Sebastian Vettel climbed back to the top of the Formula One drivers’ championship after a comfortable win in Korea, as McLaren’s disappointing season continued.
Vettel, who eased his way to a third successive victory, raced into the lead from second on the grid, to pass Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and go six points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, despite issues to his front tyre on the final lap.
Webber cruised into second after a solid performance to secure the first team one-two in 2012, with Alonso finishing third.
With Hamilton leaving McLaren at the end of the season, he’ll be sure to forget a frustrating season, which sees him fall 62 points behind Vettel and with 100 points available, his chances of winning the championship are all but up. It was yet another race to forget for teammate Jensen Button – following a first-lap retirement.
Button then launched a fuming attack on Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi calling him an ‘idiot’ following a collision causing the McLaren to retire.
‘It is pretty poor driving standards considering this is the pinnacle of motorsport and it is such a long race. The race is not two corners long and some need to learn that’
Pre-race rumours suggested Webber would move-over for Vettel to help his teammates chances to the championship, but it proved unnecessary as the German got the better start and skipped past Webber to claim the lead.
Vettel’s lead only ever looked in doubt during the final laps following a tyre malfunction, but after careful measures from race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin, he managed to take the victory by 6.8 seconds from Webber. Vettel continues to close is on becoming the third man to win three consecutive titles, Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher being the others.
Full results below