Alonso has third title in sight after Korean GP triumph

2010 Korean Grand Prix review

A masterclass display in treacherous conditions gave Fernando Alonso a vital victory in Korea.

But he was helped by Sebastian Vettel suffering another car failure late in the race.

Lewis Hamilton finished second but let a chance for victory slip through his fingers by going off the track after the third and final restart.

Heavy rain in the lead-up to the race meant the start was delayed by over an hour. This led to a minor war of words conducted over the team radios between drivers urging a start to the race – mainly Hamilton – and those who opposed it – including the Red Bull drivers, Alonso and Robert Kubica.

The safety car finally peeled off after 17 laps, leaving the Red Bulls at the front of the pack, Vettel leading Mark Webber and Alonso.

Having lobbied for an earlier start to the race Hamilton didn’t get away well at the restart and was quickly passed by Nico Rosberg.

That proved to be a blessing in disguise, for after just two laps of green flag running the championship leader Mark Webber astonishingly lost control of his car at turn 14. His RB6 swung back across the track and harpooned Rosberg.

That brought the safety car out once more, with Alonso now up to second behind Vettel, and Hamilton up to third. Their team mates were behind them, Felipe Massa ahead of Jenson Button, but after the next restart Michael Schumacher neatly lined up Button for a pass.

Button never looked happy on his full wet tyres so he made an early switch to intermediates. But just two laps later the safety car was out again, allowing the cars in front of him to switch to intermediates without any risk of falling behind him.

That included team mate Hamilton, who made it into the pits at short notice first while Vettel and Alonso were already heading past the pit lane.

The safety car allowed Vettel and Alonso past quickly – avoiding a repeat of Valencia – but a slow pit stop for Alonso allowed Hamilton into second.

He didn’t hold the place for long. Before the safety car came in he warned him team he was concerned about grip and at the restart he ran wide at the first corner. That allowed Alonso past, leaving Hamilton defending from Massa.

The top three continued in that order, Vettel pulling away to begin with, then Hamilton catching them back up again. A three-way battle was developing for the lead – but suddenly it was extinguished.

Coming past the pits Vettel slowed and Alonso dived past at turn one. The RB6 came to a stop on the approach to turn three and for the second time in 2010 Vettel had been robbed of a likely win by a car failure.

In the closing stages of the race tyre wear came into play. Alonso seemed to have looked after his tyres beautifully and by the end of the race was up to four seconds per laps faster than the cars behind.

He tiptoed around the final lap to win the inaugural Korean Grand Prix and claim a priceless 25 points on a day when both Red Bull drivers failed to score.

Hamilton salvaged second, and perhaps his only consolation for going off after the final safety car period was that Alonso would probably have passed him anyway.

Massa took third after a quiet race, although he came close to spinning off at the same place as Webber. Schumacher matched his best finish of the year with fourth.

Kubica nicked fifth of Rubens Barrichello in the closing stages, and Vitantonio Liuzzi followed him through for an excellent sixth.

Kamui Kobayashi was fortunate to finish eighth after being hit by Adrian Sutil.

The final point went to Nico H???lkenberg despite a late pit stop for more intermediate tyres after going off.

Jaime Alguersuari was 11th ahead of Button, whose championship chances are in tatters are failing to score. He was another victim of Sutil, who bundled him off the track at turn five. The Force India driver later made race-ending contact with Kobayashi. The last runners were Heikki Kovalainen and the two HRTs, Bruno Senna ahead of Sakon Yamamoto.

Vitaly Petrov also crashed out of the race, spinning into the barriers at the final corner. Yellow flags remained at the spot for several laps but race control avoided sending the Safety Car out again.

If they had the race certainly wouldn’t have gone the distance. Darkness had fallen and there were only a few minutes left on the clock when Alonso finished the 55th lap of a race that lasted over two and three-quarter hours.

The Ferrari driver now holds the upper hand, having pulled 11 points clear with just two races remaining in 2010.

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239 comments on Alonso has third title in sight after Korean GP triumph

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  1. Nadya said on 24th October 2010, 11:52

    Wish Alonso’s pit stop was smooth without any problem, so that Hamilton always stayed behind him.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th October 2010, 12:44

      lol, well Hamilton threw it away anyway! :D

      Forza Ferrari!

      • It was highly unlikely that he was going to beat Alonso. His tyres were completely shot, Alonso was lapping four seconds faster than him (and everybody else) at times and finished 15 seconds ahead of him. It would have been almost impossible for Hamilton to defend against Alonso without completely destroying his tyres so I don’t think he threw it away. Alonso was fantastic and deserved to win though.

        • Webber fan said on 24th October 2010, 13:27

          It would have been an interesting battle. But alas it was not to be.

