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Sebastian Vettel is World Champion after dominant win in Abu Dhabi
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Sebastian Vettel is World Champion after dominant win in Abu Dhabi
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Nov 2010   |  4:44 pm GMT  |  305 comments

Sebastian Vettel became the youngest ever F1 World Champion today when he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

The three most recent champions, the new one in the middle (Getty)


It was a vindication of Red Bull’s decision not to make Vettel hand the win to Webber in Brazil, as it set Vettel up with the chance to do this. And he needed a slice or two or luck, as Hamilton came out behind the Renault of Robert Kubica who prevented him from having a go at Vettel.

He was also lucky on the day that Ferrari made a terrible tactical error, which crippled Fernando Alonso’s race. They were so focussed on covering the early stop for Mark Webber and reacted to that, bringing Alonso in early, rather than seeing the risk posed by drivers who had pitted under a safety car on lap one. That error cost Alonso the world title today.

At the start Button jumped Alonso for third place. Webber didn’t really try to attack while further back Schumacher got caught out by his team mate in Turn 5 and went into a spin. He was smashed by Tonio Liuzzi, who had nowhere to go. The nose of Liuzzi’s car narrowly missed Schumacher’s head.

This brought out a safety car, under which Rosberg pitted, as did Petrov, Di Grassi and the two Hispania cars.

It was a messy end to a patchy comeback season for the seven times champion.

The race restarted on lap six. Hamilton had to go off track to avoid Vettel as he braked to build a gap to the safety car for the restart.

Webber’s tyres started to go off and he pitted on lap 12. But he came out behind Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso and when Alonso pitted on lap 15, he was able to rejoin just ahead of Webber. It seemed ironic that a Red Bull owned Toro Rosso car would be the one to cost Webber the chance to jump Alonso.

Webber pushed Alonso hard, the pair closed up on Petrov. Ferrari told Alonso it was “critical” that he pass Petrov. Meanwhile Alonso had other problems because also ahead of him was Nico Rosberg, who had pitted under the safety car and thus would not be stopping again. This put him on course to be fifth in the race and thus lose the title.

Hamilton pitted on lap 23 and that forced Vettel to react. He pitted a lap later and was lucky that Kobayashi made a mistake as it meant Vettel could get ahead of both Kobayashi and Kubica. The Pole made a sublime pass on the Japanese a lap later. Neither of them had pitted at this stage.

Hamilton passed Kobayashi on lap 27, but couldn’t pass Kubica. Meanwhile Button led on lap 31, having not pitted yet. We have seen him several times this season getting much longer life out of soft tyres than his rivals. Hamilton was on the radio asking for permission to pit for new tyres as his left front was giving him problems.

Button stayed out and Vettel closed him down. Button pitted on lap 40, dropping back into third place.

Kubica pitted on lap 47 and rejoined ahead of Petrov and Alonso, compounding the misery of Ferrari. The Renaults certainly did a job for Red Bull, their customer for engines, today. But it was all fair.

So Alonso started third and finished seventh, Webber started fifth and finished eighth.


Vettel emulated Kimi Raikkonen’s 2007 feat of winning the title in the last round having been third at the start of the race.

“We have to enjoy this moment. It is our moment,” said Vettel. “I was thinking of Kimi’s situation today. It was similar, but we were in a stronger position. One big advantage with Kimi is that he does his own thing and that was my target all weekend long. Who would have thought that a Ferrari starting third with good pace would finish seventh? That’s how it goes some times. I’m just happy to add my name to the list with Schumacher and Senna.

“The car this year was phenomenal, it was a masterpiece. I had the clear target going into the season to win the championship, I was very focussed, maybe I got a bit tense mid season. But to come back after what happened in Spa and all the bad press I got, that’s when you realise who supports you. I realised that sometimes things don’t go your way but there is justice and today it went my way.”

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, Yas Marina Circuit, 55 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h39m36.837s
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 10.1s
3. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 11.0s
4. Rosberg Mercedes + 30.7s
5. Kubica Renault + 39.0s
6. Petrov Renault + 43.5s
7. Alonso Ferrari + 43.7s
8. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 44.2s
9. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 50.2s
10. Massa Ferrari + 50.8s
11. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari + 51.5s
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 57.6s
13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 58.3s
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 59.5s
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m03.1s
16. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1m04.7s
17. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Klien HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 4 laps

FINAL STANDINGS DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1. Vettel 256
2. Alonso 252
3. Webber 242
4. Hamilton 240
5. Button 214
6. Massa 144
7. Rosberg 142
8. Kubica 136
9. Schumacher 72
10. Barrichello 47
11. Sutil 47
12. Kobayashi 32
13. Petrov 27
14. Hulkenberg 22
15. Liuzzi 21
16. Buemi 8
17. De la Rosa 6
18. Heidfeld 6
19. Alguersuari 5

CONSTRUCTORS CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Red Bull-Renault 498
2. McLaren-Mercedes 454
3. Ferrari 396
4. Mercedes 214
5. Renault 163
6. Williams-Cosworth 69
7. Force India-Mercedes 68
8. Sauber-Ferrari 44
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13

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305 Comments
  1. Mojo66 says:

    First and foremost, the sport won today. If Alonso would have won the title today with a less than 7 points gap, there would have always been the Hockenheim stigma stuck to it.

    And all who demanded teamorders from Red Bull at Brazil have been silenced today, too.

    A good day for sportsmanship.

    1. BlackGoldLotus says:

      Enough already with all the moralistic preaching, please. Button and Webber were made to turn down their engines at critical times. Webber’s early pit stop today was partly aimed at hedging bets and forcing Ferrari into their stupid and title-costing mistake. Team orders exist, have existed and will exist in all teams. And if you don’t want them, get rid of multiple drivers per team.

      1. Frankie says:

        Webbers pit stop today was the only strategy possible to get past Alonso. It may well have had alternative objectives, but when that is the only way past, the others don’t even come into consideration.

        You cannot have #2 drivers giving up points to their #1, whilst blocking all other competitors possible. As soon as Massa gave way for Alonso in Germany. he should be under blue flag conditions for any other driver who is not operating openly as a #2 driver. This just makes a mockery of the sport, something of no interest to Ferrari who would gladly win in any tarnished manner.

      2. BMG says:

        Agree, Vettel owes his championship to Webber.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      The 7 points modified the championship already. If Alonso has won with 10 points, that wouldn’t have made it any fairer.

      Your championship position and points tally modify the way you tackle races and thus modify the championship.

      Personally, I do have no problem with Ferrari’s orders given Massa’s awful lack of pace. If they were both competitive it would’ve been harsh and unfaire but they weren’t. Massa already ruined Alonso’s race in Australia and hampered his race in China

      Don’t tell me if he was quicker than Massa in Hockenheim, he needed to overtake. Today Alonso was faster than Petrov and Hamilton faster than Kubica and nobody could overtake.

