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Abu Dhabi GP: Vettel Wins Race And World Title

Yas Marina circuit
Sebastian Vettel celebrates pole Abu Dhabi
Sebastian Vettel

Abu Dhabi GP: Vettel Wins Race And World Title

Sunday 14th. November 2010

He may not have led the standings the entire season, however, Sebastian Vettel is the new World Champ after a faultless drive to victory in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel became the ninth new leader of the 2010 World Championship, but was only informed that he was about to become World Champ at the very end of the race. Lewis Hamilton finished the race in second place from team-mate Jenson Buttion in third.

Fernando Alonso could only manage 7th in front of Mark Webber in 8th after both drivers were caught out by rapidly graining tyres early in the race.


CONDITIONS: The sun was setting with an ambient temperature of 29C and the track at 33C. Everyone started from their grid position.

GRID: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Alonso, 4.Button, 5.Webber, 6.Massa, 7.Barrichello, 8.Schumacher, 9.Rosberg, 10.Petrov, 11.Kubica, 12.Kobayashi

START:As the lights went out both McLaren drivers got great starts and Lewis Hamilton was half inside of Vettel as he turned in. As Lewis realised he was not going to make the pass he got off the throttle. Behind him Jenson Button easily got the jump on Fernando Alonso and demoted the World Champion favourite into P4

Webber, Massa, Barrichello, Schumacher and Rosberg followed through in race order. As they steamed towards the hairpin Michael Schumacher was keen to get past Rubens Barrichello and as he braked for Turn 5 they closed right up with Nico Rosberg seeing a chance of getting past his team-mate. Rosberg tried to come past at the following corner, got alongside and gently nudged Michael into a spin.

The Mercedes was pushed round to face the oncoming traffic. Everyone managed to avoid him except the inevitable Tonio Liuzzi who drove up and over the Mercedes narrowly missing Michael's head. It was an immediate Safety Car

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Button 4.Alonso, 5.Webber, 6.Massa, 7.Barrichello, 8.Rosberg, 9.Kobayashi 10.Sutil, 11.Petrov

Rosberg, Petrov and Alguersuari dived for the pits to change tyres under the SC. All three of them would score points as a result of their early stop. As the two battered cars were taken away the Safety Car was able to detour around a loop that straightlines the section up to the hairpin while the marshals could do their work.

LAP THREE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Button 4.Alonso, 5.Webber, 6.Massa, 7.Barrichello, 8.Kobayashi 9.Sutil, 10.Kubica, 11,Heidfeld, 12.Buemi, 13.Hulkenberg, 14.Kovalainen, 15.Trulli, 16.Glock, 17.Rosberg, 18.Petrov

Rosberg and Petrov were 17th and 18th at this stage as the Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 5. Robert Kubica had a poor start and lost places - he, Kobayashi and Sutil were starting on the harder tyres and planning to go a long way into the race before stopping.

On Lap 6 Kubica made a vital pass on Adrian Sutil to take P9, the Renault's F-duct working supremely well down to the two long straights.

At the front Sebastian Vettel had opened up a 2.1 second gap by Lap 8, but after that the gap to Lewis Hamilton began to come down as the super-soft option tyres started to grain. Mark Webber in fifth place was struggling to keep up with Alonso in front of him and was falling back into the clutches of Massa behind. On Lap 8 he pushed too hard and clanged his rear tyre against the barrier running through the hotel section.

By Lap 11 he had decided his rear tyres were shot and came in to replace them. It put him a long way down the field, P16, but he immediately started putting in some fastest sectors of anyone as he set off to catch Alguersuari and Petrov. Ferrari brought their mechanics out into the pitlane on Lap 12, withdrew them, and then had them out there again on Lap 13 to bring Massa in and try and get him out ahead of Webber. They failed.

When Massa headed out of the pits he was behind both Alguersuari and Webber and his influence on the race was effectively over. Webber was in hurry-up mode to make back the places he had lost and was soon past Alguersuari on Lap 14, although it looked as though there might have been a word put out from the Red Bull senior team to the junior team. Massa spent the rest of the race behind Alguersuari.

Ahead of him on the road Webber still had to catch and pass Petrov and Rosberg who had made their compulsory tyre stop already.

Despite Fernando Alonso being the fastest driver on Lap 13, he was on the edge of adhesion while Mark Webber was picking up speed and was the fastest driver on Lap 14 and set a new Fastest Lap on Lap 15. The super-soft tyres were going through a graining phase and rapidly losing traction. Alonso lost control of his car as he almost hit the barriers at the same turn that Webber had hit them. Ferrari decided that they had to stay in front of Webber and presumed the rest of the front runners would be in soon as well.

So they brought Alonso in for a pit-stop at the end of Lap 15. He rejoined in P12 in front of Mark Webber, but behind two cars that wouldn't have to stop again, Petrov and Rosberg.

LAP SIXTEEN ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Button 4.Barrichello, 5.Kobayashi 6.Kubica, 7.Sutil, 8.Buemi, 9.Rosberg, 10.Hulkenberg, 11.Petrov, 12.Alonso, 13.Webber, 14.Alguersuari, 15.Massa

At the front of the race there were frantic calculations being made and the computation was that unless the Red Bull and McLarens could get a 22-second gap on Rosberg and Petrov, they had to stick with the super-soft tyres, because otherwise they would come out behind them and overtaking would be problematic. They also needed to get out in front of Kubica and Kobayashi who were running a long way into the race on hard tyres and would delay them.

As it was, the Option tyre began to pick up grip again and on Lap 19, Vettel and Button put in Personal Best lap times, and on Lap 20 it was Button and Hamilton scoring PBs. Vettel had a 1.9 gap to Hamilton while Jenson Button was a further three seconds back. They now had the space they needed for a pit-stop in front of Rosberg and Petrov.

Fernando Alonso was very frustrated to be so far back and stuck behind Petrov who was making the most of the Renault F-duct. It soon began to dawn on the Ferrari team that apart from finishing behind Vettel, Hamilton and Button, Alonso was in danger of finishing behind Rosberg and Petrov as well. He needed to be 4th or higher, 5th place wouldn't do. As Andrea Stellar his race engineer put it: "I know you are doing your best but really it's critical to pass him (Petrov)".

On Lap 23 Alonso cruised up close to Petrov but missed his braking point at Turn 11. He was not really in a position to overtake Petrov and rarely looked close enough through the entire race.

McLaren brought Lewis Hamilton in for tyres on Lap 23 but he exited behind the Kobayashi vs Kubica battle (neither driver having stopped). When Vettel stopped a lap later the Red Bull driver was able to emerge in front of the Kobayashi vs Kubica battle. Had Vettel failed to exit in front of Hamilton he almost certainly wouldn't have won the race or the World Championship.

Robert Kubica managed to put in a demon overtaking move on the outside of Kamui Kobayashi into Turn 11 on Lap 25 which put him up to P3. Two laps later and Hamilton was able to get past at the same turn on the inside. Kubica would prove impossible to pass.

LAP TWENTY-SEVEN ORDER: 1. Button (not stopped), 2.Vettel, 3.Kubica(not stopped), 4.Hamilton, 5.Kobayashi(not stopped) 6.Sutil (not stopped), 7.Buemi (not stopped), 8.Rosberg, 9.Hulkenberg(not stopped), 10.Petrov, 11.Alonso, 12.Webber, 14.Alguersuari, 15.Massa

Button was in the lead by fifteen seconds from Vettel, but the Mclaren team were delaying his stop until he had the space to get in and out and in front of Kubica. The Pole was holding up a frustrated Lewis Hamilton who knew he would gain the place from Kubica but wanted to get past and attack Vettel. In fact Kubica was delaying him so much that at one stage Button looked likely to take P2 after his pitstop.

Kobayashi pitted on Lap 34 from P5, Button pitted on Lap 39 after he'd lost time on the failing Option tyre and rejoined the track behind the Kubica vs Hamilton battle. The Renault team were keeping Robert out on track long enough for him to come in and out for his one pit-stop in front of team-mate Vitaly Petrov, maybe even Rosberg as well.

Nico Rosberg, who was in P6 (but a net P4 after Kubica and Sutil pitted in front of him) began to pick up his pace in response. Finally Kubica pitted on Lap 47 and rejoined in P6 right in front of the Petrov vs Alonso vs Webber battle. He struggled to keep his car under control as he exited the pitlane. Adrian Sutil was the last to pit on Lap 48 (from P5) but his strategy hadn't worked and he rejoined in P13.

The second that Kubica disappeared Lewis Hamilton was unleashed and put in two Fastest Laps, a 1:42.268 and then a 1:41.274 - all this despite reporting back that he had a flat-spotted front tyre that he might have needed to change earlier. Although Kubica was now on the faster tyre and the track was rubbered in, he failed to make any progress on Nico Rosberg in front of him.

Behind him Vitaly Petrov held Alonso at bay with the Ferrari driver getting ever more ragged in his driving style and closing up to the Russian but finding no way past. Although there was clear air in front of him Lewis Hamilton didn't look like closing the ten second gap to Vettel in the remaining seven laps from Lap 48 to 55.

When Vettel ran a slow lap on Lap 49 Mclaren hopes rose, and then Vettel stuck in a Personal Best of 1:41.736 on Lap 50 and they were extinguished. Vettel crossed the line, to find that he was World Champion, the team having chosen not to tell him what was going on till the very last few laps. Hamilton and Button finished second and third with Rosberg a long way back in fourth and Kubica in fifth.

Vitaly Petrov (P6) was the subject of Fernando Alonso's anger on the slowing down lap but the Russian had driven his own race of the season. Mark Webber cut a fairly desolate figure in P7.

Important in the team battles, neither Force India nor Williams had scored points giving the 6th place in the Constructors' table to Sir Frank's team. Heikki Kovalainen finished a lap down in P17 to cement Lotus's 10th place in the Constructors Championship.

It had been an electric race, short on overtaking, but with all the tension and drama befitting a World Championship showdown. And as in all good dramas, no-one had foreseen the ending.


01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:39:36.837
02. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 10.1s
03. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 11.0s
04. Rosberg Mercedes + 30.7s
05. Kubica Renault + 39.0s
06. Petrov Renault + 43.5s
07. Alonso Ferrari + 43.7s
08. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 44.2s
09. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 50.2s
10. Massa Ferrari + 50.8s
11. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 51.5s
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 57.6s
13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 58.3s
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 59.5s
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m03.1s
16. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1m04.7s
17. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Klien HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 44
Schumacher Mercedes 1
Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1

Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi GP
to capture F1 title

Sunday 14th. November 2010
By David Ornstein

Sebastian Vettel drove a masterful race to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and lift his maiden Formula 1 world title.

The 23-year-old Red Bull driver was third in the standings but led from pole and saw other results go his way to become the youngest champion.

Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso came seventh, with Red Bull's other title hope Mark Webber eighth.

Lewis Hamilton, who had a slim title chance, finished second and his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was third.

It was a dramatic end to an enthralling season and gave Red Bull, who sealed the constructors' championship with Vettel's victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, their first drivers' title.

The final standings had Vettel top on 256 points, four clear of Alonso in second, 14 above third-place Webber and 16 in front of Hamilton in fourth.

It was an incredible final twist to end an astonishing season, one that will go down as one of the greatest in F1 history

"I'm a bit stressed to be honest, I don't know what I'm supposed to say," Vettel, who had not previously led this season's championship, told BBC Sport.

"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."

Alonso arrived at the Yas Marina Circuit on 246 points, eight ahead of Webber and in control of his own destiny.

The Spaniard needed to finish first or second to guarantee the title or a top-five placing if Vettel triumphed. But neither he nor Webber fully recovered from early tyre changes which left them way down the field.

"This is sport - sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," said Alonso, who was bidding for a third world title and his first with Ferrari. "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."

Webber added: "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. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button

Top three drivers - Abu Dhabi GP

"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"

Vettel started from the front of the grid after a scintillating display in qualifying, with Hamilton second, Alonso third, Button fourth and Webber fifth.

A superb start from Button pushed Alonso down to fourth but he managed to keep Webber at bay before a nasty collision between Michael Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi at Turn Six saw the safety car deployed for four laps.

Once the debris had been cleared Vettel set about using the open track to pull away, while Hamilton and Button worked hard to respond and Alonso focused on staying ahead of Webber.

The Australian was struggling for pace and shortly after scraping a barrier at Turn 19 on lap eight, he pitted to switch from the softer option tyres to the harder prime variant.

It was a huge gamble from Red Bull and it backfired as Webber emerged from the pits in 16th and got stuck behind the Torro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari.

Ferrari responded by calling Felipe Massa in, hoping he would emerge from the pits in front of Webber and further delay the Red Bull driver. But he did not and Webber was able to accelerate.

Clearly viewing Webber as their principle threat, Ferrari decided to bring Alonso in for hard tyres at the end of lap 15 and, despite almost ploughing into a wall before entering the pits, he managed to come out just ahead of Webber.

But all the while Vettel was surging clear at the front and building an advantage - 28 seconds at one point - which would enable him to change tyres and regain the lead once his closest challengers had done likewise.

The defining moment came when Red Bull called Vettel in on lap 24 and he managed to come out in second place - behind Button, who was yet to pit, and in front of Hamilton, who pitted on lap 23.

Down in 11th, Alonso was leading Webber but could not get past Renault's Vitaly Petrov. Although the pair benefitted from a couple of other drivers pitting, Petrov would prove unmoveable.

Vettel, meanwhile, was in the midst of a magnificent performance, setting fastest laps and gradually extending his advantage as the race drew to a close.

Renault's Robert Kubica had made his way up to second but Hamilton and Button were snapping at his heels and when the Pole came in at the end of lap 46, the Englishmen were able to resume their pursuit of Vettel.

All eyes were on whether Kubica could emerge from the pits ahead of Alonso. This was surely Alonso's last realistic hope - and when the Renault came out in front of the Ferrari, that hope all but died.

With Vettel desperate to look after his car and avoid any last-minute glitches, Hamilton was able to gain on the German.

But it was too little too late and a tearful Vettel took the chequered flag for his fifth win of the season and the fiercely-contested title, sparking ecstatic scenes in the Red Bull garage.

Drivers' Standings after the Abu Dhabi GP on Sunday 14th. December 2010 (final)

PositionDriverCountry TeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelGerRed Bull-Renault256
2Fernando AlonsoSpaFerrari252
3Mark WebberAusRed Bull-Renault242
4Lewis HamiltonGBMcLaren-Mercedes240
5Jenson ButtonGBMcLaren-Mercedes214
6Felipe MassaBrzFerrari144
7Nico RosbergGerMercedes GP142
8Robert KubicaPolRenault136
9Michael SchumacherGerMercedes GP72
10Rubens BarrichelloBrzWilliams-Cosworth47
11Adrian SutilGerForce India-Mercedes47
12Kamui KobayashiJpnBMW Sauber-Ferrari32
13Vitaly PetrovRusRenault27
14Nico HulkenbergGerWilliams-Cosworth22
15Vitantonio LiuzziItaForce India-Mercedes21
16Sebastien BuemiSwiToro Rosso-Ferrari8
17Pedro de la RosaSpaBMW Sauber-Ferrari6
18Nick HeidfeldGerBMW Sauber-Ferrari6
19Jaime AlguersuariSpaToro Rosso-Ferrari5
20Heikki KovalainenFinLotus-Cosworth0
21Jarno TrulliItaLotus-Cosworth0
22Bruno SennaBrzHispania-Cosworth0
23Lucas di GrassiBrzVirgin-Cosworth0
24Karun ChandokIndHispania-Cosworth0
25Timo GlockGerVirgin-Cosworth0
26Sakon YamamotoJpnHispania-Cosworth0
27Christian KlienAutHispania-Cosworth0

The 2010 formula one grand prix season

DateGrand PrixCircuit
March 14th. BahrainSakhir
March 28th.Australia Melbourne
April 4th. MalaysiaSepang
April 18th. ChinaShanghai
May 9th. SpainCatalunya
May 16th. MonacoMonte Carlo
May 30th. Turkey Istanbul
June 13th. CanadaMontreal
June 27th. Europe Valencia
July 11th. Great Britain Silverstone
July 25th. Germany Nurburgring
August 1st. Hungary Budapest
August 29th. Belgium Spa-Francorchamps
September 12th. Italy Monza
September 26th. SingaporeSingapore
October 10th. Japan Suzuka
October 24th. KoreaYeongam
November 7th. Brazil Sao Paulo
November 14th. Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit

There are more races than ever this year; 19 up from 17 last year.
The Canadian GP is back.

Interesting fact:-
Most of the parts of a formula one car are made in England
within 50 miles of Oxford.

Roundabout from tour de France.
Proposed added feature.

The purists don't like the idea.

Drivers and teams for the 2010 formula one grand prix season

Team Engine Driver Driver Test Driver Test Driver Test Driver
McLaren Mercedes Jenson Button Lewis Hamilton Gary Paffett
Mercedes Mercedes Nico Rosberg Michael Schumacher Nick Heidfeld
Red Bull Racing Renault Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber Brendon Hartley Daniel Ricciardo
Ferrari Ferrari Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso Giancarlo Fisichella Marc Gene Luca Badoer
Williams Cosworth Rubens Barichello Nico Hulkenberg Valtteri Bottas
Renault Renault Robert Kubica Vitaly Petrov Ho-Pin Tung Jan Charouz Jerome d'Ambrosio
Force India Mercedes Adrian Sutil Vitantonio Liuzzi Paul di Resta
Toro Rosso Ferrari Sebastien Buemi Jaime Alguersuari Brendon Hartley Daniel Ricciardo
Lotus F1 Racing Cosworth Jarno Trulli Heikki Kovalainen Fairuz Fauzy
Hispania Racing Cosworth Bruno Senna Christian Klien Sakon Yamamoto Karun Chandhok
Virgin Racing Cosworth Timo Glock Lucas di Grassi Andy Soucek Luiz Razia
BMW Sauber Ferrari Pedro de la Rosa Kamui Kobayashi

There is no refuelling this year which is a problem for Virgin racing because their fuel tank
is too small but the FIA have given them permission to increase the capacity.
There are 13 teams this year up from 10 last year.
Toyota have dropped out. There are 4 new teams, Lotus, Campos Meta, USF1 and Virgin.
Do Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button really want to be in the same team (McLaren)?
They say that it is not good to have two world champions in the same team.
Michael Schumacher is back but driving for Mercedes (formerly Brawn) and not Ferrari.
The Campos Meta team are now known as the Hispania Racing F1 Team or HRT. Team USF1 has dropped out until next year.

Include file updated on December 14th. 2010

Brazilian GP: Vettel wins as
Bulls dominate

team red bull
the lads

Brazilian GP: Vettel wins as Bulls dominate

Sunday 7th. November 2010

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber claimed yet another 1-2 as Red Bull won the Constructors' title in Brazil, Fernando Alonso's lead in the Drivers' was cut and Jenson Button dropped out of the battle.


CONDITIONS: Christian Klein lost drive on his HRT on the way to the grid and had to start from the pitlane. In bright sunshine the ambient temperature was 24C and the track at a massive 50C.

GRID: 1.Hulkenberg, 2.Vettel, 3.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Alonso, 6.Barrichello, 7.Kubica, 8.Schumacher, 9.Massa, 10.Petrov, 11.Button, 12.Kobayashi

START:Vettel was quickly away from the dirty side of the grid and squeezed up the inside of Nico Hulkenberg into Turn 1 to take the lead. Webber had to wait till the exit of Turn 4 when the Williams polesitter ran wide, to squeeze through as well.

Behind them, everyone got through the Senna Esses safely with the exception of Vitaly Petrov who got pushed out wide and fell to the back of the field.

Lewis Hamilton had managed to keep Fernando Alonso at bay on the opening lap, but the Championship leader looked very racy behind the McLaren.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Hulkenberg, 4.Hamilton, 5.Alonso, 6.Kubica, 7.Barrichello, 8.Massa, 9.Button, 10.Schumacher, 11.Rosberg, 12.Heidfeld

Hamilton had to move to the inside to cover a move from Alonso at Turn 1 on the second lap and he also had to cover a move into Turn 4 which pushed the McLaren out wide on the exit and over the kerbs, and the Ferrari got through into P4 easily.

Ironically Nico Hulkenberg proved a lot more difficult to get past, but Alonso got by on Lap 6 and set off in pursuit of the Red Bulls. Although at this stage both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were significantly quicker. By Lap 8 Vettel had a 2.7 gap to Webber, who was a massive 8.8 seconds ahead of Alonso with the gap growing.

Michael Schumacher had got the better of Jenson Button to take his 9th place on Lap 3 and it was a surprise to see the Brit in for tyres as early as Lap 11. The move proved to be a good one from the McLaren team as Button became the fastest runner outside of the top four and started to make up ground on the cars in front that were yet to stop.

Ferrari reacted to the move by bringing Felipe Massa in from P8 a lap later, but Button had the impetus and passed him easily into Turn 4 after Massa exited the pitlane. Massa was soon back into the pits, though, after he felt his front right tyre was loose. The second stop put him at the back of the field.

The other big Brazilian hero, Rubens Barrichello, had been running in P7 but when he came in for his tyre stop on Lap 13, a stubborn rear tyre delayed him badly. Later in the race he would get caught up with a Toro Rosso going through the Senna Esses and puncture a front tyre.

On Lap 14 Hulkenberg and Kubica pitted together, while Lewis Hamilton - who had been between them - continued on. Such was Jenson Button's pace that he leapfrogged both the Williams driver and the Renault driver who had been 4th and 6th before their stop.

While Vettel, Webber and Alonso had got past Hulkenberg, Hamilton had languished behind, collecting a train of vehicles that Button was now likely to get in front of, with the exception of his team-mate.

On Lap 15 Button overtook Petrov in a move reminiscent of his through-the-field charge of 2009 and he was up into 10th place and with his pit-stop out of the way. Vettel still led Webber by 2.4 seconds with a distant Alonso 11 seconds behind the Australian.

LAP EIGHTEEN ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Schumacher, 6.Rosberg, 7.Buemi, 8.Kobayashi, 9.Sutil, 10. Button (pitted), 11.Petrov, 12.Hulkenberg, 13.Kubica

Lewis Hamilton came in for his tyre stop on Lap 20 along with Michael Schumacher. Hamilton exited only just in front of team-mate Button, but the World Champion had got the jump on the Mercedes driver. Hamilton set off on his new tyres very quickly and put in the fastest laps on Lap 23 and Lap 24, the second of which was a 1:16.274.

Such was Hamilton's pace that the Ferrari team felt they had to react and brought in Fernando Alonso at the end of Lap 25. This triggered the Red Bull tyre stops, Vettel on Lap 26 and Webber on Lap 27. All went smoothly.

Rosberg, Kobayashi and Sutil were still circulating on their original tyres and although the two McLarens could get by Adrian Sutil fairly easily Michael Schumacher (despite his new tyres) was stuck for a way past. This delay allowed Nico Rosberg to pit and come out in front of him.

Back at the front and armed with their new tyres, the Red Bull drivers were trading fastest laps. On Lap 27 it was Vettel with a 1:15.968, on Lap 28 it was Mark Webber with a 1:15.839 and on Lap 29 it was Vettel again with a 1:15.797.

LAP TWENTY-NINE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Kobayashi (not stopped), 6.Button, 7.Rosberg, 8.Sutil (not stopped), 9.Schumacher 10.Hulkenberg, 11.Kubica

Vettel was keeping the gap to Webber at around 2.9 seconds. By Lap 40 it was virtually the same, despite the ebb and flow of being held up by backmarkers. Lewis Hamilton, at 10 seconds down, was making no progress on Fernando Alonso and even radioed back at one stage to check that his F-duct was working - at the time he was the fastest driver in the final sector.

Behind sixth place Rosberg, Kobayashi was struggling with understeer on his Sauber having started on the harder tyre, but he was still ahead of Adrian Sutil's Force India which was also yet to stop. Sutil had gathered an impressive train of cars and by Lap 42, all the cars from his P8 down to Massa in P15 were lined up behind him.

The race took on a different complexion on Lap 51 when Tonio Liuzzi lost control of his Force India and smashed into the barriers at Turn 2. With the car just off the racing line there was no option but to deploy the Safety Car.

Because both Hamilton and Button had big gaps on their respective rivals, the McLaren team used the opportunity to bring them both in for new tyres without losing position. Incredibly Nico Rosberg was able to come in twice for tyres and also still retain his position, such was the holding pattern that Adrian Sutil had created.

As they lined up behind the Safety Car there were a lot of lapped cars in between the front runners. Vettel had Kubica and Rubens Barrichello between himself and Mark Webber. There were another four between Webber and Alonso.

LAP FIFTY-THREE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Button, 6.Schumacher, 7.Rosberg, 8.Hulkenberg, 9.Kubica, 10.Alguersuari, 11.Buemi, 12.Kobayashi

When the race finally got underway again on Lap 56 it was chaos as the backmarkers failed to heed the blue flags. Alguersuari showed no sign of letting Alonso get past him and started to drive defensively. Heidfeld and Massa were slow to get out of the way of the cars that were lapping them and though Heidfeld got a drive-through penalty for his troubles, it could have been six or seven people in the same position. In the mellee, Nico Rosberg got past Michael Schumacher.

Massa then had an incident going into Turn 4 whilst trying to go round the outside of Buemi and got bounced into the run-off tarmac. Adrian Sutil put a more successful move on Buemi into Turn 1 on Lap 63 but it would only net him 12th place.

With the interlopers cleared out of the gaps, Alonso set off in pursuit of Webber and managed to reduce the gap to just 2.2 seconds on Lap 69 out of 71 but it looked more like an attempt at forcing a mistake than an attempt to get past. Hamilton and Button both had new tyres compared to Alonso's much older rubber but the Ferrari driver easily matched their pace.

Lewis Hamilton managed to take the fastest lap of the race on Lap 66 at 1:13.851, but Alonso was only fractionally slower and never looked under threat from the cars behind him. Sebastian Vettel duly took a much-deserved win from Webber and Alonso. With McLaren just 4th and 5th the Red Bull team had enough points to claim the constructors' title with a race to spare.

