Vettel ends season on a high to snatch title

Red Bull race review

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Mark Webber went into the final round of 2010 with more points than Sebastian Vettel.

But a top-drawer drive by Vettel meant he clinched a championship that seemed destined for Fernando Alonso.

And an indifferent performance from Webber cost him his chance of winning the title.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 1 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’39.394 (-0.531) 1’39.925
Race position 1 8
Laps 55/55 55/55
Pit stops 1 1

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Sebastian Vettel

Quickest in the first and third practice sessions, he set his tenth pole position in 19 races on Sunday.

He brushed off an attack from Lewis Hamilton at the start. After that his lead was rarely under threat, apart from around laps 11-15 when his super-soft tyres went through a graining phase, allowing Hamilton to get within a second of him.

Hamilton’s pit stop took him out of the equation, leaving Vettel to a reasonably comfortable win. His team didn’t reveal Fernando Alonso’s troubles to him until after he crossed the line, to help him stay focussed:

Vettel has won three of the last four races – and it will be remembered that he was leading in Korea before his engine failed. After some high-profile mistakes earlier in the season, he ended it in superb form.

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

Disappointed at qualifying only fifth, half a second slower than Vettel.

Never happy on the super-soft tyres, he lost five seconds to Vettel in the four laps after the safety car came in, coming perilously close to damaging his car against the turn 19 barrier.

That prompted an early pit stop – one which inadvertently led to Fernando Alonso’s undoing. It didn’t do Webber’s chances much good either – after passing Jaime Alguersuari he spent the rest of the race stuck behind the Ferrari driver.

Eighth place meant he fell to third in the championship having led it for six races during the course of the season:

It was a big day and we had the chance to do something incredibly unique, but in the end it didn?t turn out for us.

Earlier in the race we knew we had to roll the dice and go for it with the strategy, but it left us exposed and Fernando (Alonso) covered us. I tried my absolute hardest and we did everything we could, but in the end it wasn?t enough.

You?ve got to take your hat off to Sebastian, he’s done a great job all year and to lead the Championship at the last race, he?s got the timing right and I fully congratulate him on the World Championship.

I was in with a chance of winning the Championship until the last race, so I must have been doing something right and in the end there are a lot of positives.
Mark Webber

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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28 comments on Vettel ends season on a high to snatch title

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th November 2010, 21:37

    Full credit to Mark Webber. You know, I think all this writing him off may be a bit premature. If he’s not competing going into the final 5 next year, I’ll be surprised.

    • Andrew G said on 15th November 2010, 21:43

      Tend to agree. Not making excuses for him but considering his accident before the season, for him to be in the position at the end of the season is a great effort on his part. It’s a far cry from his days at Minardi when the goal was finishing the race.

    • earnst said on 15th November 2010, 21:46

      not bad from a second driver, at least he fought untill the last race.

      • At Ferrari the situation would have been handed differently: a driver entering the last race with 7 points on his teammate would have been fully supported. But Red Bull still hoped on Vettel and cared nothing about Webber, and left him in the back.

        • yeah, Ferrari fully supported one driver and look how that’s turned out

        • James G said on 16th November 2010, 11:35

          And if they’d followed Ferrari’s lead, Fernando Alonso would have been champion. I thought you could spell poetic justice without F and A, but apparently not.

        • I do not think it is that easy.

          Sure, Red Bull were counting on Vettel and gave him all their support to be up there. Webber suprised not just the fans but the management as well by being as close to the leaders and even leading the championship.

          One could argue, that if they had held back Vettel in Turkey, the whole season might have been a walk in the park for Webber as he would be leading for Silverstone etc, but that is speculation.

          In the end the fact Red Bull let the championship be fought out between them enabled a Red Bull driver to win it, clearly showing why fixing the competition can come back to haunt you later.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th November 2010, 20:15

            Yep. They clearly did the right thing and are vindicated. Anyone who argues otherwise has no concept of sportsmanship.

