Vettel grabs title as Alonso and Webber falter

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Sebastian Vettel is the 2010 Formula 1 world champion after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

He was aided by rivals Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber pitting early and getting stuck in traffic and finishing in seventh and eighth.

The two McLaren drivers joined Vettel on the podiums.

Vettel made a clean start from pole position, while Lewis Hamilton tried and failed to squeeze through at the first corner.

Behind them Jenson Button also got away smartly to take third from Alonso.

But the race only lasted a few cars before the safety car came out following an alarming collision between Michael Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi, which ended with the Force India perched on top of the Mercedes.

Schumacher spun while trying to pass team mate Nico Rosberg at the exit of turn six – the pair did not make contact – leaving Liuzzi with nowhere to go.

It took several laps to clear the wreckage away, during which time Rosberg, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari, Christian Klien, Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi all pitted to discarad the super-soft tyres they had started on for mediums. This was to have a significant role in deciding the outcome of the race – and the championship.

Ferrari react to Webber

After the restart Vettel and Hamilton pulled away from Button, while Alonso dropped back with Webber and Massa behind him.

Webber was clearly struggling on the super-soft tyres and made an early pit stop on lap 12 to get on the mediums, falling behind several cars that didn’t have to make further pit stops.

At first Ferrari reacted by bringing Massa in. But even though Webber took two laps to pass Jaime Alguersuari, he was able to keep his position ahead of Massa.

The next time by Ferrari brought Alonso in. He came out ahead of Webber – but behind Petrov, who proved a tougher nut to crack than Ferrari expected.

The leading trio of Vettel, Hamilton and Button stayed out, trying to build enough of a gap over Kamui Kobayashi and Robert Kubica.

McLaren eventually gave up and brought Hamilton in, sending him out on track behind the Renault and Sauber. Unfortunately for Hamilton he was held up as Kubica chose this moment to muscle past Kobayashi around the outside.

Hamilton picked off Kobayashi but got stuck behind Kubica. That allowed Vettel to make his pit stop and stay in front of Kubica, building up a ten-second advantage over Hamilton.

Button stayed out until lap 39, before pitting and coming out behind Hamilton, who was still stuck behind Kubica.

Alonso stuck behind Petrov

He wasn’t the only driver struggling to pass a Renault – Alonso was still stuck behind Petrov. He made one attempt that ended with him going off at turn 11, though Webber wasn’t close enough to capitalise.

The time he lost behind Petrov meant that Kubica eventually had a large enough gap to make his pit stop and get out in front of Alonso. This he did on lap 46. Alonso was now in seventh, needing to pass Petrov, Rosberg and Kubica to keep Vettel from the title.

He was giving it his all – running off the track again at turn 17 when he made another attempt – but this was how the championship slipped out of Alonso’s grasp.

Vettel takes the title

Vettel, up front, was unaware that he’d been in a position to win the championship for much of the race – his team only told him about the points situation after he crossed the line.

After 55 laps of Yas Marina, Vettel crossed the line to win his fifth Grand Prix of 2010.

And a few seconds later, the team told him he had also won the 2010 world championship.

He was followed home by the two McLarens – Hamilton unable to reduce Vettel’s lead after Kubica pitted.

Kubica finished fifth behind Rosberg and one place ahead of his team mate. Alonso, seventh, saw a potential third world championship slip through his fingers by just four points. He shook his fist at Petrov on his way back to the pits.

Long-term championship leader Webber was eighth, falling to third in the world championship. Massa never managed to find a way past Alguersuari and ended the race in tenth behind the Toro Rosso.

Outside the points were Heidfeld, Barrichello, Sutil, Kobayashi, Buemi and H?ā??lkenberg, followed by top new team driver Kovalainen, ahead of di Grassi, Senna and Klien.

Jarno Trulli was classified last but retired four laps from the flag when his rear wing fell off.

For the second weekend in a row, Red Bull celebrate a championship victory – first the constructors’ championship, and now the drivers’ title.

