Posts Tagged ‘Yeongam’

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Alonso Wins in Korea, Red Bulls Fail to Finish

October 24, 2010

Fernando Alonso has taken the lead of the championship after winning the first ever Korean Grand Prix – a race which was eventful to say the least.

The race started behind the safety car after a combination of heavy rain and a slippery new track delayed the start by ten minutes. At first it lasted four laps while the drivers complained the conditions were too dangerous, and once again, they lined up on the track in their grid positions.

The restart was then delayed until 4pm local time, and even then the race only got underway behind the safety car. The safety car stayed out until the 18th lap, with many drivers still saying the conditions were too dangerous, and others, including Lewis Hamilton saying that the conditions were fine to race in, Hamilton even saying the conditions were good enough for intermediates. As the track started to improve and visibility became far better, the safety car was pulled back into the pits and Sebastian Vettel lead the rest if the field through the first corner to get the race underway.

In the opening corners as the race finally got underway, Michael Schumacher made a move on Robert Kubica for eighth, and Nico Rosberg made a move on Hamilton for fourth. Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, who were sixth and seventh were also having their own personal battle, allowing Schumacher to sneak up behind them.

On lap 20, Mark Webber found himself out of the race after getting in a spin on the exit of turn 12. He collected Rosberg in the process, and the two crashed into the wall. The safety car was deployed while the wreckages were removed, and remained out until lap 23 when Vettel led Alonso and Hamilton into the restart.

By lap 27, Schumacher was making a move on Button, while Lucas di Grassi found himself out of the race. On lap 29, Button pitted early for intermediate tyres, but the gamble cost him, and with another safety car just a few laps later, he soon found himself towards the back of the field.

Hamilton, Massa and Schumacher pitted as soon as the safety car was deployed, to switch to intermediate tyres, and a lap later, Vettel and Alonso pitted to cover them off. Vettel rejoined in the lead, but Hamilton was able to get ahead of Alonso who had problems in the pitlane.

At the restart on lap 35, Vettel once again sprinted off ahead of Hamilton and Alonso, but Hamilton ran wide at turn one allowing Alonso back through into second. Hamilton was forced to go defensive against Massa, but was able to keep the second Ferrari behind him.

On lap 41, Vitaly Petrov lost the back end of his Renault and crashed into the wall at the entrance to the pitlane.¬†But the next big retirement came on lap 46, when raceleader Vettel’s engine failed, and he was forced to stop along the straight heading into turn three. Alonso took the lead, with Hamilton on his tail, but from then on, Hamilton’s tyres began to lose grip, and he began to lose two seconds per lap to Alonso.

Alonso crossed the line to take his fifth victory of the season, with Hamilton second and Massa third. Schumacher came through to finish fourth, with Kubica fifth, Vitantonio Liuzzi sixth, Rubens Barrichello seventh, Kamui Kobayashi eighth, Nick Heidfeld ninth and Nico Hulkenberg tenth. Button finished behind Jaime Alguersuari in 12th, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto.

Alonso’s win puts him in the lead of the championship on 231 points. Webber’s retirement has been significant in the fight for the title, as Webber’s 14 point advantage over Vettel and Alonso has been¬†diminished, as Alonso is now 11 points ahead of Webber. Hamilton is a further 10 points behind Webber on 210. Vettel is on 206, while Button trails on 189, 42 points off Alonso’s lead, and seemingly out of the championship unless he wins the next two races, and the others fail to be successful.

In the constructors’ standings Red Bull remain on 426, with McLaren just behind on 399 and Ferrari just behind them on 374.

The next race is in Brazil in two weeks time for the penultimate round of the season. We’ve seen that anything can happen and one race can change the shape of the championship, but who will leave Brazil and head to the last race in Abu Dhabi with the advantage? Qualifying is on Saturday 6th November, with the race live on BBC1 at 4pm on Sunday 7th.

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