• Oct 16, 2011
The 2011 Formula One World Championship was decided last week in Japan. Or was it? That's where Sebastian Vettel was re-crowned World Champion, propelling himself into the history books as the youngest multiple champ in F1 history. But the series has more than one title in contention each year. So while Vettel won the Drivers' Championship for the second year running, the Constructors' Championship – the title awarded to the winning team, determined by the combined scores of their two drivers – still remained up for grabs.

With four races to go, Red Bull seemed a sure thing to defend its Constructors' Championship. The question came down to a matter of when. In order to seize it in South Korea this weekend, RBR would need to outscore its main rivals at McLaren. In other words, Vettel and his wingman Mark Webber would need to finish the Korean Grand Prix in better average position than Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Would that prove too tall an order, or would the defending champs rise to the occasion and shut their rivals out of the championship? Follow the jump to find out.

After a season full of Red Bull-dominated qualifying sessions, Lewis Hamilton shocked by taking pole position – the first time this season that the RB7 (whether piloted by Vettel or by Webber) was not on pole. Instead, Vettel was consigned to second place – starting on the front row but on the "dirty" side of the track – with Button third and Webber fourth. The Ferrari duo of Massa and Alonso landed on the third row, followed by Rosberg (Mercedes), Petrov (Renault), di Resta and Sutil (Force India), with Schumacher relegated to twelfth place behind STR's Alguersuari.

It was a clean start off the line as the top six stayed in the same position heading into the first pair of corners. But into turn 3, Massa skipped past Webber to pass Button. Webber then took back his place from Massa and Alonso passed Button, while up front Vettel took the lead from Hamilton. The newly re-crowned champion would proceed to open up an increasingly wide lead over Hamilton and the rest of the field over the subsequent laps.

With Vettel in front and Hamilton still second, Massa, Alonso and Webber fought hard for third place as Button began closing in to the pack. The leaders started heading in for their first round of pit stops around lap 14. The rest made theirs under the safety car that was deployed when Petrov rear-ended Schumacher on lap 16, damaging their front and rear wings, respectively. Both went home prematurely as the first retirements of the day.




By lap 26, the Ferrari duo had caught up to Rosberg and soon passed him for fifth place. Shortly thereafter, Williams' Pastor Maldonado joined Petrov and Schumacher trackside.

Up front, Webber fought hard to get past Hamilton in one of the closest battles of the season. The fight continued into the pit lane, from which Hamilton emerged ahead. A slip on Hamilton's part saw Webber squeeze by briefly, only for the McLaren driver to retake his position. Webber got by again on the back straight of lap 49 (out of 55 total), but Hamilton deployed the DRS wing and slipped past once more.

The closing laps saw Hamilton, Webber, Button and Alonso running in close proximity as Vettel remained a dozen seconds ahead, and so they finished, with Vettel showing no signs of easing up even after taking the title. He was followed by Hamilton in second, Webber in third, Button fourth, Alonso fifth and Massa sixth. Toro Rosso's Alguersuari and Buemi impressively sandwiched Rosberg in positions seven, eight and nine, with di Resta picking up the final point in tenth.



With the Red Bulls finishing in staggered order ahead of the McLarens, it was just enough for the defending champions to seize the constructors' title once again, giving them both championships two years running. All that leaves for the rest of the field is to fight over the remaining places. Watch this space for results from the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in two weeks' time.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      TexRob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not like it really matters, nobody expected Red Bull to not get the constructors, still...a spoiler in the title is a spoiler in the title. Just sayin' As for the race. Seb is a great driver, but I think people think Webber is a great driver, and that Seb is just that much better. It's a combo of a great driver and a near perfect car (anyone see how well that car absorbs bumps yet again?) The fact that Webber gets third when he had nothing to match Lewis is proof that car is amazing. It sucks because he got a free DRS ride for like a third of the race. If Lewis had been able to gap Webber, Webber would have lost ground without DRS, and we'd be looking at a 2-3 Mclaren finish. DRS has it's good points, to me, we saw it's bad points today.
        MotionDesigner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TexRob
        I think DRS itself is very cool, but the fact that only a driver within 1 second BEHIND another driver is allowed to use DRS while the driver in front is not, kind of makes it unfair IMO.
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Vettel even did the fastest lap on the last lap for good measure.... he had it covered :-)
      thx4spoilingrace
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm signing up for the SOLE purpose of thanking the incredibly intelligent writer (Noah Joseph) and his editor for ruining the race for the bulk of Autoblog's readers. Thanks for spoiling the race in the title, genius. You'd think as a site for enthusiasts that the writers/editors might have some idea about what's going on in the age of watching things after the broadcast, but I guess some people just aren't that smart, or enjoy ruining things for everyone else. Well done, sirs.
        TexRob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @thx4spoilingrace
        Ok, I mentioned it before you even in my post below, but come on man, it didn't really spoil the race. All it told you, if you are a hardcore number cruncher, was that either Red Bull cars finished within points, or Mclaren cars did not, or that Red Bull finished higher than Mclaren. It really did not tell much, and it did not spoil the race by any means, it was a mild spoiler to the season manufacturer championship, so relax.
        mrpinto
        • 3 Years Ago
        @thx4spoilingrace
        Here's an idea... how about you watch the thing on your tivo... and THEN log on to an auto news site? You'd think that a racing enthusiast in this age of watching things after the broadcast... would know how to avoid going to an auto news site before having watched the race... Hope that helps for the next time...
        EuropaCar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @thx4spoilingrace
        agreed, I guess I didn't learn from last time when vettel won the championship and that fact was spoiled in the title.. I checked autoblog before watching the next race thinking there's no way this one can be spoiled as well.. and was mistaken. Why can't the title be just '2011 Korean Grand Prix' is that too much to ask?
      MotionDesigner
      • 3 Years Ago
      How is it that the Korean International Circuit looked exactly the same as last year with absolutely no improvements/additions? There were still patches of dirt with no grass and what I find most shocking is that when the teams went to their rooms, they found the food was still left in their fridge from last year.
        Georg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        one of the most boring tracks + one of the worst build quality... a shame that classic GP´s in europe gets chanceld for such a shame...
          MotionDesigner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Georg
          I read there was some type of strike involving labor unions and politics regarding that track, so it seems like they just abandoned it for the entire year and only opened it back up when the GP came around.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      malgu
      • 3 Years Ago
      so when do i get my Redbull X1 for GT5?? ahaha
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 3 Years Ago
      Vettel won? I'm shocked!
      thx4spoilingrace
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm signing up for the SOLE purpose of thanking the incredibly intelligent writer (Noah Joseph) and his editor for ruining the race for the bulk of Autoblog's readers. Thanks for spoiling the race in the title, genius. You'd think as a site for enthusiasts that the writers/editors might have some idea about what's going on in the age of watching things after the broadcast, but I guess some people just aren't that smart, or enjoy ruining things for everyone else. Well done, sirs.
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