Korean GP 2010: Alonso Takes Victory At Inaugural Event
Fernando Alonso took victory at the first ever Korean Grand Prix today, and he took full advantage of a double Red Bull retirement to take the lead in the world championship.
Lewis Hamilton was 2nd for McLaren, while under fire Ferrari driver Felipe Massa hung on to third place.
The race was delayed significantly due to heavy rain on the new Korean circuit. The drivers completed a handful of laps behind the safety car, before the race was red flagged due to the appalling conditions. Many drivers including Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button complained they couldn’t see past their own steering wheel let alone see the car in front. Even the safety car driver was having trouble keeping it on the circuit!
Once the race was finally cleared to go, the drivers spent some 13 laps behind the safety car. Eventually they were green flagged and allowed on their way, and chaos would ensue for the rest of the race as conditions changed on the slippery fresh circuit.
Sebastian Vettel raced away from team mate Mark Webber, by around 2.5 seconds on the first lap making full use of a clear visor at the front of the field. The Australian Webber would have no luck in the race as he lost control on some astroturf in the built up “city” section of the circuit, sliding into a concrete barrier before careering back across the road and smashing into Nico Rosberg. Both men were out of the race.
Following another safety car period, Vettel began to pull away from Alonso until lap 30 when the safety car would emerge again thanks to Sebastian Buemi’s failed overtake on Timo Glock taking both of them out of the race.
At this point many drivers pitted for intermediates, but Alonso and Vettel had passed the pitlane entry so had to do a full lap under yellows before they could pit in for fresh Bridgestone’s. Vettel emerged in the lead, but there was a problem with Alonso’s right front tyre meaning he was demoted to 3rd. He didn’t stay there for long though, as Hamilton made a mistake on the restart and Fernando took the inside line and dispatched his former team mate with ease. He now began to track down Vettel.
Other drivers caught up in the action included Adrian Sutil who had a bit of a crazy race, slipping and sliding all over the track, bumping other cars but would eventually retire after breaking his suspension against Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber. Lucas di Grassi hit the wall on lap 25, and Vitaly Petrov had a horrible out of control slide into the barriers on lap 40 writing off the Renault.
Alonso and Hamilton were fairly close to Sebastian Vettel and even closer on the straight entering lap 46, when the Ferrari driver slotted his scarlet machine down the inside of Vettel. The Red Bull’s engine sounded ill, and it gave up on the next straight depositing its inners all over the circuit.
From here on, action was limited and Fernando Alonso took victory and the lead in the drivers championship. Hamilton was 2nd, with Massa in 3rd. Michael Schumacher deserves a special mention for a quality race of consistent driving and some great overtaking to take 4th place.
|2||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+14.999|
|6||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+53.571|
|7||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1.09.257|
|8||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+1.17.889|
|9||N. Heidfeld||Sauber Ferrari||+1.20.107|
|10||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1.20.851|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.24.146|
|12||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+1.29.939|
|13||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+ 1 lap|
|14||B. Senna||HRT Cosworth||+2 laps|
|15||S. Yamamoto||HRT Cosworth||+2 laps|
|A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||46||Incident Damage – Suspension|
|S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||45||Engine Failure|
|T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||30||Accident|
|S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||30||Accident|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||25||Accident|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||25||Incident Damage|
|M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||18||Accident|