Incredibly Nico Rosberg managed to finish sixth after starting in P13 and putting in three pit-stops to Michael Schumacher's one. Schumi finishing in seventh. It had been a gripping contest but a major disappointment for the home fans with both leading Brazilian drivers out of contention from early on.

Before the race Fernando Alonso was pretty sure that the F1 showdown would be concluded next week in Abu Dhabi. He was right.


Results 01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h33:11.803

02. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 4.243
03. Alonso Ferrari + 6.807
04. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 14.634
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 15.593
06. Rosberg Mercedes + 35.300
07. Schumacher Mercedes + 43.400
08. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
09. Kubica Renault + 1 lap
10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
12. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
14. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
16. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
17. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
22. Klien HRT-Cosworth + 6 laps
Did Not Finish
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 63
Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 50

Korean GP: Alonso Wins Chaotic Race

Yeongam circuit Sebastian Vettel the winner rosberg alonso coming together mark webber more rain safety car safety car 1 safety car 2 mark webber safety Sebastian Vettel start

Korean GP: Alonso Wins Chaotic Race

Sunday 24th. October 2010

Fernando Alonso claimed the inaugural Korean GP win and the lead in the title race, helped in part by Red Bull's first double DNF of the season.

The start of the race was delayed by ten minutes due to heavy rain and once under way only three laps took place before the Safety Car before it was red flagged. 45 minutes later, the race resumed, again behind the Safety Car, where 13 laps were spent rubbing off the water as some drivers grew more and more impatient.


CONDITIONS: Light rain, intensifying slightly, which delayed the start by ten minutes. The ambient was 19C and the track at 18C. In that small delay, FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting announced that the race would start behind the Safety Car

GRID: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Rosberg, 6.Massa, 7.Button, 8.Kubica, 9.Schumacher, 10.Barrichello, 11.Hulkenberg, 12.Kobayashi 13.Heidfeld, 14.Sutil

START:With no parade lap we were off behind the Safety Car and the cars started tip-toeing round behind Bernd Mayalander. Despite a propensity for racing in the wet, Jenson Button was appreciative of the cautious approach. "It's like a lake on the straight - it's gonna be a while till they start this one," he radioed back. Fernando Alonso after a couple of laps was not keen to keep going. "It's the worst conditions I ever drove a car," he told his engineer.

By Lap 3 the Red Flag had been shown and the cars lined up on the grid again in their starting order. "You can't even see the front tyres when you're on the straight," Jenson chipped in on his way to a temporary stop (meaning his own tyres).

The calculation now was to see how much time was left to run 75% of the laps to give full points. Seven minutes of the two hours had been raced and so there was 1 hour 53 minutes still to run.

After a delay of almost fifty minutes, Charlie Whiting decided to have another foray at 16.05 and the drivers got into the cars. Some more gladly than others. Lewis Hamilton was very keen to get going again.

LAP FOUR ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Rosberg, 6.Massa, 7.Button, 8.Kubica, 9.Schumacher, 10.Barrichello, 11.Hulkenberg, 12.Kobayashi, 13.Heidfeld, 14.Sutil

The cars circulated for 14 laps before the rain had stopped enough to contemplate a re-start. In that time there had been a lot of radio traffic from drivers saying it was too wet to start and only a few others that it was fine. Alonso and Massa thought it was no better than before, Lewis Hamilton thought the track was getting better all the time.

The Safety Car came in and we were racing again on Lap 18, but not for very long.

Mark Webber lost control of his Red Bull running wide onto a kerb on Lap 19, slewed across the track, hit the barrier and then bounced across the circuit into the path of Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg had already got up the inside of Lewis Hamilton going into Turn 3 on Lap 18 and was up into 4th place. Alonso managed to miss the out-of-control Red Bull, but not the Mercedes and both cars were heavily damaged and out on the spot.

The race restarted on Lap 24 with no changes at the front this time round. Kobayashi, Heidfeld, Buemi and Petrov stopped for Intermediate tyres behind the Safety Car, but on Lap 26 Kobayashi was off the track indicating that he might have gone for Inters too early.

On Lap 27 Michael Schumacher got past Jenson Button very easily, demoting the Brit to P6. In fact Jenson's lack of grip meant that he was rapidly falling back into the clutches of Nico Hulkenberg. Before he had an opportunity to overtake Button, the McLaren was into the pitlane for some Inters, Button having lost all grip on his wet weather tyre. He exited the pitlane behind the backmarker gaggle of Saubers, Virgins and Toro Rosso's and immediately his afternoon of front-running was over, barring a further monsoon.

Sebastian Vettel looked to have things under control at the front and despite Alonso harrying him with occasional fastest laps, on Lap 29 he was 3.9 seconds clear with Alonso another 3.9 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. These gaps would soon be reduced to nothing as Sebastien Buemi tried a very unskilful move to get past Timo Glock and tanked into the side of him.

Glock managed to hobble back to the pits, but Buemi was out on the spot and it was time for another Safety Car. Lewis Hamilton and everyone behind Lewis immediately reacted by diving for the pitlane, so in came Hamilton, Massa, Schumacher, Kubica and Barrichello for Inters.

A lap later and Vettel and Alonso came in, but a delay on Alonso's front right tyre (with a lost wheel nut), meant that he exited behind Lewis Hamilton in P3. His disadvantage didn't last long. The Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 34 and on the restart Hamilton misjudged his braking for Turn 1, ran wide and gifted the place back.

In fact Hamilton was lucky to keep Massa at bay, the No.2 Ferrari getting into the tow of the McLaren down the long back straight before Hamilton went defensive and covered the inside line into Turn 3..

Jenson Button was stuck back in P13 right behind a shoving battle between Kobayashi and Liuzzi. When Button backed off after they jammed their brakes on, the pursuing Adrian Sutil made a kamikaze lunge up the inside that would have wiped out both cars had Jenson not seen it coming. The Mclaren was pushed wide over the kerbs and demoted to P15.

LAP 37 ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Alonso, 3.Hamilton, 4.Massa, 5.Schumacher 6.Barrichello, 7.Petrov, 8.Hulkenberg, 9.Kubica, 10.Liuzzi, 11.Kobayashi, 12.Sutil

Vitaly Petrov was having a great race after pitting early for Intermediates. He was ahead of his team-mate who had been involved in another pitlane near-miss with Adrian Sutil in the next-door pit. However it's likely that Petrov's early change caused premature tyre degradation and on Lap 40 Petrov lost control at speed going through the final turn and planted his Renault firmly in the barriers near the pitlane entrance.

It looked like it might be a case of the fifth Safety Car of the day but with the race close to the Lap 42 mark - where full points would be awarded - the race director chose to have it removed under waved yellows.

Things were still very close at the front and on Lap 42 Fernando Alonso put in the fastest lap of the race, a 1:50.257, only to be trumped a lap later by Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton maintained a watching brief a couple of seconds in arrears, but there was just 1.1 between first and second.

Massa in fourth and Schumacher fifth had dropped a long way back and were no longer threatening the podium places, however that was all about to change. On Lap 45 the Renault engine sounded sick as it crossed the line and Alonso closed right up and was immediately into the lead. Hamilton was through, too, as the Renault engine gave up the ghost and blew sending sparks onto the track beneath the car. Red Bull's misery was complete.

Adrian Sutil had been living dangerously making a variety of mistakes in trying to overtake Kamui Kobayashi and missing his braking point and losing places behind cars he had worked hard to overtake. On Lap 47 common sense got the better of him and he decided it might be a good idea to try round the outside of Kobayashi going into Turn 3. The Force India hit the Sauber hard and bounced into the run-off and retirement. Kobayashi, despite the size of the impact, managed to continue.

In the latter stages of the race it was a question of who had made their Intermediate tyres last the longest - and Nico Hulkenberg clearly demonstrated that he hadn't, running off the road on Lap 51 and allowing Kubica and Liuzzi past. He pitted for some new ones, rejoined the race and made it through to P10 by the flag.

Rubens Barrichello also lost grip and gave up places having been elevated to sixth after Vettel's demise. In fact the Championship positions had been looking pretty good for Williams on Lap 49 running 5th and 6th with their main rival. Force India, back in 8th: 5.Barrichello, 6.Hulkenberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Liuzzi, 9.Kobayshi, 10.Heidfeld, 11.Alguersuari, 12.Button.

So as the darkness gathered in, drivers were rapidly slowing down due to excess tyre wear; in the last three laps Alonso was two seconds a lap quicker than Lewis Hamilton and four seconds quicker than the rest of the field. Vettel had been moaning about the light as early as Lap 44 but they still carried on till the whole 55 had been run.

In the last few laps Felipe Mass survived a rear wheel drift in the same spot that caught out Mark Webber, Alguersuari did some rallycrossing and Jenson Button managed a whole 360 degrees without hitting anything. All continued.

Barrichello was passed by Kubica (5th) and then Liuzzi (6th) to finish in 7th place while Nico Hulkenberg managed to grab P10 passing Alguersuari on the final lap.

But the story of the day was Alonso's unruffled drive to first position in the race and also the drivers' table. Hamilton came through to the flag a long way off in P2 and Massa a lot further back in P3 - Michael Schumacher missing out on his first podium of the season in P4.

From being P1 and P2 in the World Championship and P1 and P2 on the grid Red Bull were now P2 and P4 in the World Championship and one engine down as the F1 circus heads off to one of Ferrari's favourite tracks...


01. Alonso Ferrari 2h48:20.810
02. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 14.999
03. Massa Ferrari + 30.868
04. Schumacher Mercedes + 39.688
05. Kubica Renault + 47.734
06. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 53.571
07. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:09.257
08. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:17.889
09. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 1:20.107
10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:20.851
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:24.146
12. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:29.939
13. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
15. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Did Not Finish

Sutil Force India-Mercedes 63
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 62
Petrov Renault 56
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 48
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 47
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 42
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 42
Webber Red Bull-Renault 35
Rosberg Mercedes 35

Fernando Alonso wins
Korean Grand Prix
from Lewis Hamilton

Sunday 24th. October 2010
By Richard Rae

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso moved into the championship lead after winning a rain-affected Korean Grand Prix which both Red Bull drivers failed to finish.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was second and Ferrari's Felipe Massa came third, but Jenson Button finished 12th to all but end his hopes of retaining the title.

Alonso now leads by 11 points from Red Bull's Mark Webber, who crashed early on, and 21 points from Hamilton.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel retired from the lead with an engine failure and is now 25 points behind Alonso.

With only two races remaining in the season, however, Alonso insisted nothing had really changed.

"We know with the new points system everything can change in one race - if you don't score, you lose 25 points to your opponents," said the Spaniard.

"Here it was bad luck for Mark and Sebastian. Anything can happen in the next two races. As we repeat many times, being consistent is very important, we cannot forget we need to be on the podium and fighting for the victory in the last two races." Korean GP top three drivers

Hamilton said it was a great result for him.

"My tyres were shot at the end, so it was just about trying to get the car home," he said.

Button, in contrast, said it had been an horrific day.

"I just didn't have any grip, and at times I was the slowest person on the circuit. Also I was just destroying tyres. It's been a sad Grand Prix."

With rain falling, race director Charlie Whiting decided the start should take place behind the safety car.

Three laps in, with Alonso describing conditions as "the worst I have ever driven in", the race was suspended and the cars returned to the grid.

After a 45 minute delay the rain had eased sufficiently for the race to be re-started, still under the safety car.

It was to be another 13 increasingly frustrating laps before the safety car finally came in at the end of lap 17.

The drama began almost immediately, as coming out of Turn 12, Webber ran wide and was unable to collect his car before spinning across the track, hitting the wall, spinning back and colliding with the unfortunate Nico Rosberg.


What a battle it was. What a season it has been. And what a climax it promises to be

"Totally my fault, I got on the kerb," said the Australian. "It's frustrating, because I thought I could catch it. Conditions were fine."

It meant more work for the safety car, and the pack closed in behind Vettel. Alonso was second, ahead of Hamilton, Massa and Button.

With conditions steadily improving, Button was the first of the leading pack to switch to intermediate tyres, with a shallower tread depth for drier conditions.

He re-emerged disastrously behind a train of five midfield runners, but when Sebastien Buemi crashed his Toro Rosso into the Virgin of Timo Glock it meant another safety car period.

Vettel still led, but there was bad news for Alonso when he came in for intermediates on lap 32. A wheel-nut problem on his front right delayed the Spaniard sufficiently for Hamilton to pass him for second.

Not for long. As soon as the race resumed Hamilton ran wide through Turn 1, enabling Alonso to retake the position.

Button, still bottled up down the field, was forced wide by Force India's Adrian Sutil and lost more places on lap 36.

Up front Vettel was still in control, and Alonso responded as Hamilton began to close up. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

Title not out of reach - Hamilton

With 20 minutes left on the race clock, dusk was beginning to fall as Renault's Vitaly Petrov crashed out at Turn 18.

At the front, Alonso began to close in on Vettel and the Red Bull driver predictably began to complain about the light, but he had a lot more to complain about on lap 46 when, with Alonso by now right behind him, his engine gave up in a cloud of smoke and oil.

Alonso still had Hamilton behind him but the McLaren dropped back as the Englishman's tyres began to wear more than the Ferrari's and as the darkness descended the Spaniard took both a remarkable win and the lead in the drivers' world championship.

After the race, stewards announced that Buemi and Sutil would take five-place grid penalties in Brazil for their part in their crashes. Sutil also receives a $10,000 (?6,400) fine for driving in the way he did despite knowing he had a brake problem.

Japanese GP:

Suzuka circuit with the bridge and figure of eight
Sebastian Vettel

Japanese Grand Prix:
Sebastian Vettel in pole position
to win drivers' title

Sunday 10th. October 2010

Sebastian Vettel said "it was a nice Sunday" and that Suzuka could have been "drawn" especially for his car. Fernando Alonso said that the track was "purpose-built to show off the strengths of the Red Bull". And so it proved with a front-row lockout, fastest lap, and a one-two finish.

The Japanese Grand Prix was incident-packed and the first casualty was Lucas di Grassi, who crashed at the high-speed 130R corner on the way to the grid.

I may be able to help Virgin explain this unusual incident.

After the race I took a helicopter to Tokyo with Ferrari's Felipe Massa (which for the avoidance of doubt didn't cost the BBC a penny) and he said that the wind was destabilising the cars into this corner, especially on full tanks.

With the Virgin Racing car having less downforce, Massa could understand how it may have happened.

Massa himself only made the first corner of the race. This was a case of him having to attack from a lowly grid position after traffic compromised his qualifying, and the fact that Nicos Hulkenberg and Rosberg were slow away from the start which compressed the pack.

Massa ran out of space, bounced across the inside kerb, and wrote off the luckless Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India, which had made a great start.

Before that, a fast-starting Vitaly Petrov was trying to navigate his Renault through the wheel-spinners off the grid and simply didn't clear Hulkenberg's Williams before slicing across the front of him and spinning into the start-line barrier, finishing both their races.

The race was much the poorer for the mightily impressive Kubica three-wheeling to a halt

Behind the subsequent safety car, Robert Kubica lost a rear wheel off his Renault and so we already had five retirements and racing had barely begun.

Rosberg would also lose a rear wheel late in the race from his Mercedes.

The end of refuelling this season has meant that pit stops are entirely limited by the time taken to change the wheels.

During the hurried stops, the mechanics have to allow the high-performance air guns to hammer the nuts back on just the right amount under extreme time pressure. If the wheel nuts are too tight, then this delays the process while the guns hammer off the single centre nut. It's no surprise we've seen a lot of wheels falling off this year.

The race was much the poorer for the mightily impressive Kubica three-wheeling to a halt.

The Pole had split the Red Bulls off the line and was going to be a major thorn in the side of championship contenders Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Instead, we saw a total domination by Red Bull. They even had the confidence, with Alonso not far behind, to cruise behind Button's McLaren from laps 26 to 38 while he was out of pit-stop sequence having gone the opposite way on tyre strategy.

Vettel, ever mindful of the league tables which numerically record the brilliance of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, delivered the fastest race lap on the penultimate tour to add to his pole position and victory.

Webber duly beat that on the final lap to finish a mere 0.9 seconds behind Vettel. "I couldn't let him have a full house," remarked Webber in mild satisfaction.

The team must have great angst with the risks of this unnecessary mind-game late in the race.

Alonso's next career will be as a motivational speaker. He can see positives everywhere and this time focused on the fact that he lost only three points to championship leader Webber on a track Ferrari feel is their worst of the remaining few.

Alonso remains insistent that consistently finishing anywhere on the podium will be enough to take the title. I'm not so sure.

Japanese GP: Vettel Takes Commanding Win
Sunday 10th. October 2010

Sebastian Vettel boosted his title hopes with a significant victory in Japan as he dominated his team-mate Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso completed the podium places, but it was more gearbox problems for the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

There was plenty of action at the start of the race as Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa and Tonio Liuzzi all crashed into retirement on the opening lap, bringing out the Safety Car. And while the drivers were slowly touring the track behind the Safety Car we had retirement number six as Robert Kubica's right-rear wheel fell off his car, forcing him to park it.


CONDITIONS: Bright and sunny with no rain predicted: 26C ambient, 36C track. Lucas diGrassi failed to get his car to the grid, the Virgin going off at 130R and hitting the barriers even before the parade lap.

GRID:1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Kubica, 4.Alonso, 5.Button, 6.Rosberg, 7.Barrichello, 8.Hamilton, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Schumacher, 11.Heidfeld, 12.Massa

START:When the red lights went out there was immediate action from the Renault of Vitaly Petrov veering across the track and into the barriers. He'd made contact with the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg seconds after the start. Both drivers out on the spot but Petrov the man at fault.

Further down the main straight Felipe Massa tried to make up quick places from P.12, and put his right wheels on the inside grass of the circuit coming into Turn 1. He slewed straight into the side of the innocent Tonio Liuzzi. Both men out. In Singapore Liuzzi hadn't lasted a lap but this time it was not his fault.

However the big excitement was at the front. Robert Kubica got a much better start from P3 on the grid and was straight in front of Mark Webber and also had the momentum to think about a challenge on Vettel - had the straight been longer.

Nico Rosberg got a dreadful start from P.6 and was immediately passed by Lewis Hamilton who jostled his way from P8 to P5 right behind his team-mate by the Esses. With four cars already at the side of the track, the Safety Car was dispatched immediately so they could be recovered.

LAP ONE ORDER:1.Vettel, 2.Kubica, 3.Webber, 4.Alonso, 5.Button, 6.Hamilton, 7.Barrichello, 8.Schumacher, 9.Heidfeld, 10.Sutil

Nico Rosberg, who'd dropped a long way back after his poor start, immediately stopped for his harder Prime tyres and rejoined at the back.

Robert Kubica was going to be a big problem for Mark Webber having got himself between the two Red Bulls, but on Lap 3 he'd suddenly dropped a long way off the back of the Safety Car and Sebastian Vettel, and TV cameras picked him up parking the Renault car. He'd lost a rear wheel off the right corner and parked it. Both Renaults out within three laps and six cars in total before we'd completed one lap at racing speed.

The Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 6 and on the restart Michael Schumacher made a classic overtaking move round the outside of Rubens Barrichello into the final chicane, snatching seventh place. At the same time Nico Rosberg tried to get round the outside of Sebastien Buemi at 130R. Buemi wasn't giving way and Rosberg was forced out wide onto the run-off at 170mph plus but miraculously managed to keep control of his car.

The race settled into a pattern with the Red Bulls swapping fastest laps at the front. By Lap 12 Vettel had a 2.0 second lead on Webber and Mark was 3.5 in front of Alonso. Jenson Button had started on the harder Prime tyre and was clearly holding up Hamilton who had the faster Option. But there was no easy way past.

Behind them, home boy Kamui Kobayashi was keen to change his surname to Kamikaze with a less-than-100%-fair move up the inside of Alguersuari into the hairpin, grabbing P10 and using the Toro Rosso as a braking aid. Three laps later he tried the same move on Adrian Sutil into the hairpin, this time pulling off the move perfectly.

Jenson Button had been hoping that the Option tyre runners would need to stop on lap 10 or 12, but the circuit began to rubber in quickly, and with the added laps behind the Safety Car, the first Option runners to pit - Sutil and Heidfeld - only came in at the end of Lap 18. Lewis Hamilton pitted for the Prime tyres on Lap 22 and exited just behind Kobayashi who was up to P7 (but not yet stopped).

Michael Schumacher pitted from sixth place on Lap 23 but exited behind his team-mate, while Vettel and Alonso pitted on Lap 24 and Webber on Lap 25. There were no net changes for the front runners and Hamilton was swiftly past Kobayashi into Turn 1 on Lap 25. He was still several seconds behind Alonso, though.

Out in front, Jenson Button had gained no advantage from running the harder Prime tyre but soldiered on regardless. With 20+ seconds needed for a pit-stop he was not quick enough to retain fourth place, but had a big window for fifth place after his stop. Behind Button, the four who had changed their tyres closed in, the Red Bulls and the Ferrari managing their fuel and temperatures all the while.

LAP TWENTY-NINE ORDER:1.Button, 2.Vettel, 3.Webber, 4.Alonso, 5.Hamilton, 6.Kobayashi, 7.Rosberg, 8.Schumacher, 9.Heidfeld, 10.Barrichello, 11.Sutil, 12.Alguersuari

Though Hamilton closed down the gap to Alonso to a mere 2.2 seconds on lap 37 after his stop for tyres, that was as close as he would get. On Lap 39 he radioed back that he had lost third gear and because it is a sequential gearbox, the McLaren team didn't want him going any lower. So he was restricted to fourth-to-seventh gear, making the slow exit from the hairpin even slower.

Jenson Button pitted from the lead on Lap 38, as did Kobayashi from P6. Button rejoined in P5 and Kobayashi emerged behind Alguersuari again, in P11. With his new tyres, Button immediately started lapping two seconds a lap quicker than his team-mate who was just hanging on till the finish.

On Lap 45 Kamui Kobyashi proved that you don't have to use the inside line to overtake at the hairpin and overtook Alguersuari round the outside; the Toro Rosso needlessly banging wheels with the Japanese driver on the exit - and more than once. For this stupidity he picked up a puncture and had to pit, while Kobayashi's bent Sauber continued.

While all this was happening Adrian Sutil, Kobayashi's next target, spun in the middle of 130R, swapped ends and continued - the Mercedes engine of his Force India having started to emit plumes of engine oil smoke seconds beforehand. Sutil disappeared into the pits and retirement leaving Kobayashi free to home in on Rubens Barrichello.

Three laps later and Nico Rosberg's race came to a dramatic end as his Mercedes veered off the road at the Esses with a tyre bouncing high up into the air after a car failure. Race Director Charlie Whiting decided to recover the car under waved yellows.

On Lap 49 Kobayashi - on much fresher tyres than all the cars in front of him - sent one up the inside of Barrichello into the hairpin and was through to eighth place sending the Japanese crowd wild. A lap later and team-mate Nick Heidfeld had to defend his seventh place into Turn 1 from Kobayashi. By the time he'd got to the hairpin he'd decided to play the team game and let Kobayashi through- almost letting Barrichello past into the bargain.

At the front of the race Sebastian Vettel started to increase his pace without Button restricting him in front, Mark Webber also upped his pace but never looked like challenging him. Despite the Red Bulls' dominance they couldn't shake off Fernando Alonso's dogged pursuit. Jenson Button, on his fresher tyres, closed a little on Alonso but was never going to catch him, let alone pass.

They held positions to the flag with the falling-back Lewis Hamilton listening anxiously for gearbox noises in fifth. Behind him, in sixth place, Michael Schumacher posted his best result in a long while, having wiped the memory of a poor Singapore GP.

The Red Bulls flashed across the line first and second, Mark Webber gleefully claiming the Fastest Lap on the final lap to show Vettel what he could do in clear air. Alonso was not far off in third and Button ten seconds further back in fourth. However celebrating almost as much as the Austrian team were Team Lotus. They had scored another P12 with Heikki Kovalainen equalling their best result of the season and winning the battle of the new teams. Richard Branson had officially lost his 'air hostess bet'.


01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h30:27.323
02. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 0.905
03. Alonso Ferrari + 2.721
04. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 13.522
05. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 39.595
06. Schumacher Mercedes + 59.933
07. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:04:038
08. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 1:09.648
09. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:10.846
10. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:12.806
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
12. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
13. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
14. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
15. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
16. Yamamoto + 3 laps
17. Rosberg Mercedes + 5 laps
Did Not Finish
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 45
Kubica Renault 4
Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1
Massa Ferrari 1
Petrov Renault 1
Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 0

Japanese Grand Prix:
Sebastian Vettel wins at Suzuka
in Red Bull one-two

Sunday 10th. October 2010

The sun shone in Suzuka, erasing the memory of the dramatic washout 24 hours previously, but a huge shadow was cast over British hopes in the world drivers’ championship as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively in a Japanese Grand Prix won at a canter by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

By Tom Cary, F1 Correspondent in Suzuka
Published: 9:01AM BST 10 Oct 2010
Dream weekend: Sebastian Vettel drove a superb race from pole position to win in Japan

The German – who celebrated with his customary index finger-wagging – moves into joint second place in the standings alongside Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who took third place in a highly technical race. The pair now trail Red Bull’s championship leader Mark Webber by 14 points with just three races of the season remaining.

Three races. It looks increasingly as if time is running out for McLaren’s British duo. Hamilton is now 28 points adrift of Webber and Button a further three points back. With just 25 points available for a race win, they will certainly require the three ahead of them to slip up.

Hamilton in particular suffered a miserable weekend and cut a disconsolate figure after the race. He often remarks how much he enjoys being in Japan – the culture, the cuisine and so on – but on this occasion he could be forgiven for wanting to take the first place home.

Arriving here off the back of three DNFs in four races, results which saw him surrender his championship lead, Hamilton crashed in practice on Friday then suffered a gearbox failure in the build-up to qualifying which relegated him five places on the grid, to eighth. He also had to contend with an earache and the indignity of a pre-race parade lap in the back of a three-wheeler Messerschmitt.