      1. pasq says:

        red bull and mclaren had drivers that were close to eachother and fighting, massa never looked close to alonso, it was a no brainer to let him through, massa hurt alonsos championship in australia and china.

      2. Andy C says:

        I actually got to the end of the race and could not really recall hearing or seeing from Massa.

        I hope he has a better year next year.

    3. drums says:

      Indeed the sport won today. No pilot tried to get any other out of the track today. This couldn’t be said regarding more than one ‘classic’ champions of the golden era, who by the way are worshipped now and truly deserved his championship then.

  2. P Jaxon says:

    I’m not a big fan of Vettel, but I can’t argue with what he’s achieved this year. well done to him.
    Massive credit to Red Bull for letting both drivers race the entire season, and managing to clinch both championships. I like Christian Horner and Adrian Newey so I’m stoked for them.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      Actually IMO, the Renaults played a bigger role in today’s championship rather than Webber playing by the team. One covered Alonso and Webber thus disposing of two of Vettel’s contestants and then the one took care of Hamilton – i am of the school of thought that it would have been just that bit immoral if Alonso had won following the Germany team orders situation: the sport won today.

      1. "for sure" says:

        Agreed, the fact that Ferrari failed to capitalise on their FIA sanctioned cheating was priceless, Alonso stuck behind Petrov for most of the race was even more so, and the finale when Alonso petulantly remonstrated with Petrov because he didn’t get the “Fernando is faster than you” message was the icing on the cake. The only depressing bit was Helmut Marko celebrating.

      2. Damian J says:

        I could n’t have said it any better! Hear Hear!

  3. Curro says:

    Ferrari made a clamorous mistake today by getting their rival wrong. Webber was eliminated yesterday, all they had to do is win the battle for 4th with Button. Be assured that Christian Horner will now make his point very clear that Ferrari were misled into this fatal error by Red Bull’s strategy of fighting a two-front battle until the end.

    Congratulations to Vettel, despite some errors he was the fastest guy this year and it can only be great for F1 to have another young and talented world champion.

    Sorry for Fernando. Can’t help reminding the previous occasions in which Mr Montezemolo has been present at a grand prix and things have gone wrong. Luca, please, next year stay home, ok? ;)

    1. chetz says:

      he had to come with the ferrari park n all that jazz. bt he did his best staying back at the hotel n not in the pits. wonder what he broke this time? :P

    2. BlackGoldLotus says:

      Fully agreed. Ferrari overreacted, which shows you how little confidence they had in the F10. Alonso has over-performed all year in a car that was third-fastest (and sometimes not even that).

      This year was supposed to mark Ferrari’s comeback after last year’s disaster of a season, but it’s clear that all that early development did not pay off. They really need to look in the mirror and get their act together quick before Mercedes makes it even tougher for them.

      And, by the way, that includes getting a better quality driver than Massa, who other than the infamous Germany incident, has been meaningless all season long. No factor in either championship.

      Sorry for Fernando, but hard to argue that Vettel is a deserved champion. It if hadn’t been for mechanical failures, Vettel would have wrapped up the title 6 weeks ago.

      1. GP says:

        The real worry about Ferrari is that they are slowly returning to what they were before Todt, Braun, and Byrne.

        I hope they won’t start next year with a car that is not quite on par with RBR and McLaren. Mercedes could also be right up there. Alonso could be in for another season of catch up and/or be hanging on by a thread…

        With all the technology in F1, you’d think they could clone Adrian Newey…

      2. Monika says:

        @Blackgoldlotus, agree completely, and in addition to getting a new driver I would include getting a new team principal with better capacity to take wise decisions instead of ¨ nice team and good management talk¨. Last year they stopped developing the Ferrari in the middle of the season to develop the F10 (wrong), they let go one of the greatest drivers ever and kept Massa instead (wrong again). Im not a Ferrari fan, but I know for sure any of these things would have never happened under Todt`s guidance.

    3. Jo Torrent says:

      Easy to get wise afterwards. He wasn’t eliminated yesterday.

      Some could argue that Vettel was eliminated in Brazil, he was so far behind.

      1. Curro says:

        There was no way Webber was going to beat Alonso AND the two McLarens today, which is what he had to do to put himself at the mercy of his own team-mate.

        Button was Alonso’s only rival today but Ferrari failed to see that.

      2. Jo Torrent says:

        In Singapore, Webber pitted very early and overtook both McLaren. So it happened before.

        The difference is McLaren’s poor race pace in Singapore. The issue of the week-end for Ferrari was the impossiblity to overtake the Renault’s. If they were able to overtake, the strategy was absolutely right.

      3. Damian J says:

        Jo,

        Alonso has not shown much killer instinct with overtaking this season so it’s hardly surprising that he failed to pass Petrov. On the other hand, Vettel has shown himself to be a worthy WDC winner.

    4. nickname101 says:

      Well he was at home when Brazil 2008 happened,so what exactly must he do?

    5. Majarvis says:

      In the broadcast they said several times that Luca *did* stay home. They said he wasn’t at the track.

      1. James Allen says:

        He was at the track I saw him

      2. Illy says:

        James, I know this is a little off-topic…but please hear me out.

        I watched a replay of quali – Mark didn’t have maximum revs available to him during Q3…(see as he approaches/crosses the line on his final flying lap, his blue rev light wasnt lighting up).

        Having his revs turned down would match up with him bleeding time in Sector 2 (two long straights) and bleeding tenths in S1 and S3.

        Furthermore, in practice, Q1 & Q2, he was MUCH closer to the front.

        Combine this with how close he was to Vettel in Prac 3…..it just seems odd to me.

        I suppose in the end it worked out very well for Red Bull, they have their German champion.

        At least Ferrari have the testicular fortitude to be up front about driver’s roles. Red Bull have left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and that’s without drinking one of their cans…

      3. Jo Torrent says:

        Webber dosen’t want the blue lights in his steering wheel that’s it. In every race it’s the same

  4. John McCormack says:

    It went to the right man, fastest for most of the season and a great personality for F1. Well done Sebastian.

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      + 1 but he talks too much. You ask him a question and he answers with a speech.

      P.S : he was responsible of many of James Allen’s late posts

    2. Yomi says:

      I agree completely. I’m a Lewis fan, but Seb was just outstanding in the last 5 races. I think Lewis needs a proper challenge…and Seb is it!! Their races are going to be EPIC!

      1. Jonny White says:

        Spot on!

        Vettel is yet to prove that he can overtake, but whilst he has the quickest car, he is lightening quick over a single lap, and once in front in clean air makes very few mistakes.

