Archive for the ‘Sebastian Vettel’ Category

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Vettel Steals Title in Abu Dhabi

November 14, 2010

Sebastian Vettel stole the 2010 Formula One World Championship from under Fernando Alonso and teammate Mark Webber’s noses this afternoon, after winning the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Vettel, who started from pole got a clean getaway, keeping second-place starter Lewis Hamilton behind him into turn one, while Jenson Button claimed third from championship leader Alonso.

Within just a few corners Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher made contact, the latter finding himself in a spin, and while the rest of the field tried to tip-toe around him, Vitantonio Liuzzi found he had nowhere else to go and his front wing ended up on top of Schumacher’s car.

The safety car was deployed and the mid field peeled into the pits, including Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov. At the restart at the end of lap five, Vettel led Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Webber, and after unsuccessfully trying to pass Alonso, Webber pitted on lap 12 to switch to the harder of the two compound tyres. He rejoined the track in 16th, behind Jaime Alguersuari, and spent the next couple of laps trying to pass him.

Ferrari tried a new tactic on lap 14, pitting Felipe Massa from fifth to try and get him ahead of Webber and ruin his race, to increase Alonso’s chances of taking the championship, but Massa rejoined behind Webber, just before Webber passed Alguersuari for 14th.

On lap 15, seeing that Webber and Massa were a fair bit faster on the medium compound tyre, Ferrari pitted Alonso to cover off Webber, and while they got him out ahead of the Red Bull driver, it proved to be what decided the title, as Alonso found himself staring at the back on Petrov’s gearbox for the rest of the race, unable to pass on a circuit which has proved in its two years to not open up many overtaking opportunities, and therefore meaning he couldn’t score enough points.

As Alonso got stuck behind the Renault, Red Bull and McLaren then chose to keep Vettel, Hamilton and Button out instead of bringing them in for fresh tyres – the aim to ensure they stayed ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Robert Kubica in fourth and fifth respectively, and both of whom were running long into the first stint on the harder compound tyre.

McLaren eventually chose to pit Hamilton on lap 23, and he rejoined behind the squabbling pair. On lap 25 Kubica passed Kobayashi, with Hamilton following suit on lap 26, but after that Hamilton was unable to pass Kubica. On lap 25, Vettel pitted, but unlike Hamilton was able to stay ahead of Kubica.

Button took the lead of the race until lap 39, when McLaren pitted him, realising he wasn’t going to pull out anymore of a lead over Kubica. He rejoined behind Hamilton, and the pair continued their fight against the Renault driver.

On lap 46, Kubica finally pitted for his mandatory pit stop, and having built up a 23 second lead over the Petrov-Alonso-Webber chain, he was able to rejoin the track ahead of them all, causing yet another headache for Alonso. Hamilton and Button regained second and third, and from then Vettel had the race under control.

As he crossed the line he had no idea his win meant he had won the championship, until Alonso and Webber crossed the line in seventh and eighth behind Rosberg, Kubica and Petrov in fourth, fifth and sixth, and the team told him he was the new champion. Alguersuari and Massa rounded out the top ten.

Vettel’s win gave him a final total of 256 world championship points, four ahead of Alonso on 252, with Webber on 242 and Hamilton on 240.

Following his win and being told he had won the title, Vettel let out all his emotions, crying both over the radio and on the podium. Despite the mistakes that he has made this season, in the last few races he has proved he really deserves this title.

McLaren have secured second in the Constructors’ Championship on 454 points, with Ferrari on 396, 102 behind Constructors’ Champions Red Bull on 498.

So that’s it for the 2010 season. The 2011 season will begin in Bahrain next March.

 

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Vettel on Pole for Final Race of 2010

November 13, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the final race of the 2010 Formula One season from pole, his tenth of the season, after setting a lap time of 1:39.394 in qualifying for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will start from second having missed out by less than a tenth of a second. Championship leader Fernando Alonso will start from third ahead of main rival Mark Webber who will start fifth, with Jenson Button splitting the pair in fourth.

Webber was disappointed with his lack of pace and subsequent grid position, and with Alonso ahead in third, the pressure will no doubt be getting to him if he is to take his first title. Hamilton, who sits 24 points adrift of Alonso will need a win, with Alonso failing to finish in the points, and Vettel finishing no higher than third, with Webber no higher than sixth to take the title. For Vettel, he needs a win or second position to get ahead of Alonso.

