Sebastian Vettel edged even closer to his fourth Formula One world title at last weekend’s Korean GP, taking his eighth win of the season and his fourth in a row.
This Red Bull driver bagged pole position on Saturday, taking a win and the fastest lap on Sunday. His title rival Fernando Alonso could only finish sixth in his Ferrari, meaning the German extends his lead at the top of the table by 77 points.
Much has been said about Vettel’s dominance in Formula One over recent years, with fans recently booing him on the podium. However, his imperious performance in Korea all but cemented the inevitable.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton qualified in second behind Vettel but was still two tenths of the Red Bull man’s best time, while Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber started from third, marginally behind Hamilton.
Alonso bagged sixth spot on the grid, a massive eight tenths of a second behind Vettel’s pole time, not improving on his starting position during the race.
On Saturday evening 2013 race winner Kimi Raikkonen looked to be having an even worse weekend having qualified in tenth spot. But he produced another stunning drive to elevate himself onto the podium come the chequered flag, finishing second.
T W White & Sons’ local boys at McLaren recorded a solid weekend despite a few issues with the car – Perez and Button qualified in eleventh and twelfth place respectively.
Both McLaren drivers improved upon that during the race, scoring in the points and giving a much needed boost to the team with Button finishing eighth and Perez rounding out the top 10.
As we near the end of the 2013 F1 season and with Formula One 2014 bringing with it a set of big rule changes, you have to think McLaren has diverted more of its resources to the development of next year’s car. We expect to see the team right at the sharp end of the field again soon, with a new V6 turbo engine in 2014.
Other performances to note in Korea included Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who could be fighting for a drive for next year. The Frenchman qualified fourth but went one place better in the race, joining his teammate on the podium.
Vettel now leads Alonso by 77 points – 272 compared to 195 – while Raikkonen trails the Spaniard on 167.
Lewis Hamilton is the first British driver to feature in the standings on 161, while Mark Webber – who is leaving F1 at the end of the season – rounds out the top five on 130 points.
To put Vettel’s dominance into perspective, in the same car, that’s less than half of his teammates tally…