Vettel grabs title as Alonso and Webber falter

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix review

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???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

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186 comments on Vettel grabs title as Alonso and Webber falter

  1. 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. :-)

  2. 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?

  3. Robbie said on 14th November 2010, 19:05

    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.

  4. Mr draw said on 14th November 2010, 19:28

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

  5. 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!

  6. dancadera said on 14th November 2010, 19:52

    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!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th November 2010, 20:18

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

  10. Younger Hamilton said on 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!!!

  11. On a positive side, I welcome the newer attitude towards racing in F1 nowadays. I remember somewhere in the early 2000s when Schumacher was well down at the last race. The mid fielders were expected to let him through so he could fight with the leaders. Everyone was scandalized that Hill actually fought for his position, thinking he was in a real race, so naive…

    I’m glad to see it didn’t happen today with Alonso. He had to earn his positions, and couldn’t do it, silly mickey mouse car park track or not.

    I’m sure Kobayashi would have made it through somewhere :-)

  12. Poor Jenson Button, Vettel carrying on about Lewis at the interview. No one seemed to care or remembered that Jenson was the defending champion even the interviwer himself.

  13. LewisAint said on 14th November 2010, 21:22

    To all the Alonso haters (Read: Hamilton fans) who feel relief that RB took the crown instead of Ferrari, look at the final WDC standings. Alonso came in second. Where did Lewis end up? BEHIND Alonso.

    • If not LH better SV than FA

    • Younger Hamilton said on 14th November 2010, 22:54

      For you Alonso Fanboy where did Alonso end up in the race oh yeah thats right 7th and Lewis and Jenson 2nd and 3rd respectively plus who complaining and throws his hand up and shouts out because he got held up by a driver that pitted earlier when a safety car period occured and the driver’s strategy worked out which means the driver throwing his hand up is costed the title,oh yeah MR ALONSO.So you can forget about the WDC standings and where Lewis is

    • At least his team did not cheat to put him where he is… LOL crybaby.

  14. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel. He convinced me in the end that he deserves to be a champion.
    Some ideas for polls:
    Is Sebastian Vettel a worthy champion? yes/no
    Should RBR have made use of team orders in Brasil to let Webber win the race in front of Vettel? yes/no :)
    Before this race whom did you want to finish as champion? ALO/WEB/VEt/HAM

    • Is Sebastian Vettel a worthy champion? yes

      Should RBR have made use of team orders in Brasil to let Webber win the race in front of Vettel? no

      Before this race whom did you want to finish as champion? HAM

      But better SV than FA
      They should make AN woeld champ!

  15. statix said on 14th November 2010, 21:35

    i hate vettel. he sucks but well… congratulations.
    anyway i would be much more happy for ham or web.

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