Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel closed in on his fourth successive world title with a commanding victory in the Korean Grand Prix.
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen produced another trademark drive through the field to finish second ahead of another strong showing from team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Nico Hulkenberg was mighty in the Sauber, punching above his weight to secure his best result of the season in fourth while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton battled tyre problems to take fifth. But who was your Driver of the Day?
Won his eighth race of the season to move to the brink of his fourth world title. Led away cleanly from pole and was very disciplined in his first stint as he managed his tyres. Reacted well at both the safety car restarts to ensure Grosjean and then Raikkonen couldn’t get close enough to launch an attack. Controlled the race from then on, setting the fastest lap in the process, to take his fifth victory in six races. Extended his lead over nearest rival Alonso to 77 points with just 125 remaining and could mathematically win the title at the next race in Japan.
Recovered from a disappointing qualifying to take his eighth podium of the season. Started from ninth on the grid but made up a place with a pass around the outside of Daniel Ricciardo. Struggled to make more progress, but an early pit stop gave him free air and also saw him gain track position to third when the safety car came out. Passed Grosjean when he made a mistake with a bold move up the inside into Turn One but couldn’t catch Vettel and settled for second.
Lost out during the two safety car periods but still impressed to finish on the podium. Made a brilliant getaway from third to pass Hamilton from second. Maintained a gap to leader Vettel early on while holding a comfortable lead over Hamilton. Two safety car periods meant he was unable to go as deep into the stint as he’d hoped in order to attempt to challenge Vettel. Made a mistake on track which allowed Raikkonen to pass and was unable to fight back immediately as they entered a yellow flag zone. Finished third for his third podium of the year.
Delivered his best performance of the season with a mature drive to fourth. Passed Alonso at the start to run fifth and utilised the Sauber’s impressive traction to stay ahead. Slick pit work from the team, combined with some clever defensive driving ensured he maintained track position. Passed Hamilton after the safety car restart to run fourth and then defended the position from Hamilton bravely for nearly 20 laps. Lost the place to Hamilton at Turn One, but immediately passed the Mercedes back down the straight and ultimately finished fourth.
Looked in contention for a podium before struggling with tyre-wear and battling to fifth. Made a decent getaway, but couldn’t hold off the fast starting Hulkenberg. Showed good pace in the first stint, staying within six seconds of leader Vettel. Struggled in the middle phase of the race, at one point losing up to three seconds a lap with fading tyres. Forced to stay out an extra lap because the team needed to service team-mate Rosberg’s broken front wing. Looked strong in the final stint but though he put consistent pressure on Hulkenberg, couldn’t find a way past and finished fifth.