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2013 Japanese GP: Sebastian Vettel Wins Again

Throughout the race it looked as though Mark Webber could win for the first time this season. Red Bull’s number 2 won the pole at Suzuka but wasn’t as lucky in the race when he was slow away from the starting grid. That allowed Romain Grosjean to jump through into the lead from fourth on the grid. Even after the poor start, the Aussie’s three-stop strategy looked likely to win him the race, but by the time he overtook Grosjean on the penultimate lap, his team mate Sebastian Vettel was long gone.

In the end this was another routine win for the German three-time World Champion who took his ninth Grand Prix win of the 2013 season with a two-stop strategy. The 25 points were not enough to take the Formula One championship because Fernando Alonso finished fourth in his Ferrari to keep the title race going into the next round in Indian in two weeks. With a 90 point gap and 100 still to play for, Alonso still has a mathematical chance of becoming champion this season.

Alonso’s race was frustrating as he ran behind teammate Felipe Massa for most of the race’s 53 laps. When he got ahead of Massa, Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber proved just as tough to pass but after a tight battle the Ferrari number 1 took the 12 points for fourth spot. Hulkenberg’s fifth place soon turned into sixth when Kimi Raikkonen also went by. Although Hulkenberg’s performance was impressive, his team mate’s Esteban Gutierrez stole the headlines for the underfunded team with his first point scoring finish in seventh.

The rest of the top ten was occupied by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in eighth who was just ahead of Jenson Button in ninth. Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten after a difficult race for the Scuderia having lost time with a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding.

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