Some unfinished business
Suzuka 2014
Japanese Grand Prix
Alonso wins treacherous Korean Grand Prix, as Bulls falter
Scuderia Ferrari
Alonso wins treacherous Korean Grand Prix, as Bulls falter
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2010   |  10:46 am GMT  |  332 comments

Fernando Alonso won the Korean Grand Prix today in very difficult conditions, his first wet weather win, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.

It was a real game changer of a day as far as the championship is concerned, with Red Bull’s two title contenders failing to score; Mark Webber crashing out and Sebastian Vettel’s engine failing near the end. After a long fightback from being 47 points behind Webber after Silverstone, Alonso now has control of the points table.

Alonso hits the front with two races to go


Alonso leads by 11 points from Webber, with Hamilton up to third place, 21 behind the Spaniard.

So heavy was the rain at 3pm that the race started behind the safety car 10 minutes late. After three careful laps the Race Director Charlie Whiting decided to suspend the race. Fernando Alonso had radioed to say that the conditions were the worst he had ever driven in, while Jenson Button said that he couldn’t see where he was going.

After a delay of almost an hour the race was restarted behind the safety car for the 24 cars to circulate and clear water from the track. As the rain stopped Hamilton said via radio it was dry enough to race, Webber wasn’t too keen.

On lap 17 it was decided that it was safe to race and the field was released. Schumacher passed Kubica immediately for 8th, Rosberg passed Hamilton for 4th, the Mercedes looking strong at the start of proper racing.

On lap 20 Webber lost control of his car, spinning and hitting the wall, then was hit by Rosberg. Both cars were eliminated on the spot and the safety car was deployed again. It was a shame for Rosberg who looked particularly racy. Michael Schumacher had the most convincing weekend of his comeback so far with fourth place, so Rosberg could have been on the podium today.

This left Vettel leading from Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, Button, Schumacher, Kubica and Hulkenberg.

Petrov pitted for intermediate tyres on lap 21 and climbed to seventh place, running well until he crashed heavily on lap 41.

The race was restarted on lap 23. Vettel immediately opened up a two second lead over Alonso, who opened up a similar lead over Hamilton. Schumacher was pushing hard and soon went past Button for fifth place. Button was struggling at this point, three seconds a lap off the pace. He pitted on lap 28 for intermediate tyres, but rejoined behind a train of cars in P17.

Further back Timo Glock was up to P13, knowing that an 11th place would vault Virgin ahead of Lotus into 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship. With cars dropping out ahead, it could have been his, but sadly for him he was taken out by Sebastian Buemi on lap 31. This triggered another safety car. Buemi was hammered by the stewards for it, rightly, and will take a five place grid penalty in Brazil, as will Sutil.

Alonso: Four wins in last seven races (Ferrari)


It was the race’s turning point, as Vettel and Alonso stayed out, while Hamilton and the cars behind him pitted for intermediates. The two leaders pitted a lap later and Alonso lost second place to Hamilton, due to a slow change on the front right wheel. Alonso said it was his mistake, he slid on the way into the pit box.

But Hamilton was struggling on the new intermediate tyres and Alonso repassed him at the restart for second place.

Vettel led until the closing stages, but then his engine blew up spectacularly, robbing him of the chance to take the title lead. He now trails Alonso by 25 points.

Schumacher had his most convincing weekend since his comeback with a fourth place. The team made a set up change on the second grid which helped him in the conditions. Also scoring a vital sixth place was Tonio Liuzzi. This helped keep Force India 6th ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ Championship and may give his detractors in the team pause for thought, despite another unconvincing performance in qualifying.

With two races to go Alonso isn’t taking anything for granted. He has been on a strong run since July, scoring 133 points from seven races, but as Webber’s crash today shows, the new points system changes things quickly.

Alonso said that luck had been the biggest difference in his season since the mid point, where he started stringing results together.

“We’ve been competitive since Silverstone, ” he said. “We had a problem there, the car improved a lot and the team has done a fantastic job. We struggled to get on the podium at a certain part of the season, but we won more races than expected, today was luck with Webber crashing and Vettel’s engine. Finishing every race is what’s important. Next races we need to keep on the podium.”

KOREAN GRAND PRIX, Yeongam, 55 laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 2h48:20.810
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 14.999
3. Massa Ferrari + 30.868
4. Schumacher Mercedes + 39.688
5. Kubica Renault + 47.734
6. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 53.571
7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:09.257
8. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:17.889
9. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 1:20.107
10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:20.851
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:24.146
12. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:29.939
13. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
15. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

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332 Comments
  1. rafa says:

    this has got to be the most exciting race of the year so far imho. There´s something i really can´t fathom about vettel, he seems so much stronger than his teammate, but it´s always his car that seems hampered by reliability issues. Mark has only has two dnf´s so far this year and both due to crashes, while vettel has had quite a few mishaps with his car. it might be just fortune, but james, when we say that the rbr has had reliability problems all year doesn´t that statement fail to explain the difference in performance between Mark and sebastian´s cars?

    1. sender says:

      I would dare to disagree about the best race of the season. Montreal was a lot better than this. This was helped by rain. Of course the race was OK but definitaly not the best of the year.
      As for Sebastian having more troubles with the car than Mark – I am also wondering about that. Maybe Vettel pushes too hard or the car just can’t handle his driving style. I guess the team knows better than us.

      1. James Allen says:

        Montreal was full of mistakes, due to weird tyre behaviour. So it was exciting and unpredictable

      2. sender says:

        Yes, that is what I mean. The tyres played a big part but it was still very exciting and as you say – unpredictable. One would have to argue if tyre behavior should be the deciding factor but that is the situation that we have.
        All the good races this year have been either in rainy conditions or with some unpredictable elements.
        I would agree with people who say that the rain itself is not a guarantee of good racing – it’s rather sudden rain or changing conditions that enables the quality.
        So far Montreal and Turkey are standouts as good dry races this year. Maybe there are one or two more which were on the verge of excitement. The question is – is that enough?

    2. Alex says:

      Don’t forget that when Vettel had all those mechanical issues at the start of the year he was still leading Webber after them. Webber lost out on strategy on numerous occasions (Australia and China off the top of my head- fair enough as he was out qualified). Vettel has only out qualified Webber in the last two races by a combined total of just over a tenth- in Japan that was the race, and in normal conditions, would have been the race in Korea too. Vettel does have the edge, but only just…

  2. tmoney says:

    Hi James,

    Do you think Vettel will use a new engine and take a grid slot penalty in Brazil or run an old unit? Also how do you think Alonso is going as far as engines go?

    Webber seems to be in the best position as far as engines go I think? I am under the impression his last engine went in the car before practice 2 and only got about 3 laps of racing today.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      According to the BBC todays , Vettel has no more new engines, but has mileage on 2 old ones. Today’s was at the end of it’s life. One has to ask if it wasn’t compromosed by tootling around behind the safety car … James knows more about this than me, I’m sure ! Is that possible ?

      In any case, I’m sure he won’t take a penalty until they’re all on the scrapheap.

      Webbo had his last new motor for this race, so if it wasn’t damaged in the crash he’s sitting better than anyone.

      Alonso has no more new ones, but comfortable mileage on old ones.

      Lewis ? I don’t know.

      1. James Allen says:

        Alonso is going to use his Monza race engine for Brazil and Abu D

      2. Luke A says:

        Whoa and surely Monza will take more toll on a race engine than any other event? Doesn’t this mean that there is a possibility of his engine packing up in Abu Dhabi?

      3. Carlos says:

        Don’t they get a new engine at Abu Dhabi, because Korea was added to the schedule?

      4. CH1UNDA says:

        However Webber may have gearbox issues for being wacked from the back by Nico. Lewis is i think on his last motor. The Mercedes has looked very solid this season and had better hold out because if McLaren are to have their title hopes trully rejuvenated they have to aim for winning both races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi and hope Ferrari and Red Bulls take points off each other – hard but doable. The championship will be decided over the next two weeks by the quality of developments that McLaren take to Sao Paulo.

      5. er,go says:

        Monza is probably not the easiest track on engines, but Alonso does not have much choice. Low mileage, but tough miles. Webber has a nearly new engine for Brazil – that’s good.

  3. S.J.M says:

    Exciting race and (although RBR fans wont agree im sure) its opened up the title more then anyone could have hoped (unless Lewis had won to spread the points out more ofc). Aside from the delayed start/restart behind the saftey car it was an excellent advertisment for F1 in Korea and must have done the Gran Prix all the world of good. I expect it to be a sellout in 12months time.

    So into Brazil we go, with 1 man team Ferrari leading with Alonso (who has no spare engines and must be running on borrowed Milage at some point). 25 points seperatet the top 4, each with a weakness against them. Team politics could ultimatley settle this one, with Massa being excellent at his home race and RBR/Mclaren needing to sort out if they are going to put all their eggs in 1 basket.

    1. drums says:

      Yet Vettel and Webber, none have spare engines, to the best of my knowledge. How about the other top contenders?

      1. S.J.M says:

        as far as i know, Vettel has 2 used engines which could be used, not sure on Webber or Hamilton.

      2. Nando says:

        Got to love people playing the moral card against Mclaren in 2007, then plumping with Alonso :). There is more evidence against Alonso than Ron Dennis, Dennis didn’t have to make an amunity agreement to not get punished individually.
        If you’d said you supported neither after the debacle then it would have a little more credance, as it is it just looks like a dig at Mclaren.

    2. vodka and orange says:

      Ferrari have been a 1 man team all season…..there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Massa is not in Fernandos league as far as ability is concerned! Ferrari SHOULD have finished 1-2 on the podium today, but yet again Massa has an almost anonymous race!! Maybe at his home race he will be able to finish p2, but i doubt it. He cannot help Fernando by taking points away from his rivals, because he cant overtake anybody during the actual race. Red Bullies once again manage to shoot themselves in both feet, while they have both feet in their mouth! Hilarious!!! And they and McJalopies again are insisting both their drivers are allowed to race each other!!? Absolute business suicide by both teams!! Listening to Horner and Whitmarsh I was in hysterics!! They have really put the fun back into F1 this year for me!! Ferrari concentrate on their own race and strategy, while Red Bullies and McJalopies are stabbing each other in the backs and also cutting their own throats at the same time!! (Hold on for half an hour until I stop laughing, only I cant type whilst I`m struggling to breathe!! #:)…Now Fernando is showing why most people regard him as the best driver in F1 today….I would really love to have seen Ron Dennis`s face as Fernando crossed the line at this race….oh how he must be kicking himself that he thought Hamilton would be the better bet than Fernando!! He must be so embarrased now. viva Fernando!! Forza Ferrari!!!!!! #:)

      1. vodka and orange says:

        Forgot to add that I was a McLaren and Ron Dennis fan for over 20 years until 2007 and the disgraceful way he treated Fernando at his team…..now I cant stand the man and look forward to many more races where McJalopies fail!! F1 for me is Fernando Alonso and Ferrari…. #:)

      2. Benalf says:

        the same happened to me in 2007!… incredible that the best team and one of the most venerable team director blew the whole season trying to support a rookie against a 2-time WC who also brought sponsors and a lot of publicity….it was disgraceful

      3. JR says:

        Same for me, McLaren fan from the Lauda and Prost days until 2007…

      4. Ikertzeke says:

        Same for me here, since the Senna times. When Ron Dennis said “we are racing Fernando” that killed my dream-team.

      5. Lojen says:

        Is this ridiculous myth still being perpetuated?

      6. Canuck says:

        I was a McL fan too!
        I thought I was the only one to change allegiances.
        I still remember rooting for Mika against Schumi at Indy, when Mika’s engine gave up! And many years before that.
        Now, cannot stand them.
        And the way they brought up Hamilton! In any other situation, I would have nothing against him.
        Since halfway ’07 I turned my back on a team that showed no integrity.
        So, now FORZA FERRARI! FORZA ALONSO!

      7. Zobra Wambleska says:

        Well, I for one was a Fernando fan until 2007. Now, for me, he’s just arrogant and unappealing.

      8. Nesto says:

        Thank you guys, I almost feel alone or clearly outnumbered with so many Hamilton fans around. Hamilton fan’s remember 2007 as the year a rookie beat a 2-time WDC. I’ll remember 2007 as the year McLaren and Hamilton threw away a sure championship. Alonso would not have done the same, hell, no one loses a 17 pt lead (old system) in the final 2 races!! I also love how teams point to 2007 as reason to believe anything can happen but catastrophic failures like that are hardly the norm. Hammy took the WDC in 2008 riddled with mistakes. If Alonso had stayed in the sister car, he could be looking at his 4th or 5th WDC this year.

      9. hutch says:

        I used to like McLaren too but seeing them cheer as Webber hit the wall was another point off my list. Appeared very uncool.

      10. John says:

        Same for me. A Mclaren fan for well over a decade (Mclaren were my team, my passwords, everything). Hated Ferrari. Then 2007 came along with a pathetic display from Ron Dennis in handling Alonso, which in my opinion should have ended Dennis career at the helm. When Alonso moved to Mclaren I thought it would be the perfect pairing…and in my opinion it wasn’t that Lewis was equal to Alonso (because he plain isn’t as good), but the failure of Dennis. Now, unthinkably, I am a Ferrari fan, though not to the degree I was a Mclaren fan all my life.

      11. Antoine says:

        and same for me as well. I couldn’t believe what they did to Fernando in 2007. then i read what Lauda said about his time at McLaren and it all added up.. Forza Ferrari Forza Alonso

      12. Gaza says:

        Oh dear…..Do you lot still think Ron lined up Alonso to be a fall guy for Hamilton in 2007, fact is a rookie matched Alonso from the very out set that season, nobody was prepared for that…………Get over it, Alonso has.

      13. Canuck says:

        We are over it.
        We moved on and now we cheer for a different team.
        We also now cheer for a driver that earned his right to be in a leading car.
        We are talking about why we moved on.
        I though it was clear…

      14. James AWOL says:

        How’s the weather over there Canuck? Fair by any chance!

  4. Ross says:

    No praise for Luizzi today? If pundits are going to mention Paul Di Resta everytime he has a bad day its only fair to give him the plaudits for his good performances.

    1. Kinkas says:

      Agreed. But you know what? The pundits are brits, just as clearly was told today, when one said “although this is a worldwide broadcast, I’d rather see a brits win…” whe he was talking about the simpathy of Webber. In any case, very good outing of Liuzzi.

      1. Andy C says:

        It was Martin and he said as an ex British gp driver he’d rather see a Brit win, but a big part of him would like to see mark webber win.

        I don’t see anything wring in that, just as Spanish tv will cheer on alonso, german tv will cheer on seb.

        If you ask him who the best driver in the world over was, he’s not going to say Damon hill just because hes English. Give the guy a break.

