Vettel keeps title hopes alive with Brazil win

Brazilian Grand Prix race report

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Sebastian Vettel led a comfortable one-two for Red Bull in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

He took the lead from pole sitter Nico H?â??lkenberg and never looked challenged.

Team mate Mark Webber took second from H?â??lkenberg at the start and followed Vettel home in that position.

Webber briefly caught Vettel during the middle of the race but lost ground when the pair hit traffic. He revealed after the race that he’d had problems with high engine temperatures.

Fernando Alonso took third place after spending several laps battling H?â??lkenberg. The Williams driver defended his place carefully but Alonso finally made a move stick on lap six.

Next up to try a pass was Lewis Hamilton, who’d run wide on lap two allowing Alonso past. He wasn’t able to get by H?â??lkenberg and only moved ahead when the Williams pitted on lap 13.

Jenson Button was the first of the front runners to pit after being passed by Michael Schumacher early on. This worked out brilliantly for him, eventually promoting him to fifth place having started 11th.

First to react to Button’s pit stop was Felipe Massa who came out behind the McLaren. It got worse for the Ferrari driver, who had to come in on the next lap due to a problem with his front-right wheel.

Button made quick progress past Vitaly Petrov, who he passed around the outside, and in short order McLaren had to bring his team mate into the pits to make sure he didn’t drop behind Button at his pit stop.

The Red Bulls and Alonso could afford to leave their stops until later as they were under no threat from the cars behind.

Hamilton came out of the pits behind Kamui Kobayashi but he was able to pass the Sauber driver with little difficulty and so did Button shortly afterwards.

There seemed to be little chance of any change among the top five until the safety car came out on lap 50 after Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed at the Senna S.

McLaren took the gamble to bring their cars in for an extra pit stop under the cover of the safety, while keeping their fourth and fifth places.

But there was little chance of any changes of position at the start as all of the front runners had several lapped cars between them. After the race restarted there was little sign of any change of position between the top five.

Nor did Red Bull make an enforced change of position between their drivers – even though it would have brought Webber within one point of Alonso in the championship instead of seven.

Kobayashi made a terrific re-start and passed Sebastien Buemi to take what would become the final point.

But Massa ran into trouble when he tried to pass Buemi having already picked off Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld. The pair banged wheels and Massa took to the run-off area, falling back down the order again. He finished 15th.

Ahead of him at the chequered flag was another Sao Paulo local who endured a tough race: Rubens Barrichello, who picked up a puncture after contact early on.

Victory for Vettel means he’s 15 points behind Alonso heading into the final race. The body language between him and Webber was decidedly cool on the podium, Webber no doubt thinking back to his earlier words that the team were “emotionally behind” Vettel.

But in the Red Bull garage the celebrations were beginning as the 2010 constructors’ championship is their. We’ll find out in one week’s time in Abu Dhabi whether either of their drivers can lift the drivers’ title this weekend.

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165 comments on Vettel keeps title hopes alive with Brazil win

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  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2010, 18:44

    Vettel has to know that he needs a lot of results to go his way in order to win. Surely he cannot be putting his fate in the hands of Webber, Hamilton and Button; all of whom would need to finish between him and Alonso to guarantee him the championsip.

  2. David-A (@david-a) said on 7th November 2010, 18:45

    What’d be interesting is if Vettel was leading Webber in Abu Dhabi. Would Alonso lose the championship in the same manner he gained a win? Would Vettel even want to move over?

    I’m nervous, yet incredibly excited about next week!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2010, 19:13

      If the podium in Abu Dhabi is Vettel-Webber-Alonso again, Alonso is World Champion. In order for Vettel to win the World Championship, he needs to score 16 points more than Alonso. Which means Alonso would have to finish lower than fifth.

    • hamilz0rs said on 7th November 2010, 19:15

      not gonna be fun, horner said vettel will let webber through.

    • David BR said on 7th November 2010, 19:16

      That’s the big question for me too. Another VET-WEB-ALO race order is very likely. If it finishes like that =
      ALO 261
      WEB 256
      VET 256
      Whereas Webber first to Vettel second =
      WEB 263
      ALO 261
      VET 249
      If Vettel is leading from Webber, I can see him holding onto first place at least until the final corner of the final lap…

      • David BR said on 7th November 2010, 19:22

        Imagine the situation: Vettel ahead of Webber, if it stays like that AND Alonso has a DNF in the final lap, Vettel wins (same points, five races to four). So how will Red Bull persuade him the chances are Alonso’s car won’t blow up?! Or he lets Webber by and it does!

        • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 19:33

          Oh jeeze! I think, there would be blood if that were to happen David.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th November 2010, 19:34

          It’ll be a last-corner thing, except if Alonso is gaining on Webber like he and Button last year.

        • David BR said on 7th November 2010, 20:22

          Thing is, if Vettel does take pole and dominates the race, I think he’ll deserve the championship – more than Webber and Alonso. He had a bad mid season but has been stunningly consistent the past few races and for much longer in terms of claiming pole. So it would be really tough to see him give way when he still has a chance of winning, however slight. Hamilton won on the last corner after all just two seasons ago. Another scenario (apart from Alonso’s engine blowing) is Hamilton in second with Button or another driver chasing down Alonso, threatening to pass, place Alonso in 5th and give Vettel the title.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 8th November 2010, 6:43

          Webber’s response in the press conference implied that it will all come down to the last lap: “To cut a long story short, I think it depends on how it is on the last lap.”

      • innim said on 7th November 2010, 22:52

        Imagine if the result is vettel leading webber, with alonso back in fifth.
        Vettel = 256 points
        Webber = 256 points
        Alonso = 256 points

        Webber has four wins, compared to vettel and alonso’s five. However, vettel and alonso both have the same amount of wins, seconds, thirds, fourths, and at the moment fifths. Thus alonso’s fifth would win him the championship. Most probably the closest championship outcome ever!!

        • innim said on 7th November 2010, 22:56

          EDIT:

          Damn, thought alonso had 3 fourths, but vettel would win, 3 fourths to 2. Still close though!

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 8th November 2010, 6:45

          It would be the closest. There’s never been a championship tied on points. It’s been decided by 1 point, but never tied. So for a tie all the way back to 4th place finishes would certainly be extraordinary.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 8th November 2010, 8:22

            It’s been decided by half a point before – Lauda beating Prost in 1984. But you’re right, we’ve never had a world champion tied on points with the runner-up, though we came within about 15 seconds of it in 2008.

  3. Scribe (@scribe) said on 7th November 2010, 18:51

    So if Vettle wins he needs Alonso to come 6th. Eh, I’d say his title hopes are realistically finished.

    What I don’t understand is that if Christian Horner felt that Vettle was such a wunnderkid, why couldn’t he have just let him have his victory in Abu Dhabi? Webber could have gotten to within one point of Alo all he would have needed to have done was beat him on the track and now he basically has to win, are Redbull idiots or what?

    • Sammy said on 7th November 2010, 19:09

      Scribe I totally agree, one point behind and eight points behind is not a big difference, but it is A difference.
      Red Bull missed the boat here big time, a win here for Webs almost ensures him the championship as the Bulls would probably be strong in Abu Dhabi too, so why not let Vettel win that, that way everyone’s happy.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th November 2010, 19:44

      It’s a little more complicated. If Webber had won the race today but Alonso crashed out of the final race, Webber would win the title instead of Vetter by virtue of that team order, unless Mark finished 8th or lower in Abu Dhabi. And remember they still want to do all they can for Vettel to be the champion.

      But in terms of having any driver champion, it was quite silly, especially with Ferrari looking to be strong in the last race.

      • David BR said on 7th November 2010, 20:44

        I thought Red Bull should let Vettel win before the race and qualifying (presuming he’d get pole and the race) and still think they were right. Just maybe for the wrong reasons! It’s indeed hard to imagine them not pressurizing Webber to give way to Vettel today had the roles been reversed. Still Red Bull are right to be confident that they can pull of a 1-2 in Abu Dhabi. Just means ensuring it’s in the right order depending on what happens to Alonso in the race…

    • Clockwork Kitty said on 7th November 2010, 19:46

      A TO in Abu Dhabi would look pretty bad for RBR after all thay have said.

    • DavidS said on 8th November 2010, 5:41

      Martin Brundle made mention if it during the race.
      Using team orders in Brazil would’ve meant putting all their eggs in Webber’s basket. If Webber were to fail, Alonso would have to come in 9th or lower and Vettel wins.

