Grapevine: Rankings: Vettel pays for engine failure

Sebastian Vettel's late engine failure not only cost him victory at the Korean Grand Prix; it also put his hopes of finishing the year on top of the Castrol Rankings at serious risk

Grapevine: Rankings: Vettel pays for engine failure

The German was on course for a win that would have maintained his Castrol Rankings score, only for his powerplant to give up with a few laps remaining.

However, as he was defending a winning score from last year's corresponding race, he saw his advantage slashed dramatically by his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

Despite Webber spinning himself - and Nico Rosberg - out of contention early on, he was defending only a 17th place finish from the corresponding race in 2009 and therefore lost virtually nothing in terms of Castrol Rankings points.

Had Webber simply finished in the top 10 in Korea, he would have taken over as the new Castrol Rankings number one after a 30-week stint there for Vettel. Instead he must look behind him towards Sebastien Loeb, who won yet again on Rally Spain and cemented his third place.

Vettel's failure allowed Fernando Alonso to win for the fifth time this year, the Ferrari driver taking over the lead of the World Championship as a result. He remains fourth in the Castrol Rankings, but has significantly strengthened his advantage over Lewis Hamilton (5), who finished second in Korea.

Hamilton now only has a small advantage himself over sixth-placed Will Power, who was in action in V8 Supercars at Surfers Paradise.

The closest battle in the top 10 is now for seventh place. F1 world champion Jenson Button would have taken the spot with a points finish in Korea, but instead remains eighth, just behind NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson after his series visited Martinsville and handed Denny Hamlin (11) a race win.

Kamui Kobayashi (49) was the biggest climber in the top 100, the Sauber driver finishing eighth in Korea and making up 10 places, while Michael Schumacher (34) climbed eight spots.

Jarno Trulli (107) was the big faller among the F1 fraternity. He hit his Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen (88) after an early change from wet tyres to intermediates and retired. His 17-place drop moved him out of the top 100 for the first time.

Suffering even more was Kimi Raikkonen (122), who not only lost his score from last year's Japanese Grand Prix, but also crashed his Citroen on the Rally Spain shakedown stage and failed to start the event. He dropped 26 spots.

Lamborghini duo Ricardo Zonta (255) and Frank Kechele (388) won the GT1 World Championship race at Navarra and climbed 65 and 158 spots respectively while Davide Rigon (124) made up 28 places by giving Anderlecht the Superleague Formula crown at the same circuit.

Super GT title success went to Takashi Kogure (408) and Loic Duval (258), who gained 27 and six places as a result of their championship win at Motegi while another happy man was Cesar Ramos (432), who wrapped up the Italian F3 crown with a final race win at Monza and made up 75 spots.

To see the full Castrol Rankings, log on to www.castroldriverrankings.com

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