      2. Clay from Australia says:

        IMHO, any perceived bias from the BBC guys is nothing compared to the Spanish coverage. James, Martin and Johnathan have all at times pointed out when Lewis or Jenson have been in the wrong.

        Here in Aus, our local preview show will give it to Webber if he stuffs up

        But the Spanish coverage is terrible. If anyone overtakes Alonso they just scream “NO NO NO”

      3. Nando says:

        It’s the British license payer paying for the broadcast, the coverage is going to be centred on the Brits regardless of what other countries might be receiving the feed. Red Bull is also a British based team. If you want Liuzzi coverage watch the Italian feed.

      4. Andy C says:

        Exactly :-)

    2. Damian Johnson says:

      It’s quite irritating to see those who are not from Britain complain on this website from time to time that the BBC is not 100% unbiased.

      Whilst there may be support for a Britsh driver or a British team such as McLaren or Williams, the BBC commentary team are highly professional and will call it as they see it and also critize if necessary unlike the tv coverage in other countries.

  5. luciano says:

    Looking at the points, you’d have to say that Red Bull should back Webber now.

    1. nash says:

      indeed… but they wont… Red Bull are (still) acting as if they have the luxury of a points lead… they have the biggest chance of both championships if they would now back Webber…

      Red Bull will loose the drivers WDC because Chris Horner’s lack of team management & leadership skills.

    2. Merk says:

      Webber has been driving like an amateur the last 4-5 races and making a rookie mistake in the race today…why back him?

      If Vettel had crashed his car like that, all hell would have broken loose “amateur this, crashkid that’. Now Webber does it and everyone wants to pretend like it didn’t happen? Even the BBC commentators tried to avoid it as much as possible.

      When he crashed it was like ‘hum hum, Rosberg’ and they were very grim in the way they sounded throughout the race, like they knew Vettel was gonna be the champion. Then Vettel’s engine blew and they sounded very happy. It is so obvious.

      Vettel is the better driver, it is easy to see. Unfortunately he is also the unluckiest driver of 2010.

      Alonso will win the title, Webber is just not up there to compete. Vettel is, but no luck means no champion.

      1. drums says:

        I wonder to which extent what Rafa said above is true, that is, that Vettel is burning his mechanic horse more than any other top contender.

      2. Kinkas says:

        I am a Ferrarista, but it struck my heart when I saw the smoke on Seb’s car! Unreal. RBR must be realistic now: they should support Mark for the WDC and Vettel should help them win the Constructor’s title. Leave it for next year for Vettel.

        But in the meantime, I am happy it was Alonso that took the spoils. Vettel and him were on a league of their own!

      3. Emma says:

        Webber has been extending his championship lead in the last few races – how is that driving like an amateur?

        Vettel was slated for his crashes because they were stupid mistakes (much like Hamilton’s a few weeks ago). Yep, Webber messed up today, but it was extremely wet, so it would be sensible to assume that, and the fact that six other drivers crashed out, is why no one has slated him.

      4. Naks says:

        Ah, there is Webber’s lawyer. He has many…let me guess British are you?

        Webber made a laughable amateur mistake none other driver made and guys/gals like you now pretend it was just normal for him to do this. C’mon now.

        He has been driving second class last dozen races, compared to Vettel.

      5. CH1UNDA says:

        To be fair all drivers have made stupid mistakes this year – Alonso included. The only driver who has shown maturity in his driving has been Button and its not earning him much points.

      6. Andy C says:

        Is that you helmut marko ? :-)

      7. Dan says:

        Beat me to it. :-)

      8. tank says:

        Current championship leader crashed in the same way at Spa. As for Vettel, he’s retired with mech failure from the lead twice now, how different would the championship complexion be if that hadn’t happened. James, there’s a little error in the driver points standing.

      9. TS says:

        why do I feel like I hear the distant strains if the german national anthem when I read Merk’s comments

      10. Michael S says:

        SPOT ON!!!!! I could not agree more… I hardly hear one person mention Vettels bad luck today… If that had been Webber’s car that died on him and Vettel who put it in the wall chaos woudl have insued. Webber woudl claim the team blew his engine up becasue they love Vettel so much….

        3 times this year the team had to say sorry to Vettel for his car falling apart while leading… Never once has that happened to Webber… So tired of all the “Webber gets no love” talk…. he stuffed his own title today

      11. Cliff says:

        Vettel too has had to do some apologising…for having avoidable crashes

    3. Heffalump says:

      This “backing a driver” talk is getting slightly tedious. If you back a driver is there any guarantee that he will automatically win the race, let alone the championship? I don’t think so. There are no guarantees in Formula 1. How much more proof that a) drivers are humans and make mistakes, and b) sometimes the race outcome is influenced by things beyond anyone’s control do you need after a race like today’s?
      RBR simply need to support both their drivers in whichever way they can which I am sure is just what they try to do. The question of backing one of the two drivers gets interesting when they are in P1 and P2 ten laps before the end of a race. Until then it’s just so irrelevant.

      1. Richard D says:

        I totally agree. For example Button may never be near enough to Hamilton in the last two races to ‘back’ him. The chances of getting support are not as great as it’s being made out.

      2. Antoine says:

        so what does all this backing one driver really mean??
        if the team interferes to the point where it affects results then isn’t that team orders.. If Jenson gets out of the way for Lewis its the same as massa moving for Alonso. Not that Jenson is ahead of Lewis much these days…

    4. El Shish says:

      I actually don’t understand why so much emphasis (here and Eddie Jordan on BBC) is suddenly being placed on backing a certain driver within a team. Everybody has spoken about that but it has only really manifested itself in Germany.

      It is very rare to see actual opportunities for a driver to back another driver. The most obvious scenario is when one driver lets his team mate past but this happens so rarely.
      Within the team, I can only see it being manifested if developments are being pushed through in a hurry and only one of a given component is available, in which case it goes to the ‘backed’ driver.

      Aside from this, I’m not really sure what other forms this backing could manifest itself in. There might be something in race strategy, such as timing and nature of runs in qualifying but, given the nature of qualifying, it’s difficult to really manipulate that too much in favour of one driver or another (you still ultimately have to beat the rest of the field). In the race, it might be in the form of a driver having his own strategy compromised to stay out and bottle neck the team mate’s rivals who have already pitted (similar to what Button looked like he was doing in Suzuka).

      Apart from that, everything else associated with what people in are construing as backing (i.e. taking points of rivals, battling not to be overtaken) is exactly what they are expected to be doing anyway.

      I understand that, on certain occasions, there might well be something in this idea of supporting one driver over another – I’m sure why so much of a fuss is being made out of this as, for the vast majority of the time, it pretty much just constitutes what the drivers are expected to do if battling for the title themselves.

      1. BenM says:

        In all likelihood Vettel will have the ability to help Webber win or lose the WDC. If you look at the points situation, the maximum Vettel can achieve is 256 points if he wins the remaining two races. Alonso only needs a 3rd and a 4th to win the championship in that scenario.

        Assuming the red bulls are still the cars to beat in the last two races if RBR engineer 2 wins for Webber then mathematically it is impossible for Alonso to win.

        So RBR have a choice. Let their drivers continue to race each other and rely on a failure or mistake from an in form Alonso to win the WDC or give themselves the best chance of winning both titles by ensuring that Webber wins both GPs if they find themselves in the position to do so.

        Not like RBR have to worry about the ban on team orders. We already know that only costs 100k a pop!

      2. KRB says:

        I was thinking for a sec there that FA could win with over SV with a 3rd and 5th (so even on 256 pts), but SV wins on countback in that case, on the number of fourth place finishes (3 to 2). One of those being his 4th in Bahrain at the start of the year where he held off Rosberg at the death, this after ceding the lead with a spark plug problem.

        SV would likely need FA to have a problem and retire, or take a grid penalty for engines, etc. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility … FA is probably due for a DNF, as he’s only had two this year: he was classified in Malaysia even though his engine blew, so not a DNF, and then the mistake at Spa, which really didn’t cost him that dear (I can’t remember definitively, but I think he was running 10th at the time).

        Though the F10 has been highly reliable, Massa’s only retirement being his crazy adventure on the grass last race at Suzuka.

        Really reliability issues have mainly hit Vettel (easily the worst), and then Hamilton (gearbox in Hungary & Japan, wheel rim in Spain), out of the main contenders this year.

      3. er,go says:

        Yeah, i’m in agreement with most of that. Did Massa help Alonso today? No, he just ran a normal race. Could he help Alonso? No. Quite rare to find a situation where a teammate is in position to help. However, if there is a reasonable relationship between the drivers and they can help their teammate, there is no need for team orders. The catch is that rivalry between teammates is intense. So that scenario is almost impossible. A driver will have had to have talked with his teammate prior to a race and reached an accord. Not very likely, and only if there is only one bloke who can win. Even then a driver is still thinking about his own race and driving record, like Massa…

        Which is why team orders are employed sometimes. Because they need to be orders.

      4. KRB says:

        As much as all the drivers are consummate pro’s, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if FM did something to torpedo FA’s championship, like run into the back of him, if it could all be “in the heat of the race” stuff. Then we could perhaps hear the shock in FA’s voice over the radio, and see how it compares to that of FM’s “Fernando dove past me!” when FA unceremoniously squeezed him out on the pit lane entrance in China.

  6. Glynn Harrold says:

    Hi James. A great race to watch, once it go going. Do you think it should have been started earlier?

    I thought that once the race had started it needed to be complete in 2hrs, even if there is a period of red flag. I think I saw a timing screen say that the race was on for 2hrs 38mins. Is the clock held when the ref flag is out then?

    Glynn

    1. Flakey says:

      The clock is kept running during a red flag, but the period of the red flag is deducted from the 2 hour limit.

  7. Charlie B says:

    If Alonso wins the championship, nobody can say he doesn’t deserve it. You can make cases for Webber and Vettel but Alonso hasn’t done much wrong this year.

    Also, is everyone blind, Lewis did not have a good race, good result somehow. He didn’t overtake anyone and got passed by slower cars that he could have kept behind. He missed an opportunity to win a strange race.

    Nico Rosberg was going well, I would have loved to see where he would have finished if Mark didn’t collect him after the spin.

    1. Phil says:

      Don’t know what race you were watching, but it seemed obvious to me that the Mclaren wasn’t handling well in those conditions.

      Given that, take a look at how Hamilton did compared to Button… and, yes, I’d say that he had a good race, and got the most out of it with the car he had.

      And, unlike some of his title competitors he didn’t put it in the wall (easy to do in those treacherous conditions).

      Even though, it was obviously a handful he managed to keep Vettel and Alonso in sight for most of the race.

      So, yes, I think most people would look at that, as a good race performance.

      1. Charlie B says:

        Button had a poor race and he said afterwards he was just to slow, so Lewis would seem better than he actually was.

        What I don’t understand is Lewis and the McLaren usually make the most out of that sort of situation. All year people have been saying the McLaren is the best car in the wet, and Lewis is usually more aggressive in the conditions, pushing the limits of the track, like Schumacher today. I know he went off at turn one to loose 2nd but it didn’t seem like he was himself on track.

      2. Nick F says:

        The Mclarens were good in the wet at the beginning of the season. These cars have all radically changed since then. If you change your front and rear wind and floor and mess around with your suspension and also decide to blow hot exhaust gases through a bit of your car you can’t really expect that the thing will handle exactly the same as it did before you did all that. :-)

      3. Jo Torrent says:

        He almost managed to hit the wall in SPA. Here, he only had an off at the restart amateurish !

      4. Kodongo says:

        Well, you can call it amateurish if you want but Hamilton was the leader in changing conditions on the wrong tyres. The conditions were difficult as Alonso dropping it on the curve before Rivage showed.

    2. Andy Fov says:

      I think Alonso could have started this season in either the Red Bull, the McLaren, or the Ferrari he’s in, and it’d not have mattered; he’d still have been leading the pack at this point.

      1. Richard D says:

        If he’d been in a Red Bull the championship would probably be over.

    3. JW1980 says:

      [mod]. Alonso has been the best driver the second half of this season but can I remind you of the following please:-
      Australia collision and spun lap 1
      Malaysia misjudged the weather in Q1 and failed to make it in to Q2.
      China jumped start
      Monaco crashed in practise did not take part in qualifying
      Turkey made a mistake in Q2 failed to make it to Q3
      Silverstone collided with Massa on lap 1 followed by poor judgement over Kubica incident.
      Belgium spun out whilst only in 8th.
      However, I agree that Alonso would be a worthy champion as over the course of the season he has had an inferior car to RBR and most of the leading runners have made mistakes or not been quick enough.
      [mod]

    4. MAS says:

      Alonso did make some mistakes (Monaco being the most egregious) but mistakes, because of taking risks an exploring the limits, are part of pushing hard, which is simply necessary when the season is so competitive as it is now. This is especially true for the McLarens and Ferraris because the car was never quite there. For that last reason the mistakes of the Red Bull drivers are a little harder to excuse, but even they are quite evenly matched an thus have eachother to worry about.

      A case can certainly be made that Rosberg could have won this. He could probably have jumped Alonso in the pits and wouldn’t have had to defend very hard once he managed that. Alonso probably wouldn’t have risked an attack (not even with his tire-advantage to the rest of the entire field in the last five laps).

      Of course, those kinds of scenarios are irrelevant. F1 spelled backwards is IF and all that. In the end, in F1 you make your own luck: Alonso managed to avoid Webber, Rosberg didn’t.

      As for Lewis, I think he did do a good job but we can’t be certain of all the factors. What is clear is that the McLarens were nowhere near as good in the wet as the pundits claimed (around this track, with this surface, at this stage of the season). The way they tore trough the inters was especially worrisome. On the other hand, both Mercedes were clearly excellent.

      The only real yardstick we have for Lewis is Jenson, who had a truly miserable day. That has mostly to do with Jensen being out of his comfort-zone. But of course, everyone was outside of their comfort-zone today and how you perform in such a situation is what marks a great driver.

      So by that logic I feel we can conclude that Lewis (as Fernando and Sebastian; and probably Felipe and Michael too) did a good job today. The going got tough, and the tough got going. Others failed (Mark), caved in (Jenson), went berserk (Sutil, Buemi) or didn’t manage to avoid people who did one of the aforementioned (Rosberg, Glock).

    5. KRB says:

      Lewis had a great race all things considered. The car was the worst of the top 3, specifically in the area of front-end downforce. That is why LH’s tires degraded faster than FA’s or SV’s while he was still going. I doubt that even if LH had managed to keep it on line when he was 2nd behind SV after the safety car restart, that he could’ve held off Alonso in the dying laps, and that would be all down to tire wear, and reduced tire temperature inducing the vicious circle of less grip, slow down, lose more temp, lose even more grip, slow down, etc.