      Now, the result in Brazil has put both of them within range of Alonso, keeping both of them in contention should their team mate fail.

  4. Dansky said on 7th November 2010, 18:51

    Yes, another exciting last Sunday ….

  5. Peter said on 7th November 2010, 18:51

    Looking at the points if Vettel finishes 1st and Alonso finishes 5th then they finish on equal points and win’s so who wins if both driver’s have equal points and win’s?

    • Vettel b/c he has more 4ths…

    • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 19:26

      It goes to most number of 2nd places, 3rd places and so on. In face if that scenario were to happen, Vettel would win the championship, it would go down to 4th places, of which Vettel has one more this season than Alonso, making it the closest a championship ever, after Lauda and Prost seperated by a half point back in the day.

  6. Dansky said on 7th November 2010, 18:55

    The ghost of team orders again ….
    Next sunday, today´s podium would give Alonso the Championship ….. Will Red Bull lose the opportunity (I hope not) or will they eat their German GP words …

    I expect the 2nd, but FIA needs to have a realistic look at the Team orders article, makes no sense …..

    • yea, if no team orders in Hockenheim…Webber would be 1 point back & Vettal 8. Ferrari always cheat and get away with it.

      • Mr. Wrong said on 8th November 2010, 4:05

        Yes. Yet it was McLaren found in possession of Ferrari confidential information. Funny, isn’t it.

  7. Steve said on 7th November 2010, 18:55

    Man, I need to buy myself a TV! Cant bargain on those bad quality streams when the final is on.

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th November 2010, 18:56

    Buemi. Please. He’s been rubbish since Korea.

    • Imagine him in RBR in place of Webber

    • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 19:29

      Buemi annoyed the crap out of me today. And for awhile the world feed or whatever it is on speed was focusing on that train of cars instead of the front runners with 10 laps to go, I nearly had a cow! And had one when Buemi almost took out Massa, that idiot.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th November 2010, 19:46

      Buemi was indeed terrible, he was supposed to be letting traffic through but just kept on racing. I support getting rid of blue flags but the (current) rules are the rules.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th November 2010, 23:36

        as I said at “rate the race”. People tend to agree with getting rid of the blue flags. Sometimes disagree on that.

        But i guess we all agree that all the drivers should behave the same way. If they have to let leaders through, all should. If they don’t, then all shouldn’t.

        Buemi, Senna, di Grassi today didn’t let the others by. It’s not a matter of “leaders should be able to overtake them”. It’s annoying as hell. Mark was getting close to Seb today only to be held back by a guy who’s lapping almost 5 secs slower than him.

        • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 23:46

          Yes! It really ruined what could have been an epic fight to the finish. Buemi, Senna and di Grassi, what were they thinking?

          And I think we honestly should start a petition, send it all the way to Charlie Whiting, that under the Safety Car, backmarkers be allowed to unlap themselves and get the hell out of the way. Had the front 4 been bunched up at the restart it would have been magic.

          • Adrian said on 8th November 2010, 9:24

            Where do I sign??

            Why did they get rid of that rule? It makes for much less interesting restarts….

  9. codesurge said on 7th November 2010, 18:57

    I’m curious as to why Kobayashi didn’t defend his racing line as robustly through turn 1 as he did last year. He gave his attackers a lot more room down the inside as opposed to blocking on the inside to force the other guy to go around the outside.

    • Probably because he had less to prove on track and didn’t want to compromise his own strategy. He couldn’t afford to ruin his tires fighting people he wasn’t racing, and it got him a point in the end, just like we’ve seen him before.

      He got yet another finish in the points, having to overtake. I really hope Sauber manage to build something special for next year. :)

      • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 19:31

        Courtesy I would guess. What would have Kobayashi profitied by fighting the McLarens? It was nice of him to move over, much like Massa and Kubica did for Vettel when he came through late in the race to lap them.

        BS: right on, I hope Sauber can continue this improvement.

        • Clockwork Kitty said on 7th November 2010, 19:57

          Quite different. You HAVE to move over when you are being lapped under the present rules (if that’s fair or not is a different question). But Kamui could have rightly defended his position and it looked ugly on him that he didn’t.

