SEBASTIAN VETTEL 2010 F1 WORLD CHAMPION
14 November, 2010
Nov.14 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel cried into his radio under the Abu Dhabi lights on Sunday as he crossed the finish line and became F1′s youngest ever world champion.
The 23-year-old German, now leading the standings for the very first time in his career, had entered the race as the underdog, behind Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in points and dogged all weekend with suggestions he should move over and let his teammate past.
But Vettel won commandingly from pole position, followed home by McLaren Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in second and third respectively.
The newly crowned Champsaid immediately afterwards, “”It has been an incredible journey with Red Bull. There have been ups and downs this season and to win the championship… it’s unbelievable. It’s been an incredible year, we’ve always kept believing in the team, and the car, and I have kept believing in myself. I’m speechless! The car was phenomenal. The start was crucial, and it was very tight with Lewis, but after that it settled down.”
Meanwhile a crucial strategy mistake triggered by an early safety car, and an unmoveable Vitaly Petrov in a Renault, left Ferrari’s Alonso stranded in seventh place.
Spaniard Alonso let his emotions spill over as he gesticulated angrily at Russian Petrov after the chequered flag, but he later congratulated the new champion and said Petrov “drove very well” in defence.
The Spaniard conceded, “This is sport – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Next year we try again. It was very good, for me especially after two years of some difficulties, coming back to winning races, fighting for the championship. I’m sure with this team it is very possible to fight for championships in the future, so I am happy.”
Long-time championship leader Webber, meanwhile, finished the race just eighth and the championship just third, and was emotional in his post-race interviews with the media.
The Australian was magnanimous in defeat, “Congratulations to Seb and to the team, two world championships, that’s not a bad season. There’s quite a few emotions when you just miss out. It’s a shame. I tried my absolute best, I had great guys around me, in the end it wasn’t quite enough. Yes I will be here at Red Bull next season. It didn’t go my way in the end, but that’s sport.”
Drama started early in Abu Dhabi as the field streamed through Turn 6, a number of casr going in three abreast with Michael Schumacher going wide and spinning. Facing the wrong way the German was powerless as Vitantonio Liuzzi ploughed into the stricken Mercedes GP, the Force India climbing all over the silver car with the front wheel perilously close to Schumacher’s head. When the dust settled both drivers hopped out the cars unharmed.
What followed was a crucial half dozen laps behind the pace car, at which point Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault) were among several drivers who decided to pit for rubber. This would prove decisive in Vettel’s title triumph.
At the restart Vettel got a jump on Hamilton, but the Briton kept the gap in check while Button followed in thrid ahead of Alonso and Webber, but the Australian appeared down on pace and played his hand on lap eight by pitting for fresh rubber.
The gamble backfired big time as he emerged from the pits behind Jaime Alguersuari who had stopped early on for fresh rubber.It took Webber too long to get by the Spaniard and his hopes of taking the title were virtually diffused there and then.
On lap 15 Ferrari brought in Alonso and it would be fair to assume that Ferrari saw Webber as the threat and literally took the eye off the real danger which turned out to be Vettel.
By the time the realisation sunk in and the maths was being done it was clear that Alonso had a mammoth task on his hands, as he had a feisty Petrov wanting to impress in the last race of the season and a very fast Robert Kubica who was slugging it out at the front of the field with Hamilton.
Fernando was seventh and needed to do something fast to get by the Renault’s ahead of him. Easier said than done as, although everyone was agape -again – at the very real splendour of the Yas Marina Circuit during the course of the weekend, we all forgot that the Herman Tilke creation is very overtaking unfriendly – oh yes now we remember last year. Great facility, fantastic infra-structure, no expense spared, brilliant hosts but someone forgot to make a race track that is exactly that: a track for racing!
Ask Felipe Massa who spent the entire race behind Jaime Alguersuari and Alonso who simply could find no way past Petrov. All Alonso and Ferrari could do was watch the title be snatched by the other Red Bull driver – Vettel who refused to play the team orders game and ultimately vindicated himself.
Rosberg salvaged some joy for Mercedes GP by taking fourth place ahead of Kubica, Petrov, Alonso, Webber, Alguersuari, Massa etc etc.
All eyes were at the front as the kid with the disco ball helmet design stole the limelight, against the odds Vettel triumphed on the night and his reward the grandest prize of all – F1 World Champion.
The Queen anthem “We are the Champions” echoed throughout the paddock, emanating from the Red Bull garage where the party was only just getting started as the new King of F1 celebrated with his troops and with Prince playing at Ferrari World – a royal night is in store in Abu Dhabi.
14 November 2010 – Abu Dhabi GP Result
|2||2||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+10.1 secs||2||18|
|3||1||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+11.0 secs||4||15|
|4||4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||55||+30.7 secs||9||12|
|5||11||Robert Kubica||Renault||55||+39.0 secs||11||10|
|6||12||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||55||+43.5 secs||10||8|
|7||8||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||55||+43.7 secs||3||6|
|8||6||Mark Webber||RBR-Renault||55||+44.2 secs||5||4|
|9||17||Jaime Alguersuari||STR-Ferrari||55||+50.2 secs||17||2|
|10||7||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||55||+50.8 secs||6||1|
|11||22||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Ferrari||55||+51.5 secs||14|
|12||9||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||55||+57.6 secs||7|
|13||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||55||+58.3 secs||13|
|14||23||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||55||+59.5 secs||12|
|15||16||Sebastien Buemi||STR-Ferrari||55||+63.1 secs||18|
|16||10||Nico Hulkenberg||Williams-Cosworth||55||+64.7 secs||15|
|17||19||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Cosworth||54||+1 Lap||20|
|18||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||53||+2 Laps||22|
|19||21||Bruno Senna||HRT-Cosworth||53||+2 Laps||23|
|20||20||Christian Klien||HRT-Cosworth||53||+2 Laps||24|
|21||18||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Cosworth||51||+4 Laps||19|
|Ret||3||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||0||Accident||8|
|Ret||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||0||Accident||16|