      Put LH and FA in the same car today, and LH would’ve won from FA, simple as that.

      1. Stephen W says:

        I don,t think so.

      2. John says:

        You must be joking saying put LH and FA in the same car today and LH would have won from FA, simple as that??

        I certainly wouldn’t rate LH in the same league as Alonso on tire management…and LH made more mistakes than Alonso at this race so…don’t really understand your logic, let alone its ‘simplicity’.

      3. Shane says:

        Don’t you find it odd that Hamilton was only successful in a car that Alonso helped develop?

        I don’t doubt that Hamilton is a fantastic talent, but I think that Alonso is the most complete driver we have seen in F1 in ages.

        Remember,… Alonso beat Schumacher in a Renault.

    6. Damian J says:

      Unless Alonso wins by 7 points or less then we can say that his win was only by virtue of team orders and Massa’a compliance!

      I’m sure he will see Ferrari’s popularity plummet even more!

  8. Curro says:

    What a tense race, I nearly fell from the sofa!

    Masterful drive by Alonso, same for Hamilton, despite not being very accurate on this tyre predictions: he expected to be stronger on the wets and suffer on the inters, but it was the other way around.

    Vettel did nothing wrong but was very unfortunate. Webber cracked, but escaped with his chances more or less intact. I got the feeling these last days that MW was very “touchy” in his replies to journalists.

    Can’t wait for Brazil.

  9. Paul Mc says:

    Mightily impressed with Alonso today. He kept niggling away at the Red Bulls and snatched a win. There’s no doubt Vettel would have won the race but Alonso was always within a few seconds constantly putting the pressure on.

    I wonder what Red Bull Racing will do now? Support Webber? McLaren have no choice now but to go with Lewis, Buttons out of it.

    Also a stellar drive from Schumi. Passed Kubica and Button and was the best of the rest. Roll on Brazil, Webber must win there.

    1. Rob T says:

      If Red Bull want to win both titles as Mr Red Bull has stated categorically, then Red Bull have no choice but to favour Mark. Only a DNF to Alonso will bring Seb back into the picture. Mark needs to win the last two races with Vettel (as the rear gunner) taking second for Red Bull to secure the two titles.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        Alonso DNF is far from unlikely, but Webber is the favourite for the title in my view

      2. Grabyrdy says:

        The BBC Forum, and EJ in particular, spent hours droning on about this, until DC put them in their place by saying : let’s wait at least until after practice in Brazil. And he was talking about McL, where the difference is much greater than at RBR.

        Anyway, what does it mean in this context – help your team-mate ? We’re talking about a hypothetical case when the 2 cars are leading near the end of a race. Let’s get there first, eh ?

      3. Rob says:

        Well said, and I agree my argument is hypothetical. To give my comment more context Ferrari are completely focused on Alonso. Every website has written Button off for the year which suggests that McLaren will focus on Hamilton. Red Bull could well walk away without either of the titles if they don’t play the same game and focus on their leading driver. I’m still hypothesising…..

      4. KRB says:

        Yes indeed. Say if JB was leading LH 1-2 late on in Brazil (yes, suspend the disbelief for a sec), and say FA is running an easy 6th (so 8 pts). If FA finishes there, then JB is eliminated from the DWC (best he could do would be a tie on pts, and lose on first tie-break being wins), so it would only make sense for JB to slide over and let LH take the flag in that scenario (helping him cut the gap down to 4 pts instead of 11, in the above example).

        As much as a true racer wants to snag any race win he can (‘cos for most they are truly rare things), I’m sure there’s also a clause in his contract to pay him some sort of bonus if either he or LH win the DWC. And seeing as money was a big reason for JB moving to McLaren this season, I think he’d give up a race win for some nice pocket change and the undying gratitude of his team and teammate.

  10. Euklides says:

    Alonso always says that bad and good luck tend to balance at the end of the season for everyone.
    He’s had his own big share of bad luck so far this season but now tables are reversing.

    One thing is for sure. You have to be there to take benefit from everyone else problems. and he’s doing a tremendous job with what seems the 3rd fastest car in the grid overall.

    1. El Shish says:

      I don’t think Alonso has had any more bad luck than any of the other drivers – seems to me they’re all about even now.

      In fact, given what is happening to the other drivers though (mechanical or self-inflicted problems), it would be remarkable if Alonso made it to the end of the season without any form of major incident. A part of me feels that he must be due one but then he seems to have such momentum right now.

      1. El Shish says:

        If by ‘third fastest’ you mean after the two Red Bulls, ok – there is nothing to suggest that the Mclaren is any stronger than the Ferrari.

      2. Euklides says:

        3rd. place in constructors championship standings?
        Massa’s 6th. place in DC standings?

        Looking at the whole season so far, Ferrari didn’t look stronger than McLaren. They might have developed better but they were struggling most of the season.
        That’s why Fernando’s 1st. place is even mightier.

      3. KRB says:

        The constructors’ standings mean nothing in terms of which is the faster car now. Ferrari had problems at the start of the year (after the first two races), but since Silverstone have easily been the 2nd quickest car. Fernando gets the best out of the car, while Ferrari’s handling of Massa explains his poorer showings (they’ve destroyed any and all confidence he has/had as a racing driver). Even then, FA out-qualified LH by three-tenths, and FM qualified ahead of JB. It’s clearly a better car.

        On the flipside, Lewis has got the maximum possible out of the McLaren, while Jenson has stayed focused as he was still in the thick of the championship.

        I hope the McLaren can leapfrog Ferrari in terms of car in the next two races, though it would seem unlikely. If they’re close, the drivers can make up the difference.

      4. Michael S says:

        no one has had Vettels bad luck… he has had a car break down while leading in 3 races… no one else has had that happen even once… dude has HORRIBLE luck

      5. Nesto says:

        it seems like horrible luck. but Webber’s car has been fine, not as fast but reliable. I think Vettel’s driving is making the car fail. He goes for outright speed (“Whats fastest lap?”, he’ll ask) but guys like Alonso make sure the car makes it to the end. Its a disturbing pattern now that I don’t believe is the car’s fault. Sometimes, you have to look at the “user” when something breaks right ?

      6. Shane says:

        I agree with Nesto, how many times have we seen Vettel go for fast lap? How many points do they award for fast lap? Thats right…. none…

        I think Vettel simply pushes too hard.

  11. Trent says:

    Disappointed with so many laps behind the safety car – the decision was too conservative. But after that the race was sensational, really enjoyable.

    And a rarity nowdays – how good to see the cars looking scarred and dirty at the end of such a tough race!

    1. drums says:

      I fully agree on this. The cars looked like if they had run a race. Hard living became apparent.

    2. El Shish says:

      That seems to be the feeling everywhere. I just hope they don’t use the fact there were accidents, spins, etc as an argument to say the decision was justified. It’s about racing to the best of your ability and adapting to the conditions. The Webber-Rosberg incident aside, the majority of the scrapes and crashes today involved drivers being overly ambitious or not paying due respect to the conditions. This is really how racing should be… on the edge and with mistakes punished properly (i.e. not endless run-off areas).

    3. Shane says:

      Scarred and dirty! Great phrase!

      As for it being too conservative, well it was boring, but it is a new track. I forgive the conservative nature of Whiting this time, I think it was appropriate.

  12. azac21 says:

    James, thanks

    I cannot believe RBRs have blown it again! This championship could have been over at mid-season if it wasn’t for RBRs throwing away wins every second race. And when you have champion drivers like Fernando and Hamilton and Button waiting to pounce you cannot afford to do that.

    1. F1 Fan says:

      Button Really?? Not from what I’ve seen this year.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      Button who ????????????????????
      The question is when is McLaren going to dump him.

      1. Edward Cullen says:

        I think not… McLaren still needs a wingman that is quick enough to support Hamilton, but unable to challenge him for a course of a season…and Button doesn’t complaint much, so he is ideal.

      2. Damian J says:

        [mod]

        Button has been in contention for the WDC until Korea. McLaren will be very pleased with his performance and his team contribution.

        If the only the same could be said of Massa! It’s more likely that as Ferrari’s #2 driver, he will go sooner!

    3. Syed says:

      Don’t really think Button should be in ur list, maybe Kubica or Nico are better. And people who say he hasn’t made mistakes kinda don’t see clearly that he’s so slow compared to his teammate, why would u expect him making mistakes when he’s driving at that pace.

      1. azac21 says:

        Yes, he has not driven at the same level as Fernando and Hamilton have this year but he has been there to pick up good points when RBRs failed.

        But I am refering to the whole championship so far, not just the Korean GP race. Yesterday he was completely lost and he said so himshelf.

        His problem is, I think, that he will drive very well only when the car is more or less perfect, which doesn’t happen very often. Reminds me of Massa in some way. He used to be untouchable only when he was leading races but somehow getting lost in the traffic when he was not.

  13. charlie says:

    The god’s favoured Alonso today.
    James, do you think that it is time for Red Bull to back Mark Webber, given it is now a 2 race championship.

    1. Nesto says:

      it’s time but they won’t do it and have stated such already. If the roles were reversed, however, I think they’d be saying differently. But good on them for letting them fight, makes it easier for everyone else =]

  14. Cabby says:

    How safe is Christian Horner’s job in case none of his drivers wins the WDC?

    1. Andy C says:

      Horner didn’t hit the barriers today, or build the engine that let go on sebs car. Neither one of his charges finished so it’s not down to him today…..

      1. Andy Fov says:

        I agree. I don’t know how much cash Red Bull have invested in that team, but I’m sure it’s way less than BMW and Toyota threw away.

        Horner’s doing fine. I think he’d perhaps be doing better with an Alonso or a Kubica in his ca, even a Kimi, but they’re still in with a shout. I’d say his job’s safe.

      2. Andy C says:

        With Fernando in the car they would have won the wdc already this year IMO.

        I actually have an inkling that kubica is a bit special and I would love to see him in a very top car next season.

      3. Cabby says:

        Maybe not today, but if you are given the fastest car, a top designer, two good drivers, but fail to deliver the results in form of titles, then you are trouble, at least in many other sports.

        Also, if the Red Bulls owners are really favoring Vettel as it is rumored, however he is more of a Webber supporter or perceived as that, given the fact they have a GP3 venture together, and now Webber fails to deliver, that might put him in jeopardy too, who knows…

      4. Nesto says:

        I know its paranoia but I really hope RBR don’t become so desperate that Alonso gets mysteriously taken out in one of the remaining races. Seriously, this is their year as they have the dominant car. They could have had it last year if not for Brawn GP’s superiority early in the year and they’re going for their first ever championship. To NOT win it this year would be an epic failure. I think they’ll get the WCC but we all know teams want the WDC more than anything despite it being for the driver.

  15. fausta says:

    Awesome for Alonso! He did a great job and stayed the course. What a heart breaker for Webber. It was actually a fun race to watch but resembled the bumper cars more often than not.

    1. Kinkas says:

      Heart breaker for Webber? What do you say about Vettel then…?

  16. Nick4 says:

    Bravo Fernando! Even if this race has probably seperated the men from the boys, what it clearly demonstrated once again what a relentless competitor Alonso is. His focus, tenacity, and suporeme skill have brought to Ferrari an asset and leadership so clearly lacking since Schumacher retired. Even if he has shrewdly cautioned against premature expectations, it’s going to be hard overtake this man now, unless the bad luck that befell Red Bull today plays its hand; or was it because of Fernando’s subtle persistent presuure that Seb’s engine failed..!? Whatever, my money is on Alonso to take his third WC.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think that you are right; relentless is the word I’ve always used first to describe him.

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        You’re right. He was certainly pressuring Vettel (altho’ perhaps the engine was going a bit before the final phut) And judging by how fast he went at the end, he had plenty in reserve on his tyres. I wonder if he would have had a go before the end ? That would have been worth seeing.

      2. vodka and orange says:

        hes like a Spanish Bull!!! A mighty force when he has things to his liking and a team who can clearly see he is the better option for World Championships due to his skill and mental strength….for any team boss to back a “rookie” over a double world champion who basically put the lid on Schumachers “career” that must show a huge degree of stupidity!!! Not mentioning any names here but Im sure you all know who I mean! he he he #:)

      3. moschum says:

        put the lid on schumachers career????

        as far as im aware in 2006 schumacher came back from 26 points behind to lead the championship going into japan.

        he hardly put the lid on his career, more like schumacher confirmed he was still the man to beat. and still is, judging by his performances at the proper drivers tracks this year.

      4. KRB says:

        Yeah, plus remember FA inherited the win in Japan from MS, whose engine blew.

      5. StallionGP F1 says:

        I have to disagree with you on this as if his unit let go today that word relentless wont be used as he was out-performed by Vettel today and lewis was only behind him as the maclaren wasnt well balanced.

      6. Tim. says:

        RB has had the better cars you cannot take it away from FA….you think Kimi would have ever done what FA has…drive 140% of the time he is in the car….

      7. Stephen W says:

        I have to disagree,it makes no difference,an engine failure has nothing to do with being relentless,Vettel was in front because the Red Bull is by far the most superior,and if the Mclaren wasn,t well balanced the driver has to compensate…..?

        Alonso deserved his win at Korea,because if he wasn,t relentless his title hopes or aspirations would have been over long ago,some would hope.

    2. Mario says:

      I wonder what sort of size will be the smile on Alonso’s face on the JA.F1 banner for Brazil?

  17. John says:

    Just want to commend Alonso on another masterful drive. This guy is literally the only one keeping Ferrari in the WDC and in my opinion, were it not for him, the Championship would be between the two Red Bull drivers, which is utterly dull.

    He has been putting the Ferrari in places it didn’t deserve repeatedly over the last few races. Had Webber not messed up I believe Alonso would have finished 2nd anyway by passing him (Red Bull would need to stack cars at the pit stop for inters) so this is a welcome 7 additional points. Still believe Webber will get the title simply because the Red Bulls are clearly still the fastest car. Good job Michael and terrible job Sutil!

    1. drums says:

      Mmm… not so sutil kamikaze today. (I’m joking with the words: Sutil means subtle in Sapanish ; () )

  18. Ginger says:

    I watched the race on the net in a hotel lobby in Spain, not ideal but still good fun. Its not over for Lewis although it would have maybe been a lot closer if he didn’t have his off at the re-start.

    Well done to MSC and Luizzi.

    The race should have started sooner I thought. Also first wet win for FA, surprised about that.

    Brazil will be fab as per, now spiced with the Bulls chasing Fernando. I wonder if Fernando is thinking about his engine?

    1. vodka and orange says:

      James said on here a couple of weeks ago Ferrari say they have no concerns about Fernandos remaining engines….and apart from his 1 DNF they have been almost bullet-proof this season. Cant remember Felipe having an engine failure yet, but thats probably down to him not getting the absolute maximum from his motors….I see him overtake slower cars but he never seems to challenge the top 4 for outright performance does he? #:)

  19. Jo Torrent says:

    I see nothing changing in terms of title favorites. I still see it between Webber, Vettel and Alonso.