        I think Lewis has the edge, because he is clearly the better overtaker and has proven he can drive around a dog of a car – not just last year but this years car wasn’t IMO, driver friendly.

        I just hope that next year, there won’t be one dominant car – well unless it’s a McLaren!

  5. Jo Torrent says:

    The best of the RedBull drivers in the best car won today.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Second that. Congrats Seb.

    2. Nick F says:

      Your not wrong, but Webber is very close to Vettel in performance. Generally about one tenth back. That’s a very good performance and great for the team. Button of late has been 3 or 4 tenths behind Hamilton (although earlier in the season he was closer), and Massa is generally 4-5 tenths behind Alonso.

      1. Illy says:

        Agreed.

        Seb may be good, but Webber shook him up this year, for certain.

      2. Carl Craven says:

        he crossed the line .8 secs behind lewis in AD and about 1.2 in Brazil. You can’t lap .3 slower and be that close at the end of the race.

        Button may not be great over a lap such as qualifying or practice but his race pace and craft is good enough.

  6. Senthil says:

    Congrats Vettel…

    Really happy for you..

    After Kimi I was supporting you,I was worried when your car blew in Korea…your win is an inspiration for the younger generation

    1. Miha says:

      Same here. After Kimi… It’s Seb! :)

    2. StallionGP F1 says:

      am with you mate same for me you said it all

      1. sri says:

        Same here. And those two are pals. But the contrast is Vettel is chatty with press and Kimi well we know.

  7. Rafael says:

    What a season it has been! As an Alonso fan, I surely thought the title was meant to be his, but it turned out he was simply running on borrowed time. Still, my heart goes out to him and I feel incredibly sad for his gesture towards Petrov at the end of the race – you can almost imagine how frustrated he was. As for the pit stop… Jesus Christ, who made that call?! It was completely unprofessional and tactless.

    Anyways, congrats to Seb and RBR. I never undermined Vettel, but I was very critical of Red Bull’s management on more than one occasion this year, and boy did they prove me wrong! It was very touching to see the human side of Seb and Dr. Marko today, btw.

    Roll on, 2011!

    1. Lilla My says:

      I almost abslutely agree with you – as far as the pit stops are concerned – I think Ferrari didn’t really have much choice – Alonso was sliding and they wanted to get in front of Webber. Who could have thought that Petrov would be faultless today?

      When it comes to Alonso’s gestures towards Petrov – I can’t even blame him too much. Of course it wasn’t nice of him, but I can understand how much he wanted to win so he must have felt really mad and disappointed.

      Regarding RB – I actually didn’t want SV to win. I thought they definitely deserved the WCC, but if they were about to get the WDC I’d thought Mark should get it. The team seems a bit arrogant to me and too full of themselves, so I thought that would be a good lesson for them if their golden boy with all their support hadn’t won. But it turned out to be different, so congratulations to them all.

      I’m sure next year will be better and I hope that Alonso fans will cheer in the end ;-).

    2. Nesa says:

      “Fernando, Vitaly is faster than you, do you understand?”

      :)

      1. pasq says:

        It highlighted a common problem in F1, the new race tracks are terrible.

      2. GP says:

        Quite right. If it hadn’t been for the suspense of the championship permutations this race was a bore.

        When a Ferrari and a McLaren can’t pass a Renault team that was never a championship contender the show is severely harmed and the fans ultimately lose out.

      3. James AWOL says:

        ROFL, well said Nesa, a pure case of what goes around comes around

    3. James AWOL says:

      Rafael, I’ll tell you who made the call for the pit stop, either Alonso or Stefano take your pick! I suspect I know which one you will choose!

  8. Jo Torrent says:

    RedBull should share some of their FOM money with Renault. The yellow team not only held Alonso preventing him from reaching a 4th position but also protected Vettel from any pressure from Hamilton.

    Renault relative speed but mainly their awesome straight line speed was the race decider today.

    Hamilton with the best F-duct out there and new tyres was unable to overtake Kubica on old tyres for around 20 laps. How do you want Alonso with his Ferrari average pace today and mainly lack of straight line speed to overtake Petrov.
    Alonso was all over Petrov in the 3rd sector but whenever they reached those straights the Renault was building a healthy gap. At the end Petrov wasn’t even trying to protect his position.

    1. RRR says:

      I think the torro rosso helped a lot by letting Webber through (surely an investigation is called for).
      Alonso couldn’t risk a half attempt on Petrov with Red Bull #2 immediately behind him.
      Ferrari tactic may have worked if Webber was in Massas’ place.

      Time for Torro Rosso to go.

      Well done Seb.

    2. jack_faith says:

      this is it. It gets grating all this talk about a great championship and track when the decider turns out like that. Let’s face it, all the action happened behind the safety car! Aside from Kubica and Kobayashi I don’t recall seeing a proper overtake. So what if the facilties are impressive and its looks flash. Well done to Seb but Marko looked so dodgy. It deserved to be Adrian Newey up there with Seb. Odd that Webber’s nerve failed him like that in the last race. I wonder when was the last time he was that far off Seb’s pace?

  9. bones says:

    Best news for F1 fans:
    A team without team orders can still win both world championships.

    1. pasq says:

      massa lucked into the lead in germany, due to vettel swerving into alonso and the nature of the first corner, massa was never in the championship and never in contention, what do you want? it was the only race in which ferrari were quickest, alonsos championship was already hurt by massa in australia and china. A totally different senario from austria 01/02, where schumacher had a dominant car and strict number 2 driver who could never beat him, and being only the 6th race of the season and already having a healthy points lead.

      1. Bones says:

        Let me ask you this:do you think that if Ferrari would have left its both driver to race each other until the very last race like RB did?

  10. Maer says:

    The best driver won, no doubt.

    All this rubbish he got from radical haters, he shut everyone up by being the fastest.

    Congrats, all deserved.

    Especially while the other contenders all drove weak, Webber and Alonso, what was that for a pathetic performance.

    I actually had a feeling Webber didn’t want to overtake Alonso, hoping he would overtake others, so Vettel wouldn’t get the title. He had the fastest car and he was 2 seconds behind, I mean or you do that on purpose or you are just not good enough.

    And: Alonso…what on earth was he thinking being angry at Petrov? Shows again he has the nastiest personality in F1. He should be ashamed of himself to claim others to just let him pass.

    1. pasq says:

      He was fustrated mate, cant you understand that, your view on webber is interesting because it crossed my mind during the race too.

      1. Damian J says:

        There’s no excuse. Unacceptable behaviour and unsporting but no doubt I’ll be reminded how drivers down the ages have shook their fists at competing drivers doing their job legitimately!

    2. GP says:

      If you look at the history of the sport, all the great winners never took defeat very well.

