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Recap & Analysis

  • Abu Dhabi win crowns Vettel 2010 World Champion

    That's right, against all odds Sebastian has won the 2010 Drivers Championship in a tense finale in Abu Dhabi. Vettel lead from start to finish while challengers Alonso and Webber got tangled amongst traffic and each other and could only manage 7th and 8th at the chequered flag.

    Alonso lost a position at the start to Jenson Button which left him running line astern with Webber. Meanwhile Schumacher spun at turn 5 and Liuzzi smashed into him in a nasty first lap incident which brought out the safety car, and several drivers chose to take the opportunity to pit.

    Soon after the restart the leaders' tyres started to fade, worst being that of the Red Bulls'. They decided to pit Webber who was stuck behind Alonso and Button. Ferrari then chose to cover the Australian and pitted both Massa and Alonso on consecutive laps.

    The problem was that the softer tyres recovered for those who elected to stick with them and they were able to go much further into the race.

    Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Kubica on the harder tyre managed to make it work and were able to pit and rejoin in front of the Alonso/Webber battle.

    Rosberg and Petrov were two of the drivers who decided to pit under the safety car and they kept their tyres in good shape to last until the finish. The under-fire Russian had a brilliant race and soaked up everything Alonso could throw at him for what must have been over 30 laps.

    Ultimately Red Bull made the wrong decision to pit Webber so early, but they had little to lose with fading tyres and the wrong position on track, they needed to do something. But it was Ferrari and their decision to cover Webber, who had the most to lose. If they'd stayed out like those in front of them a different man would have won the world championship.

    Albeit with hindsight, it was an expensive mistake to make, but they believed they were racing Webber and underestimated the pace of the Renaults and Mercedes.

    Sebastian Vettel took the win, and amazingly learned of his World Championship fortune over the team radio only when the others had crossed the finish line.

    He is the youngest ever Formula 1 World Champion, and in my opinion fully deserves the saught-after accolade. His end of season form has been breathtaking, and it's just that he has overcome his reliability gremlins which have kept him from leading the championship until this 19th and final round of the 2010 season.


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  • Abu Dhabi GP 2010
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Red Bull
  • 2010 Season
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Mark Webber
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  • Yas Marina Circuit
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Sebastian Vettel getting showered with champaign by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium - © RedBull/Getty

Vettel getting the shower of champions © RedBull/Getty

Position Driver Team Time
1 S Vettel Red Bull 1:39:36.837
2 L Hamilton McLaren +10.1 secs
3 J Button McLaren +11.0 secs
4 N Rosberg Mercedes +30.7 secs
5 R Kubica Renault +39.0 secs
6 V Petrov Renault +43.5 secs
7 F Alonso Ferrari +43.7 secs
8 M Webber Red Bull +44.2 secs
9 J Alguersuari Toro Rosso +50.2 secs
10 F Massa Ferrari +50.8 secs
11 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber +51.5 secs
12 R Barrichello Williams +57.6 secs
13 A Sutil Force India +58.3 secs
14 K Kobayashi BMW Sauber +59.5 secs
15 S Buemi Toro Rosso +63.1 secs
16 N Hulkenberg Williams +64.7 secs
17 H Kovalainen Lotus +1 lap
18 L Di Grassi Virgin +2 laps
19 B Senna HRT +2 laps
20 C Klien HRT +2 laps
DNF J Trulli Lotus +4 laps
DNF T Glock Virgin +12 laps
DNF M Schumacher Mercedes +54 laps
DNF V Liuzzi Force India +54 laps