    Why I don’t see Hamilton as a factor is because of his car. It is absolutely not there in the mix. FERRARI have been really quite about their improvements yet the car kept gaining pace while McLaren have been vocal and kept loosing relative to the others.

    Here we had a race with 1mn straight and yet they could do nothing neither in quali nor the race, not even wet race. Oh, I almost forgot they were quick in practice !

    So Lewis has to beat both Alonso and Webber in the next couple of races. Alonso might have an engine problem because of his tight allocation but Webber no way. And even if both of them manage to screw it up, there’s Vettel who gonna be quicker than Hamilton and is only 4 points behind.

    To sum it up, there are 3 contenders for the title : ALONSO, WEBBER and VETTEL with Webber still the favorite in my view unless FERRARI comes with something special (which, if they’re not playing it low profile, they don’t seem to be have).

    The other unknown in my view is how MASSA is going to behave in BRAZIL, I’m 100% sure he’ll beat hamilton but will he be in the mix with ALONSO and the REDBULLs ????

    1. Azlas says:

      “FERRARI have been really quite about their improvements yet the car kept gaining pace while McLaren have been vocal and kept loosing relative to the others.”

      In my opinion Ferrari has had the 2nd quickest car all season behind the redbull. With these 3 big teams, they can bring all the updates they want but they are relatively minor compared to the fundemental design of the car.

      Essentially what I’m saying is they are developing at a similar rate so now, as in dubai it has always been Redbull quickest, then Ferrari then Mclaren. Updates only help if you can out spend and outdevelop. Against another big team over a season you’ll likely just cross-cancel any advantage updates bring.

      And don’t believe the media myth about Mclaren in 2009. That was simply because they got the design so wrong and were so far back it exaggerated the impression of their development rate.

      You may ask then why Ferrari floundered mid season and the answer is simple: bad luck and mistakes.

    2. KRB says:

      LH has to win in Brazil, and that’s a very big ask. They might be ok in sector 1, and along the start-finish straight, but the middle section has Red Bull stamped all over it. Only thing is that if you’re ahead in that section, it’s hard to be overtaken.

      I’m a big LH fan … hope he can keep his Brazilian GP pattern going, and take that top step (7th, 5th, 3rd, ???) this time out.

      Oh what he would do now for those 12-15 pts from Monza that he gave up so cheaply.

  20. Jo Torrent says:

    James,

    It wasn’t Alonso’s mistake the delay in pitlane. I saw on tv, the rim nut fell off the gun and the mechanic had to collect it and put it back before screwing it, so it wasn’t Alonso’s mistake.

    I think he’s trying to get the pressure off his team. As TODT used to do with SCHUMI, he asked him to protect the team and it was up to TODT to protect SCHUMI. Domenicali kept the same policy I guess.

    1. Euklides says:

      I thought exactly the same after reading James comment. I think Alonso is very integrated in his team even if this it’s not Ferrari’s best season and he might have reasons to be upset.

      Ironic, when you compare how uncomfortable he looked at McLaren even if they handled him the best car on the grid. It seems he’s found the spirit that he was looking for at Ferrari. From the very beginning of the season, even before he was the unoficial number 1 he was clearly happy with his new team and the atmosphere that he breathed.

      1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

        Protecting the team is something he has been doing since the very beginning of the season.

        As far as I remember:
        - Malasia, taking his guilt about the gamble on Q1 and not saying a single word about his lost clutch.
        - Spa, not a word about how damaged was his car before he spun and crashed.
        - Not a single whinnig about strategy.
        - Not a public word when he was held by Massa at Melbourne.
        - Today, when he claimed it was his mistake, although we all saw it wasn’t, just bad luck.

        Matured? older and wiser?. Maybe. But it seems to me that he is fully determined to erase his mistakes from the McLaren era. There were some on the Ron’s side, and some of his own matter.

      2. KRB says:

        I still remember the whining at Valencia, Silverstone, and Hockenheim. Remember the whole “manipulate race” comment? That’s the ugly side of Alonso; hopefully it doesn’t return, though I suspect if things don’t pan out for Alonso that ugly side will come out again.

      3. Damian J says:

        SD admitted that Alonso has been difficult to handle. That suggests that life has not been so rosy at Maranello as you would like to think! A leopard does not change its spots!

        When things don’t go Fernando’s way, expect the tantrums to start as we have seen earlier this year in a Ferrari!

    2. Nick F says:

      I assumed he just didn’t know about the wheel nut problem yet. He made a mistake stopping and so I guess he assumed that that was what had caused the delay.

      …I may be wrong of course. It’s just a guess.

  21. S.J.M says:

    Just seen James that Sutil is getting a 5grid drop in Brazil which i think he deserved. The guy isnt a bad driver but he was all over the place today, whether it was being reckless or a case of misjudgement when trying to climb the field. Although i wonder what that Sauber is made of, its taken a fair few bumps this season and made it home.

    Buemi also gets a grid penalty.

    Oh and i want to give Credit to Schumacher, who did well inspite of being penalised in qualy, maybe he’s has finally found something that was missing in the last 2 races and was pretty solid, especially when the track was at its wettest. Ive never been a big fan of him (although always respected), but maybe he can get something out of next year if the cars good enough. See how he is in Brazil & Yas Marinas to see if its a bolt of form or a sprinkle of luck today.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      Which one of Sutil’s many adventures did he get it for ? The guy was a public menace today.

    2. Nick F says:

      The Mercedes cars seemed to go well today. It was a shame for Rosberg that he got taken out. He was doing very well before that.

      Before the restart there was a shot of Rosberg’s car and the mechanics were doing some kind of major suspension change. I’m wondering if they managed to modify the car to a wet setup in the time the race was paused, and that’s why both cars performed so well.

  22. ChrisF! says:

    Mark Webber must be kicking himself. If not for a silly mistake he would have 1 hand on the title.

  23. Alex says:

    Hi James,

    Any reason why Webber was so tense today? He almost looked angry before the race- though I’m not sure why- his pace from quali was good. Usually he looks quite relaxed…

    1. James Allen says:

      He looked a little tense all weekend, to be honest. Especially after he had a moment on the way to the grid.

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        Funny how no-one said that before the race ! Was it the silly statistic that he’d have to beat Seb at least once ? Alonso wasn’t buying into that one, and look where he is now.

      2. Edd says:

        Clearly, James, you get a different perspective of the drivers to Martin Brundle and the other BBC commentators, who were all commenting how calm and collected Webber seemed this weekend.

  24. Jo Torrent says:

    On ALONSO
    *********

    I don’t like his character I must admit but this year, he really blew my mind. He is really the best package in FORMULA 1 : speed, consistency, commitment, technical leadership, self belief and team motivation.

    Just remember what he said in Silverstone after a horrifying race for him which came on the back of another bad one in Valencia : “I’m more confident now than I was before this race that I’m going to win this world championship,” and after the British Grand Prix he was 47 points adrift of the lead.

    If you see what he’s done since that statement, it’s amazing. He knew that FERRARI overcame its struggle and the sun will shine again and he delivered.

    Another statement he kept repeating week after week “you need to get on the podium on every race to win the title”.

    It’s like he’s having a Cristal ball. He is absolutely right about everything. When you work with a guy like this, you know you can rely not only on his skills but on his judgement and leadership and that’s the edge he has on the others.

    The other great thing about him is that he doesn’t make mistakes under pressure. He makes mistakes and this year was the proof, but it isn’t down to pressure. When things get tight, he’s even better.

    I don’t know what’s happening with these spaniards him and above all Rafa NADAL the higher is the pressure, the better they are.

    1. drums says:

      I heard FA kept saying before the race: One must be very careful driving around turn #8 to save the front tyre.

    2. Grabyrdy says:

      I heard a funny story about Alonso when I was in Oveido recently. I met a guy at the tourist office who used to go to school with him (when Fernando was in school, which apparently wasn’t every day).

      This guy told me that Alonso nearly failed his driving test – for driving too slowly ! Apparently the woman testing him told him he was driving like a snail and a public menace. Whereupon he speeded up a bit. No doubt he was so concerned not to go too quick that he overdid it.

      But it shows the self-discipline of the man. Can you imagine that happening to Lewis ?

    3. drums says:

      “I don’t know what’s happening with these spaniards”

      HaHa, may be it is a matter of being ‘emotional’ latins. It’s not to be forgotten that Greek, Roman, French, Portuguese or Spanish achievments were not made up on weaknesses of character! (Do not take this answer but as it is, a well intentioned joke; after all, the Wheel of the Fortune will keep forever revolving meanwhile good and bad human attributes are fairly and thoroughly spread across The Earth.)

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        French top sportsmen are known for lack of character in individual sports.
        I am really serious here, you see with this generation of spaniards what the italians call “GRINTA”. That pitbull character never giving up, never lacking commitment or motivation.

    4. Euklides says:

      +1

      A gold generation

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        I don’t understand “+1″ statement

      2. Faisal says:

        It means I agree

      3. Stevie P says:

        For all that your original comment said, Euklides thinks the same, hence “+1″ :-)

    5. Stig says:

      What is wrong with his character? Fernando Alonso is one of the great sportsman of F1. If you think he is laking character, how has character?

      1. Nando says:

        Might be referring to him asking for Massa to be moved aside and then lying about it afterwards or when he tried to black-mail Mclaren. The terms great sportsman and great driver aren’t congruent terms in the F1 climate unfortunately.
        You can say they’re great sportsman for F1 drivers, but saying great sportsman means you’re comparing his conduct, not ability, with people who perform in sports where moral compromise isn’t inbuilt.

  25. Dauné says:

    The odd person on here doesn´t seem to have listened to the same commentary as me. It was clearly explained how long and how many laps the race could run. I think the explanations given by the BBC team during the 50 minute Red Flag period, were very detailed and understable.

  26. Luca says:

    The whooping and laughing from Fernando said it all. What a fabulous fluke that was! A brilliant win for what is proving to be a surprisingly tough-minded outfit.

    Ferrari, traditionally the most brittle and mercurial group in the paddock, has shown untypical coolness this second half of the season and I reckon much credit has to go to the pragmatic poise of boss Stefano Domenicali. He really does appear to “treat both imposters just the same” and the team feels both more effective and happier for it.

    The Red Bulls are so quick, and Lewis so talented, that the title race still feels very open, but whatever happens today’s win underlines this as one of Fernando’s and Ferrari’s best seasons ever. “For sure” the most enjoyable.

    1. Luca says:

      PS … Your banner image should be good for another week: A smiling, confident Alonso, a dour, gritty Webber and a pensive, disappointed Vettel. Do you know something we don’t?

      1. James Allen says:

        Well you know, the guy who designs them is a bit of a genius…

      2. Nesto says:

        When I first saw the new banner, I thought to myself “Why is Alonso smiling and the other 2 seem focused and serious??” But after Korea, the banner fits PERFECTLY. Genius indeed ;]

    2. Rand says:

      It must have taken quite a few spoon of sugar to sweeten the very fine portions of your comment relating anything Ferrari and you are absolutely right Red bull are quickest and Lewis probably most talented young driver.But i am not sure today race was that enjoyable unless if you are a hardcore fan of them.In that case For sure ;)

  27. nige says:

    Well done Alonso. If he wins the championship he will have done so with a new team and new car while the others, except Button who is almost out, have been established in their teams for sometime and have the quicker cars. It will compare to Rossi winning for the first time at Yamaha. A combination that has become hard to beat. Incidently this isn’t the first time he has beaten an Adrian Newy fast car and driver combo…Kimi and maclaren!

    1. Peter C says:

      I’ll bet McLaren miss Adrian Newey now!!

      It is obvious that the McLaren IS the third best
      car on the grid now, which is terrible for them as it seems they are being caught by Mercedes too.
      Strange how they have lost their way so badly in the last two seasons. The only glimmer of hope they had this weekend was in P1/2, when the track temperature was the highest of the 3 days.
      After that, it was their old problem “No grip”

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        I need James input on this one because I’m going to spiculate but McLaren seems to get carried away but their success last year in turning around a rubbish car by putting developments not thoroughly finished or evaluated and getting away with it.

        They kept that philosophy, and the danger with that is that if you get it wrong, you’ll have twice the amount of work because you keep throwing pieces without mastering their added value and once there’s a problem, you’ll have to go all the way back to solve it because you don’t have enough data to solve it quickly.

        They always seem rushing bits and pieces and stuff. If it works it’s a great feeling because you’ve gained so much time but if not, you’re in big trouble.

        As for Newey, I got the feeling that he wasn’t happy with McLaren and its corporate way of dealing with the job. He almost left to Jaguar before which resulted in a huge mess for Jaguar and it was only a matter of time before he left the team.

      2. Andy C says:

        I thought he left because he was looking for an equity stake and more decision making. Which he obtained at redbull.

      3. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

        A question for you and James. Are they missing De La Rosa input?

      4. James Allen says:

        NOt as far as I know. James Key seemed pleased with Heidfeld

      5. Nando says:

        Didn’t Newey get a huge pay raise when he left Mclaren? The guy is ambitious he’d won titles at Mclaren and the oppurtunity to turn a failing team around must of been huge.
        Not sure what you’d call Red Bull if not corporate, favouring Vettel is solely based on corporate issues.

      6. John says:

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that Mclaren are actually still the 2nd fastest car on the grid (at least of this grand prix). I believe Ferrari are certainly not making any major updates at all, but simply working with consistency and fine tuning/adapting, while Mclaren are doing the same but have some upgrades coming in.

        I just think that they didn’t get to show their true pace because they had banked on this being a dry race. Believe if it was dry, and certainly if it was hot, that Mclaren may have actually been the team to beat with their aero updates finally working from the past GP.

  28. Mr Squiggle says:

    James, thanks for the commentary and interview with Martin W (shown on One HD in Oz).

    I watched Vettel like a hawk after MW crashed out, there were a number of times when he had his foot really on it, correcting oversteer, especially as just after th safety car came in…I wonder if he pushed the engine too hard, over-revving in the wet.

    I don’t have the technical background to know this, but is it possible to over-rev a F1 engine? If so, I wonder if Vettel was master of his own fate.

    1. G. Chan says:

      From what i learned in last 15 years, they tend to lower the rev in Wet race to prevent spinning. But of course those long straights in Sector 1 could be a factor.

    2. Naks says:

      Any mechanic will tell you F1 engines are not like that.

      There is a limit which you cannot pass, no matter how much you push the pedal to the metal. In fact if it would rev more than what is allowed, you get disqualified ;)

      And the engines can take higher revs. So it is not that.

