Vettel closes the gap in Japan

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Updated: October 7, 2012

Double World Champion Sebastian Vettel won in Japan from pole in emphatic style coming home almost 20 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Massa, his first podium since 2010. Sauber Ferrrari driver, Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi gave the home fans to cheer about with a superb 3rd place finish, another unexpected podium for the Swiss based outfit.

Suzuka is proving to be a happy hunting ground for Vettel as he has now won from pole in 3 out of the last 4 years.

Fernando Alonso spun out at the start and was unable to finish the race. This has allowed Vettel to cut his championship lead to just 4 points following his 3rd win of the season, and with only 4 races its going to be a grand stand finish.

McLaren’s 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton was fifth ahead of Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg for Force India. Jenson Button who started from 8th came home half a second behind Kobayashi in 4th.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado scored his first points since he won the Spanish Grand Prix, ending a run of nine races without scoring for Williams.

Australian Mark Webber was ninth for Red Bull after starting on the front row following Red Bull’s first one-two of the season in qualifying, and then having to fight back from last place after a collision with Frenchman Romain Grosjean’s Lotus at the start.

Red Bull maintain the initiative in the constructors, with 324 points, while McLaren are second on 283.

1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull – Renault 1:28:56.242
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari +00:20.639
3. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber – Ferrari 00:24.538
4. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:25.098
5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 00:46.490
6. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus – Renault 00:50.424
7. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 00:51.159
8. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams – Renault 00:52.364
9. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull – Renault 00:54.675
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 01:06.919
11. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 01:07.769
12. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India – Mercedes 01:23.460
13. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 01:28.645
14. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams – Renault 01:28.709
15. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham – Renault 1 lap
16. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia – Cosworth 1 lap
17. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham – Renault 1 lap
18. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT – Cosworth 1 lap
19r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Renault 2 laps
r. Charles Pic (France) Marussia – Cosworth 16 laps
r. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT – Cosworth 21 laps
r. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber – Ferrari 35 laps
r. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 53 laps
r. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 53 laps