          • Alistair said on 24th October 2010, 16:40

            I’m convinced that Webber deliberately turned his car back onto the racing line after spinning and hitting the wall. Study the replay: Webber made a deliberate effort on the wheel to reverse back onto the racing line; which, surely, he knew was [likely to be] occupied. Why? I suspect, in all seriousness, that he was trying to take out Lewis for what would have been the fourth time this year. But he got Rosberg instead.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th October 2010, 17:58

            Take out Lewis? Now as silly as your theory already sounded, I think he’d have been more concerned with Alonso who was right behind him (on the racetrack and championship standings).

          • chemakal said on 24th October 2010, 18:18

            Agree with David A, I’ll watch it again but if your crazy theory was to be right he would have gone against Alonso who was behind him in the race and closer in the championship. Why Ham?

          • Antranik said on 24th October 2010, 19:00

            @Alistair Did you even watch it from the 2nd angle?? His wheel was messed up from the impact with the wall, he couldn’t steer it in any way, thats one of the dumbest theories ever.

        • Younger Hamilton said on 24th October 2010, 18:22

          Errh Syqo i dont remember Alonso lapping 4 secs quicker than Lewis it was around 1-1.5secs a lap in the late stages

          • Lap 53:
            Alonso: 1:51.318
            Hamilton: 1:55.912
            Difference: 4.594

            It was only one lap but he was around a second slower just before that and over two seconds slower in the final two laps. Alonso had much more grip and his tyres were in much better shape so I just don’t think Hamilton would have been able to defend against him. I was surprised by the McLarens’ lap of grip as they normally excel in these conditions but Button really struggled.

          • spectator said on 24th October 2010, 23:53

            yes he did brundle mentioned that anyway it was just about the tyres

        • spectator said on 24th October 2010, 23:50

          only question would have been if vettel was going to suffer from his tyres like ham did

      • Younger Hamilton said on 24th October 2010, 18:20

        Oh my god im gonna stop predicting how the weekends are gonna plan out because this is the third weekend now i said no forza ferrari anyway.Lewis never threw anything away even if he didnt commit himself too deep into turn 1 and went wide Alonso still would have brezzed past.Did you watch the race no offence i have to admit me being a big McLaren Fan and that,but Lewis was struggling more like a pig than Fernando was.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th October 2010, 22:44

          It seems everyone is latching onto the words “threw it away”. Let me clarify: Lewis Hamilton made a driver error which gave Alonso a position, but wasn’t on Fernando Alonso’s level anyway this weekend.

    • Marcello said on 24th October 2010, 15:06

      yea im ith you on that one, if alonss pit stop went smooth perhaps hamilton would have fallen even more behind

    • Alistair said on 24th October 2010, 16:32

      Given that Lewis’s McLaren is the third best car, and has been all season, Alonso was always going to get past. If they were in the same cars, no chance. But the Ferrari manages its tyres better than the McLaren. Jenson clearly had a bad race; but I think it shows that the McLaren is not as competative as people may think…

      Apparently, this is Alonso’s first wet weather win! After nine seasons in F1, with Championship winning cars at Renault and potentially championship winning cars at McLaren and Ferrari. Not a good record.

      • Brian Baum said on 24th October 2010, 17:35

        I’m not sure what Alonso meant by saying Korea was his only wet race win. I was at the 2007 European GP in Germany where he took a close victory from Massa in horrible conditions during much of the race. Hamilton fans will remember it was his first non-points finish.

      • vmdg345 said on 24th October 2010, 21:44

        Accordin to WCC it´s second best…so far. And btw, remember first Alonso´s podium…

      • spectator said on 24th October 2010, 23:55

        you are really a mclaren fanatic some many crazy theories anyway i dont like alonso either or ham or vettel or webb but especially vettel and ham the youngsters

  2. if i’m not wrong, today is red bull 1st double DNF. The happier man that leave yeongam today I guess is Webber despite 11 point behind alonso :-D

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th October 2010, 11:54

    A masterclass display in treacherous conditions gave Fernando Alonso a vital victory in Korea.

    Eh, I wouldn’t say it was a “masterclass”. His drive in Singapore certainly qualified as such, but a hell of a lot went Alonso’s way today – like Webber crashing out and taking Rosberg with him whilst avoiding the Ferrari, Hamilton’s off and Vettel’s engine self-destructing. Skill was involved to master the conditions, but there was a healthy dose of luck in there, too.

    • Alonso has had more than his fair share of bad luck this year.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th October 2010, 12:25

        Having bad luck in one race does not mean having good luck in another qualifies as “masterclass”. Alonso was good, to be sure. But he never controlled thr race the way Vettel did; by the time Vettel retired, Hamilton was too far away to be a threat. Like I said, Singapore was masterclass. This wasn’t.