Ironically, things had started fairly well for the McLaren pair. A chaotic start which saw four cars crash out, including the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, worked out well for them with Hamilton moving up to sixth place behind Button as the safety car came out.

Things then got even better as Renault’s Robert Kubica, who had leapt into second place between Vettel and Webber off the start, lost a rear wheel in mysterious circumstances while everyone was still queuing behind the safety car.

When the safety car went in at the end of lap three, the top five were Vettel-Webber-Alonso-Button-Hamilton, which was the exact order that eventually finished the race 50 laps later. There was a lot more to it than that however.

Button was on a completely different strategy to the rest of the top 10, starting the race on hard tyres, and when the front runners pitted for the first time between laps 22 and 25, he continued in clean air. The tactic was for him to build a lead before pitting himself near to the end of the race.

It did not work out that way. Vettel closed on him slowly but surely, cutting his lead to 1.5seconds and Button opted to come in on lap 38, emerging behind Hamilton who by now was on the charge.

The 2008 world champion was catching Alonso in third place by over half a second per lap, closing to almost two seconds, before disaster struck.

Hamilton lost third gear and with it any chance of challenging for the podium.

His miserable weekend was completed as he slipped back inexorably towards Button, who was on the fresher option tyres, and did not even put up a fight as they merged at the Hairpin nine laps from the end. That was how things stayed.

There was delight for the home crowd in the performance of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who drove like a man possessed to end the race in seventh place having started in 14th, while there was the odd thrill and spill along the way too. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg had a particularly large crash after losing his rear left wheel under heavy pressure from his rejuvenated team mate Michael Schumacher, who loves this place. The 41 year-old won six times at Suzuka during his heyday.

But the real winners were Red Bull, who claimed their fourth one-two of the season, and Webber in particular, who stretched his lead in the championship.

"A dream day for the team," said team boss Christian Horner.


* 1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull) 1hr 30:27.323
* 2. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull) at 0.905
* 3. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) at 2.721
* 4. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) at 13.522
* 5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren) at 39.595
* 6. Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes GP) at 59.933
* 7. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber) at 1:04.038
* 8. Nick Heidfeld (GER/Sauber) at 1:09.648
* 9. Rubens Barrichello (BRA/Williams F1) at 1:10.846
* 10. Sibastien Buemi (SWI/Toro Rosso) at 1:12.806
* 11. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP/Toro Rosso) at 1 lap
* 12. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Lotus) at 1 lap
* 13. Jarno Trulli (ITA/Lotus) at 2 laps
* 14. Timo Glock (GER/Virgin Racing) at 2 laps
* 15. Bruno Senna (BRA/Hispania) at 2 laps
* 16. Sakon Yamamoto (JPN/Hispania) at 3 laps
* 17. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes GP) at 6 laps

Driver of the day was Sauber's Kamui Kobyashi. He passed no fewer than five cars in the tricky hairpin approached through a blind right-hand kink.

I called him Kobay-bashi when he literally pushed a Toro Rosso out of the way. He was Ko-wasabi (a particularly hot Japanese version of horseradish sauce if you didn't know) as he then sliced cleanly past Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari, Rubens Barrichello, and team-mate Nick Heidfeld.

Kobayashi can call me Trundle or Bundle or whatever he wants; I like his fiery style.

The McLaren zone was rather glum after the race. They slipped uncomfortably far away from the championship lead with three races remaining.

Button's concept of running hard tyres at the start of the race compromised his qualifying and did not pay him back because the soft compound did not fall apart on the competition in the early laps as he had hoped.

I said during the race that I was surprised they did not react earlier to that and give Button a good 20 laps on his soft tyres at the end although would likely only have put pressure on the sister car of Hamilton.


Japan was always going to be an exercise in damage-limitation for McLaren. But the damage was to some extent self-inflicted

Red Bull read this as McLaren using Button to back up the leaders hoping to benefit Hamilton. Button said after the race that he felt he should have pitted earlier. Hamilton had a miserable weekend.

A mistake in first practice damaged his car badly. It was in the infamous Degner corners where he seemed to have collected up the initial problem bouncing along the outside kerb only to understeer wide into Degner Two and slide into the gravel and then barrier.

All a bit strange, really.

After his non-finish in Singapore, the team could have changed his gearbox without penalty but they are sealed for four races and they didn't want a gearbox in its fourth race in Abu Dhabi.

They only spotted the problem when the box was refitted for Saturday in Suzuka, and an exploratory lap in the wet of free practice three meant changing the gearbox with a five-place grid drop. But at least they found the problem.

Unfortunately the replacement gearbox would lose third gear meaning Lewis had to finish the final laps of the race using only fourth to seventh gears.

This would mean very poor acceleration out of the slow corners and he was easy meat for the fast-recovering Button now on fresh soft tyres.

The regulations dictate that if a grid penalty is taken then a new 'four-race' gearbox can be fitted from the next event, meaning that Hamilton will not take further pain in Korea for a new gearbox. Sorry, I called that wrong in the race.

Vettel has looked a very fast class act these past two races. He can win this championship now.

It's all within his hands, and Webber really needs to beat him in Korea in two weeks' time to arrest that relentless progress now that Red Bull is back on full form.

Singapore GP:

Singapore circuit
Marina Bay
Nick Heidfeld
Singapore circuit wet paddock
Singapore circuit wet start
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
Christian Klien
Sakon Yamamoto

Nick Heidfeld
Singapore GP: Alonso holds off charging Vettel
Sunday 26th. September 2010

Fernando Alonso held off a charging Sebastian Vettel to take his second Singapore GP victory while Lewis Hamilton was the only title contender not to score.

In a cliffhanger of a GP, a brilliant Alonso held off title rival Sebastian Vettel in a race-long duel that saw them finish a long way clear of Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton failed to score after being shunted from behind by Webber in a controversial incident that saw no action taken for the Aussie's late braking move.


CONDITIONS: Dry with no rain having fallen. 30C ambient, 31C track. Alguersuari elected to start from the pitlane after discovering a water leak on his Toro Rosso (ruining his best start in F1).

GRID: 1.Alonso, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton, 4.Button, 5.Webber 6.Barrichello, 7. Rosberg, 8.Kubica, 9.Schumacher, 10.Kobayashi, 11.Alguersuari (in pit), 12.Petrov

START:McLaren thought that they might be able to make up places at the start but as the red lights went out Vettel got one of his best starts of the year and polesitter Fernando Alonso had to put some manners on him as they headed for Turn 1. Jenson Button was actually quicker away than Lewis Hamilton and momentarily pulled ahead but Hamilton easily outbraked him into Turn 1 as Mark Webber followed through in P5. Further back, Rubens Barrichello was slow away and was easily swallowed up by Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Alonso, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton, 4.Button, 5.Webber 6. Rosberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Barrichello, 9.Schumacher, 10.Petrov

Tonio Liuzzi and Nick Heidfeld picked up damage on the opening lap. Heidfeld was able to pit, but Liuzzi parked his car out on track bringing out the first Safety Car of the afternoon. Felipe Massa (starting from P24) had already slotted into the Ferrari plan by pitting at the end of Lap 1 for the harder tyres, but as the Safety Car emerged on Lap 2, most of the back of the field followed suit ruining that cunning plan.

The back runners were joined, surprisingly, by Mark Webber from P5 who seemed to be running against the conventional strategy of the front runners. The Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 6.

LAP 6 ORDER: 1.Alonso, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton, 4.Button, 5. Rosberg, 6.Kubica, 7.Barrichello, 8.Schumacher, 9.Kobayashi, 10.Webber, 11.Timo Glock, 12.Petrov

To make Webber's strategy work it was important that he got past the relatively slow Schumacher and Kobayashi and luckily for Mark his first target Kobayashi made a mistake exiting Turn 4 allowing the Aussie past. By Lap 11 he was up behind Schumacher and benefited from exactly the same mistake by the seven times World Champion.

At the time, the drivers, such as Williams' Nico Hulkenberg, were complaining that the harder tyres were sliding around and much slower than the green-walled option tyre. Certainly the front-runners were able to put in times up to two seconds a lap faster than Webber. However with his pit-stop out of the way, and stops in Singapore taking 28 seconds, he managed to reduce the difference and kept well within a 28-second deficit to P3 Hamilton and P4 Button.

At the front of the race Alonso was driving immaculately with Vettel playing a watching game a couple of seconds back. Sebastian was watching the F10 gearbox and also watching his tyre wear and his brake temperature. It was quite apparent from the moment the Safety Car had come in that Alonso and Vettel were going to be in a race of their own. Hamilton was rapidly dropped and Button fell off the back of Hamilton, while Nico Rosberg kept Button in closer contention.

In midfield Timo Glock was putting up a heroic defence of 11th place, the Virgin car collecting a long train of cars that included Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Vitaly Petrov, Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. On Lap 15 Sutil finally got past Glock and once Nico Hulkenberg came alongside - pushing Glock onto the kerbs - the floodgates opened.

Fernando Alonso put in a series of fastest laps to keep Vettel behind and the gap to P2 varied from 3.2 seconds on Lap 20 to 1.8 seconds on Lap 28.

The significant lap number, though, was Lap 25, because that was when Mark Webber started to lap quicker than both Mclaren cars. At the same time he was inside the time window needed for a stop and so he would inherit P3 providing the car in front of him - Rubens Barrichello - kept lapping quickly. Which he did.

At the end of lap 29 Hamilton pitted and a lap later both Vettel and Alonso came in together. Vettel had been closing the gap to Alonso and it was assumed that Red Bull would allow their man to run longer and build a gap on the Ferrari driver. As it was they came in at the end of Lap 30 and though Vettel stuttered out of his pitbox, he managed to keep his Red Bull rolling, still in P2 though.

Jenson Button pitted at the same time and exited behind both Webber and Hamilton.

Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher had a coming together on Lap 31 that would be investigated by the stewards and a lap later the Japanese driver drove straight on into the barriers near the slow turn that disappears below a spectator grandstand. He was then collected by Bruno Senna's HRT with both cars left stuck on the racing line.

There was no choice but to bring out the Safety Car again which sent Kubica and Barrichello scurrying for their pit-stop before they were collected by the SC. As the cars formed up behind Berndt Maylander's Mercedes the order was:

LAP 34 ORDER: 1.Alonso, 2.Vettel, 3.Webber 4.Hamilton, 5.Button, 6. Rosberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Barrichello, 8.Sutil, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Massa, 11.Petrov 12.Alguersuari

The race was restarted on Lap 36 with various lapped cars threaded into the top five, including the two Virgins. Mark Webber was delayed as he went to pass one of them and Lewis Hamilton seized on the moment as the best chance he would get. Hamilton was a car length clear on the outside, swung out to take the proper line for Turn 7 when Webber jabbed his Red Bull up the inside at the last moment.

It was a move of either supreme optimism or sheer stupidity from Webber who could see Hamilton was already turning in for the corner and Webber's front right tyre duly bounced into the rear tyre of the Mclaren pushing him over the kerbs and into retirement.

The stewards investigated it afterwards and decided it was a racing incident, though with Danny Sullivan as the driver representative on the stewards panel, they had a man with only 15 F1 races passing judgement.

From that point on it was a race to the flag with Vettel harrying the seemingly mistake-free Alonso all the way. Alonso opened the gap to 2.0 seconds on Lap 38 and it never got any greater for the remaining 45 minutes. Alonso would put in a fast lap and Vettel would respond. Vettel would put in a fast lap and Alonso would respond.

On Lap 45 Robert Kubica suddenly dashed for the pits with a right rear puncture and surrendered his sixth place to Rubens Barrichello. He rejoined in P13 and put together a mesmerising charge that took him past Buemi, Alguersuari, Massa, Hulkenberg, Petrov and finally Sutil at Turn 7 for P7 on Lap 56. Moving up six places with six separate overtaking moves in eleven laps at Singapore was no mean feat.

The final drama was played out by Heikki Kovalainen who got hit by a clumsy Sebastian Buemi and spun round. His Cosworth engine then caught fire and not realising how bad it was, he chose (or was told) to drive on past the pitlane entry by which time the back of the car was seriously aflame. Kovalainen parked it, calmly took a fire extinguisher from the pitwall, and put the fire out himself before any marshal could get to him.

While all this was happening Sebastian Vettel had closed up to within 0.2 of Alonso on the final lap, but Fernando always had the measure of him in Sector 1 and was able to keep ahead to the line, which he crossed hardly a minute before the two-hour mark.

Webber and Button followed them home a long way back, the Brit just 1.2 seconds behind the Aussie at the line. Rosberg, Barrichello, Kubica, Sutil, Hulkenberg and Massa followed them home to make up the points scorers.

(Although Sutil would be later dropped to P10 for taking advantage of a short cut across the run-off at Turn 1)

It had been another cliffhanger race for Ferrari, but unlike Monza, Alonso was error-free under the most severe pressure from Vettel in what looked to be a faster car. It was one of the drives of the season by Alonso. To win back to back races at the lowest downforce race and then the highest downforce race shows that he is the new hot favourite for the 2010 championship. And unlike Vettel or Webber, he has the racecraft to do it.


01. Alonso Ferrari 1h57:53.579
02. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 0.293
03. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 29.141
04. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 30.384
05. Rosberg Mercedes + 49.394
06. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 56.101
07. Kubica Renault + 1:26.559
08. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:52.416
09. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:52.791
10. Massa Ferrari + 1:53.297
11. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
Did Not Finish
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 51
Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 35
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 34
Klien HRT-Cosworth 30
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 29
Senna HRT-Cosworth 28
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 26
Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1

Singapore GP
Alonso wins for Ferrari

Sunday 26th. September 2010 Alonso wins just ahead of Vettel

Fernando Alonso lays down gauntlet to F1 rivals Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel just behind him at the Singapore Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso has warned his Formula 1 rivals "the championship starts now".

The Spaniard closed to within 11 points of leader Mark Webber after victory in Singapore and feels he is in peak condition for the first time in years.

Alonso, 29, has won three of the last five races to leapfrog Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, and suggested the best is yet to come.

"Right now, at this point of the championship, I'm at a peak - 100% motivated, focused etc," said Alonso.

"A championship that is nine months long rarely happens in other sports.

"We are in a sport where you cannot be completely fit, focused and motivated 100% at every race, every month. You are up and down.

"Sometimes in past championships in September, I was getting tired, what with all these long flights, getting very stressed.

"But this year it is different. It feels like the championship is starting now, so I feel very happy we will be going to Japan next race," added the Ferrari driver.

In a remarkable turnaround, Alonso has won in Germany, Italy and Singapore since the British Grand Prix, outscoring his four main rivals by between 19 and 56 points.

Alonso - 93 points
Webber -74
Vettel - 60
Button - 44
Hamilton - 37

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the eventual winner of the title will be the driver who possesses the greatest mental strength.

"As we all know the car is crucial with regard to reliability and performance," he stated.

"But we also know that when things are so close, and there are certain moments that are the main moments of either qualifying or the race, the difference is really in the head.

"It is because you have to be there in the right moment without risking too much because if you do then you may suffer problems.

"It's an area where the fight will be very intense, but I don't want to say it's the only area because if you don't have a good car, forget it."

Domenicali is confident Alonso has the character to last the distance and clinch his third world title, following triumphs in 2005 and 2006.

"For sure, Fernando is strong in the head, and I really hope he will be the strongest in front of the others," said Domenicali.

"I know his characteristics, but it's also about team work. We need to work with the guys at the track and at home because if you don't work perfectly as a team then it will be difficult to win.

"But one of Fernando's main characteristics is that he is very cool, very calm, and that's what we need from him. That is an important point of his leadership that is very strong in the team."

Top 3 qualifiers

Italian GP: Alonso Wins For Ferrari

Monza circuit 2010
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton
Monza circuit start 2009
Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel

McLaren defend Button stop. Team boss insists they made the right call

Sunday 12th. September 2010

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has defended the timing of Jenson Button's pit stop in the Italian Grand Prix.

The defending world champion led the first 36 laps of Sunday's race at Monza after taking the lead from polesitter Fernando Alonso off the line.

Button was then brought in for his mandatory stop but initially struggled with his new set of hard compound tyres.

That, coupled with a quicker stop by Ferrari, allowed Alonso to edge past Button when he pitted just one lap later. Prime

Although Button's finish helped breathe life into a stuttering title campaign, he still felt he could have finished on the top step of the podium.

"We obviously thought it was the right decision to come in a lap earlier - but looking now I don't think it was the right call. I don't feel it worked for us today," he said after the race.

Having seen rival cars go quicker on the prime tyre, though, Whitmarsh defended McLaren's decision to bring Button in when they did.

"We were obviously looking for a gap," he said. "We could see that as the cars behind cascaded in and onto the prime, the prime was quicker. And, at that point, you want to get onto the quicker tyre as quickly as possible.

"With Ferrari behind us there was only three ways it was going to go. We either were going to get in in front of them, and had they not come in that lap we would have been able to beat them.

"It would have been nice for them to have come in at the same time as us, but that would have been a foolish thing for them to do and they didn't unfortunately.

"Or, if we had stayed out and they had come in first, then they would have beaten us by more. So we made the right call."

Whitmarsh admitted, however, that a quicker turnaround by Ferrari had been vital.

"We were a few tenths slower in the stop and I think Fernando was quicker. So it was two or three metres the wrong side when we came out," he added.

Whitmarsh also offered consolation for Lewis Hamilton after he crashed out on the opening lap after making contact with the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa.


The 2008 world champion therefore fell back behind Mark Webber at the top of the standings after the Red Bull driver finished sixth.

"I went in to see him (after the race)," Whitmarsh said. "I knew he had been in for some time and I went in to get him out after he had had time to reflect on it.

"The important thing is that Lewis jumps out of bed tomorrow, gets into training and focuses on Singapore. He wants to do the job better and he will."

Asked whether Hamilton had been too aggressive, Whitmarsh replied: "Viewed from the slo-mo in the armchair...yes. Viewed from the driving seat, Lewis would not be the great racing driver he is if he did not go for it.

"That's what he did and with hindsight he wishes he had not gone for it quite as much, and so do we. You have to go out and race. But you break a trackrod and it's game over."

Monza banking 2010
Italian GP: Alonso Wins For Ferrari
Sunday 12th. September 2010

Fernando Alonso won an intriguing Italian Grand Prix, beating Jenson Button and team-mate Felipe Massa to the chequered flag at Ferrari's home race.

And with Championship leader Lewis Hamilton out of the grand on the first lap with a broken steering arm courtesy of a coming together with Felipe Massa, it was a perfect opportunity for his title rivals to make up some ground on the 2008 World Champ.

Sebastian Vettel, who came in for his mandatory pit stop on the very last lap of the grand prix, managed fourth place ahead of Nico Rosberg in fifth.

Race Report

The sun shone brightly on the stands at Monza with no prospect of rain under blue Italian skies - the ambient temperature at 24C and the track at 35C.

As the red lights went out it was Jenson Button who got the far better start and Alonso immediately pushed his Ferrari over towards the McLaren obliging Jenson to move a long way right to avoid contact. Button was in front, though, and managed to get his braking done completely in the lead at Turn 1. Behind him Felipe Massa followed through and came alongside Alonso into the tight confines of the right/left chicane.

Alonso got his braking wrong and slammed the nose of his F10 into the back of Button's car removing the rear wing endplate. At the same his car squirmed sideways and slammed sideways into Felipe Massa, thankfully a tyre-to-tyre impact causing no damage to either.

Lewis Hamilton got a great start, too, and followed Alonso's line through the first turn and as the cars approached the second della Roggia chicane Hamilton was alongside Massa on the inside going into the turn. Massa held his nerve and his line, but rather than dropping back and accepting P4, Hamilton tried to go through the chicane side by side, hooked his tyre inside Massa's rear wheel which smashed into Lewis's and broke the steering. It was a move too far for Hamilton and at the first Lesmo corner his car went straight on into the gravel.

Further back, Mark Webber had a cautious start and was overtaken by Rosberg, Kubica and Hulkenberg into Turn 1 and Vettel and Schumacher got past him later in the lap.

Vettel positioned his car outside of Webber and got punted from behind into Turn 1 and lost his red light in the process, he also skipped the apex of the chicane and rejoined behind Michael Schumacher (who ran wide into the Lesmos and gave a place back).

As they crossed the line on the opening lap the positions were: 1.Button, 2.Alonso, 3.Massa, 4.Rosberg, 5.Kubuca, 6.Hulkenberg, 7.Vettel, 8.Schumacher, 9.Webber, 10.Buemi, 11.Barrichello.

Fernando Alonso was right on Jenson Button's gearbox from the opening lap, but it wasn't until Lap 5 that he began to take a look at overtaking the Brit into Turn 1. Mark Webber began to start taking places back, beginning with Michael Schumacher on Lap 6. The Red Bull driver outbraked him into Turn 1 and Schumi didn't give up but tried to outdrag him down to the second chicane. He didn't quite have the momentum.

After being pursued by Alonso over the opening 12 laps, the McLaren team decided to radio Jenson on Lap 12 if only to see that his radio was still working as he had been fully engrossed in keeping Alonso behind. On Lap 13 Button put in the fastest lap of the race and the gap went out to the most it would ever be, 1.6 seconds. After that Fernando Alonso turned up the heat and put in a series of fastest laps from lap 14 to lap 16 to close it up again.

The front three cars were stretching out a huge gap to Nico Rosberg in P4 who was a couple of seconds in front of Robert Kubica, who had developed a mini train of Hulkenberg, Vettel and Mark Webber.

Very little was happening out on track apart from the two Ferraris dogged pursuit of the Mclaren. Then on Lap 20 there was a frantic bit of race radio with Sebastian Vettel yelling that there was something wrong with his engine. It slowed so much that Mark Webber was able to pass him easily on the back straight. After some frantic switching of engine maps, Vettel was able to resume as he was, and two laps later put in a personal best time in Sector 2.

The major action in the race surrounded the pit-stops and Robert Kubica was the first to stop at the end of Lap 33. Keen that they shouldn't lose places, Rosberg and Webber stopped immediately after and held positions, Rosberg in front of Kubica and Webber behind. However the later stopping Hulkenberg managed to get in front of Kubica when he stopped.

On Lap 36 the complexion of the race changed to the benefit of Ferrari when Mclaren decided to make their one stop. Button's new prime tyres took one lap to bed in and his outlap was slow as the tyres "shuddered". Fernando Alonso came in a lap later and exited the pits just in front of the McLaren driver and was able to outbrake him - albeit very shakily - into Turn 1. It was enough. Massa came in a lap later and resumed in P3.

At the same time Robert Kubica had been caught by Mark Webber and the Aussie pulled off a combative move against Kubica just as Hulkenberg emerged from the pitlane. Hulkenberg managed to keep his Williams in front of Kubica into Turn 1 and Webber used the opportunity to try and outbrake the Renault on the inside. Kubica lost momentum on the exit whilst defending and the Red Bull outdragged him to the second chicane, the place where Kubica had ended his race (and World Championship challenge) last year.

Webber would continue to put pressure on Hulkenberg till the end of the race. The Williams driver lived dangerously, cutting three chicanes whilst trying to keep Webber behind.

The positions on lap 39 were: 1.Alonso, 2.Button, 3.Massa, 4.Vettel (not stopped), 5.Rosberg, 6.Hulkenberg, 7.Webber, 8.Kubica, 9.Schumacher, 10.Petrov (not stopped)

The only question left to be answered was where Sebastian Vettel would end up especially in relation to Mark Webber. He was fourth on track, but a long way clear of Nico Rosberg. He was able to make his tyres last until the penultimate lap when he exited a long way clear of 4th place Rosberg to the frustration of team-mate Mark Webber who had been held up by the chicane-cutting Hulkenberg.

Webber's team radio was filled with invective about the Williams driver and surprise that he wasn't going to get a drive-through penalty. Eventually on Lap 48 he managed to pass Hulkenberg on the outside of the della Roggia chicane and he could claim sixth place without the aid of the stewards. However Vettel had already got enough time in his pocket for a swift pit-stop and a P4 finish.

Alonso, gave the massed tifosi at Turn 1 a small scare on lap 51 when he missed his braking and took his car over the speed bumps, but he only lost a second to the following Jenson Button. He finished 2.9 seconds clear for a tumultuous win. His victory was the first for Ferrari at Monza since 2006 and gathered a monster crowd on the start/finish straight to celebrate a Ferrari 1-3. Vettel was an easy fourth, despite his mid-race panic, Rosberg fifth, Webber a disgruntled sixth and Kubica seventh - all less than two seconds apart.


01. Alonso Ferrari 1h16:24.572
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.938
03. Massa Ferrari + 4.223
04. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 28.193
05. Rosberg Mercedes + 29.942
06. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 31.276
07. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 32.812
08. Kubica Renault + 34.028
09. Schumacher Mercedes + 44.948
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:04.200
11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:05.00
12. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1:06.100
13. Petrov Renault + 1:18.900
14. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
18. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Did Not Finish
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 47
Senna HRT-Cosworth 12
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1

Monza 1925
Monza 1925 - the figure of eight with a bridge.

Monza mistake may cost championship - Lewis Hamilton.

Sunday 12th. September 2010
by Sarah Holt BBC Sport at Monza

McLaren star Lewis Hamilton blamed himself for putting his title bid in jeopardy after crashing out of the Italian Grand Prix on the first lap.

Hamilton crashing into the side of Massa at the start.

Hamilton retired at Monza after damaging his car when he tried to pass Felipe Massa's Ferrari, and as a result dropped to second in the championship.

"It's not over," Hamilton told BBC Sport. "But it is mistakes like I made today that lose world championships.

"I only have myself to blame and I am very disappointed in myself."

A good start saw Hamilton gain a place from his grid position of fifth, but his eagerness to push further up the order cost him.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton admits to 'mistake' on first lap

His McLaren suffered front-suspension damage as he tried to squeeze past Massa at the second chicane.

"I had a good start and in the realistic world I should perhaps have stayed there for a while," said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion.