In the second half of the top ten, Felipe Massa set the sixth fastest time, with Rubens Barrichello seventh, Michael Schumacher eighth, Nico Rosberg ninth, and Vitaly Petrov tenth.

In Q1 the usual suspects found themselves in the dropout zone – Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Christian Klien in 18th to 24th respectively. Jaime Alguersuari just pipped his Toro Rosso teammate to get through to Q2, the two cars the only of the established teams without an F-duct.

In Q2 Robert Kubica, Kamui Kobayashi, Adrian Sutil, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Hulkenberg, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Alguersuari dropped out in 11th down to 17th respectively.

Vettel is in the best position for tomorrow’s race, and he’ll be hoping to stay there if he’s to get the best shot at the title. Hamilton will be on the attack straight away, unless the stewards penalise him for his incident with Massa in Q2. Webber has a fight on his hands if he’s going to take the title, and he’ll be hunting Alonso straight off the start to give him the best possible chance.

So with the grid a bit more shaken up than normal, anything could happen in tomorrow’s race. But who is going to walk away with the ultimate prize? Four men remain in the hunt, and while Alonso is in the best position, it could still be anyone’s for the taking.

The race starts at 1pm UK time tomorrow, and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

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Vettel Wins in Brazil, Red Bull Secure Constructors’ Championship

November 8, 2010

Sebastian Vettel won this afternoon’s Brazilian Grand Prix, leading home teammate Mark Webber for a Red Bull one-two to secure the team’s first constructors’ championship.

Vettel got a great start from second on the grid, immediately passing pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg to take the lead. Webber quickly followed his teammate past the German driver, while Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso battled it out for fourth, the latter finally winning the position after Hamilton outbraked himself into turn four. While the Red Bulls charged off into the lead, Alonso was left to try and pass Hulkenberg, who was a second-per-lap slower than the two Red Bulls. Alonso finally passed the German on lap seven, and it was then down to Hamilton to try and get through.

Hamilton struggled as Hulkenberg defended well, and it wasn’t until the German pitted on lap 15 that Hamilton finally made his escape.

In the meantime, Jenson Button pitted from tenth on lap 12 to try and avoid getting caught up in the traffic trailing Hulkenberg, and it paid off as by Hulkenberg’s stop, Button was able to leapfrog him.

Hamilton put in some faster laps in clear air, and by the time he pitted on lap 21, he was able to rejoin the track well ahead of Hulkenberg, and ahead of teammate Button, the two McLarens sixth and seventh.

Alonso pitted on lap 25 as it became apparent Hamilton’s pace was quicker on the harder compound tyre. Red Bull then pitted both Vettel and Webber on laps 26 and 27 respectively.

On lap 26, after Kamui Kobayashi locked his left-front brakes into turn one, Hamilton was able to snatch fifth, and a lap later he was back into fourth after Nico Rosberg pitted for his scheduled stop.

With 20 laps remaining, Vitantonio Liuzzi found himself in the wall at turn two, and the safety car was deployed. Hamilton, who had been complaining of lack of grip, pitted for fresh tyres, and Button followed him in a lap later. McLaren timed it just right as both drivers were able to maintain their positions, but on track, they were out of sync with the front-runners as the backmarkers were bunched up in between.

At the restart, Vettel was able to get a clear lead as Webber, Alonso and the McLarens had to lap the out of position cars – something that proved to be rather chaotic.

With no other dramas and the five title contenders remaining as the top five in the race, Vettel led Webber over the line for a Red Bull one-two, with Alonso in third and Hamilton and Button fourth and fifth. Red Bull were able to secure the Constructors’ Championship, while Vettel brings the gap down to 15 points from Alonso in the drivers’ championship, with Alonso just eight ahead of Webber heading into the final round in Abu Dhabi next weekend. Hamilton is 24 points behind Alonso, and while he is mathematically still in with a chance, it seems to all be over for him. For Button, his hopes of retaining his title are over as he slips back to 47 points adrift from Alonso.

So who will be crowned champion in Abu Dhabi? Qualifying is live next Saturday 13th, with the race live on BBC1 at 1pm on Sunday 14th November.