        • The RB6 maybe the top of the 2010 class, but I you have to wonder if the car is kind to its tires and engine.

          Could Vettel’s engine have gone cos of the prolong duration of the race? Anyway, another point to consider is…

          Just before the crash, Vettel had complained about the lack of light… etc etc, could this be a coded message that the engine has a problem?

          I mean think about it, for all the monitors and checks on the car, surely they would have picked up something of this sort before it happened? and it looked pretty fatal to the engine as well.

          • Skett said on 24th October 2010, 13:54

            I highly doubt that. It was awfully valid for a coded message. If he’d said it during a normal race people would notice

          • macca77 said on 24th October 2010, 15:21

            IMO he knew there was a problem and was trying to make some noise so the race would end sooner, he didn’t know at the time that the car was in such a bad shape (the engine blew after just one or two laps), but he was certain the car was going to brake before the end of the 55 laps.

          • Dipak T said on 24th October 2010, 16:49

            Nope, that was trying to get Charlie Whiting to call the race early. Soon, after, FOM broadcast Hamilton saying over the radio that the light was perfectly fine, its all just mind games.

      • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 24th October 2010, 15:08

        Alonso’s actually had incredibly good luck this year if you look at it – apart from Valencia, and arguably Silverstone, although that was probably his fault in the first place.

        He’s inherited two wins, a 2nd and a 4th from Vettel failures. He’s had lucky safety cars that have brought him back to the pack after his own errors in Melbourne, Shanghai and Monaco. He escaped without major damage after a couple of lap 1 incidents as well. And that is without mentioning Hockenheim.

        He’s driven extremely well at times, but he certainly has benefited from luck more than others.

        • I would rather be lucky then good, and it it’s a beautiful thing when you are lucky AND good like Fernando.

        • Alonso would have certainly won at Monaco if he hadn’t crashed in Practice 3. Remember that the Ferrari was in such strong form throughout the weekend. The fact that the crash in practice should cause such serious damage to his car was bad luck and Webber and Red Bull were in effect “gifted” a win.

          And hasn’t Webber had good luck? He should have retired following the coming together with Hamilton at Singapore. His 3rd place finish there enabled him to retain the lead in the championship till Korea.

          Lewis Hamilton slid into the gravel at Spa in the final laps and missed the barriers by inches to go on to win. He was also gifted the win at Turkey thanks to the shenanigans of the Red Bull drivers.

          Luck is a factor in motor racing – everyone has benefited from it this season, not only Alonso. He drove brilliantly at Korea, and as he said in the post-race interview it was the first time he won in the wet. A masterclass and measured performance from him shouldn’t be nullified by attributing it to luck.

          • dragon said on 25th October 2010, 1:57

            Off-topic, but I’m not sure how you can suggest Monaco would have been Fred’s if he hadn’t have crashed. Marky Mark was in one of his untouchable moods, that day.

      • Alistair said on 24th October 2010, 16:36

        His main problem has been driver errors. He’s on a good run of form for now; yes, it won’t last. Before, he was making driver error after driver error. We shouldn’t forget this. Webber and then Seb’s failure gifted Alonso this win.

      • spectator said on 25th October 2010, 0:00

        despite this race and the first one yes i agree and lewis had some bad luck moments but in general 3 wins for ham are 3 too many that car isnt good enough button was very lucky in the beggining and vet is the unlucky master

    • Steve said on 24th October 2010, 12:03

      You could say the same for any race, even drivers who win from pole. Lucky their car didn’t explode.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th October 2010, 12:27

        Of course you could say that. But you have to admit that a lot of things went Alonso’s way today. Do you honstly think he would have won if Webber and Rosberg hadn’t retired, if Vettel’s engine had stayed in one piece and Hamilton had gone off? Of course not. benfiting from luck does not make a drive “masterclass”.

        • The same can be said for Hamilton. From 6th to 2nd without overtaking a single car.

          • Nadya said on 24th October 2010, 12:57

            “The same can be said for Hamilton. From 6th to 2nd without overtaking a single car.”
            Thats a feisty counter attack from manu. nuff said

          • Hamilton should send a thank you card to Webber for taking Nico and himself out.

          • Skett said on 24th October 2010, 13:56

            Whats that got to do with it? Nobody claimed Hamilton gave us a masterclass and nobody claimed that he didn’t have any luck.

          • Kbdavies said on 24th October 2010, 14:42

            Err, there was no point where Hamilton was 6th – either in qualifying, or in the race.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th October 2010, 12:47

          I agree a lot of things went Alonso’s way today, and I wouldn’t call it a masterclass drive. I would call it a solid performance though, and I was pretty sure that he would have got by Vettel during the last couple of laps anyways.

