VICTORY FOR RED BULL RACING IN KOREA SEALS CONSTRUCTORS’ TITLE
AND 10TH TITLE FOR RENAULT ENGINES
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber secured a 1-3 result at yesterday’s Korean Grand Prix, giving Red Bull Racing-Renault its second consecutive constructors’ world title. Vettel took his tenth win of the year, over 12 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with Webber just one second further behind.
Lotus Renault GP’s Bruno Senna finished in 13th position, two places higher than his starting position; however Vitaly Petrov retired on lap 17 following incident damage.
Team Lotus again had a strong performance, with Heikki Kovalainen 14th ahead of both Saubers and within touching distance of Senna. Jarno Trulli finished in 17th.
Key race weekend points:
Red Bull Racing
Vettel made a good start from second on the grid, and got past polesitter Hamilton on the first lap. He extended a strong lead over the McLaren, but the advantage was cancelled when the safety car was deployed on lap 17 following the incident between Petrov and Schumacher. When the safety car returned to the pits Vettel again eked out a lead. He finished the race 12 seconds ahead of Hamilton to secure his tenth win of the season. Mark Webber enjoyed a race long battle with Hamilton, getting ahead on several occasions on track. He could not make it stick however and despite a move on lap 34 that appeared to hold, Hamilton regained the advantage with the deployment of DRS and KERS. Webber remained in touch with the McLaren but crossed the line in third, his ninth podium of the year.
Lotus Renault GP
Vitaly Petrov qualified in the top ten and converted his qualifying pace to a strong race performance. The Russian was running in eighth; however his race came to a premature end on lap 17 when he missed a braking zone and went into the back of Michael Schumacher at turn three. He returned to the pits for a new nose, but further damage was found on the car and he retired from the race. Bruno Senna had a quiet race from 15th on the grid, racing the two Williams and Saubers for position. He crossed the line in 13th.
Team Lotus enjoyed its most competitive race to date, with Heikki Kovalainen racing to 14th position ahead of both Saubers. The Finn got a good start from the line and made two stops. His pace matched that of the cars in front of him and he finished just two seconds from Bruno Senna. Jarno Trulli similarly enjoyed a competitive race pace, but blue flags and some pit lane traffic meant he came home in 17th, ahead of the other ‘new’ teams.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
We are naturally delighted to have helped Red Bull Racing to the constructors’ title today. Even though there have been a lot of wins this season, each point has been hard fought and we’ve had to keep focussed for each race and not take anything for granted. This determination has seen the partnership get stronger and stronger over the season and the title is a fantastic reward for every minute of work at Milton Keynes and at Aubigny and Viry.
At the same time Team Lotus are improving race by race, again a sign of a partnership that is maturing very nicely. It was the team’s strongest ever race and it’s great feeling to see the team fighting with the group of cars right from the very first lap. The drivers raced extremely well, and it is good that we can provide them with a solid package from which to extract performance.
Ultimately it was another disappointing result for Lotus Renault GP with no points, but the performance has been reasonable when we look at the weekend as a whole. We’re going to go over how we can strengthen all elements of the car now and ensure we can extract the maximum from the package in time for the Indian Grand Prix in two weeks.
1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 349 points
2. Jenson Button (McLaren) 222 points
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 212 points
4. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 209 points
5. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 196 points
9. Vitaly Petrov (LRGP) 36 points
18. Bruno Senna (LRGP) 2 points
21. Jarno Trulli (Team Lotus) 0 points
22. Heikki Kovalainen (Team Lotus) 0 points
1. Red Bull Racing 558 points
2. McLaren 418 points
3. Ferrari 310 points
5. LRGP 72 points
10. Team Lotus 0 points
Renault statistics in F1:
140 wins, 191 poles
* including Supertec, Mecachrome and Playlife statistics