Prime & Option: the week in review, October 7

Despite the typical result of Sebastian Vettel and his finger on top of the podium, the Korean Grand Prix provided much excitement for viewers and dominated the headlines this past week. Though last week proved interesting enough, there is little time for more breaking news as the Formula 1 circus travels on to Japan for two back-to-back race weekends.

Sebastian Vettel’s Win is the least of the Korean GP News
Though Vettel won from pole on Sunday, the news of the race included two Safety Car periods, continued bad luck for Mark Webber as his Red Bull went up in flames, multiple lap battles over position, complaints over tyres, and teammates fighting over podium scraps. Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, and Lewis Hamilton finished the top five, with possibly the best drive of the race from Hulkenberg as he fended off nearly half of the world championship drivers in the field.

Though Hamilton had a go at beating Vettel’s fast times, and led two of the three practice sessions, he could not beat the German during Saturday’s qualifying sessions.

Read the Drivers’ thoughts after the race, after qualifying, and after the practice sessions.

Alonso Annoyed with Pirelli Tyres
After qualifying for the Korean GP, Fernando Alonso complained about the state of Pirelli tyres. He said, “I am sure all the cars, if they pushed 100 per cent from the start of the lap, they would not last 5km…I am not blaming the tires. But they are not good.” Paul Hembery, speaking for Pirelli, responded, “I can only suggest he goes to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tires.”

Pirelli Denied Austin Test with McLaren
Pirelli will not be able to learn more about the state of F1 tyres, as a proposed test after Austin with McLaren has been denied. Though Pirelli is unhappy, as likely is McLaren, perhaps the idea could be revisited after Sergio Perez’s dramatic tyre failure during the race Sunday.

Red Bull Comes Under Traction Control Allegations
Lewis Hamilton and Giancarlo Minardi have suggested that Red Bull are using illegal traction control to gain corner exit speed. Fernando Alonso piled on by noting that the Red Bull has a different engine note. Quite wisely, Christian Horner responded by noting, “You would be fairly stupid to introduce traction control on to a car that is governed on a single ECU, which is done through a tender of the FIA and which is scrupulously checked by the FIA.” No one would accuse Red Bull of being stupid, while Hamilton seems to have a traction fixation. He repeatedly commented on the state of Nico Hulkenberg’s great traction during and after the Korean Grand Prix.

Don’t forget to take a look at the discussion questions and participate in #F1Chat later today!

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