Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel coasts to win at Japanese GP, closes gap on leader Alonso

Jim Armstrong, The Associated Press
Associated Press

SUZUKA, Japan - Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix from pole on Sunday to close within four points of the Formula One championship lead as leader Fernando Alonso crashed out of the race at the first turn.

Vettel, who also won the previous race in Singapore, is moving within sight of a third straight title, with five races left. Alonso's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa was second, 20.6 seconds behind Vettel for his first podium since Korea in 2010.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi took third place for his first-ever podium finish and become the first Japanese driver on a podium here since 1990.

The race got off to a tumultuous start with a series of collisions in the first corner sequence, ending Alonso's race.