      Remember Michael’s antics. Senna’s driving into Prost and their hatred for each other. Same with Mansell/Prost, Prost/Senna, Piquet/Mansell…

      I’ve never forgotten Roger Penske’s words, Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

  11. Kieran says:

    I don’t feel like Vettel truly deserves it .. I’m sorry, I know he’s great, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe because he hasn’t truly demonstrated his race-craft.

    When the hard over-take was called for Vettel generally got it wrong – I remember Spa, when Button paid the price. He’s fine, pole to flag, but when race-craft or finesse was called for he generally hasn’t demonstrated it.

    That’s why. Because he hasn’t really demonstrated his quality like Lewis in ’08 or Jensen in ’09, both in Interlagos.

    1. Andy C says:

      I think that’s unfair. And I’m a jenson and Lewis fan.

      Jenson and Lewis still male mistakes, less so jenson, more so Lewis but that because he is the more aggressive overtaker.

      Seb still has a lot to learn, but you can make a quick driver more consistent. You can’t necessarily make a consistent driver the quickest.

    2. jack_faith says:

      totally. It’s a testimony to the way the races are at present that a guy like Vettel with such questionable race-craft wins the championship. I thought the point about Vettel was that he was supposed to blow Webber away. Given the dominance of the car and the class he’s supposed to have he should have wrapped this up earlier. Interesting to see how things shape up in the next few years. He must be feeling pretty happy having Newey on board.

    3. TM says:

      I guess deserving is all relative.

      Do I think he deserved it relative to all his competitors this year? Yes. But then I think any of them would have equally deserved it on that basis.

      Do I think he deserves it compared to the great champions of the past?
      No way. But equally I don’t think any of the others would have either.

      It goes back to what me and some others were saying a few weeks ago; to me (and those others) it really hasn’t been such a great season. Just because 4 go down to the wire it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a great season. The reason it has gone on so long is that it was fraught with stupid mistakes and un-convincing drives throughout. It was pretty random who won each race, not because they were all amazing but because they were all so inconsistent, and this is highlighted by the way the championship was won in the end – just randomly taken at the end.

      Vettel doesn’t deserve it any less than any of his competitors, but for me it’s a season to forget. I think Vettel can be a great great driver, but for me, for someone who made so many mistakes to be champion just highlights what a bad job everyone else did, not what a great job he did.

  12. JW1980 says:

    Congratulations to Vettel for becoming the world champion. He deserves the title. He has had the best car but also some bad luck. He has lost three wins through no fault of his own (Bahrain, Australia and Korea). Would Alonso have been a deserving champion? Probably yes but over the course of the season he has made as many mistakes as any other key driver this year. The quality of his victories do not match that of other drivers (with exception of Italy and Singapore). Inherited wins at Bahrain and Korea plus team order debacle in Germany.
    It will be very interesting to see who is JA’s driver of the year. A tough one to call.

    1. Martin says:

      I’d also add Turkey to the list of wins Vettel lost – the suspension issue in qualifying when he was a lot quicker than Webber. The crash wouldn’t have happened.

      I wouldn’t mark Alonso down too much based on how he won. The car didn’t have the performance so it was hard to dominate. He out performed his team mate all season too.

  13. Rihards says:

    James, I never doubted your judgement, but this is OTT. Alonso a champion and pigs can fly?!It has been a remarkable season though and Fettels’ win was unexpected, but I would always put my money on JB winning rather rather than FA. Ferrari screwed up big time. As they usually do under a certain Domenicali.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I would never put my money on JB winning if he is in the same team as certain Lewis Hamilton, one of the two best drivers on the grid, in my opinion.

  14. Owen says:

    What a stupid strategy by Ferrari!!!
    I can’t believe it!!!
    Brilliant Sebastian!

  15. James D says:

    As a Schumacher fan, I think/hope he’ll be back next year. I do however feel that with a wife and kids seeing a Force India hurtling towards his face would have done more than anything else this season to make him consider his position.

    1. nickname101 says:

      I’m also a fan of his too, althogh I was upset at how his race ended,ultimately its what instigated events leading to Vettels’ amazing win!!! So in the end his spin yielded a welcome result
      for f1 at large

    2. Taz says:

      I totally agree. That’s the first thing that came to my mind. If the pirelli tests goes bad, he won’t come back. Sadly! I hope I am totally wrong :(

  16. Jo Torrent says:

    Kudos to Horner
    ***************

    As you said James, Horner strategic decisions proved right today. If Vettel let Webber through in Brazil, Alonso would be world champion today.

    Clearly, their strategy of keeping both drivers chances alive worked beautifully today. They kept both of them motivated and kept a double chance to clinch the drivers title.

    Not only that but Webber lured Ferrari strategists into pitting Alonso earlier which ruined his race together with the safety car. By covering one challenger, Ferrari let the 2nd overtake them.

    Eventhough, RedBull did the right thing I still back Ferrari’s decision of switching Alonso and Massa in Germany. The Brazilian was nowhere near Alonso’s pace since the start of the season and the only reason he managed 3rd grid spot in Germany was because of McLaren lack of pace in that event. So they had to give Alonso the best chance which was even more critical given that they didn’t have the best car.

    1. Jingjing says:

      I also agree the decision of swithcing Fernando and Felipe in Germany.

      I think such condition is very few that Felipe is ahead of Fernando during the race in a whole season.And this show how wise the decision is at the end.

  17. devilsadvocate says:

    Someone please give Renault a trophy for their race today, co-constructers championship or something, Kubica was a hero for bottling up Hamilton and then keeping ahead of Alonso, and Petrov was absolutely sublime in keeping one of the meanes dogs on the grid behind him for nearly the entire race, that takes nerves of steel, not only that he forced how many errors from Alonso, that was rich…

    Today in one word… Epic!!!!

    1. Nick F says:

      It was more track layout and a Renault set-up giving a good top speed than particular brilliance I think. Although obviously Kubica is a very good driver.

  18. Rihards says:

    And FA’s remarks on Petrov was the worst this sport has ever heard!

    1. Galapago555 says:

      “I tried to pass him once and he protected like it was the last lap in the last race fighting for the championship, so he was very aggressive, but that’s the way it is”

      Is this that bad???

      1. Alen says:

        He may be good driver but I simply can’t stand his personality… sore loser

      2. Charlie B says:

        Alonso also said that Petrov drove well. Alonso was just angry that he “lost” the WDC.

        The gestures from the car were more uncalled for, why would Petrov give him the position, he’s driving for his future.

  19. James AWOL says:

    Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel, what a fantastic performance today and through out an intriguing season of racing. A well deserved WDC in my opinion. Although I spare a thought for the other contenders, especially Mark Webber who would have also made a worthy champion. Well done to Red Bull, they built the best car by a mile, and managed to get a fitting result to close out the season, whilst letting their drivers race until the end. I can’t wait for next year!