Remarkably, it’s not their driver who had the most point going into this weekend who won the title – it was Sebastian Vettel, Germany’s new world champion.

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

186 comments on “Vettel grabs title as Alonso and Webber falter”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. I just can say that im so happy, justices is what we saw today…..for team orders and the boicot of FelipeĀ“s car. I hope that my dear Ferrari understand how to race. Today Don Enzo can rest in peace. Forza Ferrari. alonso GO HOME!

    1. your dear Ferrari? do you own one?

  2. Really happy for Seb…

    And one more thing, All season RB were complaining about Renault engine… Well, the Renault drivers more than made up for that deficiency today :P

  3. Unbelieveable how Ferrari basically fell apart systematically here. First Alonso lays down a carpet of rose petals for Button at turn 1. Then he pussy-foots his way backwards, saving his tires, or something. Then with the pit-deltas showing him set to fall behind Petrov, they bring him in. What, to cover Webber, while Vettel was running away with the race? Then the pleading, begging, over the radio for Fernando to pass Petrov from the pit wall almost brought a tear to my eye—the great Alonso kept bottled up by the lowly Petrov, as his title slipped away, like a man tied up in the basement while his house is robbed. It was too sad an ending for Alonso. Even for him. It is impossible to believe that in the end, the title was lost by Ferrari due to poor performance, of the car, the team, and the driver, after such a showing of perfection and strength for the past 2 months.

    I’m most annoyed with McLaren. Finally they get the car to give Lewis to take on Vettel toe to toe and they stuff him behind Kobayashi and Kubica. It was close, yes. If Koba didnt go off in turn 2, Vettel is possibly in the clutches of Kubica and Hamilton both for at least a lap.

    1. Excellent comment… Very interesting to see how Ferrari managed to screw up everything today. It was all in the bag, but stil they couldnt help themself…

    2. Yes but the way it turned out, Hamilton would have needed a mechanical problem from Vettel for him to win. And Alonso picked up points. At least Hamilton and Button spoiled the Ferrari party. I guess it shows that the test ban makes a huge difference: McLaren would have sorted their car out earlier and could well have taken the title.

      One good thing: Hamilton losing his younger ever champion status. He can now concentrate on picking up some more titles and becoming a F1 great. His driving mid-season was fantastic, hauling the car into contention. Hopefully next year McLaren will be back!

  4. What did alonso expect petrov to do? give him easy way to pass?
    Alonso don’t deserve to be in F1 if he don’t know how to overtake another car and always hope for easy overtaking when he was driving that Ferrari… I repeat he’s driving Ferrari not HRT so he should just stop whining

    Bravo Vettel..

    keep on crying alonso..

    1. It was a bit of a petulant gesture to Petrov, and I’m sure he regrets it. But it’s far too easy to sit and judge these sportsmen who have adrenaline pumping through their veins and faced the massive dissapointment of losing the WDC a the final race.

      Once he calmed himself down he produced a very magnanomous interview with the press then was the first man to go down to RBR and congratulate the team. I was very proud to be an Alonso fan today.

      1. Yeah, but pressure amplifies and magnifies, it doesn’t actually distort.

        It only ever exposes carefullty hidden essential truths, pre-existing character flaws, in all of us. Adrenaline didn’t make him behave petulantly, it merely provided opportunity for that inherent petulance to be displayed.

        The contrast with his much put-upon team mate, in reaction to bitter championship disapointment is somewhat striking. Perhaps it could be argued that that very unreasonableness is the reason why one has 2 WDC and the other may never, that could well be true, but despite that, I still prefer to cling to an outmoded and archaic notion (fantasy?) of the gentleman racer, polite and dignified, rather than some of the spoiled, overgrown man-children we seem to have to endure.
        It’s only a game, winning and losing come and go, and when it’s all over, you will have a very long time to look back on how you behaved.

