Grapevine: Rankings: Vettel increases advantage

Sebastian Vettel increased his hopes of ending the year on top of the Castrol Rankings with a dominant victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix

Grapevine: Rankings: Vettel increases advantage

The Red Bull driver stormed into the lead at the first corner and led virtually the whole way to take his fourth grand prix win of the season.

Vettel's result not only leaves him in with a chance of becoming world champion at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it also ensure he remains on top of the Castrol Rankings for a 33rd week in a row.

His Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, who followed Vettel home in Brazil, remains second, but with a greater deficit to the German than before. Webber now needs to win in Abu Dhabi with Vettel outside the top five if he is to overhaul him in the Castrol Rankings by the end of the year.

Third, and not in action last weekend, remains World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb, although the Frenchman's advantage over fourth-placed Fernando Alonso has been slashed following the Spaniard's podium finish in Brazil.

McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton (5) and Jenson Button (7) continue to sandwich IndyCar runner-up Will Power while the battle for 10th place is now raging between NASCAR Sprint Cup contenders Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin following the latter's victory at Texas.

The highest-placed mover in the Castrol Rankings was Felipe Massa (12), despite the Ferrari driver having a lousy race in front of his home crowd. He gained three places by virtue of having not competed in Brazil last year, overtaking Robert Kubica, Sebastien Ogier and Kyle Busch.

Nico Hulkenberg's maiden F1 pole position made him the biggest mover in the Castrol Rankings top 100. The Williams driver, who had never been to Interlagos before last weekend, moved up 17 places to 44th.

Michael Schumacher (29) continued his relentless surge up the Castrol Rankings as he gained five places. The seven-time F1 world champion has made up over 850 places since March.

There were losers in Brazil too though, most notably Rubens Barrichello (33), for whom the curse of his home track struck again. A late puncture dropped him to 16th by the chequered flag and caused him to fall seven spots in the Castrol Rankings.

Nasser Al-Attiyah (388) made the most of limited opposition to take his maiden IRC victory on the Cyprus Rally. Qatar's highest-ranked driver climbed 278 places as a result while Martin Prokop (191), who made the podium, gained 51.

Joao Paulo de Oliveira (390) came from behind to snatch the Formula Nippon title away from Andre Lotterer (170), with a last-race win at Suzuka, and gained 69 places.

Yann Cunha (532) wrapped up the Sud-Am F3 crown at Interlagos, but didn't win either of the two races there. They went to Fabiano Machado (803), who gained 85 spots as a result, and GP3 racer Lucas Foresti (257).

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

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