          • baracca said on 24th October 2010, 13:20

            And Hamilton too, if he hadn’t gone wide in the restart. If that would have happened to Massa instead everybody would be booing TO

          • Why would he? Alonso were nowhere near fast enough, Alonso was a tiny bit faster at one stage, but Vettel was preserving his tires then he picked up the pace and Alonso just couldn’t gain anything on him.

          • I’d be tempted doubt that, the Red Bull was the faster car…

        • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 24th October 2010, 15:54

          I read that as a compliment from you PM.

          I leave satisfied ;)

        • Cacarella said on 24th October 2010, 16:03

          “You have to admit that a lot of things went Alonso’s way today”

          A very biased opinion indeed.

          You could also say that It wasn’t bad luck that took Webber out or forced Hamilton wide but lack of skill in these conditions. Perhaps you could give Alonso credit for NOT making a mistake like this in the race rather than dismissing it as ‘good luck’. The only gift he and every other championship contender was given today was Vettels engine failure, the rest was skill and/or lack of it.

        • Webber made a mistake that cost him dearly – Alonso didn’t.

          Hamilton made a mistake that cost him one place – Alonso didn’t.

          You can talk about Vettel’s cruel luck benefiting Alonso, but don’t bring Webber and Hamilton into it, please. They made a mistake, while Alonso didn’t. So who deserves the credit?

          Alonso was better than the rest of the title contenders, except Vettel. The first Korean Grand Prix was and will always be remembered in history as the day Alonso proved his wet weather skills.

          • baracca said on 24th October 2010, 22:21

            I beg to disagree. Alonso drove a terrific wet race in Hungary 2006. He got a 2 seconds penalty in quali, which dropped him to 15th in the grid. His charge through the field was something I’ve only seen Ayrton Senna do before (15th to 3rd in the first lap). He got first position and was clearly poised to win, but in the pitstop he got a bad job, he lost a wheel and crashed.

            So his wet weather skills were very much already proven, although he didn’t get to win that race

    • That was not a masterclass race but that was a SOLID race from Fernando.

      He told before the race start, this race was for not to loose not for win, and he was right.

      Fernando raced error-free very quick setting various fastest laps, and with a very cold head. He made his race, the others didn’t.

      Being error-free and competitive in conditions like we saw today, maybe is not masterclass it looks like quite close to it.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th October 2010, 13:23

        Have a look at his lap times and everyone else’s at the end of the race if you don’t agree with me.

        Korean Grand Prix fastest laps

        With three laps to go there was no-one within two-and-a-half seconds of him.

        • Alistair said on 24th October 2010, 16:50

          With three laps to go, the only cars that could challenge him on pace, i.e., the Bulls, were both out. With three laps to go, pretty much everyone had backed-off: that Alonso backed-off less, relatively speaking, is not a great achievement.

          Alonso won because he had a very quick car, kind on its tyres; and he was very fortunate that the guys he couldn’t pass DNFd. Otherwise, he would have been third; even fourth, perhaps, if Lewis hadn’t made that one mistake.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th October 2010, 17:07

            I don’t believe everyone on the track bar Alonso had given up on improving their positions at that point.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 24th October 2010, 19:52

            I don’t believe everyone on the track bar Alonso had given up on improving their positions at that point.

            I do. From all accounts it was pretty difficult to even see where you were going in those last couple of laps. I think every single driver out there including Alonso was just concentrating on where their braking points were, staying on the drying line, and making sure they got their car to the finish without incident.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th October 2010, 22:48

            Otherwise, he would have been third; even fourth, perhaps, if Lewis hadn’t made that one mistake.

            He lost the position through driver error and wasn’t driving as well as Fernando anyway. Lewis only gained the position through a poor pitstop from Ferrari, not through Lewis doing anything right.

        • Thanks, Keith for that vital link. It strengthens the case for Alonso.

    • David Smith said on 24th October 2010, 13:22

      Didnt Alonso say after all his bad races and bad luck he was due to have some good luck and the others to have some bad luck?

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th October 2010, 13:41

      You might be right, but looking at Hamilton and Webber you can notice how Fernando made no mistakes; neither did Vettel, but retiring was unlucky for him. Fernando would have reached second if it wasn’t for his “luck”.

      • Electrolite said on 24th October 2010, 15:28

        To be honest, no matter what anyone says, Alonso had at least a little bit of bad luck in the early-mid part of the season. With most drivers, luck tends to even itself out until the very end. I can’t believe the twists and turns are still happening.

    • Julian (@julian) said on 24th October 2010, 17:28

      Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton all gave a masterclass in how to drive in the rain on a ‘virgin’ track :P
      Alonso and Vettel did not make one mistake all race in horrid conditions. Hamilton the same barring one corner in a car that isnt very kind on its tyres.

