Vettel chasing third consecutive win in Korea

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Sebastian Vettel may enjoy a sizeable championship lead of sixty points over closest-rival Fernando Alonso, but the German driver will not be easing off in the final six races of the season as he goes in search of a third consecutive Korean Grand Prix victory next weekend.

Vettel won the race at Yeongam in 2011 and 2012, and he may well have won the inaugural race in 2010, but he retired whilst leading due to an engine failure. However, he conceded that Red Bull may struggle on the long straights at the circuit.

“The track in Korea has a bit of an unusual layout,” Vettel said. “The long straights all come right at the beginning and the turns at the end. I love the curvy part because it is a lot more fun, whereas the straight lines and sharp turns can be a little boring. They are also our weakness, because we often lack in top speed there.”

Since becoming front-runners, Red Bull have traditionally excelled on the high downforce circuits and struggled at the faster tracks such as Monza and Montreal. However, this season, Vettel appears to have bucked this trend by winning in both Italy and Canada, suggesting that the long straights in Korea will not harm the team too much.

As well as chasing his third consecutive win in Korea, Vettel will be looking to claim his fourth win in a row in 2013. His recent run of form has created a championship lead that it is difficult to see him losing, with the Indian Grand Prix being the most likely location of his coronation as a four-time world champion.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.