Red Bull F1

From maverick to F1 World Champion in only 55 laps - Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing are the new 2010 F1 World Champions


The last race of the 2010 Formula 1 championship held at Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi witnessed one of the most exciting and thrilling finals since Formula 1 was launched 60 years ago.
As a matter of fact, there were almost infinite scenarios and calculations to determine the 2010 drivers World Championship winner.
In the following few lines, the different scenarios and calculations are summed up, based on the results of the penultimate race, which was held at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Brazil on the seventh of November 2010.

Fernando Alonso driving for Scuderia Ferrari (246 points) will be champion if:
- he finishes first or second
- he finishes third, fourth or fifth, and neither Webber nor Vettel win
- he finishes sixth, with Webber no higher than third and Vettel failing to win
- he finishes seventh or eighth, with Webber no higher than fourth and Vettel failing to win
- he finishes ninth, with Webber no higher than fifth and Vettel no higher than third
- he finishes 10th, with Webber no higher than sixth and Vettel no higher than third
- he fails to score, with Webber no higher than sixth, Vettel no higher than third and Hamilton failing to win
If no rivals score? Fernando Alonso is champion

Mark Webber driving for Red Bull Renault (238 points) will be champion if:
- he wins, with Alonso no higher than third
- he finishes second, with Alonso no higher than sixth and Vettel failing to win
- he finishes third, with Alonso no higher than seventh and Vettel failing to win
- he finishes fourth, with Alonso no higher than ninth and Vettel failing to win
- he finishes fifth, with Alonso no higher than tenth and Vettel failing to win
If no rivals score? Mark Webber must finish fifth or higher to become champion

Sebastian Vettel driving for Red Bull Renault (231 points) will be champion if:
- he wins, with Alonso no higher than fifth
- he finishes second with Alonso no higher than ninth and Webber no higher than fifth
If no rivals score? Sebastian Vettel must finish second or higher to become champion

Lewis Hamilton driving for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (222 points) will be champion if:
- he wins, with Alonso failing to score, Webber no higher than sixth and Vettel no higher than third
If no rivals score? Lewis Hamilton must win to become champion

There was even the deadlock theory where Alonso, Webber and Vettel could finish with the same points at the top - a result of Vettel winning, Webber taking second place and Alonso finishing fifth in Abu Dhabi. This scenario would give each of them 256 points. Vettel and Alonso would have five wins each, two second places each and three third places each. Still Sebastian Vettel would then be champion based on his three fourth places to Alonso’s two.

But what actually did happen at the end during the last Formula 1 week-end of the 2010 season held on the ultra-modern Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi?

The 23-year-old German Red Bull Renault driver Sebastian Vettel, who was one of the four men in contention for the title ahead of Sunday's season-ending race, produced a stunning qualifying lap to take pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who still had a slim chance of taking the crown, landed on P2, whereas championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari scored the 3rd slot on the starting grid.

Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber, second in the standings, came in fifth on the grid, a place behind Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button.

If the drivers would have finished the race in the same constellation as they have started it, Fernando Alonso would have clinched his third Formula 1 world title and his first for the Maranello based team, namely the Scuderia Ferrari.

As a matter of fact, all these predictions went down the tube when a superb start from 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button pushed Fernando Alonso down to fourth, while at the same time he managed to keep Webber at bay before a horrible collision between Michael Schumacher and Vitantonio Liuzzi at Turn Six initiated a safety car phase, which stayed for four laps.

Once the debris had been cleared, Sebastian Vettel started to exploit the open track to pull away, while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button worked hard to respond and Fernando Alonso focused on staying ahead of Mark Webber.

The Australian Red Bull title contender was struggling for speed and shortly after scratching a barrier at Turn 19 on lap eight, he pitted to switch from the softer option tyres to the harder prime version.
It was a huge gamble from Red Bull and it backfired as Mark Webber emerged from the pits in 16th and got stuck behind the Torro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari for quite some time.

Ferrari responded by calling Felipe Massa for his pit-stop, hoping he would emerge in front of Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber and further delay him. Unfortunately this scenario failed and Mark Webber was able to stay ahead of the Brazilian Ferrari driver

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

Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel was staying clear at the front and building a buffer which would enable him to change tires and regain the lead once his closest challengers had done the same.

The defining moment came when Red Bull called his German driver Sebastian 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 for the
remaining 40 laps of the race. Although the pair benefitted from a couple of other drivers pitting, Petrov would prove to be hard as granite. Even several encouraging and motivating lines from the team to the Spanish Ferrari driver did not help him to overcome the Russian obstacle, who drove the race of his life and used all possible racing techniques, beside the superior aerodynamics and F-duct of his Renault R30 to stay ahead of the Ferrari.

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

Renault's Robert Kubica had made his way up to second but both Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Hamilton and Button were closely chasing him and when the Pole made his pit-stop at the end of lap 46, the Englishmen were able to resume their chase of leading Red Bull Renault driver Sebastian Vettel.

All eyes were focused on whether Kubica would emerge from the pits ahead of championship leader Fernando Alonso. This was surely Alonso's last realistic hope - and when the Renault came out in front of the Ferrari, that hope was buried alive.

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

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

The 23-year-old Red Bull driver, who was third in the standings before the race, led from pole and saw other results go his way to become the Formula 1 youngest champion ever.
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 to grab the championship crown, finished in second place, while his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button crossed the finish line in third place.

Thus the final results showed Vettel finishing the 2010 Formula 1 drivers World Championship with 256 points, ahead of Fernando Alonso with 252, Mark Webber with 242 and Lewis Hamilton with 240.

In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull Renault of course had already won it after Sebastian Vettel’s win in Brazil but finished a brilliant season with 498 points to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ 454 and Ferrari’s 396.

It was a dramatic end to an action-packed season and gave Red Bull Renault and Sebastian Vettel, their first drivers' title only in their fifth Formula 1 season.


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