      He didn’t control the race? he drove away from everyone at the end. Sure his tyres were in better nic but he was lapping around the same times at the end as when he was first on the inters. I doubt the ferrari is ‘that’ kind on its tyres :P

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 24th October 2010, 19:56

        Alonso and Vettel did not make one mistake all race in horrid conditions.

        Alonso volunteered in the press conference that he was to blame for the botched pit stop, by coming into the box a bit sideways he said he made it difficult for the mechanics, which resulted in the slow stop. Other than that one tiny error though he drove one hell of a race.

  4. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 24th October 2010, 11:54

    Well, it makes both championships more interesting, doesn’t it? Red Bull should be the team to beat at both of the final GPs, but how often have we said that this year? If they continue with their usual comedy of errors, we could have an epic championship showdown. Though if they gift Alonso another win at Interlagos it could all be over bar the shouting.

    Sad that Button’s all but out of it, though. Would be great if we could still get all five drivers in contention by Abu Dhabi…

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 24th October 2010, 14:33

      Well, it makes both championships more interesting, doesn’t it? [...] Sad that Button’s all but out of it, though. Would be great if we could still get all five drivers in contention by Abu Dhabi…

      You might as well have stolen the words from my mouth! Other than Button’s misfortune, I think this race could hardly have been more perfect for the championship. The only thing that could have improved it is if Hamilton beat Alonso. And I suppose if Mark and Sebastian scored a few – but not too many points it would have been even closer!

      I tipped Alonso to win this one, as he has the momentum and the Ferrari seems to be the scariest machine on the grid! It must be causing a few sleepless nights at McLaren and Red Bull I would imagine. It is just so unpredictable! But it is Alonso’s championship to lose now, and Webber and Hamilton are on top form!

      On another note, I thought FOM did a much better job than usual this weekend, but I wish they showed us an onboard from Rosberg and the onboard from Petrov was facing towards the front of the car so we could have seen what he did wrong. Other than that, I don’t think we missed too much today, so thank you Formula One Management!

      But with just 2 races left, I feel very strange… It is a mixture of excitement and sadness that the excitement is drawing to a close! :P I thought Magnificent Geoffrey made a valid point in the live blog, where he told us to enjoy every moment of the remaining Grands Prix, as everything we see will only happen once. – Great advice Mag!

      And who else is with me in thinking the stewards were way too harsh to give Buemi a penalty? He was obviously attempting an overtaking manoeuvre and made a mistake – he didn’t deliberately wipe Glock out for fun! See here: http://bit.ly/c4QcyF

      Anyway, roll on Interlagos – the scene of the best race of 2009; will it produce similarly spectacular racing this year? Let us hope so!

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 24th October 2010, 11:58

    I actually missed the action when the last Safety Car came out, but if it’s true it let Alonso and Vettel past I’m disappointed. In Valencia the problem was caused because one car went through and not the other. In this case the SC let the two leading drivers through? I hope that’s not the case because that’s wrong on so many levels (okay I would want Hamilton to win, but that hardly seems fair if it happened that way).

    • The safety car picked up the leader and the line formed behind Vettel as it should. No one was let through like Valencia. They fixed that hole in the regulations.

    • Steve said on 24th October 2010, 12:09

      Got any proof or are you just blowing steam?

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 24th October 2010, 12:13

        That included team mate Hamilton, who made it into the pits at short notice first while Vettel and Alonso were already heading past the pit lane.

        The safety car allowed Vettel and Alonso past quickly – avoiding a repeat of Valencia – but a slow pit stop for Alonso allowed Hamilton into second.

        To me that implies the SC let by Vettel and Alonso. I never saw it so I was surprised to see this.

      • Did you ever see Hamilton behind the safety car? Was Hamilton ever lapped? No and No! It was always Vettel that was following the safety car.

        What Valencia did was leave Alonso stuck in 3rd behind the safety car while Vettel and Hamilton went on to join from the back still in 1st and 2nd. When Alonso pitted, he lost out.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 24th October 2010, 12:25

          What Keith wrote implies this:

          SC comes out. Vettel goes past the pits. Alonso goes past the pits. Hamilton goes into the pits. SC lets by Vettel and Alonso and eventually everyone else. Vettel pits. Alonso pits, falls behind Hamilton. SC picks everyone up.

          Is it too much to ask for this to be cleared up without useless “prove it” comments? I’m not saying it happened; I’m saying it’s implied in the write-up so I want to know what really went on or if it’s the wrong choice of words/interpretation. Jeeze.

          • You’re absolutely correct I must say. It’s most definitely a mistake in the writeup.

