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Formula One Second Half Review pt. 3 – Korea

The race on Sunday 6th October in Korea saw Sebastian Vettel in his usual place in pole, with his nearest championship challenger Fernando Alonso lining up his Ferrari in sixth place. The sister red bull of mark Webber managed third place on the grid on Saturday but due to his controversial ten place grid penalty from his “lift” from Fernando Alonso at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix the week before.

The start saw a fantastic performance form Romain Grosjean with Lotus, managing to steal third place as the two Ferrari’s contacting as Roseberg and Sutil attempt to pass them both causing four a breast resulting in Massa being pushed to the back of the field with contact.

The charge by Grosjean continued up front as the middle of the pack had to swerve past Massa to avoid contact, and Grosjean manages to steal second place from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes by the end of the second lap. Meanwhile at the front Sebastian Vettel was steadily pulling away with a two second lap.

By the second lap Hulkenberg in Sauber managed to move up to fifth, a fantastic position for the German driver who is currently on the driver market for a race seat next season. Fernando Alonso stayed in sixth place, as Roseberg and Hulkenberg managed to pass for fourth and fifth.

On lap four we saw a fantastic late braking move before turn four by Kimi Raikkonen to take seventh place from Daniel Riccardo’s Torro Rosso. Mark Webber had also managed to fight his way up the field to ninth place from thirteenth on the start by lap six.

Tyre strategy came into play relatively early in the race with the pit stops occurring as early as lap eight as Alonso fights for fifth with Hulkenberg whilst Raikkonen put pressure him from behind with Webber closing in behind him. A lap later Raikkonen managed to pass Alonso for sixth despite Alonso looking to take the place straight back managed to hold the position. Alonso decided to pit a lap later along with Lewis Hamilton.

Grosjean reacts and pits and comes just out in front of Hamilton, ham had DRS and attempts an outside move and then moves to the inside than the outside but Grosjean managed to stay ahead.

On Lap 12 the race leader Sebastian Vettel pitted and the top three covered by merely three seconds.

Two laps later Fernando Alonso once again began fighting Hulkenberg for sixth place as Hulkenberg starts gaining a train of cars behind him unable to pass despite clearly being faster.

On lap 20 Alonso attempted to make a move on Hulkenberg into turn 4, during the move Hulkenberg dangerously close to making two moves which is illegal as he suffers bad tyre graining.

The bad luck of recent races continued for Paul di Resta as he goes off into the barrier for the fourth race, the third time due to slight driver error, on lap twenty six. Meanwhile, Mark Webber manages to past Alonso for fifth place.

It becomes apparent two laps later that Nico Roseberg has a broken front wing and the whole nose section drags across the track creating sparks forcing him to pit. His teammate Lewis Hamilton was held up behind as Roseberg had this issue and when he pitted a lap later, Raikkonen managed to get ahead of him.

On lap thirty one a tyre delaminating befall Sergio Perez on his front right tyre causing concern over the tyres, the tread completely fell away releasing the safety car.

Four laps later the safety car returned to pits, with Raikkonen managing to get up to third behind his teammate Grosjean, with Hamilton fourth, Hulkenberg fifth and Alonso sixth.

Hulkenberg takes fourth from around the outside Hamilton on the restart, and Sutil pits for broken front wing after tagging Webber which caused Webber’s car to catch fire.

On lap thirty eight Raikkonen takes a lot of speed out of second half of pit straight and moves up on Grosjean on the inside of turn one to takes second place. The safety car emerges again due to Webber’s fire. Confusion emerges as a fire truck comes onto the track with fire truck leading the race and safety car stuck at the back. Finally the fire truck goes over to the side allowing the correct protocol to be placed with the safety car.

On lap 41 Alonso passes Hamilton into turn three on the restart and moves up to fifth place but loses it as Hamilton takes the inside line. Alonso immediately takes the pace back and Hamilton takes it back on the inside again.

Hamilton endangered his front wing as he looked to fight Hulkenberg for fourth on lap forty three.

Two laps later Maldonado was forced off the track by Gutierrez for tenth place, Maldonado rejoined the track and passed around the outside as Massa and Perez fought closely behind. Massa takes the opportunity to follow Maldonado past Gutierrez , but doesn’t manage it as Perez blocks the space therefore causing Massa contacts Perez and takes twelfth place, Gutierrez fights back again on Maldonado and Massa attempts a move on all of them up the outside and into the inside of turn ten. Massa now takes tenth place, Maldonado now behind Gutierrez, Perez and Massa and Bottas.

On lap forty seven Hamilton attempts to pass Hulkenberg on the left hand side into turn four, Hulkenberg stays ahead due to good positioning. A lap later Hamilton makes the pass on Hulkenberg for fourth place on the inside but Hulkenberg takes it back with DRS, and behind Alonso gets so close to Hamilton button has a lock up behind him. Alonso makes a move on Hamilton and moves around the outside and can’t make it stick.

The second Force India retirement of the day occurs on lap fifty one as Sutil retires from back of field then two laps later Riccardo retires from the race after he ran off the road at turn eleven.

On lap fifty five Alonso moved over on Hamilton on the outside but doesn’t manage to get the position.

Overall a dominant win from Vettel and a great podium place for Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. A great drive from Hulkenberg secured fourth with Hamilton fifth and Alonso sixth.

For part four, click here.

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