  20. Jo Torrent says:

    Reasons of Vettel title
    ***********************

    - McLaren newfound form (thanks the new rear wing)

    - the Safety car (Schumcher helped the baby Schumacher but almost lost his head in the process)

    - Renault straight line blistering speed (unovertakable cars even for McLaren F-duct cars with Mercedes power)

    - Ferrari had to chase 2 rabbits instead of one and Webber lured them

    - Ferrari lack of pace this week-end on the soft tyres since Friday.

    1. James AWOL says:

      You forget add that he was the fastest driver in the quickest car!

  21. kbdavies says:

    Sorry to pull you up on this one James, Hamilton did NOT radio in asking for permission to pit for new tires. He only complained about his front left. Do correct me if i am wrong.
    And re perpetuating the myth that Jenson is better on his tyres than his rivals, this has been put to bed many times this season.

    He only went longer because that was the strategy McLaren choose for him. They were trying to jump Vettel and see if Jenson could win the race.
    Most of the top drivers WILL drive their car on grained tires if thats what the strategy calls for. Ted did mention Jenson’s tires were in a pretty bad shape when he came in.

    1. James Allen says:

      He said I need to pit again

    2. Galapago555 says:

      I think he said he needed to pit, and his engineer said something like “you will not pit unless it is totally necessary”.

      1. Alen says:

        He simply wanted to help Alonso take to championship so he could retain the youngest champion record… it was so obvious… don’t get me wrong, I am fan of Hamilton, but today he disappointed me a lot…

    3. Carl Craven says:

      Lewis distinctly complained about his left front implied he wanted to come in and was told that another pitstop was not an option unless necessary.

      Someone mentioned that Button’s tyre craft has been debunked this season but I disagree.

      Two things come in to play that didn’t help Button. Tyre wear was not critical in any race except I think Canada and it benefitted him well to have saved his tyres.

      Secondly forcing a pitstop means that the tyres are covering less distance anyway again not really helping Button’s craft.

      But what I have noticed is that at the beginning of a race, Lewis pulls out time on Button, and after a while, Button starts to reel him back in. Lewis has shot his tyres Button hasn’t. It happened in Brazil and it happened today.

      Button did a pretty good job to do over half the race distance on super softs and true Vettel was reeling him in toward the end of the stint but he did 3 times more than Alonso and Vettel and a third more than Lewis who destroyed his second (well at least one of his tyres) set before Jenson had even pitted.

      1. haystack says:

        “… Lewis who destroyed his second (well at least one of his tyres) set before Jenson had even pitted.”

        Lewis ran the fastest lap of the race on Lap 47, so “destroyed” seems to be a bit of a stretch. It’s not unusual to hear Hamilton being dissatisfied with this or that while lapping decently. Remember Brazil with complaints about the F-duct while he was fastest in Sector 3?

      2. Carl Craven says:

        Just goes to show how amazing Lewis can be at times, however his front left was a mess.

    4. jack_faith says:

      It’s not the first time Lewis has said that either. When things aren’t going entirely to plan he says some quite surprising things. I bet the team must be shaking their heads sometimes with Lewis. He’s a great talent sure but there is sense he hasn’t quite matured into the driver he could be – will be interesting to see how much more the rule changes next year will suit his style. Ok the Mclaren wasn’t the fastest but given the problems Vettel and Alonso had he should have been closer to the title than he was.

      1. Jonny White says:

        I think that is a bit harsh.

        In the end he was 17 points shy – he lost 18 points on the last lap at Spain through no fault of his own, 12 points in Hungary, 2 points in Japan, arguably 12 points in Singapore and got screwed on strategy in Australia.

        I know all of the contenders can argue they have been unlucky at different times this season, but I genuinely believe Hamilton has had more than his fair share this season. Whilst his own mistake cost him 12 points or so in Monza, I can’t think of many occasions where he has under achieved. With the 3rd best car on the grid, I’m not sure anyone else on the grid would have got as close to winning it as he did in the end!

  22. Jo Torrent says:

    Ron Dennis must be the happiest man after the RedBull guys. He prevented both Alonso and Ferrari from the title thanks to his teams newfound speed.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Btw, I thought he had been removed from the Team after the spygate, but he seems to be back. Ok, not as the Team principal, but we could see him on the backstage today. I guess he was giving instructions…

      1. Gareth D says:

        He is chairman of the McLaren Group as a whole.

        He stepped aside from the F1 operations to concentrate on McLaren’s venture into the road car market with the MP4-12c – whilst this is partially true, my opinion is that senior McLaren F1 staff members and the FIA inparticular wanted a change of regime.

      2. Damian J says:

        What is your problem with Ron Dennis returning back to F1?

        It was Max’s methods that everyone is now so critical about that forced Ron to take a back step so if he chose to return why not?

        And it appears that nearly all those accused by FIA in “Crashgate” have been rehabilitated.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        Nothing to do with Crashgate. I do not want Briatore to be back at the sport.

        But if I remember well, Ron Dennis cheated, and lied to Race Control. He ordered Lewis to make an illegal move – and then ordered him to lie to the Stewards. And he also let another driver to be unfairly punished.

        Not a very good behaviour, IMHO.

  23. Olivier says:

    Team orders have no place in this sport. And Red Bull have shown us why. Congratulations to Vettel, you are a worthy Champion! And thank you to Red Bull for making this championship a thriller.

    Bring on 2011! With 5 World Champions! We’ve almost lost one today but thank God Michael is okay. That truly was a freak moment …

    Petrov has been the coolest guy out there today. It takes a lot of grit to fend off a ferocious Alonso in a Championship deciding race.

  24. Andy C says:

    Excellent drive today from seb. A really deserving drive to win the wdc.

    Very dissapointed for mark webber today, but nobody can take away from him today.

    Excellent drive from petrov today as well. He gave a very good interview to the BBC as well. Basically saying I’m here to race. Good on you vitaly.

    What a year James! 16 weeks to go!

    1. Andy C says:

      Nobody can take away from seb that is :-)

    2. Galapago555 says:

      Absolutely agree with you about Petrov. Very disappointing for me to hear Alonso complaining about him. Actually he was racing and defending his position, so he had not to let Alonso pass.

      Can’t wait that 16 weeks for next season to start!!

      1. Andy C says:

        I think he reacted in the heat of the moment. Sure Fernando will think differently tomorrow.

  25. Erik says:

    An epic race. The layout of the circuit helped Vettel win the title today, on a track like Interlagos Alonso would have passed Petrov.

