Red Bull’s Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix

YEONGAM, South Korea — With a third straight victory, Sebastian Vettel is suddenly closing in on a third straight Formula One title.

The Red Bull driver won the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday to move ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the F1 championship standings by six points with four races remaining — erasing what looked like a commanding lead for the Spaniard just three weeks ago.

Vettel started second on the grid behind Mark Webber but overtook his teammate on the first turn and never relinquished the lead, finishing 8.2 seconds ahead of Webber. Alonso was third, 13.9 seconds off the pace.

“The foundation was there with a good start,” Vettel said. “I wasn’t sure because I was starting on the dirty side of the grid, but I was able to get some good grip and get inside at the first turn.”

Vettel, who also won the previous races in Singapore and Japan, now looks to be the favorite for a third straight championship title — something only previously achieved by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fourth, followed by Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finished a disappointing 10th, despite starting third on the grid.

It was Vettel’s fourth win of the season and the first 1-2 finish for Red Bull. Vettel leads the driver’s standings for the first time this year.

Vettel said it was too early to think about the championship.

“We’ve seen the championship go up and down, so we just have to focus on ourselves for the last four races,” he said.

Alonso has not won since the German GP, when it looked as though he was going to run away with the championship. He was the innocent victim of first-lap collisions in Belgium and Japan but earned valuable points in Sunday’s race.

“We’re doing what we can at the moment,” Alonso said. “We’re trying to save points. It was a perfect Sunday for us: good start, good strategy during the race and finishing on the podium. I’m very happy with today’s race and where we are in the championship.”

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi made contact with Jenson Button on Turn 3 of the first lap, sending the McLaren driver to an early exit. Kobayashi was handed a drive-through penalty for causing the collision. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg also went out on the first lap.

Hamilton, who is fourth in the standings at 62 points behind Vettel, had a rear suspension problem with his McLaren and even got a piece of artificial turf from the edge of the track stuck under his car late in the race.

Red Bull also increased its lead in the constructors’ championship with 367 points, 77 ahead of Ferrari. McLaren dropped to third place with 284 points.

The next race is Oct. 28 in India.

More in Sports

RPI has changed way hoops coaches approach non-league games

The implementation of RPI for state-tourney seeding has local basketball coaches thinking differently.

Everett’s Akash Bains leaps over Prince George’s Josh Maser during a game Dec. 16, 2017, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sivertips bounce back, rout Cougars 4-0

Dustin Wolf notches his first career shutout as Everett rebounds from a loss to beat Prince George.

How might NHL team in Seattle impact Silvertips?

A look at local reaction to the possibility of the NHL coming to Seattle.

Seahawks ditch ‘every game is the same’ mantra for Rams showdown

Seattle hosts first-place Los Angeles in what is essentially the NFC West championship game on Sunday.

Freshmen contributing for UW men’s basketball team

Mike Hopkins likes what he’s seen from his freshmen through… Continue reading

Saturday’s prep scores, recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Neah Bay 61, Darrington 55 Bellingham 77, Sultan 55 Interlake… Continue reading

Saturday’s stars of the night

Peter Kim, Anthony Armad, Kamiak wrestling Kim and Armad, both seniors, helped… Continue reading

Friday’s prep basketball scores, recaps

Girls teams get defensive in decisive victories.

Glacier Peak’s Makayla Guerra attempts a shot past Jackson’s Sydney Carter Friday night at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish on December 15, 2017. Glacier Peak won 63-46. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
New-look Glacier Peak girls basketball beats Jackson 63-46

The Grizzlies are starting to find their footing after losing three stars to graduation from last season.

Most Read