One week after taking the drivers' title at Suzuka, Red Bull win the constructors' championship. Sebastian Vettel finishes first in Korea ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber.
Lewis Hamilton just about managed to hold off the challenge from Sebastian Vettel at the start, but as early as turn 4, he was overtaken by the Red Bull man. Meanwhile, Jenson Button had lost several positions, falling back to sixth behind Mark Webber and both Ferraris. While Nico Rosberg successfully defended his seventh place, Michael Schumacher moved up two positions to take P10 by the end of the first lap. All the while, Vettel was steadily consolidating his lead.
Button was the first of the leading group to pit, coming in on lap 14, closely followed by Rosberg. The McLaren man emerged first, but was then overtaken by Rosberg on the track. Undismayed, Button counterattacked and re-passed the Mercedes driver.
Felipe Massa and Mark Webber pitted on lap 15 for fresh rubber, with Hamilton and Alonso following suit one lap later. The McLaren driver had been complaining about vibration and understeer, so his mechanics performed a wing adjustment for good measure.
On lap 17, just after Vettel had changed his tyres, the safety car came out as the result of a collision between Vitaly Petrov and Schumacher. Petrov misjudged the corner and crashed into the rear of the German at high speed. That was the end of the race for both drivers.
The safety car came in on lap 20, and at the restart, Vettel was in the lead ahead of Hamilton, Webber, Button and Rosberg. Pastor Maldonado was given a drive-through penalty for exiting the pit lane incorrectly, and not long after, he returned to the garage to park up and retire.
On lap 27, Rosberg misbraked on turn 3, allowing both Ferraris to sail past. Meanwhile at the front, Hamilton was closing in on Vettel, but the fastest man on the track was now third-placed Webber who, in contrast to Vettel and Hamilton, was on the harder tyres. Within a short time he found himself within striking distance of Hamilton. Both pitted together on lap 34 before resuming their battle on track, while ahead of them, Vettel now came in for his final pit stop.
On lap 38, Alonso pitted for his last set of tyres, emerging back on track ahead of team-mate Massa. While Vettel increased his lead, a thrilling scrap for the second podium spot was taking place between Hamilton and Webber. Lap after lap, the two of them were engaged in close combat as Hamilton countered every attacking move from the Australian.