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th October 2010, 13:45

            The SC was deployed and exited the pits after Vettel and Alonso had passed, so it let through all the other drivers too. If it had come out before Vettel, Vettel and Alonso would have pitted behind the SC (if allowed) and they would have ended in the back of the field.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 24th October 2010, 15:28

            The SC was deployed and exited the pits after Vettel and Alonso had passed

            That’s what I thought until I read the article.

            Sorry Keith, hope it doesn’t sound like I’m criticising you ;) I’m probably just reading it incorrectly.

          • sumedh said on 24th October 2010, 17:20

            Thanks a lot Fixy. I actually had the same doubt.

            Once again, the deployment of Safety car is not correct though. It is supposed to pick up the leader. In Valencia it picked up P2 – Hamilton, today it almost picked up P3-Hamilton. Was Maylander so tired after driving for 17 laps that he couldn’t make it to the track in time?

  6. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 24th October 2010, 12:01

    Also I think it’s worth asking whether Vettel would have won without his car failure. Alonso was faster than pretty much everyone in the final stages of the race; is it fair to assume Vettel might have worn his tyres out as much as the others?

    I’m sure you’re already well into your post-race analysis, Keith, but maybe a point to consider?

    • “Alonso was faster than pretty much everyone in the final stages of the race; is it fair to assume Vettel might have worn his tyres out as much as the others?”

      Exactly along the lines of what I was thinking. We could have had a great fight. It reminded me of bahrain in some ways as Alonso saved his car then and said he was preparing to attack and then Seb retired.

      • DaveW said on 24th October 2010, 17:12

        That stretch was when I thought my long sleepless night would have its reward. Hamilton and Alonso were creeping up on Vettel, who had just radioed that his tires were going off. I’ll admit that in my sleep deprived delirium I saw a vision of silver streaking by a two cars tangled up in the runoff. Alonso, from what we know now, probably would have caught him but, Vettel would not have forgone a Victory Finger moment without some desperate measure.

  7. David BR said on 24th October 2010, 12:08

    Yep, despite all the mistakes and bad luck Hamilton’s had this year, that little hiccup losing him second place could be the decider. He now has to win both races and hope Vettel and Webber roll in second and third. Since I thought his task this race was to reel in ten points from Webber, the result isn’t much different.

    No denying Alonso is on a roll though and Massa could be crucial help to him at Interlagos. As for Red Bull – Webber’s off was hugely damaging and really comes close to justifying their favouritism for Vettel.

    • DaveW said on 24th October 2010, 17:20

      Hamilton’s brief is to beat the majority of his rivals and hope each of them in turn face a disaster. It’s the best he can hope for and the plan is in effect now and ahead of schedule. Vettel, Webber, and Button have registered their calamities. Now that he is in the mix again, he needs Disaster to visit Mr. Alonso and he must beat Vettel, or the other way around, for the next race, and he will control his fate in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, the man that now seems swaddled in fortune leads the title. But, lets remember that the curse of the WDC table remains in effect: if Alonso does win in Brazil, it will be the first time this year that a driver has won while leading the race.

  8. I’m more nervous for Fernando now oddly. Momentum comes and goes and just look how all over this season is. Fernando has actually had some luck like today, Germany and Bahrain coupled with his obvious bad luck so I hope things have evened out and he can ahve a calm last couple of races.

    I actually think the driver who deserves some luck is Seb. The others are probably equal or a little bit in debt this season but Seb’s had some many failures although maybe each failure is for a mistake :P

    I don’t know who to call. There’s a feeling about Webber but my head says Vettel or even Hamilton but heart says Fernando. If Webber wins he hasn’t had the failures Seb has although had some bad luck, Hamilton has been lucky at Turkey and Canada and bad luck but made mistakes, Alonso will ben known for his mistakes and Germany and I’ve already gone through Seb. It seems noone wants this year’s title. RBR really should have won it by now and given how good Alonso is and then Hamilton I just can’t write them off.

    We could get to the next two races and Ham could win and Alonso DNF. Seb could get pole and waltz it while everyone else implodes. I just don’t have a clue.

    • Franton said on 24th October 2010, 12:20

      Isn’t Alonso on his last engine? I see at least one retirement because of that in his future.

    • Randy said on 24th October 2010, 12:45

      Once you get past all the hype surrounding the championship fight it is Kubica who has had the most consistent error free season. Just doesn’t have the equipment but has been perhaps the best driver this year.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th October 2010, 13:15

      I agree with Steph on Vettel deserving some luck. Being a huge Alonso fan, I was thrilled with the result, but I would have hoped for Vettel to finish on the podium and level the points tally with his teammate. Vettel has come under a lot of criticism for his race craft and status within the team, nonetheless, I would consider him a more worthy champion than Mark Webber. Webber has been the only driver amongst the top 5 who has had no mechanical problems this year. And if you drive a 100% reliable RB6 and do not win the championship, you are definitely not a worth champion in my books.