"I was just trying to position the car in a certain way, got too close to Felipe, he clipped my wheel and damaged the front of the car.

"There was nothing I could do. It's a little bit of a shame and I apologise to my team."

With five races left in a hotly-contested drivers' contest, another retirement is costly to Hamilton's quest for a second title.

Red Bull's Mark Webber regained his championship lead after finishing sixth and is now five points ahead of Hamilton and 21 in front of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the winner of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton added: "My eyes aren't on Mark [Webber].

"I really have to collect my thoughts and move on to the next race [in Singapore] to try and help the team collect as many points so either myself or Jenson [Button] can win the championship."

You've got to make the best of your opportunities, so it wasn't the best day. We underperformed as a team and just sniffed around getting a few points.

Mark Webber

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was philosophical about Hamilton's retirement and predicts there will be many more twists as Formula 1 heads off on five long-haul races.

"It was a racing incident," Whitmarsh told BBC Sport. "Lewis was pushing very, very hard and you have to do that.

"It was disappointing but you have to rebuild from this.

"It is business as normal. The championship is still tight and could go any way. It is epic; the best championship in history."

Webber took advantage of Hamilton's error to move back into the championship lead, but the Red Bull driver was frustrated to finish in sixth place. Red Bull's Mark Webber

Webber frustrated with Red Bull 'underperformance'

"You've got to make the best of your opportunities, so it wasn't the best day," said the Australian.

"We underperformed as a team and just sniffed around getting a few points."

Hamilton's team-mate Button hauled himself back into contention for back-to-back world titles with second place in Monza.

The defending champion is 22 points behind Webber with five races left, with only 24 points covering the top five drivers in the championship.

Button charged ahead of Alonso at the start but lost out in the pit-stops as Alonso, who stopped one lap later, returned to the track ahead of the McLaren driver.

"Jenson drove a fantastic race," Whitmarsh added. "He had the bottom of his rear-wing end plate munched off by Alonso [on lap one] but that wouldn't have helped the cause anyway, so we're not looking for excuses."

Button explained: "I pitted before Alonso but, when I went out on harder tyres, I couldn't find any grip.

"It's a difficult call but, without knowing all the details, I think it was the wrong call. McLaren's Jenson Button

Button frustrated by lack of pace.

"I've lost points from what I thought I was going to achieve. But it's still a very good result and I'm still only 22 points behind."

Vettel, who finished fourth in Italy, was relieved to stay in the championship hunt.

The German lost ground at the start, then ran wide at the first corner when he was hit from behind. Later, he lost more places when a glitch on his Red Bull slowed him momentarily.

Vettel said: "It didn't look too good, but I had to wait and see what chances I might get and then use them.

"It all worked so we can be proud of ourselves. I went flat-out and just tried to come back."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "This was always about damage limitation. It's a great performance for us today - to take the lead in the drivers' championship [with Webber] and extend it in the constructors'.

"Every proper team will be bringing a big update to the next race in Singapore. There's a few tracks that should play to our strengths, a few a bit more neutral, but nothing like here."

Belgian GP: Hamilton Claims First Spa Win

Spa Florachamps Belgium

lewis Hamilton Spa
Lewis Hamilton wins at Spa
Belgian GP: Hamilton Claims First Spa Win
Sunday 29th. August 2010

Lewis Hamilton won an epic Spa race in which the predicted rain wreaked havoc with many of the World Championship contenders.

Hamilton led from the start as polesitter Mark Webber failed to get away from pole position with any speed. However it was a combination of rain and team-mate Sebastian Vettel who threw the race into chaos.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were both the innocent victims of other people's accidents in the damp conditions, while Vettel was involved in three separate stewards investigations, including eliminating Button.

Webber recovered from dropping to P7 at La Source hairpin on Lap 1 to take second position ahead of Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil. Alonso lost control of his Ferrari and crashed on Lap 38, while Vettel finished the race a lap down and out of the points.


CONDITIONS: Bright and cloudy. 16C ambient, 20C track.

GRID: 1.Webber, 2.Hamilton, 3.Kubica 4.Vettel, 5.Button, 6.Massa, 7.Barrichello, 8. Sutil, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Alonso, 11.Alguersuari, 12.Liuzzi, 13.Kovalainen, 14. Rosberg

START: Even before the red lights came on, Felipe Massa's Ferrari lined up two metres in front of his grid box. For an experienced driver like Massa it was a surprising mistake. As the red lights went out Mark Webber's Red Bull failed to get away properly, the Red Bull switching into anti-stall mode.

Lewis Hamilton was straight past into the lead followed through by Robert Kubica, Jenson Button - making a great start - Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa. Button came up the inside of Kubica into La Source, but had to drop back down behind the Renault for Eau Rouge.

Having been given a stern talking-to by the driver steward - Nigel Mansell - only one driver (DiGrassi) ran wide onto the La Source run-off tarmac in the run down to Eau Rouge. Mark Webber had dropped behind Adrian Sutil for P7 but going up the hill into Les Combes Sutil was too quick into the braking zone and had to stand on his brakes, allowing Webber past.

The big news as everyone got away was that rain had already started to fall and as the field steamed towards the wet final chicane on Lap 1, Jenson Button had already nailed it up the inside of Robert Kubica. However neither could stop their car in time, neither could leader Hamilton who went into the chicane run-off, neither could Vettel or Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso had got a good start and was ahead of both Williams cars, but as he braked for the chicane he was hit by Rubens Barrichello who had locked up.

The impact of the accident put Barrichello out on the spot, but remarkably Alonso was able to continue his race towards the back of the field despite the knock. He used the opportunity to pit for new Intermediate tyres (which he would soon need to replace). Button lost momentum through the chicane and as they crossed the line he was momentarily down to P5.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Hamilton, 2.Kubica, 3.Vettel, 4.Massa, 5.Button 6.Webber, 7.Hulkenberg, 8.Sutil, 9.Rosberg

However seconds later Button was back past Massa and up the inside of Vettel at La Source and back into P3. As they headed towards Eau Rouge for the second time Robert Kubica ran off track to the right and Button was able to sweep straight past into P2. Sebastian Vettel tried to come through too but in what could have been the most frightening accident of the season Kubica pushed Vettel onto the grass going up the hill to Les Combes - and thankfully Vettel held it. He remained P4.

With a lot of carbon fibre covering the final chicane the Safety Car was dispatched to keep the cars under control and recover the debris. None of the leading cars used the opportunity to pit for more tyres. The race was soon underway again on Lap 4 and Vettel was immediately past Kubica into La Source hairpin.

Lewis Hamilton began to put a significant gap on team-mate Button and it was revealed that Button had some front wing damage. Button had elected to run more downforce than Hamilton in anticipation of more rain during the race and was having to look in his mirrors at the fast-closing Vettel.

The stewards decided to investigate Kubica vs Vettel, Alonso vs Barrichello, the Turn 19 mass corner-cut but not Massa starting from the wrong place.

Michael Schumacher had ended the first lap in P17 and by Lap 6 he was up to P12, stuck in the Liuzzi train - Liuzzi/Rosberg/Petrov/Schumacher. When Liuzzi pitted, Vitaly Petrov saw the opportunity to put a move on the outside of Nico Rosberg coming up to Les Combes. Rosberg resisted, ran wide on the exit as Petrov held the racing line and lost momentum. The following Schumi saw his opportunity and dived past his team-mate, lightly clipping the end of Rosberg's front wing and taking the endplate off.

LAP 11 ORDER: 1.Hamilton, 2.Button, 3.Vettel, 4.Kubica, 5.Webber 6.Massa, 7.Sutil 8.Hulkenberg, 9.Petrov, 10.Schumacher, 11.Rosberg, 12.Kobayashi

Jenson Button, who was experimenting with his rear differential to stop the tail sliding about, began to gather his own train of Vettel, Kubica, Webber and Massa. By Lap 15 Hamilton had a 9.8 gap over Button who was able to stay ahead of the Red Bull by virtue of the Mclaren's straightline speed. Despite two tyre stops already, Fernando Alonso had battled his way back to P13.

The 2010 Championship changed dramatically on Lap 16 as Vettel tried to find a way past Button into the Bus Stop chicane. Button covered off a move up the inside and so, impatiently, Vettel snapped his car from the inside to go to the outside for a wide turn-in. In doing so he lost control of the car and slammed his nose straight into the side of the Mclaren

Vettel was able to hobble back across the kerbs and into the pits for a new front wing, but Button was out on the spot. The stewards would investigate and deliver the verdict of a drive-through penalty on Lap 19.

LAP 18 ORDER: 1.Hamilton, 2.Kubica, 3.Webber 4.Massa, 5.Sutil 6.Schumacher, 7.Rosberg, 8.Kobayashi, 9.Alonso, 10.Petrov, 11.Liuzzi, 12.Vettel

Vettel's drive-through dropped him back to P.14, but his afternoon of drama was far from over. Seven laps later he overtook Liuzzi at the bus-stop chicane and chopped across the front of the Force India, taking away a section of Liuzzi's front wing and puncturing his own rear tyre in the process. Liuzzi was wise enough to nip straight back into the pits, but Vettel had to continue for a whole lap with a puncture to emerge in P.20.

At the end of Lap 21 Mark Webber started off the round of routine tyre stops as the Red Bull driver swapped his soft tyres for the harder Prime in a bid to jump Robert Kubica for P2. A lap later and Kubica was in for tyres and exited still just in front of the Red Bull.

The two Mercedes in 6th and 7th opted not to stop for tyres at this time, gambling there would be rain before the end of the race and they could change tyres then. But if it stayed dry and they had to pit, then Fernando Alonso, who was up to P9 by now and closing on Kamui Kobayashi's P8, could leapfrog them. Both Schumacher and Rosberg were only a matter of ten seconds in front of the closing Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton had opened up a 13 second gap on Robert Kubica when the rain started to fall on Lap 34. As the leading cars headed towards the pitlane entry the big question was - would anybody be brave enough to stop for Intermediates, given that was the wrong call earlier on.

Hamilton went straight on past the pitlane entrance, Kubica followed suit, as did Webber and Massa. But fifth placed Sutil and virtually everyone behind him piled into the pitlane to change to either extreme wets or Inters. This time round, the Intermediate tyre was the right call and had Webber, Kubica or Massa gambled, then they might have won the race.

Lewis Hamilton proved how marginal the call to stay out had been when he went straight off the road at Rivage, his McLaren skeetering across the gravel and lightly touching the barrier before continuing on its way. This put Robert Kubica very close to him as the front four tiptoed back to the pits.

The midfield had already rushed back to the pits for Inters and full Wets and Sebastian Vettel was almost collected by Fernando Alonso as he emerged from his pitbox (the stewards would investigate). The rain was good news for the Mercedes team, though, who got a pitstop for nothing, even if they did have to double stop the cars, losing Rosberg places.

Hamilton, Kubica, Webber and Massa stayed in front for their pitstops, but Kubica threw away second place when he locked his brakes and overshot his pitbox causing an overlong tyre stop that allowed Webber past. Massa wasn't close enough to steal the final podium place.

LAP 36 ORDER: 1.Hamilton, 2.Webber, 3. Kubica, 4.Massa, 5.Sutil 6.Schumacher, 7.Kobayashi, 8.Alonso, 9. Rosberg, 10.Petrov

Fernando Alonso may not have jumped to P6 but he was moving in on P7 when on Lap 38 he ran wide onto the exit kerbs of Malmedy and spun the Ferrari into the barriers, leaving it sideways across the track. It was stopped in a dangerous position and so the Safety Car came out for the second time of the afternoon.

Hamilton had opened up a five second gap to Webber after the pit-stops but he was forced to tour behind the "too slow" Safety Car for a couple of laps before it came in at the end of Lap 40. Nico Rosberg used the restart to maximum advantage overtaking Kobayashi into La Source and then putting a risky-but-successful move on his team-mate into Les Combes to grab 6th place.

There was no change at the front once the race was going again and Hamilton was able to keep his car on the island ahead of Mark Webber, Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil; everyone keen on preserving their hard-won points. Sebastian Vettel had been given extreme wets during the change to wet tyres, burned them out and had to pit for some more. There was a terse interchange between his engineer on his race radio when he said "It's not wet enough" and was told that it was. Even though it clearly wasn't.

It had been an epic race in which Vettel had played the largest part but finished a lap down and with no points - and left his team-mate in a very strong position.


01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1hr29.04.268
02 Mark Webber RBR-Renault +1.5 secs
03 Robert Kubica Renault +3.4 secs
04 Felipe Massa Ferrari +8.2 secs
05 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +9.0 secs
06 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP +12.3 secs
07 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP +15.5 secs
08 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari +16.6 secs
09 Vitaly Petrov Renault +23.8 secs
10 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari +29.4 secs
11 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes +34.8 secs
12 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari +36.0 secs
13 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari +39.8 secs
14 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth +1 Lap
15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault +1 Lap
16 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth +1 Lap
17 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth +1 Lap
18 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth +1 Lap
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth +1 Lap
20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth +2 Lap
Ret Fernando Alonso Ferrari +7 Lap
Ret Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +29 Laps
Ret Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth +39 Laps
Ret Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 43 laps

Lewis Hamilton wins incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix.

Sunday 29th. August 2010

By Richard Rae

Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix after an incident-packed race at Spa-Francorchamps.

The McLaren Mercedes driver retook the lead in the World Championship with an almost error-free drive, leading from the first corner to the finish.

Red Bull's Mark Webber was second, with Renault's Robert Kubica third, and Ferrari's Felipe Massa fourth.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso crashed out, and Sebastian Vettel failed to score a point.

Force India's Adrian Sutil was fifth, with Nico Rosberg sixth for Mercedes.

Rosberg's team-mate Michael Schumacher finished seventh after starting 21st, Kamui Kobayashi eighth for Sauber, Renault's Vitaly Petrov ninth and Force India's Tonio Liuzzi tenth after Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, who crossed the line ahead of Liuzzi, was handed a post-race 20 second penalty.

ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG Hamilton was virtually flawless all weekend and this win will surely come to be ranked among his very best

"I'm ecstatic, it was a great weekend," said Hamilton, whose driving was praised by his team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "A race like that can be a lottery, so I'm so happy and grateful to come out on top."

With the drivers having been clearly warned they would be punished if they used the run-off at the opening corner, La Source, to gain any kind of advantage on the first lap, the likelihood of collisions appeared to be increased.

What was not predicted was that pole-sitter Webber would make an appalling start, to such an extent that he reached the corner in sixth.

As Hamilton pulled ahead, Kubica weaved around the Australian, and just managed to hold off the charging Button, but rain was already beginning to fall.

By the time the field got to the Bus Stop chicane, the track was damp enough for at least nine cars to have to use the run-off area. Rubens Barrichello, in his 300th Grand Prix, was the big loser, running hard into the back of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, a collision which put him out of the race.

With the safety car out the choice was now whether to switch to intermediates or stay on slicks, and most, including the leaders chose to stay on their smooth rubber.

It proved to be the right choice as the the rain immediately eased off and as Hamilton stretched his lead after the safety car recalled after two laps, Button and Vettel passed Kubica, while Alonso began the long climb through the field after pitting for fresh slicks.

Button had picked up some minor front-wing damage as he fought with Kubica into the first corner and struggled with the balance of his car, but while he could not live with the speed of team-mate Hamilton, the world champion had enough in hand to keep Vettel at bay.

By lap 15, Hamilton had 11 seconds in hand but at the end of the next, the rain came again and indirectly caused disaster for Button as Vettel, with a run on the Briton, lost control under braking on the damp track and speared into the side of the McLaren.

Incredibly, Vettel was able to recover just in time to steer his Red Bull across the track and into the pit lane, from where he rejoined the race after a quick front wing change. Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica

Belgian Grand Prix - Top three drivers

Button, on the other hand, was unable to continue and having been in no way at fault, was entitled to be furious.

"All I felt was a really big bang in the sidepod and I lost drive immediately, I don't know what he was playing at really. From the point of view of the championship, it's a massive blow," he said.

The stewards immediately announced the incident would be investigated, and Vettel was handed a drive through penalty for causing an avoidable collision.

The incident left Hamilton clear of Kubica, Webber, Felipe Massa, Adrian Sutil, and remarkably, Schumacher, who had started 21st.

At the half-way point, Sutil was the first of the leading pack to change his slick tyres followed by Webber, who was trying to get the jump on Kubica. Vettel, meanwhile, was down in 14th after serving his penalty, but lapping more quickly than any other driver.

Hamilton stopped two laps later, and while the track stayed dry, it was looking good for the Briton. Behind him, poetic justice awaited Vettel while attempting to pass Tonio Liuzzi for 11th, as the German sliced open a tyre on the Italian's front wing. Once again, he was able to limp back to the pitlane, but he rejoined in 20th.

At the three-quarter point Hamilton was maintaining a comfortable 10-second gap to Kubica, but rain was clearly on its way. As it began falling, Hamilton and Webber stayed out - and Hamilton could not stay on the damp track at Rivage.

Somehow he kept his car out of the barriers, and was back on track before Webber could capitalise. Immediately Hamilton came in to switch to intermediates. Webber did likewise, as did Kubica - but the Pole overshot his pitlane box, a mistake that enabled Webber to come out in second.

There was more drama to come, however. On lap 39, Alonso spun out at the exit to Les Combes, leaving the Ferrari in the middle of the track, necessitating another safety car period.

Feeling the grip levels carefully, Hamilton nailed the restart to keep Webber at bay. The inevitable concertina effect behind him ensured plenty of incident in the closing laps, but Hamilton maintained his concentration in superb style to score a potentially crucial victory.

Fernando Alonso
Jenson Button
Jenson Button crash

Hungary GP at the Hungaroring

Jamie Alguersuari
Barrichello and Michael Schumacher
Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica collide
Nico Rosberg loses a wheel in Hungary
Sebastian Vettel leads in Hungary
Lewis Hamilton retires in Hungary
Hungary GP at the Hungaroring
Sunday 1st. August 2010

Red Bull triumphed over adversity as Mark Webber took the win in Hungary and, more importantly, did it on a day when Lewis Hamilton retired.

Despite a rather processional start to the grand prix with Sebastian Vettel easily outpacing Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, things got exciting when the Safety Car was brought out for debris on the track.

This led to a mad dash into the pits with Webber not getting in in time. However, it did hand him the lead as all those behind him stopped.

And although it appeared as if this decision meant Webber was out of the running, the Aussie triumphed over the adversity, putting in fastest lap after fastest lap to build a suitable lead over those behind him. And his 23.7s lead meant he pitted from the P1 slot and emerged in the P1 slot.

Behind him the battle for second raged between Vettel and Alonso, who emerged from the pit stops second and third. However, a drive-through penalty for exceeding the 10-car length behind the Safety Car meant Vettel dropped down to third place.

And although he caught Alonso without really having to put much effort into it, he was not able to pass the Spaniard, sitting on his rear wing all the way through to the chequered flag.

Race Report: Sebastian Vettel finally made an ideal start to a grand prix as he kept to his word and stayed on a straight line for the beginning of the 70-lap race in Hungary.

In Germany last week the Red Bull racer, starting from his seventh pole of the season and fourth in a row, attempted to cut across the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, only to slip to third by turn one.

On this occasion at the Hungaroring there were no mistakes as the 23-year-old German was clean away, but on the dirty side of the track team-mate Mark Webber gave up second spot to Alonso.

The McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button struggled as the former lost fifth spot to Renault's Vitaly Petrov, only to swiftly regain that place early on lap two.

As for reigning champion Button, he endured a miserable getaway, dropping four places to 15th from 11th.

At the end of four laps Vettel had opened up a 3.9secs cushion to Alonso, who was being closely followed by Webber, Massa, Hamilton and Petrov, with Button having made up one place as he was 14th.

The Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari was an early casualty with a blown engine.

Vettel then began pulling away at an astonishing rate of knots, taking 1.3secs out of Alonso on lap six to lead by 6.3secs.

Alonso's greater concern, however, was that Webber was right behind him, with second to fifth positions covered by just 3.6secs.

Given the nature of the 4.381km circuit, renowned for its tight, twisty nature, and with bright sunshine overhead, the prospects for overtaking were limited.

After a further six laps Vettel had hit double figures in terms of his advantage, opening up a 10.5secs lead over Alonso, who still had Webber within less than a second on his tail.

Massa was then two seconds behind, with Hamilton starting to lose touch as he had dropped to 2.7secs off the Brazilian, with Petrov five seconds adrift.

As for 14th-placed Button, the 30-year-old was lagging 40 seconds off the pace and struggling on the softer tyres.

It resulted in him becoming the first driver to stop to take on fresh rubber, following which chaos then ensued when the safety car was deployed as there was debris on the track.

Out in front Vettel only just received the call to pit when the safety car announcement was made, cutting across the kerb running alongside the entry to the pit lane.

The majority of the field, other than Webber, piled in behind to switch tyres.

Nico Rosberg, who had been running sixth in his Mercedes, was the instigator of the mayhem that followed in the pit lane - or at least part of his pit crew were as they failed to fit his right-rear tyre correctly.

As Rosberg pulled out onto the pit lane the tyre worked loose, initially rolling and then bouncing its way through the other pit crews.

Whether it was a distraction to Renault's pit team is unclear, but Robert Kubica was released too early by his lollipop man as he ran into the side of Force India's Adrian Sutil just as he was about to enter the pit entry box.

The damage was too great for Sutil to continue, although Renault were able to send Kubica on his way again, only for him to unsurprisingly receive a 10-second stop-go penalty for an unsafe release from the pits.

As for Rosberg, he trundled down to the end of the pit lane on three wheels, and with his crew unable to retrieve him, that is where he retired.

The safety car played into the hands of the McLarens as Hamilton leapfrogged Massa in all the mayhem whilst Button was elevated up to 10th.

But on lap 24 championship leader Hamilton suffered his second retirement of the year, pulling off track by turn three.

The stewards then announced an investigation into Vettel for exceeding 10 car lengths behind the safety car, for which he soon received a drive-through penalty.

Quite simply, with the safety car about to return, Vettel had allowed Webber ahead of him to get a run whilst he backed up the field behind.

After 27 laps Webber had built up a 6.8secs cushion over Vettel, with Alonso a further 5.6secs back, with the same distance to Massa.

At the end of lap 31 Vettel served his penalty, clearly expressing his frustration as he did so as he drove through the pit lane with his fists clenched.

From second, Vettel returned to the track in third behind Alonso and ahead of Massa.

The stewards then announced they would investigate the incident involving Kubica after the race, in addition to also looking at what unfolded with Rosberg.

At the head of the field Webber was opening up a considerable cushion, needing 20 seconds to make his pit stop for new tyres and stay out ahead of Alonso who was being reeled in by Vettel.

By the end of lap 38, after setting the fastest lap at that stage, Webber had stretched his lead to 20.6secs, and now it was just a question of when his team would call him in.

They eventually did after 43 laps when he had just over 23 seconds' advantage to Alonso, returning to the track with a comfortable cushion.

With 26 laps remaining Webber was 6.1secs clear of Alonso, who had Vettel all over his gearbox and looking for an opportunity to pass.

Vettel continued to push, but his frustrations kept getting the better of him and he was never able to get close enough to Alonso to make it count even when they were lapping the backmarkers.

Barrichello, meanwhile, finally pitted from P5 on lap 56 and he came out behind Michael Schumacher who was the last driver in the points. The Brazilian though made up five seconds and had a few goes at Schumi before finally making it stick on lap 67. The German though closed the door right at the last second and nearly put Barrichello in the wall. They didn't make contact and the Williams driver stayed in front to pick up the final point.

At the front Webber continued to ease away and eventually finished a massive 17 seconds ahead of Alonso while his team-mate Vettel was just on the Spaniard's tail.

Meanwhile, at the back of the grid all three rookie teams had both their cars crossing the finish line for the first time this season.

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h41:05.571
2. Alonso Ferrari + 17.821
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 19.252
4. Massa Ferrari + 27.474
5. Petrov Renault + 1:13.100
6. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:16.700
7. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
8. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap
9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
15. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
17. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps
18. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps
19. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps

Did not finish

Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 25 lap
Kubica Renault 25
Rosberg Mercedes 17
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 17
Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2

German GP at Hockenheim

Hockenheim circuit
Start one
Start two
Start three
Felipe Massa
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
German GP at Hockenheim
Sunday 25th. July 2010

Ferrari won Sunday's German GP but could face a backlash after a veiled team order for Felipe Massa to gift the win to Fernando Alonso.

Starting second and third on the grid with Alonso ahead of Massa, pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel did everything he could to squeeze Alonso away from the line, leaving a perfect gap for Massa to take the lead. Vettel then lost out to Alonso in the run down to Turn 2.

Ultimately Massa was obliged to let his slightly faster team-mate through while Vettel kept a watching brief for most of the race. The two McLarens came home in 4th and 5th with Hamilton heading Button and a distant Mark Webber in 6th place managing his dwindling oil reserves.


CONDITIONS: Bright and cloudy. 21C ambient, 32C track.

GRID: 1.Vettel, 2. Alonso, 3. Massa, 4.Webber, 5.Button, 6.Hamilton, 7.Kubica 8.Barrichello, 9.Rosberg, 10.Hulkenberg, 11.Schumacher, 12.Kobayashi. All the top 12 drivers started on the Bridgestone Option tyre.

START: As the red lights went out Sebastian Vettel got another dreadful start and tried to pin Fernando Alonso to the pitwall. Alonso, starting on the dirty side of the grid managed to get alongside him in a déjà vu situation to Silverstone with Mark Webber. Alonso ultimately got in front of him, but the greatest beneficiary was Felipe Massa who found an open track, accelerated to the first turn and simply took the lead, turning in in front of Vettel and his team-mate.

Further back Jenson Button got a great start from P5 and was easily past Mark Webber into Turn 1 but came up against the hard-braking Vettel. Jenson braked and ran wide and was overtaken by Mark Webber on the run-off, just as he realised he'd have to dive out there as well. So no arguments about being overtaken off the circuit.

Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica kept far more of their momentum and swept through on the inside going down to Turn 2. With the McLarens having a 7kph advantage on the straight, Button was able to pass Kubica with a fantastic move around the outside of Turn 6 and Hamilton got passed Mark Webber, who'd managed to rejoin the track in front of both Hamilton and Kubica.

However the major casualty of the opening lap was Sebastian Buemi who was punted from behind by team-mate Alguersuari and lost his rear wing so badly that he couldn't continue. Both Force Indias were also involved in first lap incidents and returned to the pits together.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Massa, 2.Alonso, 3.Vettel, 4.Hamilton, 5.Webber, 6.Button, 7.Kubica, 8.Schumacher, 9.Rosberg 10.Kobayashi, 11.Barrichello, 12.Petrov

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: In their sudden rush back to the pits, the Force India mechanics were caught by surprise and fitted Liuzzi's tyres on Sutil's car and Sutil's on Liuzzi. They were then obliged to return to the pits to have them exchanged for their own sets.

At the front, the Ferraris exchanged fastest laps as they gradually pulled away from third place Vettel. Button was the slowest of the top six, but they all began to open up a large gap to Robert Kubica in 7th place. By the end of Lap 12 the Red Bull team realised there was a big enough gap in front of Kubica for Vettel to pit and swap his Option tyres for the harder Prime tyres.

With Vettel stopped, Ferrari moved to cover any advantage that he might get, but a lap later it was Alonso not the leader Massa who came in for tyres. Mark Webber pitted at the same time. But while Vettel had rejoined with a clear track, Webber came out behind Rosberg and in front of Kobayashi.

A lap later, at the end of Lap 14, Massa pitted - crucially still in front of Alonso. Hamilton pitted at the same time and came out between Kubica and Rosberg - but still in front of Webber.

This left Jenson Button in the lead. The Brit is famously kinder on his tyres and on lap 16 he was still going quicker than Massa, Alonso and Vettel on their new Primes. In fact he continued to build the gap from 3.9 seconds till on Lap 21 he was leading by 5.1 seconds. On Lap 22 he came in for his one and only pit-stop and managed to exit in front of Mark Webber, moving himself up from a net P6 to P5.

And that's where he would stay for the rest of the race, between 1 and 2.2 seconds behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Both McLaren drivers had a lot less pace than the front three of Massa, Alonso and Vettel and spent the race dropping steadily back. They will no doubt have gained a lot of valuable data on their new blown diffuser system.

With Button pitting the lead was restored to Felipe Massa on Lap 23, but it might have been Alonso. On Lap 21 Massa was slowed by backmarkers allowing Alonso to close up and try a move at the Turn 6 hairpin. Massa managed to keep him behind, and Alonso chose the wrong line to challenge into the following Mercedes turn which left the Spaniard fuming into his radio yet again.

Mark Webber gradually hauled 5th place Jenson Button in reducing the gap to just 0.6 seconds on Lap 35, but the difference was illusory. For most of the lap Button was a long way clear of the Red Bull, then each lap Webber would close up in the stadium complex where the McLaren's lack of downforce allowed the Aussie to close right in... before the start/finish straight, where it started to go out again.

On Lap 39, though, the gap went out to 3.5 seconds and team radio confirmed that Webber had to drive in a certain style - not lifting on the straight - to manage what was a dwindling oil reserve.

At the front the battle between Alonso and Massa was fascinating, each driver putting in fastest laps as the gap yo-yo'd between 1.8 seconds on Lap 24 and 3.3 seconds on Lap 28. A lot of this was due to passing backmarkers in the narrow turns of the Stadium complex

LAP 41 ORDER: 1.Massa, 2.Alonso, 3.Vettel, 4.Hamilton, 5.Button, 6.Webber, 7. de la Rosa (not stopped) 8.Kubica, 9.Rosberg, 10.Schumacher, 11.Petrov, 12.Barrichello

Sebastian Vettel hadn't given up and put in three fastest laps on Laps 42, 43 and 44. He was still five seconds in arrears, though. Then over Ferrari radio came the message that Felipe Massa didn't want to hear. With a heavy heart Rob Smedley spelled out the message: "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand that message..."

It was code for the team order, 'move over and gift the win to Fernando'. Coming on the anniversary of his Hungarian accident it was a bitter pill to swallow. Massa made it look as obvious as possible by slowing after Turn 6 and allowing Alonso to drive round him on the straight. Smedley then came on the radio and said: "Okay, good lad, just stick with him, sorry."

With the result engineered to the Ferrari team's satisfaction Alonso opened up a small gap to Massa but by the end of the race it was still only four seconds. The Spaniard put in some fastest laps in the last 20 to the flag but it was Sebastian Vettel who was charging. Vettel reduced the gap to Massa to just 0.9 of a second on Lap 63 with a series of fastest laps, but then Felipe put his foot down and it went out to 2.3 seconds on Lap 66.

Alonso cruised across the line to record the Scuderia's first 1-2 since France in 2008, but it was one of the most joyless podiums since Austria 2002 when Ferrari had openly manipulated the race win to favour Michael Schumacher. What was perhaps most surprising was that the stewards decided not to investigate the race manipulation incident during the course of the race.

Vettel claimed third place and the Fastest Lap on the final lap with a 1:15.824, Hamilton and Button came home 4th and 5th, Webber a distant but still oiled 6th, followed by Kubica, Rosberg and Schumacher.


01. Alonso Ferrari 1h28:38.866
02. Massa Ferrari + 4.196
03. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 5.121
04. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 26.896
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 29.482
06. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 43.606
07. Kubica Renault + 1 lap
08. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
09. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
17. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
19. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps

Did Not Finish

Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 58
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 51
Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 20
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 4
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2

British GP at Silverstone

The Silverstone circuit.
Big start picture.
The start.
Press conference.
Start action.
Two red bulls.
Mark Webber.
British GP at Silverstone
Sunday 11th. July 2010

Mark Webber finally has a reason to smile after emerging as Red Bull's leading driver with a victory in Sunday's British GP.

Webber took the lead in the grand prix after a bit of startline argy-bargy - pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel attempted to push Webber into the wall at the start but instead the Aussie pushed him wide and he picked up a puncture, dropping him down the order.

Without his team-mate to challenge him, Webber stormed into the lead with Lewis Hamilton initially doing a good job of harrying him before the Red Bull's race-pace clinging onto his exhaust for much of the race. Third place went to Nico Rosberg, who held off a solid challenge from Jenson Button. However, the Brit won't be too upset having started the grand prix P14 on the grid.


CONDITIONS: Bright sunshine. 21C ambient, 32C track.

GRID: 1.Vettel 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Rosberg, 6.Kubica 7.Massa, 8.Barrichello, la Rosa, 10.Schumacher, 11.Sutil, 12.Kobayashi

START: As the red lights went out, Mark Webber was quickly away, much quicker than poleman Sebastian Vettel who got too much wheelspin. Despite this Vettel thought it was a good idea to come over and try and crowd Mark Webber against the pitwall, even though he now had the inside line.

This allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull alongside the Red Bull on the inside and when Vettel swung across he found the Mclaren front wing close to the apex that gave him a puncture and helped send him wide over the kerbs. He was also ushered out wide by his team-mate pushing out to the edge of the kerbs at Copse.

Hamilton's brush with Vettel almost lost him a lot of places as he got off the throttle and was almost swamped by Kubica but managed to hang on to P3. The Red Bulls charged off towards Maggots and Beckets where Vettel's puncture kicked in and he ran over the tarmac run-off and fell to the back.

Fernando Alonso had a dreadful start from P3 on the grid and lost places straight away to Kubica and Rosberg, and coming through Becketts, Felipe Massa came alongside him and Alonso banged straight into him giving Massa a puncture and ending his chances of good points.

Jenson Button starting from 14th on the grid had managed to pick his way through to 8th place at the end of Lap 1, passing the two punctured cars plus nipping through when he saw a gap open up.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Webber, 2. Hamilton, 3.Kubica, 4.Rosberg, 5.Alonso, 6.Barrichello, 7.Schumacher 8.Button, 9.Kobayashi, 10.Sutil, la Rosa, 12.Petrov

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: Vettel returned slowly to the pits, even slower than Felipe Massa who limped in before him.

Mark Webber, out in front, set about putting in a series of fastest laps with Lewis Hamilton not too far back. They dropped third place Robert Kubica at a rate of knots, the Renault driver soon accumulated Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso. In fact as the race unfolded, the train stretched from Kubica in P3 down to Kobayashi (just behind Button) in P9.

Vettel, equipped with the harder tyre and not needing to stop again, was 87 seconds back on Lap 10 and in the sights of Mark Webber coming down the Hangar Straight.

By Lap 11 Hamilton had opened up a 13-second gap to Kubica and Webber was 2.7 seconds in front of the McLaren driver, who was hanging on as opposed to biding his time.

This all began to change at the end of Lap 11 when Michael Schumacher was the first of the front runners to come in for the harder Prime tyre. A lap later Alonso, Barrichello and Kobayashi pitted and on Lap 13 Robert Kubica pitted.

Kubica exited further in front of Alonso than he was before the stop, thus proving that to stop early wasn't the right decision. This left Webber leading from Hamilton; Rosberg and Button now up to P3 and P4.

On Lap 14 these front-runners all put in mid-1:35 laps showing that the softer Option tyre that they'd started on was nowhere near finished and going faster than the runners who'd switched to the harder Primes. In fact Nico Rosberg put in the fastest lap of the race before his stop at the end of Lap 15.

Fernando Alonso, who clearly had a much faster car than Robert Kubica, showed signs of wanting to get past him on Lap 16 just as Lewis Hamilton was pitting. Into Lap 17 and he got alongside Kubica into Abbey and as the Renault pushed him out wide he cut the corner over the grass and run-off for the following turn. Effectively he had overtaken Kubica not using the circuit. The Ferrari team, presumably aware of how Lewis Hamilton had been given a time penalty at Spa when short-cutting the Bus Stop chicane and not even passing Raikkonen, would have been wise to tell Alonso to give back the place, but instead he pressed on. This would have dire consequences for his race later on.

Nico Rosberg - aware that Jenson Button in P3 could leapfrog him in the pit-stops, pushed hard to get past Jaime Alguersuari into Brooklands. The Toro Rosso driver, who had started on the harder tyres wasn't going to stop any time soon and so Rosberg needed to get past. He damaged his bargeboard in the process, but it was enough to give him the clear air that meant Button - further down the road - couldn't escape. Alguersuari - having fought Rosberg - simply let Alonso go straight past.

Robert Kubica pitted again on Lap 19 with a reported broken differential at which point the positions were:

LAP 19 ORDER: 1.Webber, 2. Hamilton, 3.Button (not stopped), 4.Hulkenberg (not stopped), 5.Rosberg, 6.Alonso, 7.Alguersuari, 8.Barrichello, 9.Kobayashi, 10.Schumacher

Button finally came in for his pit-stop at the end of Lap 21 and exited in 6th (net 5th when Hulkenberg pitted) place. At this stage of the race Sebastian Vettel was so far back that he was only just passing the Virgin car of Timo Glock on Lap 25. Alonso was following close on the tail of the wounded Rosberg anxious to take net 3rd off him.

At this time the stewards finally got round to announcing that they were investigating the Kubica vs Alonso incident from Lap 17. A lap later they announced that Alonso would have to serve a drive-through penalty for gaining an advantage.

Whilst all this was happening the replay camera showed Adrian Sutil and Pedro de la Rosa coming together in a very dangerous-looking incident on the run down to Copse corner. Pedro de la Rosa had chopped across the front of Adrian Sutil and lost part of his rear wing in the process, more of it flew off on the Hangar Straight. There was so much carbon fibre out there - particularly in the run down to the 190mph turn-in for Copse that the Safety Car was deployed.

The Safety Car destroyed Alonso's afternoon and resurrected Vettel's as he was able to get a launch pad on the cars in front with a Red Bull that looked a second a lap quicker than anyone else. Alonso, unable to take his drive-through until the Safety Car came in, had to take his penalty on lap 30 when it disappeared and the race re-started, and he sank from 4th position to 16th.

Hulkenberg and Alguersuari had taken their pit-stops under the safety Car and were now in their rightful positions.

LAP 31 ORDER: 1.Webber, 2. Hamilton, 3.Rosberg 4.Button 4.Hulkenberg 5.Barrichello, 6.Kobayashi, 7.Schumacher, 8.Sutil, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Petrov

The race restarted on Lap 31 and straight away Adrian Sutil was diving up the inside of Michael Schumacher into Brooklands corner to grab 7th place, whilst Alonso was duelling unsuccessfully (at first) with Buemi for P15. However it was Sebastian Vettel who had been given a new lease of life. Having restarted in P14 he was up to P11 by Lap 34 and P9 by Lap 38.

Felipe Massa also had the chance to resurrect his afternoon from P12 at the restart but was faring a lot worse, and when he dropped the car and flat-spotted his tyres, a sudden unannounced appearance in the pitlane surprised even his mechanics.

Vettel's charge up the field stopped at Adrian Sutil who was extremely adept at keeping the Red Bull behind him despite Vettel's obvious speed advantage. He was helped by yellow flags into the Brooklands turn, brought about by the beached Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, who slid wide at Luffield on Lap 46.

At the front Mark Webber was under no threat from Lewis Hamilton, but although Jenson Button was just a second back from the injured Nico Rosberg, the Mclaren driver was so marginal on fuel that he couldn't challenge for the final podium place. Behind him Rubens Barrichello held station with Kamui Kobayashi looking in his rear mirrors to see when Vettel would be making his way through.

Vettel finally passed Sutil after banging wheels with him on the penultimate lap, an inelegant but effective way to get past. Sutil had been driving defensively and in the closing stages Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg joined the Sutil train before Sebastian finally broke free.

As Webber crossed the line the Aussie pointedly remarked that the result was "not bad for a No.2 driver". It had been a thoroughly deserved and unchallenged victory. Lewis Hamilton was not far off at the flag but Webber had managed the gap all the way.

The new Silverstone circuit had provided an eventful high-speed race, but which gave no reward to the Ferrari team, but significant points for Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Sauber. It will also probably mark the last time that anyone tries to take a front wing off Mark Webber's car and give it to his team-mate.


1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h24:38.200
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1.360
3. Rosberg Mercedes + 21.307
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 21.986
5. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 31.456
6. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 32.171
7. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 36.734
8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 40.932
9. Schumacher Mercedes + 41.599
10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 42.012
11. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 42.459
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 47.627
13. Petrov Renault + 59.374
14. Alonso Ferrari + 1:02.385
15. Massa Ferrari + 1:07.489
16. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
17. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 1 lap
19. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Did Not Finish
Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 45 lap
De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 30 lap
Kubica Renault 20 lap
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 10 lap

Red Bull's Mark Webber has won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Sunday 11th. July 2010

The Australian dominated the race from start to finish to record his third victory of the 2010 season finishing 1.360 seconds ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg completed the podium placings.

Afterwards, Webber described the result as "very special."

"I did the best job I could and it worked out OK. I enjoyed the grand prix, it was a good fight with Lewis Hamilton. I made a good start and I was very keen to make it my corner and it worked out for me," Webber said.

Webber made a fantastic start, beating team-mate Sebastian Vettel to the first corner, Copse.

The 23-year-old German struggled to control his Red Bull car down the pit straight and quickly veered off the track as he desperately attempted to keep pace with Webber.

Vettel continued to lose ground to the leaders and soon radioed his team reporting a puncture on his rear right tire.

The Red Bull driver -- who won two weeks ago at the European Grand Prix in Valencia -- fought his way back up the field, passing Force India's Adrian Sutil with one lap remaining, but had to settle for seventh place.

The result means Vettel drops to fourth place in the world championship standings with Mark Webber moving up to third, 17 points behind championship leader Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton's second place means he extends his lead over Jenson Button at the top of the drivers' championship to 12 points.

The McLaren driver was full of praise for Webber.

"Mark did a phenomenal job today, so congratulations to him. Those guys are just so fast. I knew I wouldn't be able to outpace them," Hamilton said.

The 2008 world champion also thanked his team.

"The result is a reflection of the work the team put in. Jenson did a fantastic job today. So that's great points for the team and I guess we are still leading the constructors championship as well," Hamilton added.

2009 world champion, Button put his disappointing qualifying session behind him managing to finish in fourth starting from a grid position of 14th.

"Ten places!!" Button said after the race, AFP reported.

"It is so difficult to overtake here, so I had to make sure I had a good first lap and I made up six places. It's a fantastic result," Button said, AFP reported.

In the scrap for lower places, Williams' Rubens Barichello finished fifth ahead of Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished down in 14th place after the 28-year-old was handed a drive-through penalty for going off the track to overtake Renault's Robert Kubica.

McLaren lead the constructors championship with 278 points with Red Bull in second on 249 points. Ferrari are in third place with 165 points.

Europe GP at Valencia

Lewis Hamilton overtakes the safety car.
Start of European GP
Mark Webber
Sebastian Vettel
Race circuit
Europe GP at Valencia
Sunday 27th. June 2010

Sebastian Vettel claimed only his second victory of the season in Europe, a race that was marred by his team-mate's horrific shunt and a nine-car stewards investigation.

Vettel held off an early attack from Lewis Hamilton damaging the front wing of the McLaren as they touched in Turn 2 of the opening lap. Webber fell to P9 in a disastrous opening lap. But the Aussie's afternoon got considerbaly worse when he misjudged an overtaking move on Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus and sent his car airborne.

Luckily he was uninjured but the race was marred with controversy over the release of the Safety Car, which failed to pick up leader Vettel and came out virtually alongside the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton who sped onwards but accepted a belated drive-through penalty. Too late in Fernando Alonso's outspoken opinion.


CONDITIONS: Bright sunshine. 26C ambient, 46C track.

GRID: 1.Vettel 2.Webber, 3.Hamilton, 4.Alonso, 5.Massa, 6.Kubica 7.Button, 8.Hulkenberg, 9.Barrichello, 10.Petrov, 11.Buemi, 12.Rosberg

START: As the red lights went out, Lewis Hamilton jinked easily inside Mark Webber and was into P2 well before the big stop for Turn 2. In fact Lewis looked to try and make a move on Sebastian Vettel into Turn 2 but was only three quarters alongside when Vettel shut the door and the two cars touched momentarily. Bits flew off Hamilton's front wing but they both got away with it.

Behind them, Fernando Alonso saw the opportunity to get past Mark Webber when Webber ran wide defending against Hamilton. Massa got past him too and then Robert Kubica, Webber and Jenson Button all piled into Turn 8 together sending Mark back into P9.

Further back Nico Rosberg went off temporarily at Turn 4 and Rubens Barrichello managed to get the jump on team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2. Hamilton, 3.Alonso, 4.Massa, 5.Kubica, 6.Button, 7.Barrichello, 8.Hulkenberg, 9.Webber, 10.Buemi, 11.Schumacher

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: With Hamilton's front wing wounded, Vettel began to draw away and was 2.9 seconds ahead by Lap 4. Four laps later Mark Webber decided there was nothing to lose by pitting for tyres early. He came in and rejoined way back in P19.

His early stop put him behind Heikki Kovalainen and coming into the braking area for Turn 16 Webber tried to get a tow from the Lotus slipstream. He misjudged Kovalainen's braking point and slammed into the back of him, launching the car high up into the air, and flipping it over.

Thankfully the car landed back on four wheels then slammed hard into the tyre barriers at speed. It was a heart-stopping moment and to everyone's great relief Webber threw out the steering wheel, showing that he was only shaken from the incident.

The result of the accident was a Safety Car and this is where the race was thrown into confusion. The Safety Car notice came up just as Kubica and Button were passing the pitlane entrance and everyone from 5th place Kubica down was able to pit straight away, while Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa continued on.

However the Safety Car, when it came out, didn't pick up Vettel, but emerged from the pitlane at speed, veering over the white blend line just as Hamilton came alongside on the race track. And while Hamilton continued, the Ferraris dutifully fell in line behind it, before making their stop for tyres - Massa stacked behind Alonso losing the Brazilian even more time than the Spaniard.

Replays that were shown 10 laps later revealed that the Safety Car had reached the first Safety Car line just metres ahead of the McLaren going past, so technically Lewis had overtaken it. This infringement would take 12 laps to sort out.

So when the Safety Car got its full train of vehicles the order was: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Kobayashi (not stopped), 4.Button, 5.Barrichello, 6.Kubica, 7.Buemi, 8.Sutil, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Alonso, with Felipe Massa now back in P17. Ferrari had been the big loser.

The race restarted on Lap 14 and Sebastian Vettel ran very very slowly before unleashing the field. He was very lucky to hang on to P1 because he got his braking wrong on cold tyres, slewing his car wide going into the final turn, but Lewis Hamilton was unable to take advantage.

Vettel and Hamilton tore away leaving Kobayashi setting a fair pace in P3, but holding up Jenson Button in P4 - the rest of the field holding position. At which point the television coverage switched to a ranting Fernando Alonso who was asking his team to get Hamilton penalised for overtaking the Safety Car.

On Lap 20 we got the message through that Car 2 was under investigation, and three laps later Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty for his actions. Lewis stayed out on track for as long as he could under the rules, then cruised down the pitlane on Lap 27, but still managed to come out in front of Kobayashi to retain his second place. Ferrari were not happy.

The drive-through had robbed the spectators of an epic battle at the front, because now Vettel had seen a 1.7 second gap to Hamilton go out to 14.5. Back with the Ferrari team an enraged Fernando Alonso asked what position Lewis was before and what position Lewis was now. And then spat the dummy.

LAP 33 ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2. Hamilton, 3.Kobayashi (not stopped), 4.Button, 5.Barrichello, 6.Kubica, 7.Buemi, 8.Sutil, 9.Alonso, 10.Hulkenberg

Robert Kubica spent almost the entire race in close attendance to Rubens Barrichello's gearbox and on Lap 33 his team advised him to start getting some clear air to cool the car.

At the front, Lewis Hamilton managed to whittle his 14.5 second defecit down to 11.2 before he came across the Senna and Glock battle at the tail of the field. Both ignored blue flags for more than three corners and held Hamilton up so that when he was past he was back to 12.6 seconds behind Vettel again.

Glock then tried a move on Senna just as Kobayashi and Button were coming up to lap them and slammed his Virgin into the HRT car, almost taking out Kobayashi in the process. It was certainly something that the stewards should be investigating but around that time they were still reviewing the Delta times of cars 1,9,10,11,12,14,15,16,22 - the suspicion being that all these cars got back to the pits too quickly once the SC had been deployed after the Webber accident.

A few laps later they announced that they would investigate all this after the race. Fernando Alonso's engineer radioed the good news of his potential elevation back to his driver with the cautionary note: "So I want you to be very wise and cool now."

On Lap 38 Sutil had finally managed to find a way past Sebastian Buemi for P7, but Alonso was still stuck behind him in P9. Further up the road Jenson Button was playing a waiting game, waiting for Kobayashi to come in for his one compulsory pit-stop. Though Jenson could have run quicker, Kobayashi was putting in the drive of his life on ageing Prime tyres, and on Lap 46 put in the fastest middle sector of anyone! He was just 0.3 off the fastest lap - an astonishing performance by the Japanese driver.

Nico Hulkenberg who had emitted ominous blue smoke a few laps earlier, retired his Williams on Lap 50 with flailing rubber from a rear tyre and frayed bodywork. Although Lewis Hamilton had closed to 6.9 seconds on Lap 51, Vettel re-set the Fastest Lap at 1:39.141 to open the gap to 8.0 seconds and demonstrate that he had the pace of he was pushed. So that was that.

Finally on Lap 53 Kobayashi came in for his softer Option tyres which dropped him back to 9th place. However he had fresh tyres and was right behind Fernando Alonso. As Alonso pressed Buemi for 7th, Kobayashi used his opportunity and pulled off the most exquisite passing move on the Ferrari into Turn 16.

More was to come; on the closing lap he went one better by overtaking Sebastien Buemi into the final corner and claiming seventh place - a brilliant result for Sauber and with some of the cars in front of him still under investigation, he could finish higher still.

Jenson Button without Kobyashi in the way accelerated to put in three fast laps "for fun" and claim a fastest lap with a 1:38.766. So Vettel took the victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Button, Barrichello in 4th, Kubica in 5th, Adrian Sutil in 6th and Kobayashi 7th. A crestfallen Buemi came home 8th with a bitter Alonso in 9th and Pedro de la Rosa 10th.

However these results are all provisional while stewards investigate the various infractions and mete out penalties. Whatever the case, the Valencia GP had produced a fascinating race, with more overtaking than usual and a scary accident which was a relief to watch Mark Webber walk away from. The Aussie's biggest regret was that he had lost his Monaco-winning chassis, but he had kept something far more precious.


1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h40:29.571
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 5.042
3. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 7.658
4. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 20.627
5. Kubica Renault + 22.122
6. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 25.168
7. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 30.965
8. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 31.299
9. Alonso Ferrari + 32.809
10. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 42.414
11. Petrov Renault + 43.287
12. Rosberg Mercedes + 44.382
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 45.890
14. Massa Ferrari + 46.621
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 48.239
16. Schumacher Mercedes + 48.826
17. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 50
Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 9
Webber Red Bull-Renault 9

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel beat McLaren's Lewis
Hamilton to win the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

Sunday 27th. June 2010

World championship leader Hamilton bounced back from a drive-through penalty, but German Vettel proved equal to the challenge.

McLaren's Jenson Button was third after escaping with a five-second penalty for an offence under the safety car.

The safety car was used after a massive crash for Mark Webber's Red Bull from which the Australian emerged unhurt.

Webber had made an early pit-stop to get himself out of traffic, after he had found himself running down in ninth place after losing places on the first lap following a poor start. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button

European GP - Top three drivers (UK only)

Webber was trying to pass the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen when he hit the back of the Finn's car. The Red Bull reared into the air, before crashing onto the circuit upside-down.

It flipped the right way up before Webber sledded at high speed into the tyre wall. Amazingly, he emerged unscathed.

There had already been an incident on the opening lap, as Hamilton tried to pass pole-winner Vettel for the lead at Turn Two.

