Vettel: Yes, yes, yes. Ten wins my friends!
16 October, 2011
Oct.16 (Reuters) Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday to secure Red Bull’s second successive Formula One constructors’ championship with his 10th victory of the season.
The 24-year-old German, who clinched back-to-back drivers’ title in Japan last weekend, took the lead from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap and never looked back despite a safety car period bunching up the field.
With three races remaining, and a maximum 129 points to be won, Red Bull have an insurmountable 140-point lead over McLaren.
Vettel’s 20th Formula One victory left him three off seven times champion and compatriot Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record of 13 wins in a single season with Ferrari.
“Yes, yes, yes. Ten wins my friends,” whooped Vettel over the radio after taking the chequered flag and giving his trademark finger-in-the-air salute.
“I was very happy with how the race went today, I had the feeling we got everything out of the car,” he grinned.
“After last weekend with the drivers’ championship and this week the constructors’ it’s fantastic,” said the German, who added a final touch to the celebrations with the fastest race lap right at the end.
“I think it’s good to see the whole team keeps pushing. In terms of preparation for this race it wasn’t ideal, because I think the whole team was a bit tipsy after last week’s race!” revealed the 24 year old.
“To come here, after a tough Friday and Saturday morning, to qualify where we did was fantatsic. The car was so much fun to drive. When the safety car came I didn’t really need that to be honest because Lewis came closer again, and I was struggling with the tyres, but the car and the balance seemed to stabilise and come back, and I was able to open the gap again,” said Vettel.
Adding, “Towards the end I was able to push and get a little bit of a gap because Lewis and Mark were fighting. After the drivers, the constructors – it’s fantastic.”
Hamilton finished runner-up, 12 seconds behind the sport’s youngest double champion, with Australian Mark Webber third for Red Bull and just 0.4 adrift.
The Briton, who had started on pole position for the first time since Canada in June last year, had appeared almost downcast on Saturday but allowed himself a smile on his first podium appearance for six races.
“It was a good weekend for me compared to what has happened in the past so I’m happy,” declared Hamilton, who has been a regular in front of the stewards and in the headlines this season for driving controversies.
But admitted it was a tough afternoon at Yeongam, “It was OK. Mark drove really well throughout the race. Red Bull were massively quick and particularly in the race, it was impossible to catch Sebastian [Vettel] and overtake. I had full lock on almost everywhere and was struggling with understeer.”
Jenson Button, the 2009 champion who won in Japan for McLaren, finished fourth after dropping from third to sixth at the start with Ferrari’s Fernando
Alonso and Felipe Massa fifth and sixth respectively.
After misplaced predictions of a flurry of pitstops and heavy tyre degradation, the leaders made just two trips to the pits on an afternoon short on thrills at the little-used circuit 320km south of Seoul.
Mercedes’s Schumacher retired on lap 17 after his car was speared in the rear by Vitaly Petrov’s Renault into turn three. The Russian nursed his car back to the garage and called it a day.
The collision brought out the safety car for three laps while marshals collected the debris from a collision that Alonso narrowly avoided.
Hamilton and Webber then provided the main excitement with a closely fought duel that saw the pair fighting and trading positions repeatedly before and after the second pitstop.
Toro Rosso had Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi finish seventh and ninth with Mercedes’ German Nico Rosberg eighth. Britain’s Paul Di Resta took the final point for Force India.
“A second title is testimony to the dedication and commitment of the whole team,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who joined in the podium celebrations.
“We’re going to enjoy this moment. It’s been a phenomenal period for the team, and I’m tremendously proud of all of them.”
Sunday, 16 October – Race Result
|2||3||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+12.0 secs||1||18|
|3||2||Mark Webber||RBR-Renault||55||+12.4 secs||4||15|
|4||4||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+14.6 secs||3||12|
|5||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||55||+15.6 secs||6||10|
|6||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||55||+25.1 secs||5||8|
|7||19||Jaime Alguersuari||STR-Ferrari||55||+49.5 secs||11||6|
|8||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||55||+54.0 secs||7||4|
|9||18||Sebastien Buemi||STR-Ferrari||55||+62.7 secs||13||2|
|10||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||55||+68.6 secs||9||1|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||55||+71.2 secs||10|
|12||11||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||55||+93.0 secs||18|
|13||9||Bruno Senna||Renault||54||+1 Lap||15|
|14||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||54||+1 Lap||19|
|15||16||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||54||+1 Lap||14|
|16||17||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||54||+1 Lap||17|
|17||21||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||54||+1 Lap||20|
|18||24||Timo Glock||Virgin-Cosworth||54||+1 Lap||21|
|19||22||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT-Cosworth||54||+1 Lap||24|
|20||25||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Virgin-Cosworth||54||+1 Lap||22|
|21||23||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT-Cosworth||52||+3 Laps||23|
|Ret||12||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||30||+25 Laps||16|