Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso could not have expected a better race in a rain-affected Korean Grand Prix on Sunday. The Spanish driver scored one of the biggest wins of his career now and now enjoys an 11 points lead over Red Bull’s Mark Webber in the 2010 Formula One Championship, and there are only two more races to go.
The Korean GP could not have been worse than this for the Red Bull Racing team. Mark Webber crashed out early while running second, and Sebastien Vettel’s engine blew up as he was leading on the 46th lap.
The Korean GP turned out to be a major surprise even for the organsers, what had actually begun as an impending disaster, turned out to be well executed victory. The rain Gods were at their best and even before the race could be started, it started to pour so much that the race was red-flagged after just two laps had been run. After a lengthy delay, the conditions improved relatively, and the race began.
Vettel quickly took the lead from Webber with Alonso third and Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg fighting it out with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for fourth. But it all got over for Webber as he spun and hit the wall in Turn 13 on the 19th lap, collecting Rosberg in the process. Out came the safety car again until Lap 24, whereupon Vettel resumed control ahead of Alonso and Hamilton.
After their pit stops between Laps 31 and 32, Hamilton quickly moved ahead of Alonso as the he had a minor delay due to arriving slightly sideways and making it difficult for mechanics to access the right front wheel, and after Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi had taken out Virgin’s Timo Glock on the 31st under braking for Turn Three, they were racing under the safety car again.
And as racing re-started on the 35th lap, Hamilton ran wide in Turn One. On Lap 46, the Ferrari driver was trying his best to snatch the lead from Vettel. And on the exit to the corner, Vettel’s engine blew.
Lewis Hamilton made a quick run for the second place, while Felipe Massa made it a great day for Ferrari and also increased the team’s hope in the constructors’ championship, by grabbing the third place. Michael Schumacher, whose return had been such a joke so far, turned on a different leaf and took fourth place in the second Mercedes. While Robert Kubica, from team Renault, grabbed the fifth position, Tonio Liuzzi added some point to the Force India team with his sixth position finish.
Rubens Barrichello took the seventh position, ahead of the BMW Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld, and Hulkenberg recovered quickly to get the final point from Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari on the last lap.
The world championship is going to become all the more dramatic with the remaining two races. Red Bull still leads the pack with 426 points, but McLaren and Ferrari are back in their elements and quite close with 399 and 374 respectively.
Race Standings: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)- 2 hours, 48 minutes, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)- +2:48:35.809, Felipe Massa (Ferrari)- +2:48:51.678, Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)- + 2:49:00.498, Robert Kubica (Renault)- + 1:49:08.544, Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India)-+2:49:14.381, Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth)-+ 2:49:30.067, Kamui Kobayashi (BMW Sauber)-+ 2:49:38.699, Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)-+ 2:49:40.917, Nico Hulkenberg (Williams-Cosworth)-+2:49:41.661
Driver Standings: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) – 231, Mark Webber (Red Bull) – 220, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)-210, Sebastian Vettel (Redbull) – 206, Jenson Button (McLaren)-189, Felipe Massa (Ferrari) – 143, Robert Kubica (Renault)-124, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)- 122, Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)-66, Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth)-47, Adrian Sutil (Force India)- 47