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FIA F1 - Vettel Takes Korea Along With Championship Lead

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Korea, Oct. 14, 2012: Sebastian Vettel won his third straight race at the Korean Grand Prix to take the Formula One championship lead from Fernando Alonso with four events left.

Red Bull’s Vettel managed his wearing tires to the finish yesterday to take the checkered flag 8.2 seconds ahead of teammate Mark Webber, who started from pole position at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam. Webber held off Ferrari’s Alonso to give Red Bull its first 1-2 of the season.

Vettel’s 25th career victory, which followed back-to-back wins in Singapore and Japan, lifted him six points ahead of Alonso atop the drivers’ championship as he seeks a third straight world title. It also made the 25-year-old German the youngest driver to reach a quarter-century of wins.

“I’m looking forward to the next couple of races,” Vettel told reporters. “We had a good last couple of races but we’ve seen the championship is pretty much up and down, a lot of things can happen. We have to focus on ourselves. We need to have our best possible results and then we go from there.”

Vettel, who last led the standings in May, has 215 points to Alonso’s 209.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth yesterday, pulling 14 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in third place in the championship after the McLaren driver could only claim a single point by finishing 10th. Vettel has a 48-point lead over Raikkonen with 100 points available in the remaining races in India, Abu Dhabi, the U.S. and Brazil.

Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa took fourth place ahead of Raikkonen in yesterday’s 55-lap race as Ferrari leapfrogged McLaren to go second in the constructors’ standings. Red Bull leads with 367 points to Ferrari’s 290, with McLaren another six points further back.