  26. Mark J says:

    Well done Vettel, for sure a deserving champion. Just a question though, does anyone know why it was so hard for Alonso to try to get past Petrov? There was not one real moment where Alonso could have a go. Was it the car, aero, or the characteristics of the track? I’m sure Alonso was trying no doubt about this. I think there will be certain people in the Ferrari camp with some explaining to do on their logic of brining Alonso in to cover Webber.

    Ahh… Hindsight its a great thing when you look back on this season and what has happened. Red Bull is making everyone look a little silly (myself included) with the way they planned their strategy in the final races. I would imagine Ferrari will be hiring a few clairvoyant themselves so they know when to make better pit calls for the next season. Bring on 2011 another gripping season awaits!

    1. gil dogon says:

      Maybe it is Mr. Brawn Ferrari should re-hire for next year ? Somehow I fill the old fox would not have fallen into the RBR trap if he was calling the shots …

    2. Martin says:

      Hi Mark, my thoughts on passing:

      The last real corner at Brazil is uphill and a bit bumpy, so traction from aero and mechanical compliance is an important factor. The uphill bit magnifies any wheelspin further as gravity slows the car down while the wheels increase in speed. The length of the corner, in effect the time spent affected by the aero wake, is quite short, so the driver may be able to do something to compensate for the aero imbalance.

      The turn onto the straight at Yas Marina is longer. Alonso was trying to make his apex as late as possible (Hamilton was trying kerb riding and an early apex to get inside the wake), but he was always limited by the aero wake and that short distance is still a significant amount of time. Being a new track there aren’t many bumps, so traction is dominated by aerodynamic load.

      Cheers,

      Martin

      1. Mark J says:

        Great response Martin, thanks for that. For sure this is quite a logical reason.

  27. Jeb Hoge says:

    I wonder if Button could have held second if he’d been pitted when he was in the lead with that 18+ second gap? In any instance, it was great to see McLaren’s champions bookending Vettel on the podium and a deserved championship for Vettel.

  28. JeffF1 says:

    Was there a single racing pass for position today? From the lap charts available, I don’t think so. Would be nice if a championship could be decided somewhere other than on an impossible to pass Tilke-drome.

    1. Andy C says:

      I was wondering the same actually. I think they just need to make a couple of small tweaks to the track to offer up better overtaking.

      1. JimmiC says:

        Or make the aero packages more basic and reduce the turbulent air. In theory, with a straight that is a kilometre long, there should be plenty of overtaking.

      2. Andy C says:

        Absolutely with you on the aero jimmi. I’m hoping the single diffusers help somewhat next year.

        I’m pretty worried about these adjustable rear wings, as they are apparently the equivalent of about 150 hp, so if someone has a let’s boost and that it will take the skill out of overtaking. As in the guy in front will not be able to use his wing.

    2. James Allen says:

      Kubica on Kobayashi Lap 24

      1. Rocky S says:

        Webber on James of Toro Rosso.

      2. Mario says:

        Kubica on Sutil as well earlier in the race

    3. Galapago555 says:

      Button on Alonso before the first corner, for P3?

      1. Peter says:

        And Hamilton on Kobayashi

    4. Curro says:

      Maybe someone can persuade Bernie to have all the Tilkedrom races at the beginning of the year and proper racing tracks afterwards… :p

    5. Trent says:

      Every season has its dull races. In 2010 we’ve been treated to fewer dull races than most seasons., so we shouldn’t complain.

      Have to agree, this wasn’t an overtaking classic – but the track proved its worth last year.

  29. Deanger says:

    Having watched the entire season… For me, the fastest driver won.

    The rest is moot.

  30. Timo says:

    James, thank you for another great season. Brilliant.

  31. Rihards says:

    And don’t worry: we have lumps of it down the back.:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmU9M-oarho&NR=1

  32. Jo Torrent says:

    Webber’s Shadow
    *************

    I must confess that I feel for poor Webber. Today he was an absolute shadow. I never felt throughout the race that he was ready to battle. He never tried to challenge Alonso to keep his hopes alive.
    At least Alonso was fighting pushing the car over the limits making mistakes in the process. Webber stayed there waiting for some miracle that never happened.

    Once the 1st lap unfolded, I felt that he threw the towel. If he complained about the treatment he received from the team this year, he’ll have to get himself ready for next year.
    Now that Vettel brought the team the drivers title, he’ll have the team completely devoted to him.
    Webber needs RedBull to have a new crack at it, but RedBull is not his team anymore if it ever was.

    P.S : only Vettel will test the Pirelli tyres next week.

    1. marian says:

      Webber has always been Red Bull’s second driver. He had no chance to become World Champion and he knew it before the race started. Everybody (the team, Bernie, etc) wanted Seb to win, Mark never was an option.

  33. Stu says:

    Justice was served today after the debacle that was Germany. Would have liked to see Webber win, but I’m happy Vettel did it…

  34. Kurt says:

    Bravo Vettel! It was just like in 2007 when Kimi clinched the title from behind, against overwhelming odds.

    Who would’ve imagined Seb would do the same today! What an amazing comeback, unbelievable. The stars aligned in his favour today, thoroughly making up for Korea.

    All of Vettel’s critics can dine on their own silence now as F1′s youngest ever world champion waves his one-fingered way to the history books.

    As for Webber, what a let down. For a number 2 driver, he sure drove like one today. Incognito. An upstanding guy, but not looking like world champion material.

    Congratulations to Red Bull! The best is yet to come for RB and Vettel…

    Thanks James for the fantastic coverage and insights throughout the season, looking forward to next year already!

  35. Jo Torrent says:

    Briatore’s boys
    ************

    Flavio is no longer the F1 golden boy. 2 of his drivers were challengers and both lost. I heard he was in Abu Dhabi today.

    Flavio F1 is no longer for you !

    1. Damian J says:

      Wasn’t Flav supposed to take an enforced back step from F1? It seems like no one or no team was ever punished for “Crashgate”.

  36. N says:

    does anyone know what the song is that they had playing in the background of the season roundup thing? I really liked it!

    1. Mark says:

      Me too, I don’t know who the artist is either!Keeping his head, Seb did well today, maturity he needed to show.

    2. Sam B says:

      ‘Just Drive’ by Alistair Griffin. It was supposedly written especially for the finale.

      And that’s exactly what Sebastian Vettel did. Great job, kid! Well-deserved. Congratulations!

    3. Richard C says:

      Boston. More than a feeling.

  37. Alen says:

    I am glad Vettel won even though I am not his fan… it’s such a shame for Webber, but honestly he couldn’t put his act together…

    -I shall never forget how Alonso has once again showed his true colours… with his fist in the air and everything… what was he thinking?

    - Hamilton was a huge disappointment as well – wanting to pit for the second time for no reason… to retain the youngest champion record maybe?