      • David BR said on 24th October 2010, 14:50

        Tough but true Todfod.

        Going back to Steph’s point, I think Interlagos will be the real decider. All three title competing teams have a chance at the circuit, but you also have to factor in Massa. Today he looked intent on helping Alonso and Ferrari, despite not seeming overly thrilled on the podium. I expect he’ll want to prove a lot at São Paulo, where he drives exceptionally well. So that’s surely in Alonso’s favour. Vettel will out-qualify Webber again. Awkward to say the least as, if so, depending on where the Red Bulls are placed, they may have to decide during the race that Vettel should let Webber past to have any reasonable chance at Abu Dhabi. And Hamilton – on paper a good chance to compete, but McLaren seem to have no solution to improving the car, and the circuit is one where he’s had problems.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 24th October 2010, 15:18

        He’s had some problems, just not total failures. But otherwise agreed on your last sentence.

        • David BR said on 24th October 2010, 15:56

          As a Ham fan in Brazil, I hope he finally gets a win here! But if Ferrari perform well, we could see ALO – MAS (letting through ALO) – HAM – WEB (let through by VET). Which would leave Hamilton (and Vettel) out of it and Webber 24 points behind Alonso, needing an Alonso DNF and himself winning at Abud Dhabi to grab the WDC.

          Looking good for Fernando, if his engine holds out. Which I think it will.

  9. Nas-T said on 24th October 2010, 12:09

    the car really dirty after the race….just like they just finish a rally stage.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th October 2010, 13:48

      Yes. It looked strange to me: with all that water I thought the cars were going to be cleaner! That means there was really a lot of dust on track.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 24th October 2010, 19:09

        Plenty of them exacerbated the effect by attempting a bit of rallycrossing too, of course.

        • Nas-T said on 25th October 2010, 14:25

          I just had a crazy idea. can you guy imagine a rallycross with a open wheel car. not like a dune buggy but just like a f1 car. it would really nice. just strengthen the suspension and increase the ride height. put some 4X4 tyre…wow!!

  10. Funkyf1 said on 24th October 2010, 12:11

    Great drive by Alonso, I feel sorry for Nico Rosberg who may have been the unsuspected hero and Vettel who’s car again failed him, that was great footage of the engine throwing itself into destruction as he crusied down the straight. Mistakes by all the other contenders shows why the party isn’t over till the fat lady sings. Bring on Brazil!!!!

  11. Ferrero said on 24th October 2010, 12:12

    Well if RBR don’t support Webber to the fullest now they don’t deserve to win. Two VET-WEB 1-2s (in that order) and Alonso only needs to finish 3rd twice to clinch it.

    • Franton said on 24th October 2010, 12:19

      That’s just Bernie showing Vettel how to do it properly with the correct finger … :p (joke)

    • RedBull team gave Bernie a zimmer frame for his eightieth birthday and I imagine that was Bernie’s good-humoured “thank you” to RBR. Funny picture :)

    • Marcello said on 24th October 2010, 13:48

      walking sticks attached toa red bull modified front wing? for bernie as a 80th bday pressie?

  12. Franton said on 24th October 2010, 12:18

    Extremely annoyed. Not at the race, but at the BBC’s appalling coverage. Legard needs to be fired immediately because he missed things like Lewis being overtaken by Rosberg for about three laps!

    A big insult to injury was that they switched channels they were broadcasting the race on about 1/3rd from the end! So this means some of us who weren’t willing/completely incapable* (delete where appropriate!) to get up early, had to record it and only got 2/3rds of a race! The final insults were to make sure that BBC iPlayer doesn’t have the complete race (current as of 12:15pm GMT) and then to delay the repeat from 1pm till 2pm instead! So that’s my afternoon wrecked, and just to watch one race.

    Sure enough some big mouth (not online, someone I know) has spoiled the race results for me too. Seriously annoyed.

    Also, and here’s a big point, in my line of work you have to plan for things like weather. How come Bernie seemingly didn’t bother to do that for this race? Isn’t that part of the world renowned for very seasonal (and monsoon type) weather? Think ahead a little guys!

    • Skett said on 24th October 2010, 14:10

      Legard ****** me off, I have it use the red button to set it to the r5l commentary. I switched it back towards the end though (because I was getting annoyed with being told that portsmouth aren’t going into administration every 10 minutes). It wasn’t too bad until the end until he said “Liuzzi’s passed Barichello! We never saw that!” Yes we did, it was about 4 laps ago!

      You can’t blame them for the change in channel though. You have to remember that this went on far longer than it should have done, and BBC1 is their MAIN channel. They had other shows booked in which they couldn’t change.

