Vettel wins in Korea to usurp Alonso
With four races to go starting in India in two weeks, Vettel, the reigning champion who is chasing a third drivers’ title in a row, sits atop the standings with 215 points.
Alonso, who finished third, is on 209.
It was the 25-year-old German’s third win in three races and he will now be favourite to retain his crown, in what had been a highly unpredictable season until he took the championship by the scruff of the neck.
Second at a cool but sunny Yeongam was Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber, who started on pole. It was the first Red Bull one-two of the season.
Alonso’s fellow Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, second at Suzuka seven days ago, continued his resurgence with a fourth-placed finish. Lewis Hamilton, who still had title aspirations going in this grand prix, finished down in 10th.
Fifth was Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, followed by Nico Hulkenberg in Force India. Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo (both Toro Rosso) and Hamilton rounded out the top 10.
Vettel, who started second on the grid behind Webber, nipped in front of his team-mate at the first corner. Behind them Alonso and Hamilton duelled over third place, with the Spaniard winning through.
Jenson Button’s bad weekend finished almost as soon as the race began. His fine start from lowly 11th was wrecked when Kamui Kobayashi came flying down the inside, smashing into Button and destroying his suspension.
“I’ve just been hit by Kobayashi. What an idiot!” the McLaren driver and 2009 world champion exclaimed over the team radio.