Mike Stevens | Oct 17, 2011

His run of poles ended in Korea, but the newly-crowned back-to-back world champion Sebastian Vettel on Sunday returned to the top step of the podium.

"Ten wins (in 2011) my friends!" the German said on the radio after greeting the chequered flag 12 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was wearing a better mood than after securing pole 24 hours earlier, with Mark Webber in third.

"It was a good result for me after the races I've had lately," said the McLaren driver.

Sunday's result means Red Bull has clinched its second consecutive constructors' crown.

"I want to also say a lot of thanks to Renault; the engine this year has been faultless," said Vettel, on the day Red Bull announced the deepening of its sponsor deal with Japanese carmaker Infiniti, a sister marque.

Vettel's teammate Mark Webber toed the line, describing the day as an important moment in the race for the constructors title.

"The Safety Car helped bunch up the pack but the second stop is where we could have passed Lewis, but we stopped in the same lap and that was disappointing. It was a good battle with Lewis but we couldn't get past," Webber said.

"Now we try to get clean weekends, like we had here. Seb passed Lewis straight away, I managed to keep 3rd, so it was a good day. Of course I'm here to win, so 3rd is disappointing, but I'm sure when I wake up tomorrow morning I'll be happy."

(GMM)

2011 Korean F1 Grand Prix Results

Pos. N°. Driver Team Gap
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren +12.0s
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull +12.4s
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren +14.6s
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +15.6s
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari +25.1s
7 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso +49.5s
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP +54.0s
9 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso +62.7s
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India +68.6s
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India +71.2s
12 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1 +93.0s
13 9 Bruno Senna Lotus Renault +1 lap
14 20 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus +1 lap
15 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber F1 +1 lap
16 17 Sergio Perez Sauber F1 +1 lap
17 21 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus +1 lap
18 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin +1 lap
19 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT F1 +1 lap
20 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Marussia Virgin +1 lap
21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 +3 laps
Ret 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 +25 laps
Ret. 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault Accident
Ret. 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP Accident
 

Webber's Words On Finishing Third At Korea

“The battle with Lewis was pretty intense. I was frustrated that we followed him out of the pit lane, so I risked quite a bit to try and pass him on the out lap, before he got settled in. It’s not easy to pass a driver of Lewis’ calibre. I tried some moves and it was a good battle as our cars had weaknesses and strengths in different areas of the lap, so trying to get the move done wasn't particularly easy.

I enjoyed it, but I would have liked to have got that extra position, which I think performance-wise we deserved, but McLaren did a good job and Lewis drove well. There were loads of positives today, it was a good start for me and I got a good result. For the team to get the Constructors’ is an incredible effort – when you have two back-to-back Constructors’ World Championships, it’s phenomenal.

For the team, for everyone in Milton Keynes designing and building the car, for everyone in Viry at Renault building the engine which has been 100% reliable so far this year and for everyone in Fuschl in Austria, it's been a great year. I’m sure there will be some headaches tonight.”

 

Horner hints FOTA group could 'stop'

The health of the Formula One teams association seemed in danger on Sunday as a bosses meeting broke.

FOTA has scheduled another meeting for Abu Dhabi next month but the association seems at loggerheads over the future of the cost-limiting gentleman's Resource Restriction Agreement.

Fingers have been pointing at Red Bull and Mercedes, with fellow grandees McLaren and Ferrari reportedly on the other side of a burgeoning argument.

According to the BBC, Red Bull chief Christian Horner said FOTA needs to deal with its problems "or we'll stop". HRT is already a non-FOTA member, ahead of crucial forthcoming negotiations over the next Concorde Agreement.

"If we can't find agreement within FOTA on that then what is the purpose of FOTA?" Horner is also quoted as saying by Reuters.

FOTA president Martin Whitmarsh said in Korea that the alliance exists for the good of the teams.

"I think we have got to improve it," the McLaren boss said, referring to the endangered cost agreement. "I think we have got to work together to enhance trust and mutual respect in the process.

"Will we ever reach a stage where everyone is very comfortable, has no concern, no accusation? I doubt (that), but I think it has been the right thing for the sport and I think we have got to continue to persevere with it."

(GMM)

 

Perez not afraid of pairing Alonso in 2013

Sergio Perez has targeted Felipe Massa's race seat at Ferrari for 2013.

The Telmex-backed Mexican rookie will stay at Ferrari powered Sauber next season while Brazilian Massa's current Ferrari contract is fulfilled.

But Perez, 21, is a Ferrari driver 'academy' member and recently tested the famous team's 2009 single seater.

Speculation suggests he is the favourite to replace Massa beyond 2012.

"Right now I have a contract with Sauber for next year and I have to do a very good job to get to go to a team like Ferrari," Perez told Spain's AS newspaper.

"It is my goal to become world champion and to be with a team that allows me to work for that, like Ferrari," he admitted.

Perez said he would not be afraid to join Ferrari alongside a formidable teammate like Fernando Alonso.

"No, I'm motivated, not afraid. For me Fernando is the best driver on the grid and to race next to him in my third year in formula one would be very good for me.

"I could learn a lot from him and improve a lot as a driver," he added.

Alonso said in Korea that, even though he would be happy to have a new teammate in 2013, he is also happy with Massa.

"I am extremely happy with any teammate I have alongside me. I think we have a very strong team at the moment. In the future, nobody knows," he said.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali told El Pais newspaper: "Felipe knows that we would like him to be closer to Alonso.

"As a team, we have an obligation to offer everything in our power for him to do that. Anyway, don't forget that Alonso is the fastest of all and to reach his performance is not easy," he said in Korea.

(GMM)

 

Newey could be late with 2012 car debut - Marko

Dr Helmut Marko, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man on F1 matters, is not sure if the 2012 car project is on schedule.

Adrian Newey, the fabled designer of the winning Red Bull single seaters, has often been late to draw a line under a new car before its debut test.

The dominant 2011 car, however, was on time and present for the opening test of the pre-season.

"The basic concept is done by Adrian and I have not asked how far it is along or how it looks in detail," Marko told the Austrian Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"That is for him and his technicians. Of course we want to be there at the first test but if he says there is still half a second to go then we will listen to him.

"That is what we did quite well in 2009 and 2010," added Marko, referring to Marko's RB5 and RB6 cars that were launched late but went on to record a combined 15 grand prix wins.

After Sebastian Vettel's title win in Japan a week ago, Red Bull is likely to wrap up the 2011 constructors' world championship in Korea on Sunday.

"The constructors' world title is also very important, as the premium payments are based solely on this," said Marko.

"For the title it is significantly more money than second place, and much more than a linear increase."

(GMM)

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