The Red Bull's wheel clipped the left-front wing of the McLaren, and as a result Hamilton was suffering from a vibration during the opening stages of the race.

But the safety car, which appeared on track while marshals mopped up the debris from the Webber/Kovalainen accident, effectively allowed Hamilton to have a new nose fitted to his McLaren without losing a position.

Vettel managed to pass the pit-lane exit before the safety car emerged onto the circuit. Red Bull's Mark Webber

Webber feeling 'lucky' after big crash

The safety car then exited the pits just as Hamilton was passing. Had the Englishman continued at racing speed he would have beaten it to the white 'safety-car line', but he backed off, then illegally accelerated past the safety car a matter of feet after the line.

Hamilton then sprinted clear of the rest of the pack before following Vettel into the pits, as the timing of the safety car scuppered the prospects of Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were third and fourth respectively before Webber's accident. They had just passed the pit entry when the race went under caution, and were first in the queue behind the safety car before they pitted one lap later.

Button, who was in sixth position at the time of Webber's accident, was able to dive into the pits immediately the race went under caution.

That vaulted the reigning world champion to fourth, behind Vettel, Hamilton and the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi, who had elected not to pit while the race was under caution.

With Button unable to challenge Kobayashi for position, Vettel and Hamilton scorched away from the pack.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton unconcerned with Alonso's claims

Hamilton then served his drive-through penalty at the end of the 27th of 57 laps, and such was his advantage over Kobayashi that we able to rejoin without losing a place.

As well as his first-lap brush with Hamilton, Vettel survived another scare when he locked up under braking at the final turn, just as the safety car returned to the pits.

The German was particularly happy to take his second win of the season on a circuit that was not expected to suit the Red Bull.

"We didn't expect to be that strong," said Vettel, "so it was great to be quick enough to slightly pull away, find the gap and then bring the car home.

"I had a huge lock-up of my brakes after the safety car, trying to brake as late as I could. The tyres weren't up to temperature after going round slowly, but I could stay in front.

"I tried not to push too hard and when I got the message that Lewis had the penalty I backed off a bit more.

"It's good to get a lot of points, it's good for the championship and the guys can be extremely proud - they had very little sleep but it paid off, and now we have to focus on the next one (the British Grand Prix in two weeks' time)."

Hamilton said: "At certain stages it looked like he was slowing down, so I tried to close the gap, but he was able to react to that.

"Therefore I just tried to bring the car home in one piece - there's nothing worse than getting almost the whole way through the race and then for something to happen at the end."

Jenson Button

Button pleased with podium finish (UK only)

Kobayashi pitted with just six laps remaining, freeing up Button, who immediately set what would be the fastest lap of the race.

Button was one of nine drivers who were penalised after the race, by the addition of five seconds to their race time, for breaching the rules when the safety car was called out.

Each was found to have completed the third sector of the track and entered the pits below the minimum time allowed under safety-car regulations.

It made no difference to the final result for the four highest-placed offenders: Button, Williams's Barrichello (who took fourth, his team's best result of the season), Renault's Robert Kubica (fifth) and Force India's Adrian Sutil (sixth).

But it provided further misery for Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi.

After his late stop, Kobayashi rejoined in ninth and, on fresh tyres, was able to pass both Alonso and Buemi (who left the door open at the final corner of the race) to take seventh.


For the first time in its short history, the Valencia track produced a thrilling grand prix but the irony is that in doing so a potentially even better one - in terms of the battle for the lead - was lost

Buemi's five-second penalty then meant he lost a further place to Alonso, who was able to gain a crucial two extra points as he was elevated to eighth.

Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa was another to lose out. He had finished 10th on the road, but his penalty knocked him down to 12th.

It meant that Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was promoted into the points after a miserable race for the team, who suffered from severe brake problems on the cars of both Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

Others to lose places due to penalties were Renault's Vitaly Petrov, who dropped from 11th to 14th, and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi (13th to 16th). The last of the nine, Nico Hulkenberg, retired his Williams a few laps from the finish.

Canada GP

Canada GP:
Sunday 13th. June 2010

Lewis Hamilton won arguably the race of the season, surviving the heated action, tyre changes and argy-bargy to claim his second Canadian GP win.

Though the McLaren team had gambled on an early Safety Car period to allow them to change their fast-graining option tyres, they and Ferrari were able to out-wit the Red Bull team who started on the harder tyre. And they did it despite no Safety Car being deployed in the entire race.

Eventually Jenson Button took advantage of backmarker blocking to get past Alonso and make it a McLaren 1-2, with Vettel in 4th, Webber coming home in 5th, Rosberg in 6th and Robert Kubica in 7th place.

Michael Schumacher finished out of the points after making contact with several drivers in a performance that the BBC's Martin Brundle dubbed as "Appalling".


PRE-RACE NEWS Mark Webber changed his gearbox after qualifying, dropping from 2nd to 7th on the grid.

CONDITIONS: Bright sunshine. 25C ambient, 39C track.

GRID: 1.Hamilton, 2. Vettel, 3.Alonso, 4.Button, 5.Liuzzi, 6.Massa, 7.Webber, 8.Kubica, 9.Sutil, 10.Rosberg, 11.Barrichello, 12.Hulkenberg

START: As the red lights went out, Hamilton moved across to cover the racing line and could easily defend his position into Turn 1. Fernando Alonso had a small go at Vettel but nothing much. Felipe Massa got a great start from P6 and was challenging Jenson Button's fourth place going into Turn 1. Unfortunately Tonio Liuzzi wasn't prepared to let his P5 grid position go and tried to squeeze up the inside of Massa.

Massa closed in on the apex and hit Liuzzi, the contact with the Force India pushed Massa onto Button who scraped through. This contact put Massa out wide again into Tonio Liuzzi and the two cars had multiple contact before Liuzzi was turned round.

CASUALTIES: Vitaly Petrov's race had started before everyone else's (with a jumped start) and then, as he powered forward past the slow-starting Barrichello, he put two wheels on the grass. His Renault slewed sideways and into the side of the unfortunate Pedro de la Rosa. So at the end of lap one, Liuzzi, de la Rosa and Massa were all back in the pits. Petrov was able to continue in second to last place.

It didn't get any better for the Sauber team as at the end of the opening lap Kobayashi was challenging Nico Hulkenberg coming into the final turn. In defending the place Hulkenberg skipped the chicane, but Kobayashi hit the kerb hard, bouncing into the Champions' Wall.

It looked as though he might leave the car there and bring out a Safety Car, (something that the Option tyre runners were hoping for) but he stopped for a few seconds, shed his front wing and moved off down the track before retiring.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Hamilton, 2.Vettel, 3.Alonso, 4.Button, 5.Webber, 6.Kubica, 7.Sutil, 8.Schumacher, 9.Hulkenberg, 10.Alguersuari, 11.Buemi, 12.Kovalainen

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: With the raised temperatures on race day it was expected that the soft Option tyre would last longer than the teams expected. In reality it was worse. By Lap 3, Mark Webber was already looking to get past Jenson in P4 and by Lap 5 he'd make a move stick into Turn 8.

Webber wasn't quite alongside by the turn but Button was wise enough to let the place go. At the end of Lap 6 Button and Sutil both pitted to get rid of their badly graining tyres.

Only Vettel, Webber and Kubica had started on the harder Prime tyre and so there was a rush of pit-stops for those in the Top 10 who had qualified on the soft Option. Hamilton and Alonso came in at the end of Lap 7.

Hamilton had been a couple of seconds in front of Alonso in P3 going into the pitlane but a faster pit-stop from the Ferrari meant that he was heading for the pitlane just as Lewis was released. Had Alonso already been in the pitlane then Hamilton might have been looking at a penalty for unsafe release, but because their garages are next to each other, it couldn't be called.

As it was, the two cars cruised to the end of the pitlane side by side and because Alonso had the inside line, when they rejoined the circuit Hamilton realised he wasn't going to retrieve the place.

LAP 8 ORDER:1.Vettel, 2.Webber 3.Kubica, 4.Schumacher, 5.Buemi, 6.Alonso, 7.Kovalainen, 8.Hamilton, 9.Button, 10.Sutil, 11.DiGrassi, 12.Petrov

Alonso was the leading early pit-stopper. At this stage, strategically, Red Bull should have brought their cars in to cover the two Mclarens and Ferrari, but they didn't appreciate how quickly they'd be caught. Also, they didn't reckon on the other hard tyre users, such as Buemi and Kubica, pitting so early and getting out of the way.

Kubica was in at the end of Lap 9; Schumacher pitted from P3 on Lap 12. When Michael came back out on track he found Robert Kubica on his inside. Despite the Renault being there he kept moving onto Kubica's line until the Pole was pushed onto the grass.

Kubica responded in typical robust fashion by trying to stick his Renault (on much warmer tyres) up the inside into Turn 4. Michael went to turn in on him, found that he couldn't because there was a car there (at which point both drivers had left their braking so late that they both cut the apex and went across the grass). Schumacher picked up a puncture and had to return to the pits and Kubica took on some front wing damage.

While all this was going on the McLarens and Ferrari were going a second quicker than the Red Bulls. On Lap 13 Mark Webber pitted for hard tyres, on Lap 14 Sebastian Vettel pitted for soft tyres, leaving Buemi in the lead of the race and the two Red Bulls back in net 4th and 5th positions.

Buemi didn't remain out on track to enjoy his lead much longer and was being harried by Fernando Alonso on Lap 15. Alonso tried to overtake Buemi around the outside at the Casino Hairpin and the closely following Lewis Hamilton saw an opportunity and dived up the inside.

Buemi held the place and the Mclaren couldn't get the traction to make a pass on Alonso, but it did place Hamilton very tight on the Ferrari gearbox going into the long back straight where he could use his straight line speed to get ahead of him going into the final chicane. Buemi pitted.

LAP 15 ORDER:1.Hamilton, 2.Alonso, 3.Button, 4.Vettel, 5.Webber 6.Kubica, 7.Sutil, 8.Buemi, 9.Rosberg, 10.Kovalainen

Rosberg was now back in the Top Ten having taken advantage of the excursions of Michael Schumacher. Adrian Sutil was keen to get past the Renault of Robert Kubica who looked to have parts swinging loose on the back of his Renault.

For the first time in a breathless opening half an hour, the race settled into a pattern. On Lap 24 Lewis Hamilton led the race and there was just 6.1 seconds between him and fifth placed Mark Webber.

It all changed on Lap 26 when Lewis Hamilton pitted for the second time. Lewis handed the lead over to Fernando Alonso who immediately saw his opportunity and put the hammer down with a 1:19.050 Fastest Lap. While all this was happening Kubica and Sutil were still battling it out for P6.

Sutil finally got the better of him passing on the outside before the final chicane. Kubica - on the inside - decided he wanted to go into the pitlane which meant he could brake much later. Instead of waiting for Sutil to turn in for the final corner, he shot down the inside and across the bows of Sutil before he could turn. It looked incredibly risky and the stewards decided they wanted to investigate the incident after the race.

Having got past Kubica, Sutil's luck suddenly deserted him as he picked up a slow puncture and limped round the track for an entire lap before he could pit.

Button and Vettel decided to pit a lap later than Hamilton and rejoined the track in the same order. Alonso came in a lap later, but because he'd been badly blocked by a backmarker - frustratingly, after just setting the fastest lap - instead of rejoining in the lead, came out behind Lewis Hamilton.

LAP 29 ORDER:1. Webber (stopped once), 2.Hamilton, 3.Alonso, 4.Button, 5.Vettel, 6.Buemi (stopped once), 7.Kubica, 8.Rosberg, 9.Schumacher, 10. Alguersuari (stopped once).

Everyone had now run the two different compounds except leader Mark Webber who still needed to change onto the soft Option tyre. But with 30 laps gone and 40 still to go, he couldn't make them last to the flag and so had to hang on at the front and make his Prime tyres last.

To start with, his gap to Lewis Hamilton was 9.7 seconds; he moved it out to 11.8 seconds by Lap 36, but then the two McLarens, the Ferrari and his team-mate began to close in. To get in and out of the pits and keep his lead he needed 16 seconds and the only person he had that margin on was his team-mate.

Slowly the gap came down. By Lap 42 it was 8.2 seconds and then the Red Bull started to catch the Massa vs Liuzzi vs Sutil vs Alguersuari battle and by Lap 47 Hamilton had caught him up.At this stage it looked like everyone else was going to try and make their tyres last to the finish. With Kubica over half a minute back in P6, Webber had an easy gap to fall back into, but Hamilton wasn't waiting for him to pit and overtook him on Lap 50 going into Turn 1. Luckily for the following Alonso, Webber pitted the following lap. Fernando had put in a series of fastest laps to keep in touch with Hamilton and was ready to take advantage of any McLaren slip up.

LAP 52 ORDER:1.Hamilton, 2.Alonso, 3.Button, 4.Vettel, 5. Webber 6.Kubica, 7.Rosberg 8.Buemi, 9.Schumacher, 10.Hulkenberg

With the order now set at the front it was a question of who was going to last to the flag and who wasn't. The hard tyres that were taken on on Lap 26, lap 27 and Lap 28 had already run a lot of distance.

Fernando Alonso looked to be holding a watching brief in P2 - a couple of seconds back from Hamilton and a second in front of Button. But then on Lap 56 Button came through in front of the Ferrari. Replays showed that Fernando Alonso had got tucked up behind a Hispania car at the exit of Turn 7 and had lost momentum onto the straight that followed. Button swept through at speed and dived inside the Ferrari into Turn 8 for what looked a relatively easy pass.

It was the third time in the afternoon that Alonso had suffered from running up against a slower car in the wrong place. He could have won, but now he was in P3.

Neither Red Bulls mounted a charge to the flag, indeed a gearbox problem lost Vettel a lot of time in the closing stages with his car finishing out on track after the chequered flag. Robert Kubica pitted one last time on Lap 60 to hand P6 to Nico Rosberg and then he set about lowering the lap record on new tyres and low fuel in vain pursuit.

Michael Schumacher had had an eventful race, running into the back of Robert Kubica in Turn 1, rallycrossing with him later on and then tangling with Felipe Massa on Lap 63. After pitting on Lap 1 Massa had climbed steadily through the field, jousting with the Force Indias along the way.

Schumachers' tyres were degrading fast in the closing stages and he was being hauled in by Massa at a rate of knots. Going into the final chicane Schumi blocked Massa on the inside, then moved back out to take the line. When he braked earlier than Massa expected it pitched Massa onto the grass, deranging his front wing against the barriers and losing him what would have been a 9th place finish. (The stewards would investigate this after the race along with Kubica's sudden pitlane entry)

Schumacher was then caught by the Force India gang of Liuzzi and Sutil. Liuzzi was clearly much faster than Schumacher but couldn't find an easy way past - Schumacher skipping the final chicane to keep in front at times. So on the final lap Liuzzi - who'd been battered by many in the race - muscled his way up the inside of Schumacher and didn't back off. The two cars both lost a lot of carbon fibre allowing the pursuing Sutil also to get past the Mercedes too.

But it was a jubilant Hamilton who took the win followed home very closely by Jenson Button and a subdued Fernando Alonso thinking of what might have been. It was an epic race, and one where tyre degradation was at its most severe. Whether we will get another aggressive surface like Montreal before the end of the season is anyone's guess... but everybody's wish.


01. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h33:53.456
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.254
03. Alonso Ferrari + 9.214
04. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 37.817
05. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 39.291
06. Rosberg Mercedes + 56.084
07. Kubica Renault + 57.300
08. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
09. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
15. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Petrov Renault + 2 laps
18. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 5 laps
Did Not Finish
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 50
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 43
De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 31
Senna HRT-Cosworth 14
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2

Turkey GP

Istanbul circuit
Red bulls collide
Sebastian Vettel
Lewis Hamilton
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
Hamilton and teammate
Top three
Turkish GP: Vettel gifts McLaren the 1-2
Sunday 30th. May 2010

Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Red Bull's worst nightmare to claim his first victory in ten races in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

Putting pressure on the Red Bulls throughout the grand prix, Hamilton never allowed polesitter Mark Webber to pull away from him. However, a small problem with his tyres in his pit-stop meant he lost out to Sebastian Vettel, dropping to third.

But instead of falling away as some believed would happen, Hamilton kept the pressure on; forcing Vettel to make an ill-advised pass on Webber that saw him crash out of the race and demote his team-mate to third.

McLaren's 1-2 was almost lost when Button and Hamilton tried running side by side through four successive corners, but Hamilton eventually won out.

Michael Schumacher posted his best result of the season with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg coming home in 5th place.

PRE-RACE NEWS After an oil leak, Luca DiGrassi had to return to the Virgin garage for some urgent engineering. Both Vettel and Webber had their anti-roll bar bolts changed in Parc Ferme.

CONDITIONS: Bright sunshine. 28C ambient, 48C track.

GRID: 1. Webber, 2.Hamilton, 3.Vettel, 4.Button, 5.Schumacher, 6.Rosberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Massa, 9.Petrov, 10.Kobayashi, 11.Sutil, 12.Alonso

START: As the red lights went out, the cars at the back of the grid were hardly formed up. Even though the run to Turn 1 is short in Turkey, the inside is very dirty and Hamilton in P2 and Button in P4 lost a place to Vettel and Schumacher respectively.

Further back down the field there were few big changes of position, but both McLarens were keen to rectify their Turn 1 losses. Hamilton muscled his way back past Vettel while Jenson Button used his F-duct to overtake Michael Schumacher on the inside into Turn 12 at the end of the lap.

CASUALTIES: Buemi and Hulkenberg had a coming together and both returned to the pits to rejoin at the back.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Webber, 2.Hamilton, 3.Vettel, 4.Button, 5.Schumacher 6. Rosberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Massa, 9.Petrov, 10.Kobayashi, 11.Sutil, 12.Alonso

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: The opening stint of the race was encouraging to the McLaren team because it looked like Webber was holding Hamilton up. Though the McLarens couldn't hang on to the Red Bulls through the quadruple apex of Turn 8, they were able to close back up through Turn 11 to be right on their gearbox at Turn 12.

The two Red Bulls and the two McLarens raced away from the rest of the field which were being held back by Nico Rosberg with Michael Schumacher a few seconds down the road from his team-mate. Through the first 12 laps, each of the front four drivers set at least one fastest lap.

All the front-runners had started on the softer Option tyre, and Kubica and Massa came in to change theirs first on Lap 13. Though they were running nose to tail before the stop, they exited in the same order.

On Lap 14, Vettel and Schumacher pitted, at which point Jenson Button started to put the hammer down. Button put in two successive fastest laps on Lap 16 and 17. Webber and Hamilton came in together and exited in the same order - Hamilton having to wait to be released because the cars were so close. In doing so, that let Vettel through in front of Hamilton but still behind Webber.

Button came in at the end of Lap 17, just as Sebastian Vettel's harder Prime tyres were up to temperature and he set a new fastest lap. Thus when Button emerged from the pitlane he was still back in P4.

LAP 18 ORDER: 1.Webber, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton 4.Button, 5.Schumacher, 6.Rosberg, 7.Kubica, 8.Massa, 9.Petrov, 10.Alonso, 11.Kobayashi, 12.Sutil

However Lewis Hamilton wasn't at all happy about being demoted a place in the pit-stops and indeed it looked a strategic victory for Red Bull to get their cars into 1-2 when both Mclarens looked capable of running quicker. Hamilton had one serious attempt at overtaking Vettel on the outside into Turn 12, but overran the corner and dropped back behind his gearbox.

Everyone continued in the same order with one eye on the weather radar. As early as Lap 16 rain was visible falling in the distance and by Lap 20 it had come through as a "rain expected" message to the teams from Race Control.

The group of four at the front continued to establish a massive gap to 5th placed Michael Schumacher. On lap 26 there was just 2.6 seconds covering the front four and then the Mercedes driver was 24 seconds in arrears. Behind him Nico Rosberg had picked up a train of Kubica, Massa, Petrov and Alonso.

The rain still held off and the pressing McLarens looked like they were waiting for it to arrive rather than try a risky overtaking move. The leading foursome swapped fastest laps between them. Jenson Button was able to drop back and close up at will, giving himself a gap and then setting four fastest laps from Lap 31 to Lap 34 to close it up again.

Then on Lap 38 as a few very minor rain drops began to spatter the camera lenses, Sebastian Vettel started to close on Mark Webber through Turn 11. On lap 40 he was very close and made a move up the inside - coming into the braking zone for Turn 12 Webber had kept so far left on the track that both cars looked to be off the racing line.

Vettel edged ahead but on the dirty side of the track his car suddenly moved right and into Webber's and both spun across the run-off and bumps on the outside of Turn 12. Vettel caused the contact but it was debatable whether either of the cars were going to make the turn properly on the line they were approaching - in which case the Mclarens just behind them would both be through.

As it was Vettel retired and Webber limped round before getting a new front wing. The good thing being that they were so far in front of 4th place - 35 seconds at this stage - that Webber had more than enough time for a leisurely pit-stop.

The Red Bull coming together gifted McLaren a 1-2, and Button was clearly faster than Hamilton, closing up to 0.7 of a second. The McLaren cars were supposedly told to save fuel, but on Lap 48 Jenson Button closed right up on Hamilton and overtook him around the outside of Turn 12 in a move that continued through three corners, down onto the start/finish straight.

Hamilton then managed to get the inside line into Turn 1 on Lap 49 and they bumped wheel-to-wheel on the exit. After that they calmed down and slowed by two seconds a lap on their cruise to the flag and a 1-2 win.

The only drama in the closing stages was Fernando Alonso's overtaking of Vitaly Petrov. Petrov had resisted a lot of pressure from Alonso whose engineer told him as early as Lap 35 that the Russian wouldn't last under the pressure. Alonso finally fashioned a way through on Lap 52 and clipped Petrov's tyre on the way past, giving the Renault driver a puncture that took him out of the points.

Mark Webber brought his car home in third followed by Schumacher, Rosberg, Kubica, Massa and Alonso. Ferrari celebrated their 800th GP with a 7th and 8th place. Adrian Sutil (9th) had overtaken Kamui Kobayashi who brought his Sauber home for only his second finish of the season and the last point in 10th place.

It had been a dramatic grand prix with a lot of inter-team-mate strife. The body language of the Mclaren drivers afterwards suggested there might be an extensive debrief session about fuel conservation- but not as long as the one at Red Bull...


1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h28:47.620
2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.645
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 24.285
4. Schumacher Mercedes + 31.110
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 32.266
6. Kubica Renault + 32.824
7. Massa Ferrari + 36.635
8. Alonso Ferrari + 46.544
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 49.029
10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.650
11. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.944
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:07.800
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
15. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
Did not finish
Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 53
Senna HRT-Cosworth 47
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 40
Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 34
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 33

Turkey GP: Hamilton victorious

Sunday 30th. May 2010

Lewis Hamilton wins Turkish Grand Prix after Red Bulls collide

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collide at the Turkish GP

Highights - Turkish Grand Prix

By Saj Chowdhury

Lewis Hamilton led a McLaren one-two after an extraordinary clash between Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The incident happened on lap 40 of 58 when Vettel flew off the track after colliding with Webber in an attempt to take the lead from his team-mate.

Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button briefly passed him on lap 50 only for Hamilton to repass at the next corner.

Webber finished third while Mercedes's Michael Schumacher was fourth.

The German's team-mate Nico Rosberg finished fifth to cap off a good weekend for Ross Brawn's team.


This incident will do little to reduce the already simmering tensions within a team that has always been seen as fundamentally preferring Vettel over Webber

Their joy was in stark contrast to that of the Ferrari team, with three-time Istanbul winner Felipe Massa finishing seventh while Fernando Alonso, who qualified in 12th, a further place behind.

But they were the sideshow in a race that will be remembered for the remarkable incident between the Red Bulls.

There was no repeat of the domination Red Bull displayed in the last two races, as the McLaren drivers pressured them hard throughout the race.

Webber had led from pole but Hamilton and Vettel were right with him until the pit stops.

Vettel had briefly taken second from the Englishman on the first lap, only for Hamilton to pass him back around the outside of Turn Three.

But the German took the position back again at the pit stops and set about putting pressure on Webber, with the McLarens right behind them. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel

Vettel unhappy after race-ending collision

The McLarens appeared to be faster than the Red Bulls, and Vettel decided to take a chance on the inside of Webber with 18 laps to go and appeared to veer right too early causing him to lose his rear right after it came in contact with the other car.

The Red Bull team, led by team principal Christian Horner, looked at their screens in horror as Vettel careered off the track while Webber, who also flew off, was forced to come into the pits to have his damaged nose-cone replaced.

"I dived down the inside and I had the corner," said Vettel.

"I was just trying to get the braking point and suddenly I lost the car. You can see we touched.

"I'm not the kind of guy who pushes the fault to one guy. We are a team and we have to respect that."

Webber believed that the German had turned right too soon. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Red Bull driver Mark Webber.

Turkish GP - Top three drivers

"Seb had a big top speed advantage," said championship leader Webber, who is now on 93 points, five ahead of second-placed Button.

"He went down the inside. It looked like he turned pretty quick right and we made contact. Not an ideal day. The McLarens were solid today. Neither of us wanted to make contact with each other but it can happen sometimes."

Horner was left unimpressed with the incident.

"They should never have been where they were," said the Red Bull chief.

"What we always ask is for drivers to give each other room. And today we handed 43 points to McLaren. We need to sit down, go through it and come back stronger at the next event."

With Vettel out and Webber in third, Hamilton was now favourite to win his first race of the season, with team-mate Button, who watched Hamilton and the Red Bulls from a distance during much of the race, up to second.

The McLaren drivers were told to save fuel but soon Button was challenging Hamilton and he took the lead briefly by going around the outside of Turn 12, which becomes the inside of Turn 13, the corner on to the pit straight.

But Hamilton was not about to give up the lead without a fight and he dived down the inside at Turn One. The two cars brushed wheels and Hamilton reclaimed the lead, which he held on to up to and beyond the chequered flag.

"We knew we had great race pace but we had to stay with Red Bulls," said Hamilton, who before Istanbul had not won since Singapore last year.