      I just find it funny even when an engine or brake fails, people try to blame Vettel. Webber made a huge rookie mistake today, why isn’t anyone concentrating on this fact?

      1. Nesto says:

        They blame Vettel because hes the one driving the car ? Webber’s car doesn’t break and hes not the favored one in the team so he doesn’t get priority on the best parts. Webber made a huge mistake but he wasn’t leading late in the race. Vettel has lost a lot of opportunities this year and I don’t think its solely the car breaking on it’s own.

    3. Stephen W says:

      No its impossible to “over” rev a current F1 engine,what damages an engine in this case wet tarmac,is grip and slip,wheelspin and lack of traction then to much traction,the torque load is enormous,and with these engines because they rev so highly much more than any road going V8,the conrods which attach the pistons to the crankshaft twist due to such extreme pressure,something has to give,the cars are not allowed to have traction control and on board computers only restrict rev limit,they cannot restrict throttle input,hence Alonso was asked to manage tyre wear,his tyres were graining badly.
      Telemtry would have shown early on that Vettel was using to much throttle exiting corners,so i,m surprised he wasn,t asked to tone it down a little,then again Alonso was pushing.

  29. nash says:

    Alonso may not have a car to be faster by many tenths than Vettel & Webber… but he uses the few hundreds he can beat out of his car to apply pressure… constant pressure…

    …and it is working.. Red Bull is cracking.. and especially with their backing of Vettel instead of their lead WDC driver…

    Ferrari have really found their man.

    1. Albertini says:

      totally agee

  30. sammy says:

    Really great driving from Alonso, Hamilton & Vettel.
    It think that if Alonso would have been quicker than Vettel, he wouldn’t even try to pass him as he was quite happy with the result at that point.
    The engine faillure of Vettel was just a lucky shot for both Fernando and Lewis.
    11 points is really nothing, imagine Alonso getting two podiums in a row but Webber winning them both…

    James, I’m very interested in going to the Abu Dhabi race this year, is it really the most recommended race to attend? I live in Belgium and I’m going to Spa every single year…
    Thanks and thanks for the great blog.

    1. James Allen says:

      I would recommend Abu Dhabi highly. It’s an amazing set up. However it’s very hot and the hotels can be expensive. Shop around and you might find something not too bad, though

    2. Thomas, Canada says:

      I still tend to think in “old money” and under the old points scoring system the gaps would have been as follows:
      ALO
      WEB -4
      HAM -8
      VET -10
      BUT -17

      Goes to show how tight it is.

      Interesting to note that three of the title protagonists has won back-to-back races this year: Alonso (Italy & Signapore), Webber (Spain & Monaco), Hamilton (Turkey & Canada), but Vettel and Button have not.

      So you’d have to say that Button is realistically out of it and Vettel now faces an uphill battle (he took today’s defeat well don’t you think?). But any of Hamilton (long shot given the car is third best), Webber & Alonso can conceivably win the WDC.

      Surely Webber/Red Bull will be too strong in the final to races?

      1. James Allen says:

        But if Vettel’s engine hadn’t failed he would have had back to back wins here. And Bahrain/Australia in both of which his car let him down while leading

  31. Jo Torrent says:

    ON VETTEL AND WEBBER
    ********************

    Among the 3 teams, RedBull are in the worst psychological situation because they are the quickest and because both their drivers are still with a shot to the title.

    Webber is the favorite in my view overall because Hamilton isn’t a factor in my view (because of his car’s lack of speed be it wet or dry).
    If ALONSO has an issue (possible given his engine’s situation), his only concern will be to finish right behind VETTEL unless the latter wins both races but that’s very unlikely given RedBull’s record all season long. So it is an easy task.

    If ALONSO doesn’t have a technical issue (50 50) and doesn’t make a mistake (very likely) he has at least to win a race and finish ahead of ALONSO in both races. It is not an easy task but if he is to be world champion he has to do it given he has the quickest car.

    As for VETTEL he’s made his share of mistakes but the team let him down more than once. He already handed a couple of victories to ALONSO thanks to RENAULT or RedBull use of the RENAULT engines(Bahrein and KOREA). If I were into conspiracy theories, I would say that ALONSO kept some strong relations in ViryChatillon and that he is making good use of them, but I’m not ! For a beloved son, it is quite odd that he’s the one having the reliability issues !!!!

    He is clearly the real deal for RedBull, Webber is no match for him in raw pace and rain is a further proof of that, the gap between them was huge today. He is still raw and needs fine tuning but he is the future of the team. But for this year, it is really hard. IT IS A MUST FOR HIM THAT ALONSO retires on one of the races and above of that he has to win both races to clinch the title because Webber will be right behind and that’s the only solution.

    To sum it up, RedBull needs ALONSO to have a bad day, no a very bad day and then VETTEL will have to clinch a couple of victories likely and Webber only one. But primarly, ALONSO has to have a bad day !

    1. Craig D says:

      “He [Vettel] is clearly the real deal for RedBull, Webber is no match for him in raw pace and rain is a further proof of that”

      How do you come to that? Webber has been very close to Vettel on raw pace throughout the whole season if you take an averaged view of things. In fact, they’re quite probably the closest driver pairing in terms of pace on the whole grid! Sure, Vettel’s been very unlucky for sure and robbed of many points but though he’s probably also made the most driver mistakes of the contenders as well (mostly due to inexperience).

      It gets quite annoying to have to read such biased comments dissing other drivers based on baseless evidence. It appears (from other posts) you like to rip into Button a lot needlessly too.

      I’m all for people being able to express their opinions and have favourites, but it drags this great site down when I see disparaging comments of other drivers; it doesn’t read professionally.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        What I mean mainly is that Vettel isn’t a finished driver, he has still a lot to improve and even with these shortcomings and with all his mistakes and with all the reliability issues he’s had (much more than Webber), he is close to him.

        I am sure that next year, he will be well ahead of Webber but you might argue that he is the team’s darling and you’re right.

        I still think that Webber is the favourite and I wish that he wins the title for him, for RedBull the newcomer and for Adrian Newey.

    2. Stig says:

      James, read some where that improved power delivery software has helpt Seb since midd-season loosing Webber his edge in quali. Is there any trouth to this?

      Webber needs to go for victory in Brasil, which is good for championship and then it will be Heads Up against Alonso in Abu D. Just hope that RBR dont do something stupid like let Seb finish ahead of Mark.

  32. G. Chan says:

    Hi James,

    Do you think that would be non-sense if RBR still back Vettel rather than Webber for WDC? In any of next two race if Alonso finished in front of Vettel than his chance gone, but Webber would still in it. That would be better if Webber win in Brazil and Vettel held Alonso up, then Webber will be in front again.

    BTW, Nice to see you in Pre Race Programme on ONE HD, very nice stuff

  33. SPIDERman says:

    I think Vettel pushed too hard to get past lap 42 whereby may be the team believed that the race may be stopped soon after wards due to the 75% race rule..that is why when no word of this was forth coming from Charley Whitting,Vettel became aggressive and started complaining about visibility,and soon after his engine blew.
    For Weber ,even though i hate to say it, this was for me payback time for him refusing to accept responsibility for taking Hamilton out in Singapore.I still believe that move that caused his car to push Hamilton out after he had been overtaken was entirely avoidable.

    1. Craig D says:

      Singapore was a racing incident. Hamilton had completed the overtaking move and Webber was also going to come back at home. Webber was extremely lucky that it turned out fortunately for him but Hamilton needed to have left a little more room; like Kubica did later on. (And I like Hamilton btw before people view this as Hamilton bashing! I loved how he couldn’t wait to get the race going today – a true racer.)

      1. Nando says:

        Kubica was on virtually the exact same line just Sutil, iirc, gave him more room. Webber was never going to make that apex didn’t look like he was attempting to judging by the straight line entry he took to the corner.
        Hamilton should of allowed for who he was trying to overtake, it was a racing incident but it was Mark’s decision not toyield.

  34. momo says:

    hi james great race fenando was very good once more,but Im very confuse about mclaren can you please tell us what gone wrong, they where completly off pace in the wet, rosberg passing lewis is the first and jenson behind the pack surely they when backward,what do you think will happen to them in brazil,can they really cach-up….thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      The car was set up too stiffly, so not supple enough in wet. Also not enough downforce

      1. S.J.M says:

        So was Mclaren banking on it being dry for the race and went for playing to their strenghs and getting the most out of Sector 1 for this race James? Similar to Hockenhiem i mean.

      2. James Allen says:

        Well the car has become very stiffly sprung and that made it tough in the wet

      3. JW1980 says:

        James,

        Can you do an article over the next few days on why McLaren has gone backwards over the second half of the season. They have won just one in the last nine races and on reviewing their five victories so far this season they perhaps owe more to driver skill than an outstanding car.
        It seems incredible that last year’s dog of a car as things stand won two races in the second half of the season versus this year’s one.
        My feeling is that the next few years could be a Ferrari versus Red Bull contest. You would have to consider whether Hamilton would leave McLaren considering with Alonso the two drivers are somewhat better than the rest. However, with Alonso set up at Ferrari and RBR building around Vettel options are limited. Another world title at the moment seems some distance off….

      4. James Allen says:

        I will do something on them and what happened here, yes

  35. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

    I believe it’s not possible to overrev an F1 engine, as they are designed to go over 21.000 revs and are limited to only 18.000 revs. Another matter of discussion is if you can overstress an engine, and that should be the question. I have a feeling that Vettel pushed too much time, pretending the lack of day light would bring an end to the race, and maybe the most important reason, because he knew Ferrari would be better at the end of the race (as Hamilton gap behind Fernando showed), and he needed to open space between Alonso and him to secure the victory.

    1. James Allen says:

      Semi auto gearboxes and rev limiters are the reason why you cannot over-rev them

      1. Mr Squiggle says:

        I don’t know enough on this topc, Are here other ways to overstress an engine?

        I may have got this wrong, but isn’t vettel’s engine the first engine of the front runners to blow before finishing three races?

        BTW, I didn’t notice Dr Marko meeting Webber in pit lane for a hug…Alonso is looking very good for the title

      2. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

        Too much time on high revs can do it. Tight between gears space with no time for the engine to cool down. It’s been said that although engines can last three races, they can’t do it at full performance, so some kind of manage is needed.

        Another question can be this: engine could have suffer for two fast laps in q3 to get the pole. Engine exhaust is been used to increase downforce blowing diffuser, and it do this using and special engine map which prevents engine from loosing revs. But it can only be done by a limited amount of time cause it wears engine life. Maybe two fast laps were too much for the engine.

    2. tank says:

      The engines weren’t stressed heavily today. It was a surprise failure… don’t see them too often in the wet.

  36. Mario says:

    Oh dear, oh dear Mark! I do not mind Alonso winning the title, cause I like and admire him, but I’d be over the moon for Mark… if he only could manage it. Come on Mark Webber!

    We want a nice and dry race in Brazil. Trouble is Seb might just turn out to be the greatest obstacle for Mark if he takes points off him. Alonso will not be sleeping and now he’s got the upper hand… and he is a master driver.

    My true favourite Kubica had a dismal race. Could not really do anything with the car apart from keeping it on the track. Lucky he finished 5th. There are better times in front I would like to think.

    1. Euklides says:

      I think everyone has Mark as his first or second favorite driver: “I cheer for …… but if he doesn’t win I prefer Webber to do it”

  37. Paulinho says:

    That was an interesting race. I know think with momentum behind him Alonso will go on to win the WDC and McLaren will get the constructors.

    It will be an interesting last two races.

  38. Peet says:

    There is something wrong with Driver Standings, Vettel 2x, Kubica is lost.

  39. Miha says:

    I’m neither Ferrari nor team orders fan, but Ferrari’s decision to move over Massa for Alonso in Hockenheim is starting to pay off. If Vettel would move over for Webber in Singapore and Japan the leaderboard would look a bit different.

    Alonso is in engine trouble too… he must be hoping he won’t share Vettel’s fate in the last two races.

  40. Andy C says:

    Firstly, excellent drive from Fernando today. It couldn’t have gone better for his title charge today. His tyres looked way better than his competitors at the finish.

    Webber must be kicking himself after sebs engine let go and he wasn’t there to benefit.

    Sutil was an accident waiting to happen today. There is agression and stepping over the line. It was like watching the dodgems today.

    So, for me it should be a three horse race. Fernando, Lewis and mark (although pretty sure mark won’t get preference).

    Jenson is out of it barring a miracle. It will be interesting to see what redbull do. If they give 50 50 chance to each I think they will lose the wdc unless alonso does something silly. Lewis should be quick at both tracks so it is game on for an exciting finish!

  41. Koby fan says:

    Wow, this seasons dramas continue. Wonder if RBR had Vettel’s engine optimized for 75% race distance? The renault engine has been pretty good in race trim this season…You could see Alonso catching and putting Vettel under pressure in the later laps.

    I can see team orders (or lack of them) and some unexpected results deciding this year’s championship in Abu Dhabi. 2007 revisited…

  42. Jo Torrent says:

    ON MCLAREN
    **********

    On a famous Western movie, someone said “when you have to shoot, shoot don’t talk !”. McLaren do the talking while the others shoot.

    They’ve built the biggest motorhome, the biggest headquarters and the cleanest ones it seems just in case someone has an accident they can operate the surgery right on the floor ! They also talk a lot about their F-duct, their main profile F-duct, how they shipped it to japan right before qualies using every means of transport you can imagine and finally they’re the worst among the big boys and the gap is increasing.

    Maybe they’ll bring some huge update for BRAZIL with a double F-duct they’ll ship in a nuclear submarine to make some headlines.

    As for the drivers, I’ve written yesterday that Jenson has the TRULLI syndrome and that it was the beggining of the end for him. No, it’s officially the end. Lewis pushed the BUTTON and Jenson blew up !

    As for poor Lewis has a less effective car. It is the cleanest, the one with the brighter paint job. Some say it even smells good but not quite fast enough.

    So Lewis chances for the title are zero in my opinion. The 3 other drivers are either ahead of him or right behind him. And anyone of the 3 who finishes the last couple of races will finish ahead of Lewis in both races and will be ahead in the standings. If no one has an issue, he’ll finish 4th in the championship. If not, he’ll be ahead of those having issues.

    Mr ARROGANT
    ***********

    What strikes with Lewis is how arrogant he is. He thinks he is the best. He’s not, he’s maybe the quickest but not the best. The best is ALONSO (although I hate the Spaniard character) because a driver is more than sheer speed.

    Today he was saying, the track was good for racing while everybody else was telling they’re seeing nothing which brought RED FLAG.
    Afterwards, he even went to say that the track was good enough for intermediates. The RedBull wanted the 55 laps behind the safety car but a neutral such as KUBICA said the conditions were difficult. ALONSO wasn’t confident. The only one pumping his fists was HAMILTON. The BBC were in awe with his bravery.