  2. Leaving aside the first and last race, all year there was nothing between Webber and Vettel on pure 1 lap qauli pace.
    He’s in a difficult position though now, I think Webbers got too much pride and self belief to go into a season as number two driver like an Irvine, Massa, or Coulthard (who to me always seemed self delluded in always saying that the year ahead was going to be the year). Webber would be needing some pretty strong assurances that the team were going to give them equal treatment and can he believe them? It seemed in qualifying all year Vettel was on the optimum strategy of the two drivers, as in the last race. The RB team did everything to put Vettel in contention in the last race…at Webbers expense over the last third of the season(psychologically and in terms of points). This year proved Webber fell just short on being able to take on Vettel and his own Redbull team – and his rival teams drivers.
    As it turned out Webber played a massive part in red bull and vettels success – both in the final race and getting the best out of Vettel throughout the year – particularly the last 5 races.
    It’ll be interesting to see how Webber goes in 2011, he reminds me of Damon Hill in that there seem to be certain tracks where he’s got a weakness and others where he excels, interesting to see if he takes up the fight, fades into a number 2 or just walks away.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th November 2010, 7:26

      Webber would be needing some pretty strong assurances that the team were going to give them equal treatment and can he believe them? It seemed in qualifying all year Vettel was on the optimum strategy of the two drivers, as in the last race. The RB team did everything to put Vettel in contention in the last race…at Webbers expense over the last third of the season(psychologically and in terms of points).

      What a load of rubbish. Dont believe everything Mark cries about to the media. Other than Silverstone, he was given the exact same treatment as his teammate. I think Sebastian was very unlucky all year, and Mark was phenomenally lucky. Next year if lady luck favours both drivers equally, Mark wouldn’t stand a chance against his teammate.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th November 2010, 20:19

        I tend to agree. Webber may be extremely mentally tough, a great strategist, and can at times shine when he’s under extreme pressure (although he disproved that in AD), but he just doesn’t have the same inherent ability that Vettel does.

    • DavidS (@davids) said on 16th November 2010, 11:28

      I think what’s best for Mark at this stage is to accept that he is the no.2 driver.
      Being the underdog is a position where Australians like to be, and Mark Webber is no different.

      If he says to himself “Right, Vettel is the World Champion and no.1 in this team, I’ll fight tooth and nail to show them whats what.”

      He can’t complain about the team favouring Vettel (which they are now entitled to do, being World Champion), and he also knows that the team will let the drivers race each other or work it out between them. All he can do is put his head down and knock out good results and minimise mistakes. When he started getting jealous of Vettel’s status in the team is when he lost his psychological edge.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 15th November 2010, 22:33

    Taking all the bias aside, as a fan of Mark, I think he did incredibly well this year.

    No one tipped him as championship contender, yet he got there with more points than Vettel. Of course, in 2 secs, ill have a massive line of replies saying ‘Webber had a totally reliable car at hands, yet he got only 7 points ahead of Vettel’, which is true.

    But it’s also true that Mark isn’t as gifted as Vettel, and he’s 10 years older. (No excuses, I picked him as my fav driver knowing all that)

    You still have to be there to pick up the points the other one looses. So, he did his best and got there with a real shot at the title. It was a dissapointing last weekend, which is sad because it’s not the true reflection of what he’s done this year.

    He was barely off Vettel’s pace all year long, and sometimes (yeah, few times!) he outpaced him.

    For me, as a fan, it was a dream season. Sad the icing on the cake went to the other bit of the garage, but still. He gave me a lot more joy than sorrow.

    Not many saw him in this position, don’t forget that.

    • Right you are, Webber is one of the nice suprises this year and made it a whole lot more interesting.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th November 2010, 20:30

        That’s for sure. If he hadn’t been in the mix it would’ve been a lot less interesting. I think the same can be said of Button. A Vettel/Hamilton/Alonso battle wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting. Hopefully next year we’ll have Kubica, Rosberg, and maybe Schumacher in the mix as well.

  4. To compare the drivers from the 3 teams fighting for the title, I counted the no of points each driver prevented the other title contenders from getting by finishing ahead of them:
    I only did the computation since Germany:
    Massa took 7 points from Alonso’s competitors, hereof 3 points from Vettel (Italy) and 2 from Weber (italy).
    Button took 9 points of Hamiltons competitors, hereof 3 points from Vettel, 4 points from Webber and 2 points from Alonso.
    Hamilton took 14 points from Buttons competitors: hereof 3 points from Vettel, 9 points from Webber and 2 points from Alonso
    Vettel took 33 points from Webbers competitors, hereof 8 points from Alonso.
    Webber took 28 points from Vettels competitors, hereof 13 points from Alonso.
    Alonso took a massive 49 points from his competitors, hereof 13 points from Vettel and 7 point from Webber and 12 points from Hamilton.

    Conclusion: Alonso is the best no 2 driver, Massa the least effective.
    Joke aside: Webber’s performance was crucial to prevent Alonso to get enough points.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th November 2010, 20:32

      I’d say based on your numbers Vettel was the most effective team mate taking 33 points off of Webber’s competitors. Alonso took more points, but obviously Massa wasn’t in contention and so Alonso was only helping himself.

  5. TED BELL said on 16th November 2010, 0:47

    Better add the Schumacher equation to all of this nonsense about who will do what in 2011. With the rule changes and the next generation of cars yet to unfold it seems rather hopeful at best to pass judgement on what will go down. I somehow wonder if Webber, Button and Massa will even play roles of significance next year. Especially Massa , what has he done at all this year?? I happen to like Webber and feel bad for how it all fell apart in the last few races. Button was actually better than most thought this season but looming ahead for 2011 is Mercedes and Schumacher. I have placed a bet already on his winning the drivers championship in 2011. Few will stop him.

    • Dr. Mouse said on 16th November 2010, 16:32

      I won’t rule it out, but I’ll wait till I see what happens. He has been nowhere most of the year, and although I wouldn’t bet against him, I wouldn’t bet on him either…

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th November 2010, 20:40

      You could be right. Maybe Rosberg and Schumacher will be the team mates fighting for the championship going into the last race of 2011.

  6. Button’s final points tally and 2 wins is defintately surprising, although not his pace.
    Massa motivation clearly took a nose-dive after Germany and it’s clear he wasn’t driving to the best of his ability.
    Hard to see how Schumi will outpace Rosberg and if indeed Merc does produce an awesome car then surely Rosberg is the dark horse.

  7. antonyob said on 16th November 2010, 9:23

    Any suggestion Red Bull sacrificed Webber to force Ferraris hand?

  8. Congratulations to Sebastian – the best, and the Red Bull, for fair play.

  9. antonyob said on 16th November 2010, 11:39

    FA did win FA though!

    no news on the sacrificing of Webber then? Shame i thought that would definitely get some airtime

    • DavidS (@davids) said on 16th November 2010, 13:11

      It may get some airtime, but it doesn’t hold water.

      His tyres were gone from the several qualifying laps he did on them, whereas others did a single flying lap. He was stuck between the Ferraris, so he couldn’t make any progress on the track anyway.

      It was Ferrari’s mistake to pit Alonso in response to Webber, but Webbers strategy was sound given the situation on track at the time. It was not a decoy tactic to trick Ferrari, although it seemed to do just that.

  10. antonyob said on 16th November 2010, 13:44

    spot on Davids

    end of conspiracy !

  11. Full congrats to Sebastian, Mark, Newey and the whole Red Bull Racing Team. They really made this season enjoyable to me. Now keep up this pace to keep on challenging for both titles in the future!

  12. Mikos said on 17th November 2010, 0:35

    Roll on 2011 and go Webber. Just hope he can work on where & why he was not there at some of Herman Tinky’s tracks and prove the knockers wrong. The nurburgrings in for 2011 which will help him too.

    As for Todfords comments, its all academic now.

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