Mercedes keep the pressure on Ferrari

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The Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team left Korea last weekend with further points added to their 2013 seasonal tally after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished fifth and seventh respectively in the latest round of the F1 World Championship, write Colin and James Beckett.

The Silver Arrows were never in a position to win the Korean Grand Prix, but Hamilton and Rosberg were able to score further points to keep up their challenge in the overall points standings. Mercedes remain third in the Constructors’ Championship, just one point behind Ferrari.

Hamilton’s fifth place finish in Korea places him fourth in the season-long standings, and with five rounds remaining the British driver has hopes of finishing in the top three.

He said: “A top three finish in the championship is possible. I think we might be able to score another victory but at the moment Sebastian Vettel is very powerful. He has the best car and seems to be able to win whenever he likes.”

Nico Rosberg added: “I finished seventh in Korea which scores me more points but really after winning races this year I feel seventh isn’t really good enough. We have to continue working hard over the next few races to try and maintain a performance before the new cars and engine packages appear for next season.”

It was a difficult day for the other Advertiser & Review region teams, with Toro Rosso and Sahara Force India both finding the going tough. Jean-Eric Vergne encountered numerous problems along the way to finish the race 18th, two laps behind the winner, with Daniel Ricciardo one place lower and another lap behind.

Adrian Sutil crossed the finish line in 20th – five laps away from Vettel in his Force India, with Paul di Resta a retirement earlier in the competition with his Silverstone-based car.

At the head of the field Sebastian Vettel scored his eighth win of the season, his fourth consecutive victory, to keep a firm grip on the championship. The German looks set to win a fourth straight world title this year. The podium was completed by the Lotus pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

Point standings: 1. Sebatian Vettel (Red Bull) 272; 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 195; 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 167; 4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 161; 5. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 130; 6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 122. Next race: Japan, October 13.