Vettel wins as title decider goes to Abu Dhabi
7 November, 2010
Nov.7 (Grand Prix 247) In a week’s time the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will decide the 2010 Formula World champion. Red Bull dominated the Brazilian Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel taking a commanding victory over his team mate Mark Webber with Fernando Alonso taking the final step of the podium for Ferrari.
The 1-2 at Interlagos gives Red Bull Racing their first ever constructors title and another title for an Adrian Newey creation. The RB6 without doubt the best car of the year and perhaps even of this generation.
Champion team principal Christian Horner, “It is just an awesome team result and testimony to the team. Today was a great performance controlled by the team. We had a few issues with Mark Webber and his engine which we got through. This is for every one in Milton Keynes and in Red Bull, they have put in so many hours I can’t describe. To do this after six seasons is great.”
Lewis Hamilton was fourth, only just keeping his title challenge aalive going into the season finale at Yas Marina. For reigning World Champion Jenson Button, who finished fifth from tenth on the grid, is now out of title contention. Thus the five title contenders, going into the race in Sao Paulo, hogged the top five places at the end of the day at Interlagos.
Nico Hulkenberg stunned the Formula 1 world on Saturday afternoon to snatch pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Twenty four hours later as the red lights went out and the field roared into turn one Vettel simply powered into the lead as Hulkenberg had no option but to tuck his nose under the Red Bull’s wing.
A couple of corners later Webber got past Hulkenberg and the Red Bulls were one-two by turn four. And it stayed that way until the end, with Vettel very much in control and maintaining the lead between two and four seconds on his team mate.
Around lap 50 Webber was closing quite rapidly on Vettel, his progress curtailed when Vitantonio Liuzzi smacked the barrier in Turn 2 and bringing out the safety car. Maybe Webber did have a chance of reversing the order, but the possibility came to naught as the track turned green and Vettel simply drove off into the distance.
The German said, “It was an incredible day, not easy to start with. I was on the dirty side but got a good start and I saw Nico Hulkenberg had wheelspin. He didn’t give me a lot of room but then it was OK. I could cruise into the distance and control the pace. It’s an incredible effort from the team. It has not been an easy season, but this was the perfect answer after what happened in Korea.”
Webber said, “I had a very hot engine in the second half of the race for some reason, so had to focus on keeping Fernando at bay. I am absolutely stoked for the guys. To get the constructors’ championship is a phenomenal effort. We are racing against Ferrari and McLaren and we have beaten then fair and square.”
With the Red Bull boys quickly dispatching of Hulkenberg much was expected from Alonso, but first the Spaniard had to dispose of Hamilton before taking on the young feisty German who appeared to settle into a strong rhythm after the first few frantic laps.
It took seven laps before the Ferrari managed to get by and pursue the pace setters. But the F10 simply was not in the class of the RB6 and third was as good as it would get for Alonso. He realised it, the team realised it and thus it ended.
Alonso needs a second place in Abu Dhabi to win his third F1 World Championship title. Food for thought: If Red Bull had let Webber overtake Vettel for the win at Interlagos, the gap between Alonso and the Webber would have been just one point…
The Spaniard reflected, “We lost too much ground in the first laps of the race trying to overtake Hamilton and Hulkenberg. Those 10-12 seconds were impossible to catch. We were very close on race pace. We had a little chance when the safety car came out but we found ourselves in the wrong position again with six or seven cars between Mark and us.”
Hamilton complained several times during the course of the 71 lap race as his McLaren MP4-25 was simply not up to the task at Interlagos. He complained about the top speed, the grip and was really never in the hunt.
When asked by BBC about his title prospects with a race to go, Hamilton was downbeat to say the least, “If we’re not quick enough here, we won’t be quick enough in Abu Dhabi.”
Button’s mathematical chance of retaining the title evaporated despite a strong race from 11th to fifth, turning around a torrid weekend which included an attack on his entourage by gunmen the night before and generally a hard time getting his MP4-28 to work.
In the race he pitted early and immediately found great pace which triggered a host of copycat stops. But in truth there was no way he was going to finish in the top two, which was the requirement for him to remain in the hunt.
Up next, in sixth and seventh respectively, it was the Mercedes GP pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher who were the best of the rest.
Qualifying hero Hulkenberg dropped down the order and eventually ended the race eighth for Williams, ahead of Robert Kubica’s Renault who was ninth and tenth place going to Kamui Kobayashi who suffered with lack of grip for most of the race.
7 November 2010 – Brazilian Grand Prix Result
|2||6||Mark Webber||RBR-Renault||71||+4.2 secs||3||18|
|3||8||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||71||+6.8 secs||5||15|
|4||2||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||71||+14.6 secs||4||12|
|5||1||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||71||+15.5 secs||11||10|
|6||4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||71||+35.3 secs||13||8|
|7||3||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||71||+43.4 secs||8||6|
|8||10||Nico Hulkenberg||Williams-Cosworth||70||+1 Lap||1||4|
|9||11||Robert Kubica||Renault||70||+1 Lap||7||2|
|10||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||12||1|
|11||17||Jaime Alguersuari||STR-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||14|
|12||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||70||+1 Lap||22|
|13||16||Sebastien Buemi||STR-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||19|
|14||9||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||70||+1 Lap||6|
|15||7||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||9|
|16||12||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||70||+1 Lap||10|
|17||22||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||15|
|18||19||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Cosworth||69||+2 Lap||20|
|19||18||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Cosworth||69||+2 Laps||18|
|20||24||Timo Glock||Virgin-Cosworth||69||+2 Laps||17|
|21||21||Bruno Senna||HRT-Cosworth||69||+2 Laps||24|
|22||20||Christian Klien||HRT-Cosworth||65||+6 Laps||23|
|Ret||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||62||+9 Laps||21|
|Ret||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||49||+22 Laps||16|