Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took the lead for the Formula 1 world championship by convincingly winning at the Korean Grand Prix, with team mate Mark Webber coming in at second place. This is Vettel’s third straight win. Right off the line, polesitter Webber instantly lost the lead to Vettel. After being able to prevent the Australian's attempt to recover at Turn 3, Vettel was then able to pull away. He was able to get a lead of about 10 secs before focusing on getting the tires fixed.
Fernando Alonso was able to go up to third place during a frenzied first lap but it didn’t have a response to the pace of the Red Bull drivers. The former points leader kept Webber in sight from a distance as he took the podium. It was a bad day for McLaren. On lap one, Jenson Button was already out when Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi struck Button and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg at Turn 3. Lewis Hamilton came in fourth at the back of Alonso in the first stint before slowing down on his second set of tires.
Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen overtook him before he shifted to a three-stop strategy. This kept Hamilton in tenth place as his attempts to recover positions weren’t effective, especially in the final laps. After dispatching Hamilton, Massa was able to get near to Ferrari team-mate Alonso. He got a radio message asking him to stay in formation. He eventually ended up in fourth place, ahead of Lotus’ Raikkonen.
Nico Hulkenberg performed well in the race to get sixth place for Force India, providing one of the most thrilling moments of a mostly boring race when he got past both Romain Grosjean and Hamilton in one sweep as the Lotus and McLaren diced. Grosjean came in at seventh place. Toro Rosso did very well. Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo recovered from their lowly grid positions to take eighth and ninth, exchanging positions later on as Ricciardo's tires faded. The Astroturf experience made McLaren fall back after heavily pressuring the STR duo. Mercedes’ team also had a dismal performance. After the early departure of Rosberg, Michael Schumacher was unable to maintain a strong pace throughout and later fell behind to 13th behind Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta.