Korean Grand Prix 2013: Preview


It has now got to the point where we just want him to get it over and done with so we can move on.

Sebastian Vettel cannot mathematically win the title this weekend in Korea, although he could wrap it up a week later in Japan.

At his current level of dominance the German will almost certainly have done it by the end of this month, and there will still be three races to go.

Attentions are turning elsewhere though. The thought of new engines in 2014, the new tracks that may or may not grace the calendar, and some tasty driver line-ups, some of which are yet to be announced.

Nevertheless, we should drag our focus back to the here and now. Mokpo is the destination this weekend for what could be the last Korean Grand Prix. The event has that ominous asterisk next to it on the 2014 calendar, and it seems that few would miss the race if it were to fall of the schedule.

Vettel might be one of the few sad to see it go. He was leading the inaugural race in 2010 until his engine gave up after 45 laps, but made up for that by winning in 2011 and last year. The hat trick is very much on this season as he canters towards the title.

Fernando Alonso was the winner of that first grand prix in Yeongam, profiting from Vettel’s reliability issue. That race was by far the most exciting of the three that have been held in Korea, and it may also be the race that Mark Webber will look back on as the one that cost him his best chance of an F1 championship. The Australian, struggling with the wet conditions, crashed out while running second.

 

Webber and Alonso both got reprimands in Singapore for this stunt - Credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Webber and Alonso both got reprimands in Singapore for this stunt – Credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

 

Alonso is unlikely to challenge Vettel for the win this year, unless the German suffers further ill luck. The Spaniard will probably qualify a few rows back from pole position and then finish the race second, just as he did last time out in Singapore, and just as he has done at most other races.

Nobody else looks like challenging Vettel either. Webber has a ten-place grid penalty after he hitched a ride back to the pits in Singapore, Mercedes can’t seem to live with the race pace of Red Bull any longer this season, and Kimi Räikkönen seems to have gone of the boil slightly since his place at Ferrari was confirmed.

The lethargy is setting in and there is no championship battle to oppose it. But once Vettel has achieved his goal of a fourth title, perhaps then this season will be reignited, and the V8 era will bow out in style.

 

2013 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX
Timetable (all times BST)
Friday 4th October
Free Practice 1 02:00
Free Practice 2 06:00
Saturday 5th October
Free Practice 3 03:00
Qualifying 06:00
Sunday 6th October
Race 07:00
Coverage (UK)
Live: Sky Sports F1 HD; Highlights: BBC; Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live / 5 Live Sports Extra