"They were so much faster through Turn Eight and it was hard to stay in Webber's slipstream.

"I'm not sure what happened with the Red Bull guys but I had a fair battle with Button and it was a great result for the team. I want to dedicate this win for my dad who is 50 tomorrow."

Victory took Hamilton to third in the championship on 84 points, ahead of Alonso in fourth on 79. Vettel is down to fifth overall, a point behind the Spaniard.

Monaco GP

Mark Webber
Monaco Harbour

Safety car

Monaco GP: Webber victorious

Sunday 16th. May 2010

Mark Webber claimed consecutive grands prix victories for the first time in his career with a dominant drive around the streets of Monte Carlo.

The Australian led from start to finish, surviving four Safety Cars, and was followed home by team-mate Sebastian Vettel to give Red Bull their second straight one-two finish.

Renault's Robert Kubica, who was passed by Vettel prior to the first corner having started from second on the grid, completed the podium in third, ahead of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.

Webber and Vettel are now tied for the lead in the Drivers' standings on 78 points and Red Bull hold a 20-point advantage over Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.

Report: Robert Kubica made a poor start to the Monaco Grand Prix to allow a Red Bull one-two around the first lap of the 78-lap race.

Starting from second on the grid, his highest position since the Canadian Grand Prix of 2008, the Renault driver arrowed his car across the track and attempted to cut across Sebastian Vettel.

But Vettel managed to squeeze up the inside from his third place and settle in behind Red Bull team-mate and pole man Mark Webber.

The rest of the field managed to get through the first corner, but coming through the tunnel Nico Hulkenberg in his Williams ploughed into a concrete barrier.

The German then slid along the wall for around 100 metres before emerging into the daylight with a shattered front left of his car, forcing the safety car into play.

As the remaining 23 cars followed behind, World Champion Jenson Button became the second casualty of the race with what appeared to be a rare Mercedes engine failure at the start of lap three.

The McLaren star had also made a poor start, dropping to 11th from eighth when he was forced to pull over at Sainte Devote with smoke billowing from his car.

Behind the top three of Webber, Vettel and Kubica came Felipe Massa in his Ferrari, the second McLaren of Lewis Hamilton and Rubens Barrichello in his Williams, the Brazilian up to sixth from ninth.

Once the safety car pulled in, Fernando Alonso then set about trying to make amends for his crash in final practice yesterday which ruled him out of qualifying and led to him starting from the pit lane in his Ferrari.

On laps 11, 12, 15 and 16 he pulled off superb overtaking manoeuvres on Virgin Racing's Lucas di Grassi, the Lotus of Jarno Trulli, then the second Virgin and Lotus of Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen out of the tunnel heading into the chicane to move up to 16th.

Hamilton took a gamble and made his first stop at the end of lap 17, dropping him into traffic, but hopefully to eventually elevate him through the field and to cover Alonso's charge.

Two laps later Massa, Barrichello, Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi in his Force India all took on fresh rubber, followed soon after by Kubica, Vettel and Webber.

After 25 laps Webber held a 0.9secs lead over Rosberg, who had yet to pit, followed by Vettel, Kubica and the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi, who was also biding his time before making his first stop.

In fifth place was Massa, then Hamilton and Alonso, testament to his team's tactics as he had pitted at the end of lap one when the safety car was out and was making good use of his harder tyres.

Pedro de la Rosa retired in the pits shortly beforehand with wisps of smoke coming from his Sauber, swiftly followed by Glock with a suspected suspension problem.

With team owner Sir Richard Branson looking on, it proved to be a grim day for the billionaire entrepreneur as Di Grassi then pulled up on lap 27.

That was when Rosberg finally made his stop, but it failed to work for the German as he ended up down in eighth, whilst Kobayashi joined the growing list of casualties as he too retired.

On lap 31 Barrichello became the seventh retirement, losing his car heading up the hill through Beau Rivage, the Williams careering backwards into a metal barrier due to a rear tyre or wheel problem.

Like a rubber ball he then rebounded across the track and hit the opposite barrier before coming to rest in the middle of the circuit facing the wrong way, and minus his front and rear wing.

In an understandble pit of pique Barrichello then tossed his steering wheel out of the cockpit of his car and onto the track where it was hit by a passing rival.

Naturally, it brought the safety car into play for the second time in the race, bunching up the field before it pulled aside after two laps.

After half distance of 39 laps Webber held a 2.5secs cushion over Vettel, with Kubica a second down, followed by Massa and Hamilton, who then received an order to slow down in corners to preserve his brakes.

In bizarre circumstances the safety car made a third appearance on lap 44 due to a loose drain cover at turn three, Massanet, highlighting the unpredictability of racing on public roads.

After another two laps behind the silver Mercedes, the field was again allowed to race, and for the fourth time Webber pulled away.

After 60 laps, with 18 remaining, he found himself 5.2secs clear of Vettel, who had Kubica just a second behind him, with gaps then to Massa, Hamilton and Alonso, who was being tailed by Schumacher.

Rosberg was running in eighth, with the Force India duo of Adrian Sutil and Liuzzi completing the top 10.

Kovalainen and Senna joined the list of retirements as both new team drivers pulled into the pits and called it quits, parking their cars in their respective garages.

With laps running out it looked as if that was it, all hold stations, however, Trulli decided to change the order as he hit the side of Chandhok's HRT car and was launched over the top of it. Both came to a halt at strange angles with Trulli's car sitting partly on Chandhok's. The two drivers emerged unhurt but brought out the final safety car.

With just 12 runners heading towards the chequered flag, the safety car lifted metres before the end, allowing Webber to cross the line and take a much-deserved victory in Monaco.

Vettel was second ahead of Kubica, Massa and Hamilton.

However, there will be an investigation post-race after Schumacher took sixth place off Alonso at the final corner. Rosberg was eighth ahead of Sutil and Liuzzi.

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h50:00.000
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 0.448
3. Kubica Renault + 1.600
4. Massa Ferrari + 2.600
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 4.300
6. Schumacher Mercedes + 5.700
7. Alonso Ferrari + 6.300
8. Rosberg Mercedes + 6.600
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 6.900
10. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 7.300
11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 8.100
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 9.100
13. Petrov Renault + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 71
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 71
Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 59
Senna HRT-Cosworth 59
Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 28
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 27
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 26
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 23
De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 22
Button McLaren-Mercedes 3
Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1

Monaco GP

Mark Webber wins again.
Sunday 16th May 2010

Red Bull's Mark Webber underwent trial by safety car in Monte Carlo on Sunday afternoon, but kept his cool throughout four interventions, the last of which was after a late tangle at Rascasse between backmarkers Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok which happened right in front of his Red Bull.

That brought out Bernd Maylander and the Mercedes for the last time, the previous three occasions involving two heavy crashes by Williams drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello. On all of those occasions Webber had calmly opened up the gap again over team mate Sebastian Vettel, who had beaten front-row starter Robert Kubica off the line at the start and then trailed Webber throughout.

It was far from a gripping race, with only the accidents providing relief from total Red Bull domination as Kubica drove his heart out to keep them honest but was unable to challenge.

It was the first time an Australian had won in the Principality since Sir Jack Brabham did so for Cooper in 1959, and puts Webber into the lead of the world championship, level with Vettel on 78 points.

Behind the valiant Kubica, Felipe Massa held Lewis Hamilton at bay as Fernando Alonso fought his way up from last place after a pit lane start.

The first safety car came out on the opening lap after Hulkenberg crashed heavily in the tunnel after a front wing component failed. Then team mate Barrichello also shunted hard going up the hill to Massenet on the 31st lap due to a rear-end failure. That brought out the second safety car, and another came on the 43rd lap as a loose drain cover was noted in the vicinity. When Barrichello discarded his shattered car's steering wheel, an HRT ran it over.

As the safety car pulled in at the end of the 78th after its final appearance, and on the race's final lap all that remained was for the drivers to cross the line again, but an opportunistic Schumacher dived ahead of Alonso, demoting him to seventh place. That move is currently under investigation by the race stewards - one of which is his old adversary Damon Hill.

Schumacher's Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg was eighth, and behind him Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi made it a good day for Force India with ninth and 10th places. The only other finishers were Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari in their Toro Rossos.

Besides Chandhok and Trulli, who crashed on the race's 74th lap, the other non-finishers were Heikki Kovalainen and Bruno Senna who quit on the 60th with mechanical failures. It wasn’t a great day for McLaren, with Jenson Button losing ground at the start and becoming the second retirement with suspected engine failure on the third lap. Mechanical problems also accounted for the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, and the BMW Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi.

Assuming Schumacher keeps his sixth place, Alonso leaves Monaco third overall in the driver standings with 73 points, then come Button on 70 from Massa on 61, Kubica and Hamilton on 59 and Rosberg on 54.

For the first time this season Red Bull also lead the constructors' world championship, with 156 points, Ferrari on 134, McLaren on 129, Mercedes on 84 and Renault on 65

Spanish GP

Mark Webber
Lewis hamilton
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel
Spain GP
Spain GP
Spain GP
Spain GP

Spanish GP: Webber victorious, Hamilton punctured

Sunday 9th. May 2010

Barcelona may not have been the best advert for F1 but at last in 2010 the polesitter got to taste victory.

Mark Webber made the Spanish Grand Prix the definitive predictable grand prix result when he made it 10 successive wins for 10 successive polesitters at the Circuit de Catalunya.

After he fended off charges from Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 and had a problem free pit-stop, the race was his. Fernando Alonso delighted the home fans by keeping his Ferrari intact and taking advantage of late-race dramas that affected Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel limped home with no brakes in third place ahead of a distant Michael Schumacher.

PRE-RACE NEWS Heikki Kovalainen was due to start from the pitlane when his gearbox malfunctioned. But ultimately the Lotus engineers couldn't get it working for him to compete.

CONDITIONS: Rain had been forecast but didn't look likely in strong sunshine. 20C ambient, 34C track.

GRID: 1. Webber, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton, 4.Alonso, 5.Button, 6.Schumacher, 7.Kubica, 8.Rosberg, 9.Massa, 10.Kobayashi, 11.Sutil

START: A good getaway from everyone at the front. Vettel challenged Webber who covered the inside line into Turn 1 at which point Sebastian switched to the outside. Lewis Hamilton also looked to make it up the inside of Webber but thought better of it. This put him almost alongside Vettel, but the Red Bull driver was far enough in front to take the place into Turn 2. Alonso slotted in behind Hamilton.

Rubens Barrichello got a brilliant start from 17th on the grid, likewise Alguersuari.

CASUALTIES: Bruno Senna added to his miserable Spanish weekend by going straight on into the gravel at Turn 3. Nico Rosberg ran wide at Turn 3 and lost places while Buemi and de la Rosa had a coming together.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Webber, 2.Vettel, 3.Hamilton, 4.Alonso, 5.Button 6.Schumacher, 7.Massa, 8.Sutil, 9.Alguersuari, 10.Kubica, 11.Rosberg, 12.Barrichello

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: With little chance of overtaking and none of the fast cars displaced by the opening lap action, the race settled into a groove with small gaps opening up down the field. By Lap 6 Mark Webber had 1.9 seconds on his Red Bull team-mate who couldn't seem to shake off Lewis Hamilton in third.

Webbo was in the mood to set some fastest laps and by Lap 14, when he'd got it down to a 1:27.357 he'd set seven fastest laps in all.

Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa came in for a change of tyres at the end of Lap 14 and resumed in that order behind the two Williams. Nico Rosberg suffered a disastrous pit-stop leaving his box too early and having to be dragged back to his marks to have the tyres fitted properly, which set him back even further.

At the end of Lap 16, Vettel, Button and Alonso all pitted for the harder prime tyre. Button's getaway was slow due to McLaren system problems and the delay allowed Michael Schumacher to cruise up on his outside coming into Turn 1 and take P5 off him. Vettel's stop was also relatively slow, but the Red Bull still managed to keep him well ahead of Alonso.

Finally a lap later the two men at the front of the race, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber came in for their single stop. Hamilton had a slight problem on his switch to hard tyres, but was still able to exit in front of the delayed Vettel.

Coming into Turn 1 the McLaren driver had a Virgin car on the inside to avoid and Sebastian Vettel steaming up the outside keen on retaining his P2. Hamilton had the position, Vettel had more momentum, but just when it looked like there might be a coming together in Turn 2, Vettel jinked to the left and onto the tarmac run-off.

It was Vettel's high-speed crossing of the rumble strips that protect the run-off area that might well have caused the problems he was to suffer later in the race. Hamilton continued on in P2 and Vettel was clearly going to have to find a way past - with no more tyre stops expected.

LAP 20 ORDER: 1.Webber, 2.Hamilton, 3.Vettel 4.Alonso, 5.Schumacher, 6.Button, 7.Massa, 8.Sutil, 9.Kubica, 10.Barrichello

Jenson Button tried several vain attempts at overtaking Michael Schumacher into Turn 1 and a few looks into Turn 4 but couldn't make any of them stick. He was resigned to stare at the Mercedes rear wing all afternoon, most of it running a second slower than his team-mate.

Behind Button, Felipe Massa was also being held up by the German and when the three of them tried to lap Karun Chandhok into the same corner, only Schumi and Button got through. Massa got too close to Chandhok and ran his front wing into the back of the HRT car. Despite the derangement of the wing Massa was able to continue with very little trouble.

A few laps later Jaime Alguersuari overtook the Indian driver and cut right back in in front of him taking off the Hispania Racing's front wing. It was a rash unnecessary move and earned the Spaniard a drive-through penalty.

While Mark Webber was able to open out a 10+ second gap to Lewis Hamilton, Vettel was never closer to Hamilton than 1.6 seconds and for many laps the gap hovered at two seconds. Fernando Alonso held a watching brief, four seconds back in P4.

LAP 43 ORDER: 1.Webber, 2.Hamilton, 3.Vettel 4.Alonso, 5.Schumacher, 6.Button, 7.Massa, 8.Sutil, 9.Kubica, 10.Barrichello

Webber seemed to be taking things fairly easily, putting in a fastest lap every five laps or so just to show that he could push if necessary. On Lap 44 the Red Bull team radio confirmed that the front wing flap adjuster on Vettel's car had jammed, which might have been part of the reason he was making no impression on Hamilton.

Worse was to come. After a trip across the gravel on Lap 54 Vettel headed for the pits to replace a front wheel. It was believed that he was suffering the same kind of wheel/hub problem that had taken him out of the race in Australia.

It gifted a podium place to Alonso, who at one point had been thinking of taking on a new set of tyres. Such was the sluggishness of the new Mercedes chassis in the hands of Michael Schumacher behind, that by Lap 43 Alonso had a massive 32 second advantage over him. In the end he chose not to come in, which given Vettel's late-race drama proved to be the right call.

Given that Alonso could now chase Lewis Hamilton for P2, he put a charge on taking the fastest lap down to a 1:24.846 on Lap 57. Two laps later Hamilon responded with a superlative 1:24.357 and the gap to Alonso just grew wider and wider.

Michael Schumacher had established a few seconds lead over Jenson Button in the second Mclaren but he was still too far adrift to take advantage of Vettel's woes when the Red Bull team radio became a bit more frantic towards the end of the race.

On Lap 59 we had Vettel's engineer yelling: "Your brakes are about to go, be very careful." Despite having a 23 second lead over Schumacher Vettel only backed off by about three seconds a lap. Then on Lap 62 we got "You need to slow down this is critical." He did, but not by much.

Caution brought its reward because on the penultimate lap of the race Lewis Hamilton's McLaren had a puncture on his left-front going round the heavy-load Turn 3, sending the car into the barriers and losing the team a certain P2.

Thus a delighted Spanish crowd saw their favourite son luck into second place on the podium and Vettel step back onto it - for once, a bit of good luck going Red Bull's way. Mark Webber took a deserved win with a lot of his speed kept in reserve.

Schumacher took fourth, Button fifth, Massa sixth, Sutil a very handy 7th and Robert Kubica 8th. Rubens Barrichello came home 9th and despite his adventures Jaime Alguersuari scored a point in 10th place.

Though the home fans had got what they wanted and will have gone home happy, it was another dreary example of F1 racing at its processional worst. In this race, not even the start was interesting.


01. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h35:44.101
02. Alonso Ferrari + 24.000
03. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 51.300
04. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:02.100
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:03.700
06. Massa Ferrari + 1:05.700
07. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:12.900
08. Kubica Renault + 1:13.600
09. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 2 laps
15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
16. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Lewis Hamilton-Mclaren 55
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 43
Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 28
De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 19
Senna HRT-Cosworth 1
Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1

China GP

Jenson Button

China GP:

Sunday April 18th. 2010

The cool-headed Jenson Button claimed the Chinese GP victory ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who showed moments of brilliance - and a few that will get his critics clamouring for more sanctions.

Starting fifth on the grid, Button opted not to come in for a change of rubber to Inters when most of his rivals did during the first Safety Car period, the result of a Lap 1 accident. This put the Brit near the front of the pack, just behind Nico Rosberg, who also opted not to stop.

However, with the rain coming down harder, Rosberg ran off the track on Lap 20, allowing Button through in to the lead.

It was an epic F1 race with stories and incident down the length of the field, from the moment that Fernando Alonso jumped the start. Hamilton carved his way through to P2, Rosberg finished third and Alonso staged a remarkable recovery to fourth place. Kubica came home fifth, with the front row Red Bulls coming home a dismal sixth and eighth.

PRE-RACE NEWS: Chandhok and DiGrassi started the race from the pitlane. Timo Glock also had to start from there after his car was left up on the front jack when the field moved off.

CONDITIONS: Spitting with rain and damp on track. 21C ambient, 21C track.

GRID: 1. Vetter, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Rosberg, 5.Button, 6.Hamilton 7.Massa, 8.Kubica, 9.Schumacher, 10.Sutil, 11.Barrichello

START: Vettel and Webber were left standing by Alonso who had a great start - too great a start as it happened as he jumped the lights and led into Turn 1.

CASUALTIES: Tonio Liuzzi lost control of his Force India under braking and just like Kobayashi's accident in Melbourne he clattered into the inncocent parties of Buemi and Kobayashi as they turned in ahead of them at Turn 4 and their races were run. There was so much debris on the track that just as the cars were heading onto the back straight the Safety Car was deployed

LAP ONE ORDER: 1. Alonso, 2.Webber, 3.Vettel, 4.Rosberg, 5.Button 6.Hamilton, 7.Massa, 8.Schumacher, 9.Kubica, 10.Petrov, la Rosa

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: As the cars circulated behind the Safety Car the spitting rain became heavier and Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso led the dive for the pitlane to change to Inters under the Safety Car. Race Director Charlie Whiting had spotted Alonso's jump start straight away and the incident was announced as under investigation. A drive-through penalty would soon follow.

Webber's move triggered a spate of stops for Inters and some teams double-parked their cars to get both of them changed. Significantly, Rosberg, Button, Kubica and Petrov stayed out on track.

ORDER ON LAP 3 BEHIND SAFETY CAR 1.Rosberg, 2.Button, 3.Kubica, 4. Petrov, la Rosa, 6.|Alonso, 7.Kovalainen, 8.Sutil, 9.Barrichello, 10.Alguersuari, 11.Webber, 12.Massa, 13.Schumacher, 14.Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel was the big loser in the dive for Inters because he had to wait behind his team-mate in the pitlane. As the Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 3 it was a question of how much longer Rosberg and Button could continue on slick tyres.

However the rain had now stopped and on Lap 4 Button was able to put in the fastest first sector. It suddenly became apparent that not stopping for tyres had been the best option and those on Inters would soon be heading back to the pits for slicks as their Inters burned out.

At the end of Lap 5 Hamilton and Vettel headed back into the pits together. Hamilton waving his intentions to go into the pitlane to Vettel who was on his inside coming out of the penultimate corner. Hamilton nipped inside him to get track position but Vettel's change was fractionally quicker and because their pitboxes are side by side, Vettel's fractional release in advance put him just in front of Hamilton as he was released.

Hamilton wouldn't bow to the inevitible and cruised alongside Vettel to the pitlane exit as Vettel moved his car across and tried to push him into the air guns of the teams not in the pitlane. It was a bit of needless stupidity from both drivers and would be investigated by the stewards afterwards.

ORDER ON LAP 6 1.Rosberg, 2.Button 3.Kubica, 4. de la Rosa 5.Petrov 6.Alguersuari, 7.Sutil, 8.Kovalainen, 9.Webber, 10.Alonso

Mark Webber was back in for slicks a lap later which would drop him back. Alonso, served his drive-through penalty.

De la Rosa's race would only last until Lap 8 with what looked like another engine problem for the Sauber. The changes had put the two Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton well down the order and they set about carving their way to the front. Lewis in particular looked in combative form. He cleared Barrichello, Webber, and then Sutil and Vettel together in one glorious overtaking move at the end of the back straight. Sutil was resisting Vettel hard and Hamilton jumped up the inside of them both as they ran wide.

Two laps later and both Red Bulls took Sutil at the same corner. Freed from tailenders Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of Michael Schumacher.

ORDER ON LAP 12 1.Rosberg, 2.Button 3.Kubica, 4. Petrov 5.Schumacher 6.Hamilton, 7.Vettel, 8.Webber, 9.Sutil, 10.Alguersuari

Given that Hamilton has been handed a warning for his weaving in Malaysia he was under his best manners when overtaking Michael Schumacher and it took a couple of laps of moving in front and then allowing Schumi the line before he made an elegant pass into the turn at the end of the back straight, nipping inside the Mercedes driver. Sebastian Vettel wasted far less time getting past.

Out in front by a mile were the cars who hadn't wasted time on tyre changes. Rosberg, Button, Kubica and Petrov were 48 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton on Lap 18.

ORDER ON LAP 18 1.Rosberg, 2.Button 3.Kubica, 4. Petrov 5.Hamilton 6.Vettel, 7.Schumacher, 8.Webber, 9.Alguersuari, 10. Sutil

On Lap 19 Nico Rosberg lost control of his Mercedes at Turn 11 and Button with extra momentum down the back straight was soon past him for the lead.

As light rain started to fall again it was time to decide whether to go to Inters again. Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher were the furthest forward to opt for them at the end of Lap 20 followed by Massa and Alonso. Alonso making what could be a relationship-wrecking move by overtaking Massa on the way into the pitlane. The result meant that Massa had to sit and watch Alonso get his tyres changed and dropped back quite a few places as a result.

Button and Rosberg were in a lap later, along with Vettel and Hamilton. Because Webber had opted for Inters a lap earlier he had now leapfrogged his team-mate. Jaime Alguersuari had lost the front wing of his Toro Rosso and there was a surprising decision on Lap 22 to deploy a second Safety Car.

It was a gift to the cars that had made the wrong tyre choice early on and a worry to Button, Rosberg and Kubica whose 50-second lead was now down to nothing.

ORDER ON LAP 23 1.Button 2.Rosberg 3.Kubica, 4. Petrov 5.Schumacher 6.Webber, 7.Hamilton, 8.Vettel, 9.Sutil, 10.Alonso

The Safety Car came in after a couple of laps and all hell was let loose at the end of Lap 25. Because the Safety Car line comes before the final corner cars were racing and jockeying into the corner and Lewis Hamilton found himself the meat in a Red Bull sandwich. Vettel pushed him wide and he bumped into Mark Webber, the Red Bull heading off track wide and losing places.

Lewis Hamilton was soon past Michael Schumacher at Turn 8 as Fernando Alonso moved up the order. Hamilton was past Petrov at the same place on Lap 27 and dispatched Kubica on the main straight on lap 29. At the same time Fernando Alonso had hauled his Ferrari up to P6.

ORDER ON LAP 31 1.Button 2.Rosberg 3.Hamilton, 4.Kubica 5.Petrov 6.Alonso, 7.Vettel, 8.Sutil, 9.Schumacher, 10.Massa, 11.Webber

On Lap 33 Petrov gifted a place to Alonso with an off-track moment. Nico Rosberg couldn't stop Lewis Hamilton's inexorable charge and he passed him at Turn 8, a move Lewis had perfected by now.

At the end of Lap 35 Mark Webber pitted for new tyres and two laps later Hamilton, Vettel and Kubica followed suit. On Lap 38 Button, Rosberg and Alonso stopped for new Inters as well.

ORDER ON LAP 39 1.Button 2.Hamilton 3.Rosberg, 4.Alonso 5.Kubica 6.Vettel, 7.Webber, 8.Schumacher, 9.Alguersuari 10.Petrov, 11.Massa

As the cars headed into the final phase of the race there was great anxiety about the Inters lasting the distance. None of the front runners wanted to stop for tyres so late in the race.

Alonso closed on Rosberg but never got into a position to overtake. Vettel followed Kubica for a long time before dropping back in the final five laps. Petrov and Massa both found their way past Alguersuari and on Lap 51 the Russian was able to overtake Michael Schumacher. Felipe Massa managed to edge out his former team-mate at the penultimate corner two laps from home.

Things got even better for Petrov as he closed on Mark Webber and forced the Red Bull driver to run wide and he was able to nick 7th place up the inside, his best result in F1.

Button took the win despite Lewis Hamilton closing to 1.5 seconds on the final lap. There had been no team orders at McLaren and potentially they could have been racing each other for the win. Rosberg scored a fine podium on a day when his more experienced team-mate struggled to manage his tyre wear.

The second Safety Car effectively robbed Robert Kubica of an easy podium, but it was Fernando Alonso who was the biggest beneficiary, scoring a fourth place despite five trips down the pitlane. It had been an epic race and the talking points would easily be enough to last the three weeks to Barcelona.


1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h44:42.163
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1.530
3. Rosberg Mercedes + 9.484
4. Alonso Ferrari + 11.869
5. Kubica Renault + 22.213
6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 33.310
7. Petrov Renault + 47.600
8. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 52.172
9. Massa Ferrari + 57.796
10. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:01.749
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:02.874
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:03.665
13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:11.416
14. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
16. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 27
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 9
De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 8
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1
Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1

Malaysia GP

Red Bull
Sepang circuit

Malaysia GP:

Sunday 4th April 2010

After two disappointing races wrecked by reliability issues, Vettel finally grabbed the victory that he deserved after overtaking his team-mate Mark Webber into the first corner on lap one of the Malaysian GP.