        1. Good post Feynman. True champions transcend sport and become examples of how we should conduct ourselves in life. Alonso falls far short of this measure.

          1. great words…on paper. What about Michael Schumacher? And what about Alain Prost (do you remember Japan GP 1989?)? Arent them true champions? I repit, its a pity you cant be objective with Alonso. Just some words I’ve read about Alonso “His behaviour is the worst”, “he has no talent”, “he is not a true champion”, “he must be out of f1″…maybe you dont hate him, but it seems like that.

          2. I’m sorry for my bad english (much better years ago). I want to congratulate RBR team. Great car, great driver. I’m Alonso’s supporter and I recognize Vettel’s talent. I like Formula one, thats all.

  5. interesting declaration from webber : “Early in the race obviously we had to make a few calls to get out of that position we were in. It wasn’t too bad till then. Going for the harder tyre pretty early obviously hurt Fernando because he had to cover me off, so in a way it was a bit of a team effort I suppose, but obviously I didn’t get the result I wanted.”

    is he saying that the tactic was to force alonso down the field to help vettel?

    1. He might be but that would of been foolish, I think he’s just indicating how it turned out. Who on earth would of thought that Ferrari would try and cover Webber when what they had to cover was 4th place, no way could RBR expected that or planned for it. Biggest mistake of Ferrari up year and they made soon big ones at the beginning of the season… oh well. :-)

    2. That would have been the sensible thing to do at that stage. Webber being stuck behind Alonso in 4th place was not going to win them the championship for either driver.

  6. WOW, so much hate for Alonso here, just unbelievable. I wonder how many of you on here sipping the hateraide were loving it when he beat schumi and his aura of invincibility back in 05 + 06.

    Although I wanted Fernando to win, Seb was the best driver all season and had many race wins robbed from him due to reliability. The guy is a phenom.

    As for the boo hoos over Alonso’s gesture to Petrov, yes it was silly and unneccessary but when someone is close to something they want really bad, You can forgive them for their outbursts.

    People need to give Fernando credit, either Massa is utterly useless or Fernando was outperforming the car by miles. He was under alot of pressure towards the end of the season (see his expression after korea quali for example) yet delivered a sensational nstring of results to make the championship this year even more enticing.

    People dont like Fernando’s attitude that’s all good because they don’t hand out any prizes for being the nice guy, they hand them out to the guy who wins.

    1. WOW, so much hate for Alonso here

      I’ve read every post and think you are wrong people have preferences yes but it’s not hate.

    2. No, people don’t like Alonso because he’s a poor sportsman, sore loser and cry baby. The main reason Massa is so far behind is he has clearly stopped trying after he was basically shelved in Hockenheim in favor of ‘Fernando and his enormous talent’. Well, we saw the extent of his talent today when he could not pass a slower car with a rookie driver that was not under team orders to move over for him.

      1. Its a pity. I cant believe it. Why you cant recognise Fernando’s talent. Massa is 10 times worse driver than Fernando. Vettel is a crybaby, and he is petulant(do you forget his finger? Alonso is one of the top drivers. Today was Ferrari’s fault, Alonso couldnt do any more.

        1. Vettel has always been the most upbeat of the leading drivers, even today happy to chat with Brundle right before the race.. a cool cat. I don’t know where you get ‘crybaby ‘ from at all.

          I don’t get the finger thing at all either. If a driver gets pole or a win he can celebrate how he damn well pleases.

  7. Thank you so much Keith and team for all your hard work. Its been a great F1 season and you’ve kept us all on the pulse. . . Much appreciated.

    1. Seconded. First port of call for F1! Great work Keith.

  8. @adamcooperf1

    “…And an FIA source tells me he (ALONSO) declined an invitation to congratulate Vettel in parc ferme…

    1. and another source tells me that he (ALO ) was lookin for a machine gun to kill SEB and HAM… ridiculous inventions of racist antispanish haters

  9. Petrov?!, your faster than Aonso, confirm that you understand this message…….ehehehehehehehehe, ive never been so happy at a loss than today, the Renaults paid back RB, for being good clients, dint see this coming…even though am for Mclaren , i wouldnt pull a fist at kubica, ehehehehehe….Red bull throwing a redherring at Ferrari……

  10. For the Ferrari fans feeling gutted….Google Brasil 2007…. Oh why oh why wern`t Williams disqualified…but like the World Cup, you gotta let it go.