    All in all, I really hoped Mark would win it, but sadly he didn’t and let’s hope next year he performs better… It’s been a good season, disappointing a bit because of trailing Mercedes GP but I hope they learned a lot and would be able to respond adequately next year…

    1. amit says:

      yeh.. i too feel that lewis wanted to retain his youngest WDC crown…nobody in their right mind would want to pit if they know they are assured of a 2nd place… even if a win is out of reach.
      and yes Webber din turn up to race today… pathetic to say the least. Nevertheless the best driver won the WDC :)

      1. Alen says:

        Yeah, I agree… no matter how hard it is, I must admit – the best driver took the crown… but really – how come no one is talking about Hamilton pit stop call? There isn’t a single argument to support such decision… he would have jumped to 11th place and knowing the circuit, there wouldn’t be a slightest chance for him to score a point…

  38. rolo.cz says:

    Congratulations to Vettel and Adrian Newey and all those whom we don’t know but surely contributed to that great victory.

    The track looked fabulous even on TV and I’m planning to go there next year if possible.

    Mr James, great website. Most of the season this website is more entertaining than watching the races on TV.

    Did anybody see Alonso’s tantrum right after the checkered when driving next to (I think) Petrov? He needs sportmanship lessons!

    To all those anxious about 2011 season: Rest totally assured that the only thing that is guaranteed in life is that time will continue its march ahead so do the best until then.

    Regards to all

  39. Sebee says:

    Well that was a possible outcome, but a bit unexpected. I will speak for all Sebastians out there to say we didn’t expect this long shot. And don’t we look a bit foolish for calling this one every which way but Vettel’s?  

    Am I alone in thinking these middle east GPs are boring?
    1:40 lap and no place to pass.  Seems we came a full circle from a boring first GP to a boring final GP.

    And why not for fun point out how much pleasure safety cars have brought to Alonso’s life since that unspeakable act where he used the safety car for evil and not safety.

  40. jose says:

    congrats to a worthy champion. Justice has been served. Even though he had the best car all seaon long.And that’s an advantage.
    Alonso had a very good second part of the season, but the bad first part cost him the title. Next year, if the new car is born well, he won’t have that adaptation time that cost him so much.
    Webber, must be proud. He is not in the same mold as the greats, but he is a grand prix winner several times, and no many people can say that.

  41. Galapago555 says:

    At the end of the day, we’ve had the most exciting season for years.

    I feel sad for Fernando. After such a fantastic recovery from Spa, he’s lost the championship in the very last race… it’s been cruel for his fans, isn’t it?

    I am not sure the call to change tyres was so wrong. I mean, if he had waited to pit until Seb and the Maccas did, he was risking coming back to the track behind Mark. IMO, everybody thought it was a right decission in that moment, being the real issue that Petrov and Rosberg had pitted during the SC period – and the Team did not consider this.

    Congrats to Sebastian. Congrats to the Bulls. Both the management and the drivers made some errors during the season. If they keep making the best cars for next year, they are going to be almost unbeatable, now that they have the experience of being on top.

    James, congrats for this fantastic site. I’ve commented it before, but I will insist that I’ve learnt more about the sport reading your articles than from anywhere else.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. Don’t go away, we will be posting great content here all through the winter

      1. Galapago555 says:

        I’m not going away, James. I will be checking on this site on a daly basis. Keep up the good job!! :-D

    2. Damian J says:

      Sad for Alonso. Many would dispute that.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        May I say that I’m not especially surprised by this comment…

        I asume that many are happy for Alonso not winning the WDC. Congrats to all of them.

  42. Miha says:

    I opened a can of Red Bull when the lights went off, and it worked!!! :)

    A result exactly to my liking. Ferrari really covered the wrong Red Bull. Was this a team strategy by Red Bull (to split the strategies) or just pure luck?

    Never mind… Congrats to Vettel, I think he deserved it.

  43. Nige says:

    Well done seb comiserations to alonso and webber great season that was dominated eventually by red bull. Can’t wait till next season.

  44. sender says:

    Well, there is lot to say and there is lot to be analysed… You simply can’t describe it in a few words.
    In short, Renault played a big part in it – both in Hamiltons and Alonsos races.
    I also think and I have thought about it earlier – it is better that Alonso does not win this year. Kimi won in the first year with Ferrari and look what happened after that. I know that the team will look at it differently but this will only motivate them more and Alonso will be more hungry. If he is clever enough, he can use what happened today to his advantage – it just depends how he behaved after the race and what he said to the team.
    It is a little bit sad to see some people on the Internet criticizing some drivers – both the top drivers and others too. We do not know what it is to race there and we do not know what is going on behind the scenes.
    I think that Alonso, Hamilton and Webber had a good season and it leaves a bad taste if someone after today’s race says that he has lost respect for Alonso. He had a great season and it was a miracle that Fernando and Lewis had a chance, considering Red Bulls speed. Well done also to Mark. Sebastian deserved it, as did Jenson last year.
    Congratulations to all top 3 teams as during certain periods they all demonstrated top class this year!!!

  45. For Sure says:

    Some will think he is not deserving champion, but the fact is that he has been performing really well and yes he had speed advantage but his car failed so many times yet he won.

    On the other hand, I know exactly why I don’t like Alonso. Surely he is a great great driver, one of the all times best. But why on earth he needed to act like “THAT” towards Petrov who was just doing a good job.
    Massa lost the title in 2008, yet he was concerned about Glock and made sure the guy wore Ferrari overall and safe, now that’s class act.
    I just wish he was a bit like that.

    1. jack_faith says:

      oh really all this Alonso bashing. Guys give it up here, please. Did none of you see the post race interview he gave? There was precious little spectacle in the race and I’m more than happy to see Alonso making it a bit more watchable.

      1. For Sure says:

        Well, we are not blind Alonso fans who think every thing he does is right.
        Anyone who thinks it is OK to behave like Alonso did is either stupid or a bad person.

  46. James Draper says:

    Vettel deserves the win a great season. It would have been worse for Alonso if Schumacher was in the mix also.

    With 20:20 hind sight the Ferrari pit decision was a disaster. I thought it was the right call until I noticed that Petrov’s times were a couple of seconds slower than the leaders. I am no fan of Ferrari or Alonso but the sinking feeling I got must have been nothing compared to theirs.

    Also Alonso’s behavior all season was poor and him having a go at Petrov at the end just shows how little class this guy has.

    1. k miles says:

      i agree 100% his behaviour this year has been DISGUSTING! how he was going on at petrov and also PUBLICLY criticising his team early on when things went wrong, schuey never did that, thats what a lot of people including james forget they compare the two

    2. TM says:

      “Also Alonso’s behavior all season was poor and him having a go at Petrov at the end just shows how little class this guy has.”