Nico Rosberg claimed the first podium finish for Mercedes GP, beating Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil.

Lewis Hamilton came from 21st to sixth place. Felipe Massa was seventh for Ferrari, finishing ahead of Jenson Button,

PRE-RACE NEWS: When exactly the rain was going to arrive was the biggest unknown. Pedro de la Rosa's Sauber stopped at Turn 3 on the way to the grid. With a wet Q3 session, teams were free to choose thir tyre for the grid.

CONDITIONS: Dry, cloudy but with the threat of rain. 32C ambient, 44C track.

GRID: 1. Webber, 2.Rosberg, 3.Vettel, 4.Sutil, 5.Hulkenberg, 6.Kubica 7.Barrichello, 8.Schumacher, 9.Kobayashi, 10.Liuzzi, 11.Petrov, la Rosa NS, 13.Buemi, 14.Alguersuari, 17.Button, 19.Alonso, 20.Hamilton, 21.Massa

START: Vettel got a great start away and was straight past Rosberg. He stuck his car up the inside of Webber going into Turn 1 and ran wide. Thankfully Mark Webber gave him room and the cars didn't touch. Further back Rubens Barrichello had another of his poor starts, the Williams failing to get away from P.7 and the rest of the field managing to avoid him.

Robert Kubica got another blinding start and was up to P4. nudging ahead of Sutil by following Rosberg's line. Michael Schumacher nipped past Nico Hulkenberg to grab P6.

Jenson Button didn't make as much progress as his team-mate by choosing the outside line into Turn 1 and getting held up by the Toro Rossos, while Hamilton and Massa came through inside of him.

CASUALTIES: A destruction free opening lap, thanks to Malaysia's wide expanses of tarmac.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1. Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Rosberg, 4.Kubica, 5.Sutil 6.Schumacher, 7.Hulkenberg, 8.Liuzzi, 9.Petrov, 10.Kobayashi, 11.Alguersuari, 12.Buemi, 13.Hamilton, 14.Massa, 15.Button, 16.Alonso

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: The drivers who had qualified down the field instantly set about carving though the midfield. Felipe Massa had attached himself to the back of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren and followed him through Turn 1 and Turn 2 to gain positions. The man most conspicuously on the move was Lewis Hamilton who started on the harder prime tyre. He continued his overtaking spree that started in Australia by going past Sebastian Buemi on the outside of Turn 5.

Jenson Button starting on the green-walled option tyre was being held up by Massa and when the Ferrari ran wide on Lap 2 he got his McLaren alongside. He didn't make the move stick and the closely following Fernando Alonso nipped through to take a place.

By Lap 4 Hamilton was past Alguersuari and Kobayashi but the Renault of Vitaly Petrov proved a bit more difficult. On Lap 5 Petrov ran wide at the end of the back straight and Hamilton breezed through on the inside, but at the beginning of Lap 6 Petrov came straight back up the inside to take the place back. Hamilton waited for a lap before overtaking yet again into the final corner and once again Petrov stuck to his gearbox on the start/finish straight.

Unusually, Hamilton chose to weave across the start/finish straight in a move that looked like mild tyre warming and Petrov chose to follow him. This time the Renault driver couldn't make it back past and Hamiton had P8 to himself, though stewards would warn Hamilton about the move.

While Hamilton was clambering over the midfield, the cars at the front held station with Sebastian Vettel no more than two seconds in front of his team-mate. Significantly there were three Renault engines in the top four places.

With no sign of rain and the Toro Rossos in front, Button decided to pit for his one mandatory tyre stop and go on to the harder prime tyre on Lap 10. A lap earlier he'd cruised past the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso which seemed to be having a downshift problem on the F10.

At the same time Michael Schumacher was parking his Mercedes with a broken rear suspension. Button with his new tyres immediately started putting in fastest laps of the race. The addition of new rubber through 56 laps helped Button, Hamilton, Massa, Alonso, Rosberg and Sutil all to claim fastest laps at one stage, while Vettel and Webber did it on sheer pace.

ORDER ON LAP 11 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Rosberg, 4. Kubica 5.Sutil, 6.|Hulkenberg, 7.Liuzzi, 8.Hamilton, 9.Petrov, 10.Alguersuari, 11.Buemi, 12.Massa

Liuzzi slowed and returned to the pits on Lap 12. Petrov and Hulkenberg pitted on Lap 13 and Button managed to jump them both, along with Sebastien Buemi. Hamilton started reeling in Sutil who pitted on Lap 20 and rejoined in front of Button. Kubica pitted on Lap 21 and Rosberg pitted on Lap 22. Vettel had an error-free pit-stop on Lap 23, but Mark Webber had a slight delay when the tyre gun was slow to come off his front right tyre. It didn't lose him position because he was so far in front of Rosberg, he just lost a few seconds to Vettel and came out behind the yet-to-stop Hamilton instead of in front of him.

ORDER ON LAP 25: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton (not stopped), 3.Webber, 4. Rosberg 5.Kubica, 6.Massa (not stopped), 7.Alonso (not stopped), 8.Sutil, 9.Button, 10.Hulkenberg

Of the cars still to stop, Felipe pitted on lap 26 and rejoined in P9 behind Button and duly produced a fastest lap that was 1.7 seconds faster than any other so far - a 1:38.002 as he hauled Button in very quickly.

Hamilton pitted on Lap 30 and exited almost side by side with Jenson Button and the World Champ left him room up the inside to make an easy pass. On fresh tyres Hamilton was soon away after Sutil's P5 and P7 Button was left to contend with the charging Massa.

Alonso finally pitted on Lap 35 and rejoined in P9 behind Felipe Massa, the Spaniard coping very well with his downshift abnormality. Like his team-mate Alonso was able to make stellar progress with the option tyre and began to haul his team-mate in. Massa had caught Button while Hamilton had caught Sutil but it looked like there was nothing either of them could do to take the place.

In front of them it was boringly familiar with the front four places not changing and not looking likely to change outside of a major error or a mechanical fault.

ORDER ON LAP 42: 1.Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Rosberg, 4.Kubica, 5.Sutil 6.Hamilton, 7.Button, 8.Massa, 9.Alonso, 10.Alguersuari, 11.Hulkenberg, 12.Barrichello

On Lap 44 Massa managed to make a neat overtaking move on Button intoTurn 1 thanks to the use of the Ferrari "overtaking button". And from that point onward the Brit was under siege from Fernando Alonso for his 8th place. Fernando's use of the overtaking mix boost wasn't so effective and even though the Spaniard got past on Lap 46 into Turn 1, Button was able to cut back on the inside.

Released from Button, Massa was able to charge up behind the Sutil vs Hamilton battle that ran unchanged until the finish. Alonso tried another move at the beginning of the final lap but ran wide and at the same time blew his Ferrari engine as Button repeated the line he'd tried on Lap 46. So no points for Alonso which gave both Nico Hulkenberg his debut F1 points and increased Aluguersuari's haul in P9.

Mark Webber showed what he could have done if he'd let the Red Bull run loose by claiming the Fastest Lap on Lap 53 with a 1:37.054. Vettel cruised to the win ahead of the Australian with Nico Rosberg a long way back in P3 shadowed by Kubica in P4.

The false optimism of those that had maintained F1 was interesting without rainfall had been well and truly dismissed. The rain that "always comes" at that time of the afternoon at this time of year, didn't, and once the out-of-position Ferraris and McLarens had met their aerodynamic matches all racing stopped.

However it was an ominous 1-2 for Red Bull having proved reliable in the hottest race of the year. It could be a different kind of redwash from now on.


1 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:33:48.412
2 M. Webber Red Bull + 4.849
3 N. Rosberg Mercedes Grand Prix + 13.504
4 R. Kubica Renault + 18.589
5 A. Sutil Force India F1 + 21.059
6 L. Hamilton McLaren + 23.471
7 F. Massa Ferrari + 27.068
8 J. Button McLaren + 37.918
9 J. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:10.602
10 N. Hulkenberg Williams + 1:13.399
11 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:18.938
12 R. Barrichello Williams + 1 lap(s)
Did not finish
13 F. Alonso Ferrari + 2 lap(s)
14 L. Di Grassi Virgin Racing + 3 lap(s)
15 K. Chandhok HRT F1 Team + 3 lap(s)
16 B. Senna HRT F1 Team + 4 lap(s)
17 J. Trulli Lotus F1 + 5 lap(s)
18 H. Kovalainen Lotus F1 + 10 lap(s)
19 V. Petrov Renault + 24 lap(s)
20 V. Liuzzi Force India F1 + 44 lap(s)
21 M. Schumacher Mercedes Grand Prix + 47 lap(s)
22 K. Kobayashi Sauber + 48 lap(s)
23 T. Glock Virgin Racing + 54 lap(s)
24 P. de la Rosa Sauber + 56 lap(s)

Australia GP

Sebastian Vettel
Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa

Australia GP: Brilliant Button wins Down Under

Sunday 28th March 2010

Jenson Button claimed an emphatic victory in Sunday's Australian GP thanks to an inspired tyre strategy call from the World Champ himself...

In an incident-packed race, which started in light rain on intermediate tyres, Button was the first to take the gamble to go out on slick tyres and it ultimately paid off.

Polesitter Sebastian Vettel exited the race on Lap 26 after a rear brake failure, while Lewis Hamilton's charge through the field was halted by a switch to new option tyres. Robert Kubica held on for P2 on one set of tyres while Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso also nursed a set of soft tyres for 50+ laps around Albert Park to take P3 and P4.

Nico Rosberg came home fifth ahead of Hamilton in sixth and a distant Tonio Liuzzi in seventh.

PRE-RACE NEWS:Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock opted to start from the pitlane after Virgin Racing replaced parts on its cars after qualifying. At the last minute Jarno Trulli's Lotus had to be hauled back into the garage with a hydraulics problem and he started from pitlane. The drivers continued their grid absence in protest at not having their physios granted passes.

CONDITIONS:Overcast with rain. Officially started as a wet race with all drivers on Inters. 26C ambient, 23C track.


1. Vettel, 2.Webber, 3.Alonso, 4.Button, 5.Massa, 6.Rosberg 7.Schumacher, 8.Barrichello, 9.Kubica, 10.Sutil 11.Hamilton, 12.Buemi, 13.Liuzzi, 14.Hulkenberg


Vettel got a great start away as did Felipe Massa from P5 on the grid as the cars headed into Turn 1 the Red Bulls were split by Massa, but it was Fernando Alonso starting from P3 who dropped back. He had Michael Schumacher up on his outside and Jenson Button on his inside and even though the McLaren should have been visible, Alonso closed the door. The Ferrari got spun round as the World Champion had nowhere to go and tagged his rear wheel. As the Ferrari spun so Michael Schumacher got nudged and his front wing damaged. Button lost ground as the field took avoiding action and flooded past. Buemi's Toro Rosso headed for the gravel while a front wing failure on Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber on the way to Turn 3 pitched him into the barriers, his car careering across the track and impacting the innocent Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastien Buemi.

With three car casualties on the opening lap it was an easy decision for Race Director Charlie Whiting to call a Safety Car as Schumacher headed for the pits and a new nose.


Michael Schumacher needed to head back to the pits for a new front wing, meanwhile Kobayashi, Buemi and Hulkenberg were out and Trulli's race didn't even start.


1. Vettel 2.Massa 3.Webber 4.Kubica 5.Rosberg 6.Button, 7.Hamilton, 8.Sutil, 9.Barrichello, 10.Petrov


Because the race had started on Inters, there was no requirement to stop for an alternative tyre choice, so the mass influx to the pitlane that was expected under a Safety Car didn't happen.

The Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 4 and we were racing again. Mark Webber was soon past the uncertain Massa as the race began to settle down. Hamilton showed signs of wanting to get past Button

Suddenly on Lap 6 Jenson Button headed for the pits to take on slick tyres. It was an incredible gamble that almost looked to have come undone as he went straight on at Turn 3. At the same time another team's engineer was telling his driver that there was more rain on the way. At that point Jenson was P.19.

One lap later and the floodgates of pit-stops opened as Hamilton, Massa, Kubica and Rosberg, Barrichello all came in for tyres. The 55m pitlane exclusion zone had been reduced to 30m but it still meant that Massa and Hamilton had to be held in their boxes while other cars came out, thus Kubica jumped Massa and Barrichello jumped Hamilton. Because Fernando Alonso was so far back, Ferrari were abelt o make up places by pitting both cars on the same lap.

Neither Red Bulls stopped and a lap later Vettel came in and a lap after that Mark Webber headed for the pits by which time they'd lost a lot of ground to other cars. Robert Kubica had emerged in front of Jenson Button, but with warmer tyres Jenson was soon past him. By the time two Red Bulls came back out Vitaly Petrov had disappeared into the gravel


1.Vettel, 2.Button, 3.Kubica, 4. Rosberg 5.Massa, 6.Webber, 7.Hamilton, 8.Barrichello, la Rosa 10.Alonso

Button had made his own choice of going to slicks because he was having such a bad time of it on the Inters, while the Red Bulls were quite happy on Inters so hung out there for longer. Vettel was just about able to hold on to his lead but on Lap 12 the gap to Button was just 1.7 seconds. Had Button not had his minor 'off' then he would have been in the lead.

By Lap 14 Alonso had got past Barrichello for P8. A lap later Mark Webber was able to out-drag Massa on the straight and overtake him into Turn 1. What's more, he took Lewis Hamilton through with him and such was Hamilton's momentum that he was easily ahead of Webber by Turn 3. Mindful that it was Mark's home grand prix and he was going to fight he left the Red Bull a lot of space.

It was a good job too because Webber had left his braking far too late and went sailing on into the gravel while Hamilton had to brake to avoid him as he flew past. Felipe Massa was the grateful beneficiary and continued on in P5 again. Alonso was through to P7 and Webber back down to P8.

It took Lewis another six laps to get on terms with Massa who was really struggling in the final two turns of the lap. When he ran wide on lap 20 Hamilton was onto his tail and able to outdrag him down the straight. As they came past the pits Massa jinked right and caught Hamilton's front wing, a carbon element flying off. Hamilton had to go on the wet line to brake but he was through - just.

Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso tried to take advantage of Massa but had to drop back and in doing so Mark Webber slipped through into P7. On Lap 25 Vettel's lead was 4.5 seconds over Jenson Button and further back down the field Michael Schumacher had finally got past the stubborn Jaime Alguersuari.

Then on Lap 26 it all changed. Sebastian Vettel locked his rear brake and the Red Bull was pitched into the gravel. At the same time Lewis Hamilton was making the most stupendous of overtaking moves on Nico Rosberg around the ouside into Turn 12.

So on lap 27 we had a McLaren 1-3 with Hamilton quicky closing on the back of P2 man Robert Kubica. Mark Webber got past Felipe Massa again on lap 28.


1.Button, 2.Kubica, 3.Hamilton 4. Rosberg 5.Webber 6.Massa, 7.Alonso, 8.Barrichello, 9.Liuzi la Rosa

On lap 30 Michael Schumacher was the first driver to head for the pits to see the effect of a second set of soft tyres. A lap later and he'd put in the fastest lap. The big question was: would the soft option tyre last 50+ laps of Albert Park.

On Lap 32 Mark Webber decided to come in for a second set and a lap later Nico Rosberg decided to follow suit. When Lewis Hamilton was called in by Mclaren on Lap 34 that promoted the Ferraris to P3 and P4 from the position they'd been in which was P6 and P7.

At that point the Mclaren team looked to have covered both the tyre wear options. Should the one-stoppers' tyres begin to fade, they were in the lead of the two-stoppers. Should they last till the end, they were also in front (with Jenson Button) of the one-stoppers.

Hamilton, Webber and Rosberg hauled in Messrs Kubica, Massa and Alonso at one and a half to two seconds a lap, while at the front Button eased away from second placed Kubica. By lap 42 he had a fifteen second lead.


1.Button, 2.Kubica, 3.Massa 4. Alonso 5.Hamilton 6., 6.Webber , 7.Rosberg, 8.Liuzi, la Rosa, 10.Barrichello, 11.Alguersuari, 12.Schumacher

Webber and Hamilton traded fastest laps until Hamilton latched onto the back of Alonso on Lap 46. Fernando had looked quicker than Massa for fifteen or so laps but could find no way past. Now he began to dop off the back of his team-mate slightly as he optimised his speed for defence of P4 from the McLaren driver.

Hamilton, finding no way through, began complaining on his radio that his tyres were going off. Webber was in close attendance behind Hamilton ready to capitalise on any spat that Alonso and Hamilton might have. He had to wait till three laps before the end. Hamilton got alongside and slightly ahead of the Ferrari driver for Turn 12, but was stuck on the outside line. As Hamilton allowed Alonso to undercut him into the turn Webber did the most inexpert of punts, hitting the rear of the McLaren and knocking his own front wing off and in the process.

Hamilton was able to continue out of the gravel but Webber had to head for the pits and a new nose. It demoted Hamilton from P5 to P6 and Webber resumed in P9 though potentially facing some kind of penalty for the race in Malaysia.

At the front Button cruised to his first win for McLaren, his easy driving style allowing him to preserve his tyres to the end and build an eighteen second lead at one point. It was perfect justification for his move to McLaren from Mercedes and for McLaren to hire the Brit in the same team as Lewis.

It was also a triumph for the faultless Robert Kubica and a tremendous recovery for Ferrari - their F10's ability to preserve their tyres reinforcing their championship bid. Mark Webber has been traditionally unlucky at his home GP, but today he was fortunate to have a car still running at the end.


1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h33:36.531
2. Kubica Renault + 12.034
3. Massa Ferrari + 14.488
4. Alonso Ferrari + 16.304
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 16.683
6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 29.898
7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 59.847
8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:00.536
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 1:07.319
10. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:09.391
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:11.301
12. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1:14.084
13. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
14. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 41
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 26
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 25
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 12
Petrov Renault 10
Senna HRT-Cosworth 5
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1

Bahrain GP

Fernando Alonso
Bahrain start
Michael Schumacher leads Jensen Button
Sebastian Vettel

Bahrain GP:

Sunday 14th March 2010

Fernando Alonso started his Ferrari career with a bang, winning the season-opening Bahrain GP ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.

With the new regulations, new drivers and new teams all coming into play, the outcome of the Sakhir race was anybody's guess, although many were surmising that Ferrari were the favourites.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had their measure throughout the first half of the grand prix. However, a broken exhaust gave the Red Bull racer a power loss - costing him up to three seconds a lap. It also cost him a podium position as as he was overhauled by Alonso, Massa and Hamilton.

Vettel finished fourth ahead of Rosberg, Michael Schumacher and World Champion Jenson Button who came home in seventh place for his new team.


PRE-RACE NEWS: Ferrari made a precautionary engine change to both Massa and Alonso's cars after spotting "abnormalities" in the telemetry. Adrian Sutil was the only top ten runner to use the harder, prime tyre. Both Hispania cars started from the pitlane to avoid a potential first corner melee.

CONDITIONS: Bright sunshine, 35C ambient, 39C track.

GRID: 1. Vettel, 2.Massa, 3.Alonso, 4.Hamilton, 5.Rosberg 6.Webber, 7.Schumacher, 8.Button, 9.Kubica, 10.Sutil 11.Barrichello, 12.Liuzzi

START: As the red lights went out Vettel was smartly away, followed by the two Ferraris and Lewis Hamilton tentatively looking up the inside into Turn 1. The Red Bull was under no threat, but Fernando Alonso was able to get round the outside of Felipe Massa and then take the inside line for Turn 2.

Hamilton was playing it safe for the first turn but after Turn 2 started to push Massa and even got his nose in front going up to Turn 4. Massa saw him, moved over on him and pushed the McLaren off-track. The Ferrari kept its line for the turn and when Hamilton ran wide he lost momentum and Rosberg was able to take P4 off him.

Mark Webber ran side by side through Turn 1 and 2 with Michael Schumacher and lost out at the exit at which point the Red Bull emitted huge bouts of smoke as though it had blown an engine. Those behind were naturally compromised by the lack of vision. Right behind him Kubica spun forcing Sutil to do the same while the rest of the field took avoiding action.

Button passed Webber, but then Webber got him back before Turn 7.

CASUALTIES: No front wings damaged, but Sutil and Kubica's opening bid for points were effectively over. At the end of the opening lap they were 22nd and 21st.

LAP ONE ORDER: 1.Vettel, 2.Alonso, 3.Massa, 4.Rosberg, 5.Hamilton, 6.Schumacher, 7.Webber, 8.Button, 9.Liuzzi, 10.Barrichello, 11.Petrov, 12.Kobayashi, 13.Hulkenberg, 14. de la Rosa

RACE DEVELOPMENTS: Vettel had a two second lead after the opening lap but Alonso soon began to put a halt on that kind of progress. The race settled into a groove with Vettel leading from the two Ferraris, Rosberg slowly dropping back and holding up Hamilton.

Newcomers Karun Chandhok (Hisopania) and Lucas Di Grassi (Virgin) soon parked their cars while rookie Nico Hulkenberg lost control of his Williams and went off track on Lap 3 damaging his aero package and necessitating a return to the pits.

By Lap 13 Vettel had a 4.1 gap over Alonso who headed team-mate Massa by 2.2 seconds with Nico Rosberg's Mercedes a cavernous 11 seconds in arrears.

With nothing to lose Robert Kubica pitted early for a new set of prime tyres and immediately set the Fastest Lap on lap 14 of 2:01.397.

Spotting the advantage of a tyre change and clearly stuck behind a slower car Lewis Hamilton was first to dive in for his second set of Bridgestones on Lap 15 as did Michael Schumacher.

The reactive set of pit-stops for the front runners soon followed: Alonso, Rosberg, Webber and Button came in on Lap 16 and then Vettel and Massa on Lap 17. The shake-up was that Hamilton jumped Rosberg and Button jumped Webber.

ORDER ON LAP 19: 1.Vettel, 2.Alonso, 3.Massa, 4.Liuzzi (not stopped), 5.Hamilton, 6.Barrichello (not stopped), 7.Rosberg, 8.Schumacher, 9.Button, 10.Webber, 11.Buemi (not stopped).

SECOND STINT: Vettel's gap at the front varied in the second (and final) stint. On Lap 19 it was 3.4 seconds, by Lap 27 it had dropped to 2.4 seconds with Massa still in close attendance.

Then all of a sudden Alonso began to close up, not least helped by the Fastest Lap on Lap 29 of 1:59.583 reducing the gap to 1.5. By Lap 30 it was down to 1.1, but as Fernando got into the turbulent air of the Red Bull he began to get overheating problems and had to drop bac.

Then on Lap 33 as Ferrari were instructing third place Felipe Massa to short-shift to preserve engine life, the Red Bull out front started to slow. The change in tone to the exhaust note indicated that Vettel had a cracked exhaust.

Alonso simply cruised past him and and half a lap later Massa was though to make it a Ferrari 1-2. At which point Alonso really began to stretch his legs and opened up an unbreachable gap to Massa, while Lewis Hamilton closed and passed the ailing Vettel on Lap 38.

At this point of the 49-lap race Vettel looked like fading to 6th or 7th as he was losing three seconds a lap to his pursuers, Rosberg, Schumacher and Button. However Sebastian was able to steady his rate of loss and although he was only a second clear of Rosberg on Lap 47, by Lap 48 he'd increased that gap to 1.3.

Behind Rosberg Button closed on 6th place Michael Schumacher but couldn't get close enough in the twisty middle sector to make the McLaren's speed advantage pay on the straight. Similarly, Mark Webber had a frustrating time behind Button, unable to get near the McLaren on places where he could overtake but following him closely through corners where high downforce was at a premium.

Alonso duly crossed the line for an impressive debut with Felipe Massa making it the almost-perfect return and the perfect start for the Scuderia. Hamilton's podium place was better than he'd expected, Vettel's fourth place frustrating. Rosberg and Schumacher got solid points for Mercedes in 5th and 6th. Button's 7th owed much to poor qualifying and Webber's 8th was lacklustre compared to the pace of his team-mate. Liuzzi was only six seconds back in 9th and Barrichello claimed a point on his Williams debut in 10th

MENTIONED IN DISPATCHES: Virgin's Timo Glock managed to get past Kovalainen to lead the race of the new teams but lost gears and had to retire. Heiki Kovalainen's Lotus put in a 2:02 lap at the close which was just two seconds off the pace of the leaders. Robert Kubica recovered from his spin to finish 11th and Sutil 12th. Vitaly Petrov had a great start and led his team-mate but retired.

SUMMARY: It wasn't a great advert for F1 and had Vettel's exhaust held up, the interest would have dipped even further. Alonso, once given the green light to use his car free of heat and tyre restrictions looked ominously quick.


1 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:39:20.396
2 F. Massa Ferrari + 16.099
3 L. Hamilton McLaren + 23.182
4 S. Vettel Red Bull + 38.799
5 N. Rosberg Mercedes Grand Prix + 40.213
6 M. Schumacher Mercedes Grand Prix + 44.163
7 J. Button McLaren + 45.280
8 M. Webber Red Bull + 46.360
9 V. Liuzzi Force India F1 + 53.008
10 R. Barrichello Williams + 1:02.489
11 R. Kubica Renault + 1:09.093
12 A. Sutil Force India F1 + 1:22.958
13 J. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:32.656
14 N. Hulkenberg Williams + 1 lap
15 H. Kovalainen Lotus F1 + 2 laps
16 J. Trulli Lotus F1 + 3 laps
Did not finish
17 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 3 laps
18 P. de la Rosa Sauber + 21 laps
19 B. Senna HRT F1 Team + 32 laps
20 T. Glock Virgin Racing + 33 laps
21 V. Petrov Renault + 36 laps
22 K. Kobayashi Sauber + 38 laps
23 L. Di Grassi Virgin Racing + 46 laps
24 K. Chandhok HRT F1 Team + 47 laps

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This page was updated on November 15th. 2010.

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