suffered a tyre delamination on the back straight.

Red Bull's Mark Webber, who had been making progress from 13th on the grid, was forced to pit as he picked up a puncture in Perez's debris.

The safety car was required once again when Sutil made an error under braking at turn three and hit the back of Webber. While the Force India driver was able to continue, Webber's car caught fire and the Australian quickly leapt from his stricken vehicle.

A fire vehicle suddenly appeared mid-way down the track, forcing race control to quickly deploy the safety car as drivers backed off.

Raikkonen managed to get ahead of Grosjean just before the safety car was deployed and he managed to maintain his position to the finish.

Hulkenberg passed Hamilton between caution periods and the Sauber driver was able to utilise strong traction and straight line speed to record a superb fourth place, equalling his best career result.

Hamilton had to settle for fifth, ahead of Alonso. The duo scrapped for several laps before the position was finally settled in favour of the Brit.

Rosberg recovered to seventh place, ahead of Button, Massa and Perez.

Esteban Gutierrez made a good start but was caught up in the lap one collision and eventually finished just eight tenths of a second outside of the points.

Valtteri Bottas finished ahead of Pastor Maldonado, while Charles Pic won the battle at the back, a second ahead of Giedo van der Garde, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton.

Both Toro Rosso drivers retired with a couple of laps remaining, while Sutil - who was also penalised for speeding in the pit lane - threw in the towel with five laps to go.

The other retirement was Paul di Resta, who crashed into the barriers on lap 29.

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