    And so the safety car left, and we were going to see some SENNA’s vintage racing. But since the start he was overtaken by ROSBERG and wasn’t a factor in the race. And then we only saw of SENNA the colours of his helmet.
    FERRARI managed to help him by putting ALONSO behind but he didn’t accept the offer. He wanted to win the place by his own bravery, but his bravery get lost in the journey to KOREA.

    To tell the truth, it wasn’t his mistake, the car wasn’t good enough. But not long ago in SPA when he was batteling with Raikonen in a rainy day in a time where FERRARI had problems putting heat in its tyres when it was wet. He said it wasn’t a warming issue within FERRARI, he only had more guts. Today, in the press conference, he didn’t say ALONSO had more guts, he said ALONSO and REDBULL had more grip.

    I think by being so arrogant, he’s harming himself. By being more humble, he might see his own shortcomings and improve them.

    And there’s his way of saying how great is his team and how flat out they are working, etc. It is all PR stuff and it is boring.
    When FERRARI wasn’t good ALSONSO kept quiet. REDBULL are quite no matter how fast they are and so by being more down the earth. He could see that the better team in the last decade is FERRARI head and shoulders above the rest. The best rising team is REDBULL and RENAULT has had more world championships in that period.

    So as I said PLEASE MCLAREN STOP THE BLA BLA BLA and Lewis be humble please.

    1. earnst says:

      Jo Torrent;
      u wrote it very well indeed especially the part about being arrogant.

    2. momo says:

      as a mclaren fan i have to say i completly agree with you im so getting tired of the big update here big update there this will be our circut that will suit our car better and all this time they just keep going backward and backward even the so call supreme wet performance they use to have is gone lewis been beating by rosberg in the wet just tell you its become a big joke.

    3. Kev says:

      Mate, you simply have to start your own blog site. You are too good for the comments section. You echo many of our sentiments and have an eye for humor.

      Kudos!

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        thanks mate

    4. mtb says:

      Great stuff – and 100% accurate!

      It was not so long ago that Ron Dennis talked about “optimal race strategies” in order to explain why his cars had not performed well in qualifying – of course the performances in the races were anything but optimal.

    5. mtb says:

      The one positive thing that I can say about McLaren’s weekend is that I never heard Martin Whitmarsh moan about Red Bull’s front wing.

      1. Nando says:

        Mclaren have closed the gap in alot of areas, just impossible to match the flexing front-wing cars.
        If you think Lewis is arrogant then mute the television when he is on, he can appear arrogant then at times he’s very humble. Don’t really think you get more than the odd soundbite from the top 3 interviews anyway, you get more of a feel for the drivers in the paddock interviews done in the hours after a session.

  43. Jo Torrent says:

    James,

    What is the situation of Vettel’s engines ? Is he going to be tight ?

    If Webber has a problem with his gearbox due to the crash, he is going to have a penalty ?

    1. James Allen says:

      I need to find that out

    2. nige says:

      according to horner no new engines just used low mileage ones.

    3. Luke A says:

      Im pretty sure that if you have a crash then you can replace your gearbox for the next race on Friday without any penalty.

  44. Michael S says:

    Webber fans should be ashamed to ask for #1 backing… Webber crashed on his own accord today…. Vettel on the other hand was let down by the team for the 3 time while leading this year or the title would be his

    Clearly Webber is not made of title medal… He carried on before the race like a child and when it started he paniced

    1. JR says:

      I cannot understand that “let down by the team” speech. Yes, let down by the same team that put the best car on the grid on his hands through all the season.

    2. charlie says:

      Vettel has had a few incidence as well this year so I can only assume the same applies?

  45. kowalsky says:

    james have you given some thought to the mental turnaround that alonso had since silverstone. He seems like a world champion right now, while before he seemed average. Sometime during that period something cliked in his brain that turned him into the driver he was in 2006. What do you think that was. I imagine several things, and some in his personal life that you don’t even have access to.

  46. Jo Torrent says:

    Takuma SUTIL
    ************

    What a race from Sutil today, I think they should have alcohol tests at the end of races because the german had some beer still left in him today.

    He was absolutely rubbish, kamikaze drive performed on any running car around him even on a japanese. I think he should receive a STOP AND NEVER GO BACK penalty till next season.

    I don’t know if WILLIAMS are really planning to replace the hulk with this guy but he’ll cost them a lot in replaceable parts.

    1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

      A new star is born in you blog James?

      by the way… what was that rumour of Sutil to Williams? how on earth could it be real?

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        Williams needs money they are loosing 3 important sponsors mainly RBS. They desperately need money it’s either MALONGO or SUTIL for them it seems.

      2. James Allen says:

        Maldonado. I’m told the deal is done. Shame for Hulkenberg

      3. Mario says:

        I can see trouble brewing here, now Sutil’s been linked to a Renault move as the team principal confirmed he has got a chance. What a disaster that would be!

    2. Kinkas says:

      What a laughter Sutil was. I couldn’t believe it! Well, maybe he thought Kimi was back racing in F1 and was chasing him, and he felt the need to try jump everyone at any cost… Ridiculous driving from the german today.

  47. TS says:

    Can someone clarify the fresh Engine situation for me as it now stands?

    I understand that Alonso has none left and I may be wrong but Seb also after this race?

    Mark has one fresh engine left and presumably the use of the barley used one he had for Korea if it was not damaged.?

    And both Mclaren’s have One fresh engine left?

  48. Paul L says:

    Oh man, that was another dreary race for me. I’m an Alonso fan, but I’d rather see exciting races.

    What’s amazing is just how much the driver performances are the same every race.
    Vettel’s faster than Webber.
    Alonso’s faster than Massa.
    Hamilton’s faster than Button.
    Rosberg’s faster than Schu.
    Kubica’s faster than Petrov.

    Now I don’t remember 2006-2008 being so much like this. The head-to-head performances between Alonso-Hamilton and Kimi-Massa in 2007 flip-flopping race to race made the championship interesting.
    This year we’ve lost that as well as refuelling. So not only is there one stop then follow the leader, the performances between the drivers are the same every race.

    I’m tired of F1 being so crap.

    1. Craig D says:

      I think you’ll find there’s been moments when Button was outperformed Hamilton and certainly many occasions where Webber has outperformed Vettel!!!…

      1. kbdavies says:

        @Craig D –

        Err, please tell us anytime when Button outperformed Lewis on race pace. just one example would do.

      2. Craig D says:

        I was regarding outperfomed in terms of complete performance in the race – which includes all factors such as strategy, judgment of knowing when to push, etc… effectively racecraft – and not just out-and-out raw pace.

        There’s little disputing that Hamilton is generally a few tenths faster than Button (don’t bring up Korea, which was dire for Button, but can’t be viewed as the norm). Jenson has though outqualified Lewis fairly at times this year, such as in Melbourne.

        But I would say Button has outraced Hamilton at points this year, yes. You can call it all down to luck, or poor luck for Lewis, but most results are affected by luck.

        So, yes Hamilton has the greater raw pace but Button is capable of outperforming him on his day.

    2. Nesto says:

      I think you’re into F1 for the wrong reasons. Its all about the nuances, the drivers being on the edge and teams working out strategies. One mistake and its over. The races are intense for me, its not all about overtaking. Then again, I’m a nerd and lap times, gaps, etc. excite me.

  49. Andy C says:

    James

    What were your impressions of the track this weekend? I quite like it from a spectator point of view.

    Once it’s settled and the track worn it it should be a good addition.

    1. James Allen says:

      I liked it. It’s a nice place, good facilities, the track is one of Tilke’s best and I particularly like its divided character which means that no one car type has an advantage. The Korean GP was a big success after a very difficult build up

  50. Wombat says:

    A race like this separates the truly gifted from the merely talented.
    Nobody got lucky, Alonso kept it all under control and did what was needed.
    Unfortunately for Webber believers, Alonso now looks solid for the Championship.

    A good old fashioned F1 race, lots of action with the cars (and drivers) tested over the full race distance.
    Great opening F1 Race for Korea despite the difficult start.
    But the notion that rain is needed to get an interesting race still holds.

    Schumi looking much better – Rosberg simply unlucky.
    Massa was competitive for a long time (and I thought he wasn’t that good in the wet?).

    Hard to understand the Webber accident, it looked as though he had caught it only for the car to bite back with too little room to recover a second time.
    Vettel unlucky or pushing a well-used engine too hard?

    Hamilton for all his bluster wasn’t up to the task today when it mattered – Button just lost his way.

    Two more to go……………

    By the way, in the TV pictures of Schumacher in his Mercedes-Benz driving suit, he had the classic appearance and bearing of a German driver from an earlier era – I suspect there is some pride in that and it will show through next year.

  51. nickname101 says:

    Got to disagree with you I’m afraid, Alonso is a superb talent no doubt and Ferrari are a great team but let’s take a consider a few points:

    *He is only in contention because Red Bull keep dropping the ball kudus to him for being there pick up the pieces but he’s also benefitted from the fact that his team are only focused on him alone whereas other teams have intra-team competition

    *Ferrari’s competitiveness stems from the fact that development for this year’s package began very very early last year that’s why they have been so good this year and in my opinion they have underperformed immensley

    *Fernando being good in a Ferrari in his 1st year there is not an anomaly because he was also very good at Mclaren in his first season and missed the title by just one point so his performance this year. Should not astound

    *It is very hasty to take Rossi’s career with Yamaha as grounds for believing that the Alonso/Ferrari partnership will follow the same trajectory simply because Alonso won with Renault and left, was successful with Mclaren but left, Rossi has not had similar ups and downs in his career but Alonso not only has but with the lack of steel in his character, it means he is always succeptible to fallouts within the team when things go bad and will perhaps end up leaving Ferrari

    *This year’s title going to the wire means that their package for next year is being compromised as a result and will most probably be playing catch-up again as their Ferrari’s technical frailty has been exposed by this year’s performance

    *Newey is brilliant but we can’t overlook that he has failed to deliver for over a decade now so beating his package has lost the gloss it used to have I’m sure teams derive greater satisfaction buy beating a Brawn package

    1. Kinkas says:

      Everyone had misfortunes this year. Remenber mid-season and were Fernando was. If he was there to collect the pieces from RBR it is fortune he made for himself (otherwise would have been someone else collecting the pieces like turkish GP for Macca). Fortune is something ineherent in racing!

      Ferrari did switch to develop their 2010 car earlier. But if you see the blown difuser issue, they had to play catch up during this year to RBR (thus improving their performance since Silverstone). In January this year there were rumours of developing a B version of their car and the arrival of a certain aerodinamicist from Toyota in December last year. So no, they didn’t underachieved!

      All of the 3 teams will play catch up next year. But I would wonder what is the previous McLaren designer doing at Ferrari since August. Remenber, McLaren is the main team still throwing everything this year in terms of developing their car for 2010 (thus iterating several versions of front and rear wings and renting planes to fly the parts to flyaway races…). In this regard, I think Steffano is doing a much better job than Whitmarsh. I believe the last big update on Ferrari was for Singapore as they had already split the design team and work load between the two projects (2010 and 2011).

      I still love Newey’s designs. And he will do it again next year, I am pretty sure of it. Let’s see what Mercedes / Brawn / Schumacher can throw at us.

    2. John says:

      Really tired of people saying Alonso is benefitting from a team solely focused on him. Lets be honest here, no team will solely focus on one driver as every team wants to win the Constructors championship also, and would not shoot themselves in the foot. A team may give new limited parts to one driver but it is natural to give this to the one leading the WDC and since Massa doesn’t have the ability to even hang close to Alonso, this is deserved.

      Let me try flipping the argument the other way around. The other teams are benefitting from having 2 solid contenders…for instance….Webber/Vettel or Button/Hamilton often finish on the podium. In doing so they steal points from the other contenders. If you have a driver that doesn’t finish on the podium regularly, you are essentially a one man team by performance, not by choice. The only time Massa has helped is the one order incident. Other than that, the only other way he would help is by taking points off the other title contenders. Guess what, he hasn’t done this….if he could get on the podium, even get a win, he would reduce the number of points available for the other title competitors. I seriously think if he doesn’t put in a strong performance by the end of this year, he must be expendable at Ferrari.

      1. Gaza says:

        Sorry John can’t agree with you there any unbiased observer can understand that Massa is only allowed to finish behind Alonso.
        In the other teams the drivers are allowed to finish where they stand, massive advantage to Alonso.

        True Alonso is dominating Massa and I think he will deserve this WDC if he wins it.
        I only hope he does so by more than 7 points because in a lot of peoples eyes he got those by the team breaking the current rules, like it or not.

      2. John says:

        Just to note, my point was simply that Massa isn’t much of a help. Your saying that Massa is only allowed to finish behind Alonso is only later in the season, if they are running in order. If Massa was to be in 1st place, Webber 2nd and Alonso 3rd, it would be helpful to the Ferrari cause….instead it is not the case, and really the fault lies squarely on one driver at the end of the day.

      3. tom baker says:

        I really tired of people slagging on Massa.

        Massa is sixth in the championship despite having a lackluster year for him. In spite of not having the greatest year he’s still been on the podium five times. Button has six. The most anyone has is nine.

        If anything Massa might have become less enamored with the team since they don’t appear to be showing him respect. However I don’t see him pulling a Rubens and cutting off his nose to spite his face. He isn’t going anywhere for a while.

      4. Damian J says:

        John,

        7 points from a team swap at Ferrari could make all the difference for Alonso even though Massa looked like winning Hockeneheim. Who will be the moral WDC champion if Alonso wins by 7 points or less? Answer, the second driver in the WDC table who ever that should be!

      5. John says:

        Moral champion? There is only one champion at the end of the year. This is the case in life and sport. There are many undeserving losers in every sport, why would it be different in F1?
        Your saying that an instance of team orders in 2010 would result in a moral dillemma is really moot as F1 has, virtually in its entire history, allowed team orders, which in fact aren’t truly policeable in the first place. Should we go back and rewrite the record books for the entire F1 past? Raikkonen loses his title? Or are you arguing that simply because Ferrari did it mid season rather than at the last handful of races they somehow broke the ‘rules’ a little too much?

        From my point of view as an F1 fan there is no wrong here at all, and there is no moral champion. I can have sympathy for someone but in F1, but if you are fighting for the championship, chances are you have earned your position. If you are dominant in your team you have earned your position. The drivers who want to earn this position need to put themselves in contention to do so. In F1 history how many team #1 drivers earned their #1 status? I believe every single one of them earned it.

      6. Damian J says:

        John,

        So Alonso gains 7 free points even though he was never going to win the Hockenheim race?
        Because blatant driver swaps happened in the past does not necessarily make it acceptable in 2010. As an F1 fan, I would like to see a fair challenge between drivers. Why bother with a WCC if the constructors wish to distort the WDC?