    • Marcello said on 24th October 2010, 15:12

      Totally agree, how can Jonathan L miss Rosbergs overtake on Hamilton for 3 laps? Maybe he was too busy watching another channel at the same time!!!!!

    • GeordiePorker said on 24th October 2010, 15:18

      Franton,

      I don’t doubt that the channel change was annoying, but really, how could the BBC predict the delays? Answer: they couldn’t. They changed channel because of their pre-existing programming commitments. Finding an extra hour or so of airtime is not an insignificant task. There’s no need to beat them up over this.

      However, Legard is a prat, a useless commentator and is over-excitable. Basically manages to mix all of the great Murray Walker’s worst habits but removes all of the comedy from it. In My Humble Opinion, firing him would be insufficient. Shooting him, on the other hand… ;-)

      • Steph said on 24th October 2010, 17:16

        The BBC ran the entire show again this afternoon

        • Franton said on 24th October 2010, 19:51

          Too little too late. Why was iPlayer just as cocked up? Running it even later in the afternoon than originally scheduled just meant I had the entire thing spoiled for me for certain.

          They don’t swap channels for other sporting events, especially football. Why should F1 be the exception? Everything else normally gets bumped for footy or cricket.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th October 2010, 23:02

      So this means some of us who weren’t willing to get up early, had to record it and only got 2/3rds of a race!

      The early wake up is an integral part of being an F1Fanatic IMO :P

  13. A little bit off-topic:
    I find extremely annoying that images of teams celebrating rivals’ crashes. Let’s not forget that the most important thing after a GP is that everybody returns safely at home. After Webber crashed, we saw McLaren and Ferrari celebrating, even though we didn’t have images of Rosberg, who might as well be injured because of a nasty side hit.
    I know that it is competition, but I would love to put sportsmanship (gentlemanship?) first.

    • Steve said on 24th October 2010, 12:28

      Its something that’s been in the blood of F1 since ever. When Lewis crashes out, I jump up in my seat with joy and so do the mechanics (they are also just spectators).

      Whining about it is just silly.

      • Stefanauss said on 24th October 2010, 12:33

        That has nothing to do with F1, it’s just sports.
        But yeah, for me, i always check before that the driver is fine before freeing my joy =)

      • Did you jump after Kubica crashed in Montreal 07? That’s what I am talking about. I don’t care if the accident is huge or small, first check that the driver is OK, then celebrate or whatever.

    • Sandman said on 24th October 2010, 13:12

      Jumping when they crash, that i can live with. After all thats drivers mistake, they sure can be happy their rivals committed one.

      But McLaren’s mechanics cheering and jumping and whatnot after Vettel engine failed? So disgusting.

      • Skett said on 24th October 2010, 14:08

        How does that make any sense? So your saying its ok to cheer if you’re not sure about their safety but if its a simple technical problem its disgusting?

        Some people are just backwards!

      • Cacarella said on 24th October 2010, 16:19

        Ha Ha!!!

        So you can celebrate a driver error (even if it puts the driver at risk for injury),
        But you shouldn’t celebrate a car failure!?

        It’s terrible to celebrate the misfortune of the RB6! :)

      • Younger Hamilton said on 24th October 2010, 18:15

        That makes no sense either i totally agree with Skett here.Your Post sucks and doesnt any sense man. no offence.

      • Sandman said on 25th October 2010, 7:26

        It IS terrible to celebrate it in such a way, seeing how they cheered and jumped and screamed because their rivals had mechanical failure. Just think about it, mechanical failure. Where did the sportsmanship go? I almost wish they have a similar failure in the next 2 races to see their sorry faces then. “Almost” only on account of me liking Lewis too much.

        And where did you read its OK to cheer when you are not sure about persons safety? All I said was i can “live with” the cheering in those particular cases this Sunday. Of which NONE was life-threatening, obviously.
        Mind you, I’m not saying it’s fair or nice, I’m just saying i kind of get them, after all you count on your rivals to make mistakes, sometimes even you try to force them into one on-track. But cheer after machinery giving up, when the rival driver had just massive bad luck? How far is that from “Oh God, please, drop a large 2 ton space rock on Vettel to remove him from the championship run”.

    • JamesC1991 said on 24th October 2010, 17:13

      I totally agree with you,when I see them doing it,I was disgusted,shameful behaviour,karma will come back and bite them hopefully.
      On Alonso a very good drive but Vettel was magnificent until his heartbreaking engine failure,lost 66 points due to various car problems now this season,really should be out of site.
      Now RBR have to back Mark Webber for the championship

  14. Darren said on 24th October 2010, 12:21

    I feel for Webber, not only did he screw up his own race he watched his team mate stop, even if he got a 5th he would still be be close enough to Alonso and probably had full RBR support for the last 2 races.

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