Sebastian Vettel, of Red Bull, has become the 2010 Formula 1 World Champion in a dramatic last race of the season showdown during today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The 23 year old German claimed the Championship by four points from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard could only manage 7th place in today’s race.
Vettel started the race on pole after a great flying lap in yesterday’s qualifying and, despite a close call with second placed Lewis Hamilton, got away to lead the race from first to last.
Having begun the day 15 points behind Alonso, the Championship leader heading into the final weekend, Vettel knew that his rival must finish outside of the first four in order for his dream of a first World Championship to become a reality. Speaking on the team radio after his win, when it was clear he had lifted the Championship, a tearful Vettel said simply “unbelievable!” and appeared to be lost for words.
In the Abu Dhabi race, Hamilton finished second and Button, last year’s champ, was third, both for McLaren, but it was Roseberg, Kubica and Petrov who would prove pivotal, as the latter two Renault men’s decision to pit during a first lap safety car ensured they would get ahead of Alonso and Webber who were fighting for the Championship between themselves.
After the chequered flag, Alonso pulled alongside Petrov and gesticulated as if to suggest he was frustrated by the Russian scuppering his chances at another World title, but, speaking after the race, was more philosophical, and said that Petrov had “driven aggressively” and that he (Alonso) would “be back next year”.
Vettel’s win means that Red Bull have secured both the Constructor’s Championship – which they claimed last week – and the Driver’s World Championship for 2010, which, given their early-season dominance, seems to be about the right conclusion.
Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2010 Result
Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship 2010 Final Standings
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Ger||Red Bull-Renault||256|
|3||Mark Webber||Aus||Red Bull-Renault||242|
|7||Nico Rosberg||Ger||Mercedes GP||142|
|9||Michael Schumacher||Ger||Mercedes GP||72|
|11||Adrian Sutil||Ger||Force India-Mercedes||47|
|12||Kamui Kobayashi||Jpn||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||32|
|15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Ita||Force India-Mercedes||21|
|16||Sebastien Buemi||Swi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||8|
|17||Pedro de la Rosa||Spa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||6|
|18||Nick Heidfeld||Ger||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||6|
|19||Jaime Alguersuari||Spa||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||5|
|23||Lucas di Grassi||Brz||Virgin-Cosworth||0|