  52. jack says:

    Great race today with some great drives. Alonso was still very quick towards the end of the race, and his tires seemed to be holding up well. Wonder if Vettel, would have had the pace or tires to hold him off?

    Surprised Alonso called this his 1st wet race victory. He won a wet Euro GP in 2007 for McLaren. It may have been pretty much dry towards the end of that race, but wouldn’t that still count as a wet race victory?

    1. drums says:

      Alonso commented in Spanish Language after the race that this Korea GP was his first victory on a track being consistently wet from the start to the finish (also implying from the left to the right side of the track). I can then imagine that he was mentally discarding other victories under uneven whether or on dried track paths.

      1. Nesto says:

        I took it as he meant his first wet victory this year with Ferrari.

  53. Jasper says:

    Amazing turn around from mid season from Alonso, hard to believe but in Brazil if he finishes third & Webber fails to score he’ll clinch the Championship. Also if that doesn’t happen in Brazil he’s the only Championship contender who’s mathematically guaranteed his place in a final race shoot out.

  54. jude says:

    Alonso was always going to excel on a new track; with or without Piquet’s.

    1. alexander says:

      aslong as there are no Mosleys hunting for Breatores, there is no need to find another “..gate”

  55. Mars isnt even this strange says:

    So a few races ago Petrov goes over a damp kerb and spins out of the race, which gets him ridiculed to the extreme by everyone from BBC commentators to JA readers.

    And today Webber does the exact same mistake in even wetter conditions, which is even a bigger rookie mistake, taking Rosbergs strong position with him, and no one talks about it? He shouldn’t be ridiculed like Petrov was?

    Oh wait…BBC commentators lunch regularely with Webber (as confirmed in the broadcast today), close friends of him and JA readers are biased towards Webber come hell or high water.

    1. James Allen says:

      To be fair, Petrov has done it several times. Webber made a mistake, yes, but it was a rare one. Petrov crashed again today from 7th place, but we gave him credit for his drive to that point.

    2. Neil Donnell says:

      I think it was Petrov’s comment (at Spa I believe) that he ‘wanted to see how slippery the kerb was’ that opened him up to some ridicule.

      1. artorwar says:

        Yeah thats some classic stuff. Also worth pointing out that if Petrov was driving witht the same confidence Webber is people would probably bit a bit easier on him. Apart from the crash I though Petrov was doing an OK job today until the shunt. Renault were out of sorts.

    3. James B says:

      I agree with the sentiment towards the BBC commentators. Button and Webber can do no wrong in there eyes.

  56. Grabyrdy says:

    James – 2 techie questions for your techie review :
    1 – what was it on Jenson’s car that he had and Lewis didn’t that he thinks might have turned his car into a truck today ?, and
    2 – Ferrari found something around Silverstone. What was it ?

    1. James Allen says:

      Answer to 2 is a more sophisticated blown diffuser. THe first one was a bit crude. It worked properly from Valencia onwards. Answer to 1 I’m trying to find out. Everyone’s a bit mystified by this comment

      1. Neil Donnell says:

        I heard somewhere that it was a new suspension component that allowed him to have a better feel of the car.

        Again, could be viewed as overreaching to add such a unknown when the evolving track was enough of a challenge.

      2. Andy C says:

        He definitely felt it today Neil :-)

  57. Dave Roberts says:

    What a phenomenal roller coaster of emotions this race produced.I started feeling angry that the track was so new that it could not cope with moderate rainfall which turned to dismay when Webber crashed. I thought the race itself was fascinating and was glued to both the TV screen as well as my computer as I monitored Maclaren, the BBC tracker and Twitter.

    I had a feeling Vettel was not going to finish the race and sent you a Twitter message James saying so about two minutes before his engine gave way. All be it I thought he might make a mistake I did think it was a touch of Mystic Meg! Out of interest do you read the Twitter messages from punters or do you have too many?

    1. James Allen says:

      I try to read them often, but it’s hard during a race as I’m doing a number of things at once..Thanks

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      As much as Vettel was unlucky with his engine you were lucky with your feelings.

      Don’t read too much in it, correct premonitions like engine failures are rare nowadays.

      1. artorwar says:

        No one has more Magical F1 Powers than Mystic Murray. He could ruin a drivers race at will just by talking about him, or so it seemed. Puts you in mind of how unfortunate we are to be stuck with Leggasrd these days. He’s ethusiastic but thats about it. Should have kept JA on as a commentator, was a great foil for Brundlefly.

  58. k miles says:

    1st he “won” because of kimis unreliable merc engines, then because of an illegal mass damper, and now it will be because of unreliable renault engines! what a fluke!!

    1. downforce says:

      well, if Alonso wins the WDC “because of unreliable renault engines”, how come that Lewis is incaple of beating such an incompetent pal as the spaniard?

    2. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

      mass damper is everything you want but a moveable aerodevice, the reason it was banned. It was an innertial damper. Everything about that issue looks very dark from the perspective of time.

    3. alexander says:

      he would have won 3rd already if he wasn’t in a team run by idiots who gave title to Ferrari the way Bull’s a giving title to himself

  59. flip says:

    everyone seem to think that Vettel would have won the race had his engine not blown up. looking at the state of Alonso´s tyres compared to those of anybody else by the end of the race, i don´t think that would necessarily had been the case. in any case, Alonso was just at his devastatingly best. what two races ahead!

    1. Stig says:

      Are there any pics of Vettels tyres?

      1. flip says:

        None that I have seen. What I have seen is the pics of the other cars that finish the race and apart from Alonso they all had eaten up their tyres. My point is that there is room to question the idea that a Vettel win was done and dusted. In any case, most of the degradation of tyres seem to have occurred in the last 5 or 6 laps of the race so a pics of Vettels tyres wouldn´t necessarily tell us much. Of course is possible that Vettel had his tyres in better shape than Alonso´s but somehow my feeligs is that Alonso could smell blood

  60. Ed says:

    Alonso’s certainly had some great luck this year with inheriting positions from Vettel’s failures and some lucky safety cars.

    I don’t mind if he wins the WC, although I am going for Webber, but if he does, I do hope its by more than 7 points so he doesn’t just win based on Hockenheim.

    1. alexander says:

      Alonso was extremely lucky with safety car in Valencia and in few other ocations

      1. mvi says:

        You mean unlucky in Valencia.

    2. drums says:

      Then everything will keep as always has been in F1. What a fuss! Whas not in China 2007 that Massa left his Ferrari team mate Raikonnen to take over him to win the that race and the 2007 WDC?

      1. mtb says:

        No, it was in Brazil.

      2. drums says:

        I stand corrected.

  61. DK says:

    Glad to see Vettel accepted his misfortune without an angry and sour face. I think he has matured a bit after some hard knocks mid season.

  62. JohnBt says:

    Did Not Finish and Did Not Falter are worlds apart. No mercy spared for Red Bull. Mark’s mistake was unforgiving, Vettel I suspect turned up the engine to max it out and kaboom!

    Alonso nursed his used engine very well and preserved his tyres while Hamilton’s front were almost gone at the end and finished 14 seconds behind. Massa drove well too.

    Rosberg was an innocent harpooned victim.
    Liuzzi finally did well with 6th.

    Kobayashi san, banzai banzai banzai, lol, and once again in the top ten. You can never count this lad out, can ya?

    Good lord Sutil was bloody awful today.

    Chaos shrouded the Korean GP, but I enjoyed every bit of the race. I was touched by the patriotism shown by the Koreans, there were so many toddlers if you noticed. And most of all the new track held up well despite the negatives.

    Control and some luck will be a major factor to the last two races. WDC decided at Abu Dhabi will be perfect.

    Next, some Bossa Nova before the sun set.

  63. Rob Jolliffe says:

    I had a feeling the Red Bull’s wouldn’t finish the race. Well done to Alonso for finishing the job.

  64. devilsadvocate says:

    The trolls seem rather hungry today, oh well… Not a merc fan but I was absolutely gutted when Nico got taken out, he was having an amazing drive right after a lot of people said he wasn’t aggressive and had just learned the tires better than schum. I loved his pass on Hamilton, calm cool and flawless, I honestly don’t think Hamilton expected it at all.

    Anyone else seeing a lot of Kimi at mclaren out of Vettel? Super fast but absolutely ruined by chassis problems. If you count his two Daley mechanical DNFs which were clearly not overdriving th car, he would have a nearly 30pt championship lead right now. That not including any of his other non self inflicted mishaps that would have gotten him a handful of points as well.

    Hamilton was really off his game, were it not for the 3 retirements in front of him, he probably would have gotten picked off by massa or schum a well, and button was unusually slow because of a terrible strategy call that left him out to dry behind a pack of cars that seemed pretty determined to put each other out of the race with the majority succeeding.

  65. alexander says:

    OK. Maybe RedBull cars are fast but not reliable (like old McLaren in a hands of Raikkonen few years ago) but I can’t stop laughing when before almost every race we hear both McLarens fighting for win but later looking ridiculous. Lewis makes best lap of his career in every qualifying session (giving 110-130%) and if Jenson is strugling – “something has happened with a car”. Let’s hope Alonso will lift the trophy in Abu Dabi and TV will show Ron Dennis’s face.

    1. part time watcher says:

      I have and still do work in motorsport, although not in F1 but in some top flight GT and LMS teams.
      Some drivers do seem to be harder on the car than others in very small ways, having mainly done endurance racing this is very important factor when picking drivers.
      This can be various factors, braking harder, using more kerb, not cooling the car properly when in traffic, and many other factors.
      From watching Vetel over the last few years it would seem he has a bit of “car killer” in him. He seems to have more car dnf than his tem mate, and although he is very quick, maybe he doesnt have much mechanical feel for his car.
      In a tight championship things like this can make or break a year.

    2. Sammy says:

      @Alexander LOL for your last sentence!

  66. Scott says:

    Alonso won at the Nurburgring in 2007 in wet conditions. Remember the great overtaking move on Massa at the end?

    1. Faisal says:

      That race was another classic. I have it in my PC and still watch it repeatedly

    2. drums says:

      I apologize for posting again what I’ve posted above, but I heard Alonso commenting in Spanish in the press conference after the race that this Korea GP was his first victory on a track being consistently wet from the start to the finish (also implying from the left to the right side of the track). I can then imagine that he was mentally discarding other victories under uneven wether or on dried track paths. In his previous comment in English he said merely that he was happy this was his first victory on a wet track.

  67. Steve Selasky says:

    A good race from the standpoint of a demonstration of great car/mind management from the top drivers and teams.

    I look forward to the final two grand prix races of the season.

    What I don’t understand is Christian Horner providing support for Vettel championship chances.

    Like many things life we need to grab opportunity when it presents itself. Red Bull needs to have Vettel back Weber up for the championship.

    If he does not it is going to be just like 1986/2007 scenario with the Williams and McLaren team.

    Unbelievable they (RB management) would even think that….

    1. charlie says:

      I think the differences developing between Webber and RBR are now somewhat irreconcilable. RBR management and Webber are displaying all the physical and verbal signs of a Webber departure and an acknowledged Vettel embrace in 2011. I see a very dissatisfying departure from F1 for Mark Webber win, lose or draw in the 2010 WDC. Leaving the team that you have help develop and watch blossom will be crushing for Webber under the current circumstances. The appearance of disingenuous support for Webber and the and outward dis-trust by Webber of his superiors is a very disturbing. Deserving or not this will only end poorly for all parties.

  68. John Player says:

    This race was the first time I saw the circuit and it seems to be very good new circuit which is:
    A)good for overtaking and has some fast sweepers to make life interesting for the drivers as well
    B)not over protected. Just look at the way the cars are entering the pits(remember Estoril 1992?)and exiting it(fantastic place for a collission between someone overshooting his braking point and innocent guy leaving the pits). Fabulous!

    “B” is a very useful tool. Everyone who says that Spa, Suzuka or Monaco have barriers too close to the track should look at the last corners of Yeongam. No run off at all and high speed. So, time to dig up the tarmac run off at Blanchimont and plant some trees back there…
    Many were joking that this place looks like a construction site. Thanks to closer barriers here and there it was not that bad at all. Shanghai or even Istanbul park(although elevation changes make up a lot there) are worse even when finished.

    The race itself… well, glad it got started finally. They should move the starting time earlier and not run for the tv money all the time. It looked really dark there.

  69. alexander says:

    One more thing regarding Vettel – it shouldn’t be only bad luck that his engine is failing but the ones in Mark’s RedBull and both Renaults – not.

  70. Luke A says:

    James,

    I saw you say regarding McLarens suspension:-

    “Well the car has become very stiffly sprung and that made it tough in the wet”

    Do you mean they have made it even more stiff throughout the year, because to be honest, they have had a very stiff suspension from the first race with this years car – that is why they always struggle over the bumps.

    I don’t see how that would make them so bad in the wet because the same overly stiffly sprung car won races in the wet earlier in the year and even at Spa.

    Also, I think I heard that one of the reasons why they were much closer at Singapore in qualifying (a track that almost is inherently against the design of this years car), was because they managed to change their suspension and make it softer for that race.

    Please elaborate on what you mean about this stiff suspension costing them at Korea and if they changed anything drastically with regard to setup, etc. I did notice Hamilton said that he was finding it hard to use the F-duct in qualifying as the car was so bad over some of the bumps.

  71. Toni says:

    Great race by Alonso but it isn’t a big surprise if you take his career upto date into acount. He’s grat at sensing any weaknesses with the drivers he has in front and knows how to make the most out of tough situations. That makes him a great driver and not a lucky one! Each top driver (or sportsman) has had different attributes if you look through history and you can’t expect any driver to be the same as the one before.

    Vettel seems to be unlucky but all I sense from him everytime I watch hm drive is hot headedness. Maybe it’s due to his youth or simply something to do with his character. I just hope it’s the first option coz that means that in the future we’ll have some real entertainment for all F1 fans to enjoy. Taking to aside the fact that his personality seems to be a tad iffy, you can’t say he doesn’t entertain.

    I Alonso can’t win the title, I only hope Webber wins it. I feel he’s been trated pretty badly by RBR and they’ve never shown the faith they should’ve done with the aussie driver. He’s a top driver and he’s a nice guy… Maybe for alot of people that second part doesn’t really matter, but we can’t all be the same.

    All in all, it was a fantastic race once it got started. I was bored out of my skull watching that safety car go round and round at the start. But once things got going, it was like watching a race of years gone by. Only the BEST drivers can take that sort of pressure and the three guys on the posium deserve all the great press they’re getting after this Korean GP.

