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Webber's stricken Red Bull is winched away
The Korean Grand Prix marked Vettel's fourth victory in succession, but the race was one of the most dramatic and chaotic of the season.
It all began on the opening lap when Felipe Massa spun on the way down to Turn 3, almost collecting teammate Fernando Alonso in the process.
Following the first period of pit stops, Nico Rosberg managed to pass teammate Lewis Hamilton but then suffered a bizarre failure as his front-wing assembly collapsed on him, forcing him to limp back to the pits in a shower of sparks.
Next up to suffer misfortune was the McLaren of Sergio Perez as this front-right Pirelli tyre spectacularly delaminated, although he recovered to finish 10th.
The result of Perez’s delaminating was a safety car period, and on the restart, Kimi Raikkonen took advantage of a lapse in concentration from teammate Romain Grosjean to pass into Turn 1.
Having had to concede position twice before in the season, Grosjean expected his team to order Raikkonen to surrender back the position, but instead, they told him to continue racing.
Moments later, Adrian Sutil lost control of his Force India into Turn 3 and took both himself and Mark Webber out of the race. With Webber’s Red Bull set ablaze from the crash, a fire truck was deployed to deal with the situation and joined the circuit in a dangerous position with the cars still racing.
Fortunately, race director Charlie Whiting responded in time to deploy a safety car and Vettel went on to take victory under late pressure from Raikkonen.
Talking points: Should Lotus have asked Raikkonen to hand position back to Grosjean? New procedures concerning the deployment of fire trucks must now be looked at.