  11. Just glad Vettel won. Put Webber one on one against Vettel, vettel would definitely win the race. Hence He deserved the title, a little bit more than webber did. And Vettel managed to prove himself. Sad Hamilton lost, was hoping till the last lap tat vettel’s engine blows out and alonso accidentally crashes into petrov n webber follows, but happy Vettel won instead of Alonso or webber. :-)

  12. Viva la Vettel!!

    I loved the hands of Petrov and Alonso after the finish. Petrov did a great job today, the Ferarri was actually slower in top speed than the Renault! who would believe that?

  13. I wish the season could keep going. McLaren were back on form today and just as the season ended, the field looked even more even than ever with two of the dark horses (Renault and Mercedes) up there as well.

    What a brilliant season.

  14. “But the race only lasted a few cars before the safety car came out…” Cars = corners?

  15. Alonso Team radio … this is ridicules I am faster than him tell him to give way this is ridicules
    Sorry Fernando you are on your own and oh by the way you are not world champion!

  16. Only my second year watching F1…chose Seb as my driver as he was pulling up on Jenson last year. Now he’s the champ, which is amazing as a new fan. Got tickets for Montreal next season, can’t wait to see that #1 on the Red Bull in person!!!

  17. What an awful track! Absolutely pitiful track! I don’t care how much that POS cost to build; if a superior car can’t pass an inferior car, that track stinks and nobody can argue that. Alo was catching petrov by 8 tenths, and 7 tenths the next lap, but couldn’t get around the renault due to the miserable track config. AUSTIN, TX TRACK DESIGNERS, I hope you witnessed what just happened – don’t let that happen in Texas!!!!!! If you do, nobody will come to watch! I’m dubbing that track “The F1 Yawner”
    Miserable race, POS track! This race had the perfect ingredients of a perfect dual, too bad the track and back markers ruined what could have been a storybook ending. For the hair-splitters – I know petrov wasn’t a back marker but when another racer is 8 tenths faster, we all know how that situation should end. That race should be removed from the schedule unless true passing areas are configured. Terribly underwhelmed by that outcome. Bernie and Abu dahbi should be embarrassed.

  18. Refreshing to see RB win both titles. I fear Ferrari are building such a negative and obsolete image for themselves. Dishonest, ostentatious, bad taste, vulgar, no sense of humour. All one has so look at is how they unsurprisingly attract Middle-East sponsors so easily.
    Ferrari seem stuck into a pre-recession attitude.

    They need to re-group and get a top non-latin driver who can be resilient and pragmatic enough to cope with the internal self-imposed pressure. Kubica springs to mind, and he must be cheap compared to the cry baby.

  19. At least this year the best car won. I really felt sorry for Newey last year.

  20. Younger Hamilton
    14th November 2010, 21:01

    Wow!! before this season i thought and i was saying this as a battle between McLaren and Ferrari like in 2007 or 2008 but who expected a Red Bull to provide themselves with a dominant car that has been the dominance throughout this season,who thought Mercedes were going to struggle as well as Schumi,Who thought the new teams were going to last the whole Season,Who thought at the beginning of the Season that McLaren werent going to win the constructors(they were the favourites),Who thought Alonso would do an outstanding 2nd half of the season,Who thought Sebastian Vettel will become 2010 F1 Champion very few did and i didnt and it happened.What an Amazing,Titanic,Outstanding and Fantastic season i will never forget it and Keith like the others Thanks for all the support and help your website,your helpers and you for providing us with everything.Bring on 2011 Lewis FTW!!!

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.