Formula 1: Red Bull on a Roll at the South Korean Grand Prix

Red Bull seem to have made a habit of being consistent when they have been at the front end of...

James Bale

Contributor

Red Bull seem to have made a habit of being consistent when they have been at the front end of the grid.  South Korea has recently given us Gangnam style, a rather fun and interesting take on music, but the race wasn’t quite so energetic as the YouTube video would suggest.  We had some great overtaking moves but overall it was quite an average race.

In Other News…

Massa should be safe with Ferrari until the end of 2013 after his good run of finishes in the latter half of this season.  Various sources have linked Vettel with a move to Ferrari in 2014.  Could Ferrari really deal with both Vettel & Alonso wanting to win the championship?  Red Bull say they have Vettel under contract until the end of the 2014 season, so we shall wait to see what happens there.

Qualifying

Q3 saw the usual suspects leave as per usual.  HRT, Marussia and Caterham were the first six to be dropped.  This time they were joined by the Williams of Bruno Senna.  Karthikeyan experienced brake difficulties which sent him spinning off the track and he didn’t set a time.  Q2 saw Torro Rosso end up 16th and 17th.  The other Williams of Maldonado ending up in 15th with the first Force India of Paul Di Resta in 14th.  Both Saubers qualified in 13th and 12th with Jenson Button narrowly missing out on the top ten in 11th.  The final stage of qualifying saw three Germans line up next to one another.  Hulkenberg in the Force India achieving 8th ahead of the Mercedes pair of Rosberg and Schumacher getting 9th and 10th respectively.  Grosjean put in another good qualifying performance to get 7th with Massa in 6th and Grosjean’s teammate Raikkonen in 5th.  Alonso starts 4th behind the McLaren of Hamilton in 3rd and the two Red Bull’s keeping the front row all to themselves.  Webber out qualified Vettel to earn his second pole position of the season.  Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Pic both received a five place grid drop leaving them to start the race in 21st and 24th place respectively.

 

The Race

An uneventful start overall saw Webber have yet another poor start from his excellent qualifying position, and Vettel easily jumped him into 1st.  Alonso managed to get level with Hamilton and everyone else filed through onto the first long straight.  Webber tried his best to get back past Vettel but to no avail at the end of the long straight which leads into turn 3.  Alonso had more luck gaining 3rd place from Hamilton and then proceeded to attack Webber for 2nd place.  However turn 3 had some collisions, but the normal culprits were nowhere to be found.  Kobayashi, the star of Suzuka last week, managed to catapult through both Rosberg and Button leaving them stranded at turn 3 and 4.  From re-watching the replays of the incident, Kobayashi punctured the side pod of Rosberg which bounced him onto the front right wheel of Button’s car subsequently breaking the suspension.  Kobayashi came out of this mildly unscathed with a punctured tyre and broken front wing.  He was later given a drive through penalty for causing the collision.  Raikkonen seemed determined to make overtaking as hard as possible for himself by always favouring the outside line.  Not the best overtaking tactic unless you have clearly jumped in front of the other car, or have braked early and you carry more speed out of the exit.  No idea why Kimi was trying to make life hard for himself but it didn’t help him get past anyone!  However someone who certainly made overtaking work was Nico Hulkenberg.

The young German made a brilliant double pass on Grosjean and Hamilton after Grosjean’s failed passing attempt on Lewis at turn 3.  This sent Lewis wide and Grosjean even wider as he rejoined the track behind Hamilton.  Hulkenberg then went round the outside of turn 4 passing Grosjean, and then down the inside of turn 5 passing Lewis.  Great moves and great racing from the three drivers involved.  Grosjean seemed to be driving very ‘safe’ throughout the entire race maybe to make sure he finished the race for a change.

In the last few laps of the race more disaster struck for Lewis as his McLaren’s right side pod picked up some Astroturf from the track surface.  Throughout the race people had been running slightly wide catching the turf on the outside of the corner, and because it had only recently been glued down the cars had been lifting it from the track.  Some of the Astroturf that was lying on the ground got caught on his side pod and was acting like a green flag attached to the car.  It didn’t cause any damage but was an aerodynamic disaster for his car.  The race otherwise was fairly drama free which is good considering the amount of incidents we have had this season.  Vettel ended up winning the race with his teammate Webber close behind in second.  Ferrari put in another good showing with Alonso third and Massa fourth.  Torro Rosso were perhaps the best overall finishers of the day considering their starting positions on the grid as they finished 8th and 9th ahead of a struggling Hamilton in 10th.

 

The Awards
Sadly no prizes though…

Driver of the Day
Nico Hulkenberg

I’m giving it to the young German.  Great racing ability and some great passes I think have earned him some recognition.

Mr Consistent
Sebastian Vettel

When he is out in front, he is out in front.  Comfortable win overall from the current World Champion.

Team of the Day
Torro Rosso

Fastest car on the straights which really paid off for them in the DRS zone leading into turn 3.  Their drivers started 16th and 21st, and finished 8th and 9th.  Great result for them.

Driver Quote of the Day
Jenson Button at Kamui Kobayashi

“What an Idiot”
Kobayashi ended Jenson’s race within 3 corners with a rather daring move which would not have really worked.  Should have anticipated and planned his move better in all honesty.

Commentary team Fail of the Day
Jake, Eddie and David

They attempted to dance ‘Gangnam Style’ with PSY himself.  Watch the video link here and laugh.

 

Full Race Results Here

Full Championship Standings