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Vettel on Pole for First Ever Korean GP

October 23, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the first ever Korean Grand Prix from pole, after setting a time of 1:35.585 in qualifying, less than a tenth of a second ahead of teammate Mark Webber.

Vettel and Webber lock out the front row yet again this season, but championship leader Webber will have to start on the dusty side of the new grid. Fernando Alonso will start third, despite looking for a long time like he had pole in the bag. Lewis Hamilton will start fourth, with Nico Rosberg fifth and Felipe Massa sixth.

Jenson Button struggled throughout qualifying for grip, and he will start from seventh ahead of Robert Kubica, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello who will start eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Elsewhere in qualifying, Hamilton was fastest in Q1, while Button struggled to get heat into the prime tyres, setting a time in tenth. In the dropout zone were the usual suspects, Vitantonio Liuzzi out in 18th, joining the new teams with Jarno Trulli 19th, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen 20th and 21st, and Lucas di Grassi, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna 22nd to 24th, respectively.

In Q2, Webber was fastest, while Button continued to struggle, and Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Nick Heidfeld, Adrian Sutil, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi found themselves out in 11th to 17th. Petrov will start 20th following his penalty for causing the first lap collision in Japan two weeks ago.

The race will start at 7am UK time tomorrow.

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Vettel Back on Top in Suzuka

October 10, 2010

Sebastian Vettel led from pole to take an important win in today’s Japanese Grand Prix to edge him closer to Mark Webber in the bid for the world championship, while first corner collisions saw the end to several drivers’ races, and Lewis Hamilton continued to have problems as after a troublesome weekend, his brand new gearbox lost third gear.

After qualifying was postponed to the morning of the race, Vettel and teammate Webber locked out the front row of the grid, and pretty much stayed where they were. At the start, Robert Kubica, who started third, split the Red Bulls, but after Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg’s collision straight off the start, and Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi’s coming together at the first corner, the safety car was deployed for five laps, and by lap three, Kubica had lost his right rear wheel, and he was forced to pull over at the hairpin.

The Red Bulls were then left in their own race, while a good start for Lewis meant he was able to make up for starting eighth after a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox, and he was soon into fifth behind Fernando Alonso and teammate Jenson Button.

The safety car returned to the pits at the end of lap six, and Vettel was leading from Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton. By lap 23 Hamilton became the first of the front-runners to pit, and the McLaren team were hoping to get him out in clear air in order for him to put in some fast laps to get closer to Alonso and a potential podium, but when he exited the pits in seventh, he found himself behind Kamui Kobayashi and in dirty air. However, within a few laps he was able to get into the slipstream of the BMW Sauber, and he passed him down into turn one.

Button, who had taken a gamble on the harder compound tyre to start the race on, took the lead as the leaders pitted, but was unable to pull out enough of a gap to ensure he remained ahead of Hamilton after his stop. Hamilton had put in some fast laps to get ahead of his teammate, but he soon ran into difficulty, and after it became apparent he had lost third gear, he started slipping back into Button’s clutches, and had to hand over fourth.

On lap 49, after the two Mercedes drivers had spent some time fighting over sixth, Nico Rosberg crashed out into the wall at turn five, after what appeared to be a failure of his left rear wheel. With just five laps to go, it looked like the safety car would have to be deployed, but the marshals were able to remove the car from the side of the track, and in the meantime, Kobayashi gave us some on-track action as he made a move on Barrichello, and a lap later passed teammate Nick Heidfeld to take seventh position.

Vettel took his third win of the season, leading home Webber for a Red Bull one-two, with Alonso in third. Button took fourth, while Hamilton finished fifth to take his first points since the Belgian Grand Prix. Schumacher finished sixth, with Kobayashi in seventh, Heidfeld eighth, Barrichello ninth and Sebastien Buemi in tenth, the last of the points-scorers. Jaime Alguersuari, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto finished 11th to 16th, respectively, each having been lapped at least once. As well as Rosberg, Kubica, Hulkenberg, Massa, Petrov and Liuzzi’s retirements, Adrian Sutil also failed to finish the race, following engine failure, while Lucas di Grassi failed to start the race after crashing his Virgin on the way to the grid.

