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Sports

Sebastian Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix

Germany's Sebastian Vettel has won the Korean Grand Prix, taking him a step closer to a fourth consecutive drivers’ title. This was the Red Bull driver’s fourth straight victory and the eighth of the season.

Sebastian Vettel, who had started from pole position, led the race from start to finish, taking the chequered flag on the Yeongam circuit 4.2 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver's Lotus team-mate Roamin Grosjean came in third, about half a second further back.

Another German, Nico Hülkenberg of Sauber, and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Vettel was undeterred by two safety-car phases, the second of which was prompted by Adrian Sutil of Force India driving into his Red Bull team-mate, Mark Webber. This caused Webber's car to go up in flames, but the Australian driver climbed out of the wreckage unhurt.

In fact, Vettel and his team were able to use one of the safety-car phases to their advantage.

"It's not great getting stuck behind the safety car, but all in all it was fantastic," Vettel told reporters after the race.

"It was good to have the safety car come out just a couple of corners before the pit entry," he added.

This allowed Vettel to make a pit stop without his position in the race being threatened.

Title to be decided as soon as next week

The win extended Vettel's lead atop the drivers' standings to 77 points ahead of his closest rival, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who finished sixth on Sunday.

This all but ended Alonso's hopes of catching Vettel over the remaining five races on this season's F1 calendar. Vettel could clinch the drivers' title as soon as next weekend, if he wins the Japanese Grand Prix and Alonso finishes lower than eighth.

pfd/tj (dpa, AFP)

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