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Vettel takes F1 championship lead after third straight victory

updated 6:07 AM EDT, Sun October 14, 2012
Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Red Bull teammate Mark Webber after their 1-2 in the Korean Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Red Bull teammate Mark Webber after their 1-2 in the Korean Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam
  • His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber finishes second
  • Vettel takes over title lead from third placed Fernando Alonso
  • Lewis Hamilton finishes disappointing 10th for McLaren

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel took over the championship lead after another commanding drive to win the Korean Grand Prix Sunday.

It completed a hat-trick of victories for the German, who has taken a six-point advantage over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with four rounds remaining.

Vettel's teammate Mark Webber finished second to complete the first one-two of the season for Red Bull, with Alonso in third.

Two-time champion Alonso came under pressure from his teammate Felipe Massa in the closing stages at Yeongam, but the Brazilian had to settle for fourth place.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of races. A lot can happen, but we need to focus on ourselves and go from there
Sebastian Vettel

Vettel, who is bidding for a third straight F1 world title, made a superb start to overtake pole sitter Webber going into the first corner.

Aside from some late concerns over tire wear, Vettel was largely untroubled as he built on victories in Singapore and Japan to wrest the title lead from Alonso.

Red Bull had been expected to come under some pressure from McLaren, but Britain's Lewis Hamilton, who started from third, had problems with handling and finished a disappointing 10th for a single point.

His teammate Jenson Button was the victim of a first lap incident with Japan's Kamui Kobayashi in his Sauber.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland finished fifth in his Lotus to remain in a distant third in the title race.

Vettel was left to reflect on the crucial start of the race which laid the platform for his triumph.

"I wasn't sure because I was starting on the dirty side, but I had a good launch and managed to get past Mark," he told the official post-race press conference.

It was a good day for team, for me and for Felipe, and we overtook McLaren in constructors' championship
Fernando Alonso

"I'm looking forward to the next couple of races. A lot can happen, but we need to focus on ourselves and go from there."

Alonso, who has seen Vettel overhaul his massive title lead, was aware his team had limited the damage with a solid display.

"We have to be happy with the performance today. We finished third and fourth behind the Red Bulls, who are difficult to beat.

"It was a good day for team, for me and for Felipe, and we overtook McLaren in constructors' championship so we are definitely moving in the right direction. We just need that last step to be as competitive as Red Bull," said the Spaniard.

Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and the Toro Rosso pair of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo occupied the points scoring positions ahead of Hamilton, who accepted his title challenge was over after the race.

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