  10. So if Abu Dhabi result is VET, WEB and ALO, Alonso will win the WDC? or will RBR orders Vettel to support Weber?

  11. Younger Hamilton said on 7th November 2010, 19:00

    Why aint anyone about Lewis

    • Younger Hamilton said on 7th November 2010, 19:00

      Why aint anyone talking about Lewis? Please there’s still hope

      • Sammy said on 7th November 2010, 19:12

        Massive Lewis fan here too…but I think hope’s over at this point bro.
        Unless Alonso and Webber both collect in some massive accident infront of Seb causing him to spin out or some such…Its hard to envision Lewis winning it this year.
        The McLaren is just not up to the pace.

        • Younger Hamilton said on 7th November 2010, 19:32

          Me too the MP4-25 has been a dog of a car since Singapore no in fact since the entry of the EBD McLaren hasnt had the pace at all its all but over for Lewis no matter what the mathematics says i hope he ends the season on a big high and McLaren can hold on to 2nd in the constructors which is Likely from this point

        • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 19:35

          He is once again let down by his car. Were he in a redbull he’d have cake walked the championship this year, seeing as baring mistakes like Monza, he has been incredible.

          • FelipeF1 said on 7th November 2010, 20:44

            :-) not a chance, he has not been incredible at all mate.

          • TommyC said on 7th November 2010, 21:16

            “baring mistakes like monza, he has been incredible”

            By that logic though, so has Vettel, Webber and Alonso. They’ve all had their fair share of horrid weekends this year. Hamilton just as much.

          • Adam Tate said on 7th November 2010, 23:49

            My point being that I think of all the front runners this year, he has been the most impressive.

          • Steve said on 8th November 2010, 10:03

            I think Alonso has driven the best out of all the drivers this year. Consistency is key.

          • Both in Monza and Singapore he was too aggressive and paid for it.

            Both in Korea and in Brazil he made a mistake when Alonso was behind him and gifted him a place. He has given him 10 points in the last two races by going wide.

            And yesterday he failed to overtake Hulkenberg. Fair enough, the Hulk was defending very well, but if that was Vettel stuck behind him after everyone else had gone past, I can imagine what the headlines would be saying about the “crash kid” that “can’t overtake”. Hamilton seems to be trying to collect all of Vettel’s bad titles lately!

      • dyslexicbunny said on 7th November 2010, 19:37

        Consider the luck that Vettel needs to win the title. Hamilton needs even more ridiculous luck. You can argue that anything can happen but that’s just being silly.

        Hamilton needed to finish on the podium to be worth talking about and he didn’t. Not his fault the car’s a dog but it is what it is.

        • J-Roc said on 7th November 2010, 20:19

          Now it’s the car’s fault! First time we’ve heard that one.

          • Well it is a dog. I not keen on Hamilton but I’m convinced he would have already won the championship in either a Red Bull or Ferrari.

          • dyslexicbunny said on 7th November 2010, 20:39

            J-Roc, you don’t think their car isn’t off pace between Ferrari and Red Bull? It’s better than most the field but among championship contenders, it simply isn’t delivering.

            Maybe there’s sarcasm here I’m not seeing.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 8th November 2010, 8:25

            The car’s not a dog. It’s not as quick as the Red Bull or Ferrari at this stage of the season, but that doesn’t make it a dog. Have a look at the Hispania or the Virgin, then come back and say that the McLaren’s a dog. Don’t be ridiculous.

            Hamilton went way down in my estimation for spending much of the race whining over the radio. In the words of (some pop culture icon, don’t ask me who) “Shut up and drive.”

          • Steve said on 8th November 2010, 10:08

            Alonso hasn’t had a very good car all year, but he has made the most of it. Massa has the same car and he cant even finish in the points half the time! If Lewis was as amazing as everyone makes him out to be, then he would still be competitive.

            I think if you put Kubica, Alonso or Lewis in the fastest car they all might have won it by now.

            I dont rate Vettel very highly because he breaks his engines by turning the Rev’s up too high and for too long.

        • Santi said on 8th November 2010, 4:05

          Well, it was 100% Hamilton’s fault to be overtaken by Alonso, not the car’s… He just ran wide!