In the drivers’ standings, Webber edges even further ahead on 220 points, with Vettel and Alonso both on 206 points, and Hamilton and Button on 192 and 189 points each. 31 points now separate the top five. In the constructors’ standings, Red Bull are 45 points ahead of McLaren.

The next race is in Korea in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 23rd October, and the race on Sunday 24th.

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Vettel Dominates in Hungary for Another Red Bull Pole

July 31, 2010

Sebastian Vettel took his seventh pole of the season this afternoon, in qualifying for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix, while McLaren struggled from a lack of downforce, the current champion dropping out in Q2.

Vettel set a time of 1:18.773 to qualify ahead of his teammate Mark Webber, who had been a contender until his final lap. The Ferraris find themselves on the second row of the grid, Fernando Alonso in third, ahead of his teammate, Felipe Massa, who returns to the track for the first time since his horrific accident in Q2 last year. Lewis Hamilton is a tenth behind the Brazilian, with Nico Rosberg in sixth, out-qualifying his teammate, Michael Schumacher, who will start down in 14th.

Vitaly Petrov, Robert Kubica, Pedro de la Rosa and Nico Hulkenberg round out the top 10, while Jenson Button will start in 11th after a poor Q2, while struggling for grip.

On a track which is renowned for being difficult to pass on, the start will be vital, and the key to a successful race. Who will win the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix? Tune in to BBC1 at 1pm tomorrow.

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Vettel Snatches Pole by a Whisker for His Home GP

July 24, 2010

Sebastian Vettel snatched pole by a whisker from Fernando Alonso in qualifying for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim this afternoon, to put him one step closer to a home Grand Prix win.

The Red Bull driver was flying on his final hot lap, setting a time that no one else could beat, stringing it all together seamlessly to take yet another pole for the Milton Keynes team.

Qualifying wasn’t completely his though, as Alonso looked like he had it in the bag, setting the fastest times in Q1 and Q2. But when it came down to it, pole was for one man only.

A red flag interrupted Q1, when Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed on the start/finish straight. Coming out of the final corner he got caught out on the new astro turf, and spun into the side of the pitwall. As his car crumpled, a tyre made its escape back across the track, and narrowly missed Timo Glock, who was making his way down the pit straight. Once the debris was clear, it was green lights again. Lucas di Grassi failed to set a time with gearbox problems, while Sakon Yamamoto failed to better Liuzzi’s time prior to his crash. Bruno Senna, Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli all joined di Grassi, Yamamoto and Liuzzi in the dropout zone. Due to a five-place grid-drop penalty, Glock will start from 24th, with Trulli, Kovalainen, Senna, Liuzzi, Yamamoto and di Grassi 18th to 23rd respectively.

In Q2, Michael Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov, Adrian Sutil, Pedro de la Rosa, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi all dropped out, but due to problems in free practice and a gearbox change in the morning, Sutil drops five places down to 19th, elevating Trulli and Kovalainen to 17th and 18th respectively, with de la Rosa, Alguersuari and Buemi up to 14th, 15th and 16th, while Schumacher, Kobayashi and Petrov remain 11th, 12th and 13th.

In the top 10 shoot-out, Alonso was looking set to follow up his fastest times in Q1 and Q2 with pole, but Vettel just snatched it by just two thousandths of a second. The German driver will be hoping for better success off the start line tomorrow, after his disasterous start from pole in Silverstone two weeks ago. Felipe Massa was also on form throughout qualifying, the two Ferrari drivers showing that the team is once again up-to-speed, and a challenger to the unstopable Red Bulls. The Brazilian driver starts from third ahead of Mark Webber in fourth, who had to bin his final lap after running wide. Jenson Button out-qualified Lewis Hamilton for the first time in several races, the two McLaren drivers taking the third row in fifth and sixth, respectively. Robert Kubica will start from seventh, alongside Rubens Barrichello in eighth, who came to Hockenheim following his success on the Top Gear track, beating The Stig’s time in the Reasonably Priced Car. Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg round out the top ten in ninth and tenth.

Tomorrow’s race looks like it could be exciting, with the top three teams competing for the top points. Alonso will be looking to snatch back from Vettel what he stole from him in the final stages of qualifying, while Vettel will be hoping to take his third win of the season in front of his home crowd. But with only two thousandths of a second in it, the race could be anyone’s for the taking.