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GP Week : Issue 138
F1 KOREA >> It was the move that shaped a race. Despite an average start off the line, Sebastian Vettel overtook Lewis Hamilton on the first lap of the Korean Grand Prix and never looked back, eventually taking the chequered flag 12 seconds ahead of his McLaren rival. While the Red Bull driver was disadvantaged in a race that saw him start on the dirty side of the grid – at a track where such things make a significant difference – Vettel proved his worth as a double champion with a clean pass on pole sitter Hamilton at Turn 4 after a failed attempt on the previous corner. And that was that. Vettel then pulled out his trademark lead on the men behind, and held the advantage until the chequered flag, despite the best efforts of the Safety Car to level up the field. In the post-race press conference, Vettel admitted that the arrival of the Safety Car had caused him momentary concern “ When the Safety Car came, I didn’t really need that to be honest,” he said. “Lewis came closer again and I was struggling a little bit with the tyres but then the car seemed to stabilise and come back and I was able to open a gap just before we had the second pit stop. Then to the end it was just fantastic, I could just push when I had to and obviously I got a little bit of a gap because those guys were fighting.” Hamilton knew he was beaten, saying after the race that “it was impossible to be able to really catch Sebastian and overtake.” It was a masterful performance from the double champion, who continues to be dogged by critics unconvinced of his ability to overtake. Vettel spoils Hamilton’s party 27