      • Clockwork Kitty said on 7th November 2010, 20:28

        A very very slim one. HAM himself has declared “it would take miracles”, meaning more than one I guess.

        He needs to win, a DNF for ALO (or P11 or worse) P3 or worse for VET and P6 or worse for WEB. Wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

      • Astonished said on 7th November 2010, 21:35

        Ask Keith, he forgot to mention that Alonso overtook him in the early laps :-)

        Either Alonso started 4th and I missed everything or somebody had a Freudian slip.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2010, 21:38

          Sorry I don’t follow you, what am I supposed to have missed?

        • Cari Jones (@cari-jones) said on 7th November 2010, 21:41

          Do you mean this?

          “Next up to try a pass was Lewis Hamilton, who’d run wide on lap two allowing Alonso past.”

          • Astonished said on 7th November 2010, 22:02

            Ah, yes. I was more biassed than you :-) Apologies.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th November 2010, 22:07

            Fair enough! I don’t aim to include a list of every single change of position in race reports (although this is F1 so it’s not that difficult) but I do intend to cover the important ones.

          • if it was the other way around you would have start the article with that (the brilliant move of hamilton over alonso)
            the way is disguised in the sentence I don’t blame Astonished

          • Mr. Wrong said on 8th November 2010, 4:14

            The important note was that Alonso sailed past Hamilton on his way to put a sublime pass on Hulkenberg. I guess that is the root of the complaint. Unless we have been watching the wrong race, that is.

    • Mr. Wrong said on 8th November 2010, 4:12

      There is always next year…….

  12. Calum said on 7th November 2010, 19:03

    Torrential rain in Abu Dhabi allows Hamilton to win, thus claiming the title when the other rivals spin off. :/

    But seriously, it’s not too unrealistic that Alonso’s engine blows and RBR fight too hard on track and get reliability DNFs allowing Lewis to win. :)

    • F1iLike said on 7th November 2010, 20:15

      You mean allows HĂĽlkenberg to win? ;)

    • Clockwork Kitty said on 7th November 2010, 20:35

      Would ALO have a chance with a DNF? Yes but not a big one.

      HAM would need a win to top him, VET a 2nd and WEB a 5th.

      With ALO DNF, HAM 2nd, VET 3rd and WEB 6th ALO would win (same points as the RBR’s but 1 more win). The question is, who would win the race? Button? Massa? Kubica? Unlikely.

    • Mr. Wrong said on 8th November 2010, 4:18

      It is not too unrealistic that you get struck by a meteorite either. With rainfall ranging from 0.0 to 75.0 (mm/month). You’d be advised to wear a hard hat.
      Funny how we start relying on the “gods” to allow our favourite driver to clinch a championship against odds that are not worth calculating………

  13. Calum said on 7th November 2010, 19:03

    Torrential rain in Abu Dhabi allows Hamilton to win, thus claiming the title when the other rivals spin off. :/

    But seriously, it’s not too unrealistic that Alonso’s engine blows and RBR fight too hard on track and get reliability DNFs allowing Lewis to win! :)

  14. MacademiNut said on 7th November 2010, 19:08

    Someone has to tell ALG that blue flags mean he has to let them pass.

    • Clockwork Kitty said on 7th November 2010, 21:01

      Food for conspiracy theorists:

      Could ALG have been on TO from “big brother” RBR to delay ALO?

      • Sammy said on 7th November 2010, 23:07

        Ooooo thats interesting…I wouldnt doubt that

      • James_mc said on 8th November 2010, 3:19

        Yes. Did Algusuari overstep the mark? Yes. I’m pretty sure he must have gone past 4 marshall’s points and thus flags with Alonso on his tail. He rather aggressively defended his position coming past the pitlane.

        • Aussie Fan said on 8th November 2010, 7:15

          What about Senna on 3 different occasions letting Vettel through then driving in front of Webber like he didn’t realise the pair were separated by around 2 seconds as they had been the entire race.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th November 2010, 11:54

          Yet it was Nick Heidfeld, who got a penalty. Alguersuari should have been penalised. Well, at least Kobayashi made him pay.

  15. Eggry (@eggry) said on 7th November 2010, 19:27

    a disastrous day for Brazilians. Massa and Barichello are sufferd from pit error, Di Grasi out due to another failure and of course Senna lapped.

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