    Hamilton had to cope with alot today in a car that just wasn’t performing. He kept it going and deserves his podium finish… He’s a great driver! He has his weaknesses which were also made evident today and that’s why he didn’t make it a win. Alonso with inferior cars knows how to juice out that extra tenth so as to take the max out of a GP. That’s the difference between the two in my opinion, without going into the obvious techinal part of their driving styles.

    Great GP and I can’t wait for the last two!

    Like Alonso said in the post race inteview… “RBR’s bad luck today can happen to any of us at any race, so I’m not thinking that the job’s done at all.”

    Thanks James! Like always… TOP STUFF!

  72. BrianM_1 says:

    Webber has his final engine (#8) which has only completed 1 Qual and 3 laps at race pace in the rain. Everyone else in contention for WDC will be using engines past their use-by-date. There are two hot weather races ahead, this simply could make the difference in terms of reliability and matching race pace. Anything can happen in next 2 races, however, mathematically, Red Bull needs to support Mark Webber, in order to Win WDC, assuming Alonso finishes worst case 3rd in both races, However, it is likely not to be the case that RBR or Vettel will support Webber to Win, as Vettel has shown previously, he is unconcerned about what damage he does to other racers prospects, only his own.

    1. alexander says:

      Does anybody know what’s the situation with Mark’s engine after today’s crash? Rosberg hit side/back of the car

  73. Sufyaan Patel says:

    Another great result for Fernando. He played it down when asked in the press conference but inside, he really knew what it meant. That laughter on the radio on the slow-down lap said it all. But as Stefano said (as did Alonso), they have to keep their feet on the ground.

    Brazil next. I expect it to suit the Bulls and Webber to bounce back, or Vettel. Fernando, if all goes well should be able to get third. And then finally to Abu Dhabi. I expect it to be very close between the Red Bulls and Alonso, maybe Alonso having the edge which if it is the case, he can win and sew up that 3rd title.

    But the above is all in theory though. As we know and like today, anything can happen.

    The final two races are going to be intense!

    Hoping for dry weather for both weekend so they can have a fair and straight fight :)

  74. alexander says:

    If my calculations are correct and Vettel wins both remaining races and Alonso finishes in third and fifth, Vettel would become champion only by winning more 4th places – points, wins, 2nd and 3rd places would be equal.
    Good news for Alonso, if Vettel wins both races, he needs 1 3rd and 1 4th place to win championship

  75. Vignesh says:

    Which engine did Alonso use today?? I think he used the SPA engine at Japan.. Did he use that again (meaning 3 races already done) or did he use the engine from Monza (this means he is going to use different engines for next two races). This is crucial because if in case he blows his engine in Brazil, he will then use the other one at Dhubai without penalty.

  76. Kev says:

    A great race for the viewers. Korea managed to put itself in good spotlight.

    Alonso drove a classy race to take advantage of things happening around him.

    Lewis too had a good race to get 3rd.

    Massa had a confidence booster coming 3rd just before his home race.

    Star of the show: Schumi managed to repay the team with a credible 4th place and two good moves on the current WDC and hot property in the market, Kubica.

    James, could you please let me know the engine situation for the drivers or atleast the top5.

    Does Alonso stand a chance with the engine situation? Guess he can take the title comfortably if he has 1 win and another 3rd place finish in the remaining two races.

  77. Nando says:

    Kimi did in 2007. I wouldn’t say Alonso as relentless, the first word that comes to mind is calculating after a great start to the season in his Renault he just cruised around picking up podiums taking advantage of the horrid point scoring system.
    Alonso isn’t that pure racer in the mould of the Senna he races for championships, winning races doesn’t seem to matter to him if there is risk involved.

    1. alexander says:

      You think it’s better for him to fight RedBulls in a car sometimes 0.3-0.5 seconds/lap slower? How should he do this – by running on fingertips like Fred Flinstoune? Sorry guys – it’s not Ayrton’s F1 anymore – different cars, different tracks, different teams strategies. It’s not only up to Alonso what he can fight and what he can’t. Greatest fighter of ourdays – Lewis – promissed us fight before the race – did he fight anybody? Did he even try? Alonso is fighting with his mind – that’s why he is leading championship. Whe he is able to fight – he is fighting – check races when he was starting from the back of grid. You’d say he is lucky – I would say he is lucky as anybody else in Top5. He had Valencia Safety Car disaster, problems in few qualifying sessions and so on. Other guys had other problems but the are pretty much equal.

  78. Pete says:

    Just one small note: the new points system has nothing to do with what’s happening with the championship table positions. Following on from a previous discussion, the order at the top would be exactly the same under the old points system, and the ‘distances’ between the top players pretty much the same in terms of relative placings required to end up on top at the end of the year.

    Under the old system, the points before this last race would have been: Webber (88), Vettel (84), Alonso (83), Hamilton (79) and Button (77). After Korea, the points would have been: Alonso (93), Webber (88), Hamilton (87), Vettel (84) and Button (77).

    1. Snowy says:

      Exactly – the new points system has made absolutely no difference, and that has followed through pretty much the entire course of the season with only very minor exceptions.

      At the current state of play the only differences between this year and last are that Liuzzi and Petrov would have their positions reversed, in 13th and 14th places, as would de la Rosa and Buemi, in 16th and 17th. The only reason for this is because of the addition of new point-scoring positions in the minor places (9th and 10th) – the changes to the other points values is irrelevant. That was always going to be the case as the relative weighting between them has remained unchanged. All that has happened is everything is multiplied by a factor of 2.5.

      I continue to be amazed that supposedly knowledgeable commentators (yourself included here now JA) keep refering to the ‘fact’ that the new points system has really kept things interesting this year. After the race even Alonso made reference to the new points system making things much more variable as far as the championship is concerned. So much for his supposed depth of intelligence and understanding – maths obviously isn’t his strong point.

      The closeness of this year’s championship is entirely down to the mix of finishing results throughout the season and has absolutely nothing to do with the points system. And that IS a fact.

      1. Axu says:

        I think Alonso and other commentators are considering the change in perception relative to a specific points difference in ranking, determined by the current system.

        A 25-point difference (which was huge one year ago) still seems very big, but is now surmountable in just one race. As a result, the ranking felt “more variable” than it should have been perceived as (only) factual consequence of race results.

        I think that’s the point being made. It’s about perceptions, not about math.

    2. Shane says:

      The new points system adds drama… A 25 point lead sounds more insurmountable than a 10 point lead.

  79. BC says:

    Any thoughts on whether Vettel may have used his qualifying button to retard the engine on over-run and give more speed and stability in the race?

    From a strategy point of view it is a calculated risk, with cool conditions and expecting only 75% race distance with 20 or so laps under the safety car.

    But if this supposition is correct, the risk didn’t pay off.

    1. James Allen says:

      Doubt it. In the wet the engine is less important than in the dry

      1. BC says:

        It’s not so much the extra speed that would be beneficial, but the exhaust pressure on overrun for the blown diffuser. This would give more downforce on turn in, which I would have thought would be useful in the wet.

  80. D. says:

    Two things: (a) James, you must be kidding when you say in the article: ” … and then (Webber) was hit by Rosberg”. What ?? He was hit BY Rosberg, or did HE hit Rosberg ? Enough w/ the defense of a very mediocre driver.

    (b) I have been saying for weeks, Webber would find a way to lose the title. How did I know it ? Simple: he’s been like that every since he steppen in an F1 car. He is simply technically deficient, and far from an all-around driver. And sure enough, look what has happened. There is absolutely NO WAY, NO WAY AT ALL, that Webber will win this WDC. NO WAY. I like him as a person, I really, really do. But his driving gaffes are beyond acceptance.

    1. James Allen says:

      View the tape, Webber was in the way, Rosberg had nowhere to go, but physically Rosberg hit Webber not the other way around.

    2. BC says:

      Webber has still made fewer mistakes than Alonso and Vettel this year, but has not had the benefit of a helpful team mate.
      Webber is less than a 1/10th slower then Vettel, whom most people regards as very quick. QED Webber is also quick and consistently outqualified all his previous team mates.

    3. Grabyrdy says:

      You’re overstating the case, I think. He made a mistake on Sunday, and my guess is that the pressure got to him just a little bit. But he’s still one of the top 6 on the grid.

      And maybe it will calm him down for the next one. Sometimes it’s easier to be the hunter than the hunted (ask Jenson !) At least that way you’re always looking forward.

  81. Satish says:

    Hi James,

    Why do Alonso and yourself refer to this race as Alonso’s first wet race win? What about the 2007 European GP? That too had rain and in fact so many cars literllay went flying off the circuit at the same sport, followed by a race suspension/restart?

    1. Tim. says:

      First with Ferrari

  82. John says:

    Well let’s get serious. This year has been a great F1 year. I have enjoyed it immensley. I must say that in that great big corporate world out there we always have influential people that pull the strings from the shadows. It’s just the nature of the game. No matter how much I do not care much for Briatore, he surely knows the business. Ferrari have been around the block now for some time now. Briatore was right on the money when he sated that RBR needed to back Webber. Yes I know who’s Manager he belongs to. RBR need to cover this one properly or else Alonso will snatch the silverware away from RBR. Vettel will not win this years WDC. There is only one choice. Do RBR have the balls to do it? It seems to me you are a bunch girls so far and if you don’t make the hard decision you will lose it! Good Luck! P.S I wonder what David Coulthard would be saying if he was in Mark Webber’s shoes instead of playing Devils advocate.

  83. Anthony says:

    the unassailable truth…….

    Ferrari has owned the second half of this season hands down. If RB had a half decent set of drivers these clowns would have won both titles weeks ago. Vettel is quick but his own worst enemy. Webber is a nice guy; lets just leave it at that. Mclaren – they are getting worse each race out. Since Silvertsone Ferrari (Alonso 47 pts back) is beating this pack much like my grand-dad did the rented mule we had back on the farm. Enough said !! All the whinning in the world cannot change these unassailable truths.

    1. Shane says:

      Ha! Love it…

      But Webber is fast, faster than I ever thought he could be. I mean, he is legitimately challenging the “next Michael” every lap. Vettel usually gets the better of Webber, but only just so.

  84. Pargo says:

    BBC website “Red Bull will not favour Mark Webber, says team boss”.

    Do these guys actually want to win the WDC? I’m not saying Vettel should defer to cruise control, but let’s face it, if it weren’t for Massa, Alonso would only be 4 points ahead right now.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      About RBR, nonsense.

      And 4 points is plenty. At the end of the season, 1 point is plenty (see 2007 and 2008).

      Fact is, Alonso’s stolen win in Germany gave him MOMENTUM. And he’s been able to build on it.

    2. Emma says:

      Yes, that’s right. RBR’s choice to back both drivers doesn’t make sense with only 2 races left. They’re gambling on Alonso not finishing well from here (bad idea!).

      Granted he’s done well to get here, but in many ways, this will be a championship gifted to Alonso.

  85. Peter Abatan says:

    This was a fascinating race that will certainly confirm Alonso as champion, considering that both rival teams have indicated that they were not going to support their current lead drivers.

    Barring any mechanical faults, all Alonso has to do is hang in there among the top 3 in the next 2 races. If Vettel can beat Webber in the next 2 races, and Button do the same to Hamilton they both eliminate themselves from the championship giving the win to Alonso who thoroughly deserves to win.

    So please McLaren and Red Bull please stick with your decisions not to support your lead drivers and make it 3 world titles for the man called “Alonso”.

  86. Ryan Eckford says:

    What a race! A great win for Fernando Alonso. He is a genius. If I can remember, he said at Silverstone when he was almost 2 wins behind Webber and said, “I’m going to win the World Championship”. Now with 2 races to go, he is leading the World Championship. I compare Alonso in a way to Alain Prost in that he has an unbelievable level of concentration, which is beyond most people’s comprehension.

    Looking ahead to the final two races, I think McLaren will be very strong in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. You might think they will struggle in Brazil as it is similar to Korea, where it didn’t quite go as well as predicted, but I think that the low grip surface in Korea meant that braking and traction was needed more than predicted, playing into the hands of Ferrari and Red Bull more so than McLaren. In Brazil, it should have much more grip, meaning that McLaren is back in the game.

    Predictions:
    Brazil: 1. McLaren 2. Red Bull 3. Ferrari
    Abu Dhabi: 1. McLaren 2. Ferrari 3. Red Bull

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      This prediction would win the WDC for Alonso by two points – looks like McLaren need to win both races and have a 2-3 for Red Bull in one of the races – quite a likely situation actually.

  87. Guy Hurt says:

    Fernando Alonso’s the luckiest driver on the grid as he won his 05 and 06 World Titles on the back of Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher engine failures. And it looks like he’ll do it again on the back of Red Bull’s failures.

    1. Shane says:

      I think you have it wrong… He won those titles because he drove better. He was conservative when he needed to be and he was able to wring every last drop of performance from his Renault when it was crucial.

      To say he won because Ferrari engines blew up is ridiculous. How many engine failures did Alonso suffer in that time?

      Alonso is a two time world champion because he is a fantastic talent. He drives a calculated race and does everything he can to maximize his points tally.

  88. Estophile says:

    I have been following F1 for 30 years, and for the first time ever the night before a race I had a dream/premonition about it.

    It was raining at the start, but they didn’t need the safety car. Vettel and Alonso took each other out in the first third of the race, battling for the lead. The McLarens were much faster than Webber in the wet, and streaked off into the distance. But then a dry line started to emerge, and Webber caught and passed the pair of them. Button beat Hamilton to second after managing his tyres better.

    Well, at least I sort of got the bit about the rain at the start right… :)

  89. Hi James, I have a question, why Vettel’s car were hitting the track after engine failure? it was all most by the end of the race, that means low in fuel and the car most be higher, if you look in to Alonso’s Car you can see clearly how high it is… can you tell me why those sparks … thanks

    1. Nesto says:

      his engine was falling apart

  90. Oeurtal says:

    I think it’s important to note that Renault hasn’t broken any engine this seasson (If I remember, I could be wrong) but RedBull has broken at least three with Sebastian Vettel. So it’s important:

    a)This denotes a bad use of the engine in RedBull, and excluding an involuntary bad use, this is related to the need of his car of stress the engine to get, for example, a fast Q3. I also think that they use this feature in race, leting driver to decide when to get an extra downforce.

    b)This also denotes that Vettel, in comparission with Webber, as he breaks more engines, is using this mechanism more than his teammate. This could be an explanation: he uses to be a less inteligent driver at the race than the more experienced Webber.

    So I can’t say that RedBull unluck in this GP is purely a matter of luck. And this also applies for Vettel. Look at the race management of Alonso: he never goes at the same speed he can, he doesn’t need to be the quickiest all the time. This difference is evident when you see Hamilton, Vettel, they always get the car, drive the quickiest. Thats not a matter of balls, is a matter of lacks of intelligence.

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