      I agree, but it makes days like yesterday even sweeter. Alonso is a classic pantomime villain, and his childish antics just make me laugh so much. LOL!

  47. Lilla My says:

    So… congratulations to Sebastian Vettel, but… as an Alonso fan I can’t even begin to explain how sad and depressed I feel. After yesterday’s qualifying I really thought that only engine failure could deprive Alonso of the title, in fact it was Schumacher’s accident that lead to such an ending. I don’t wish bad luck to anybody, but Petrov was making mistakes in almost every single race this year, why couldn’t he have done one minor more today?
    I don’t think Ferrari had any choice when it comes to pit stop. It would have been better if Alonso have stayed out as long as e.g. Button, but as his tyres were going off (at least that’s how it looked on TV) he had to pit and a few more laps on soft tyres could have sent him behind Webber. Well… Ferrari had some luck lately (though they didn’t in the first half of the season), while Red Bull (and especially Vettel) were unlucky. I guess it had to come around at last. It’s just soooo sad that it had to happen today…

    Overall that was and exciting season (though the outcome not as I wished for) and now I can’t wait for the next year!

    1. k miles says:

      excellent! im glad you feel that way! now you know how schuey fans felt when his engine failed in japan and after it emerged that renault had been using ILLEGAL mass dampers since 05! RETRIBUTION! haha

  48. amit says:

    “yeh… thats what i am talking about…” Well done Vettel. A worthy World Champion. Tough luck for Alonso.. but one has to remember that his second title was handed to him owing to Schumacher’s misfortune. Arguably the best driver won the championship besides he’s had the most terrible luck and was due some good fortune..what a time for god’s to smile on him.

    As for Webber, I think he let himself down quiet badly, to just wilt and not even have a hard go…not world champion material to my mind. I have a sneaky feeling that he did not even attack Alonso.. so as to prevent Vettle from winning the WDC… or maybe i am being paranoid.

  49. Love integrity says:

    Thank you Mark for giving us an inspiration from your endeavour through this year though you are 34ys of age with unrecovered knee problem from charity bike accident+ being less favored virtually(not an actual team order).

    I still remember his best win at Silverstone despite unfair front wing change.

    If only he had been given the best car at Vettel’s age!

    Serve Ferrari right!
    Team orders should never be granted ,not just penalty but take both titles away from next season.

    1. Mex says:

      Did you catch the Red Buutoon BBC forum where it was confirmed Webber had a lighter new chassis in Silverstone, Vettel didn’t have?

      Webber was favoured there and they tried to test the new wing (which Webber was not impressed by) on Vettels car to see what the main advantage was of the lighter chassis and wing, seperately.

      Webber got actaully favoured because the lighter chassis gave more speed and stability than the wing.

      Webber and his fans, I am afraid are little paranoid. You can’t even confess vettel is a faster driver while that is as clear as day.

    2. TM says:

      Ferrari are going to win both titles next season?

  50. mtb says:

    Congratulations to Vettel – not bad for the Crash Kid! He has had more than his fair share of critics, but of the four contenders going into this round he was the most worthy champion. He is very unfortunate not to be a two-time WDC.

    Webber was fairly average today, as he has been at various times during the season. e.g. Bahrain, Germany, Italy. If he wants to be champion, he needs to demonstrate more consistency.

    Ferrari well and truly dropped the ball today, and only have themselves to blame. (To be fair, Chris Dyer has been acknowledging this.) The strategy was too conservative. Did they fail to take into consideration that Petrov and Rosberg had stopped, or did they think that overtaking both drivers would be a breeze?

    Alonso’s behaviour post-race was unnecessary. Petrov had every right to hold his position.

    On that topic, great drives from both Renault drivers. Alguersuari did well to keep Massa at bay as well. Another superb performance from Rosberg – let’s hope that M-B gets its act together and gives him a car worthy of his talent.

    Hamilton’s moaning during the race suggest that he still has a long way to go before the Senna comparisons gain any trace of validity.

    Congratulations to McLaren on securing no.2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

    Thanks for all of your efforts this year James – they are much appreciated. And thanks to everyone who has submitted comments to this site over the course of the year. It has been most enjoyable!

  51. Jo Torrent says:

    Thoughts about the young guns
    **************************

    F1 is changing. When Schumacher was battling with Hakkinen, in the late stages of the championship the other drivers used to let them race each other.
    In Suzuka particularly Schumacher stalled and overtook so many easily because they didn’t want to interfere. Only Damon Hill – his dear friend – challenged him.

    Today, the young guns don’t have respect for world champions or double world champions which I like very much.
    Alguersuari a RedBull junior driver in the RedBull junior team made it hard for Webber to overtake. Petrov was stubborn for the whole race and almost led to Alonso loosing his mustache during the race.

    1. alexander says:

      Hill, Schumacher, Hakkinen were racing and overtaking each other. Today we’ve ended season in a race with only on single overtake (if I am right) – to my opinion, it more up to sh**ty tracks that to young generation drivers.

    2. TM says:

      I think you see history through tifosi-red-tinted spectacles.

      Why on earth should Petrov have let Alonso through? You make out that you would like him (and then presumably Kubica, then Rosberg since they are also not champions or in the title hunt) to do that so he can race with Vettel directly, but what you actually mean is so that he could get the 4th place he needed. Why should they help Alonso above Vettel AND ruin their own races in the process?

      Should Kubica have let Hamilton through? Of course not, but curiously you don’t mention that he should have (even though this really could have lead to a direct on-track battle between him and Vettel).

  52. adam h says:

    james you should be ashamed of your appalling intro of seb in the press briefing! it was so obvious that you wanted alonso to win! “you lead the championship once and that was today” how about the words WORLD CHAMPION!? Cheats never deserve to win!

    1. James Allen says:

      Be careful before you fly in with accusations, when you don’t know the background to the subject. There is an FOM protocol about talking about “World Champion” in official interviews before the trophy has been awarded at the FIA Gala in December. You will find that everyone who has been in my position in the past – doing the official driver interviews with the new world champion – does not mention the words “World Champion”

      1. d.h. says:

        Fascinating stuff, Bernie really does have all bases covered!

      2. Peter C says:

        Was that James doing the post-race interviews?

        I genuinely didn’t know that. Have you been doing them all season? I thought it was just a voice behind the camera,without any credits!

      3. Rob Haswell says:

        Mostly but sometimes it’s Crofty

      4. Mozelo says:

        James, Why even dignify such a sophomoric comment with a reply. Just let some people be!

    2. pasq says:

      Who do you mean by cheats?

    3. TM says:

      Oh dear Adam H – looks like you owe J.Allen an apology.

  53. JR says:

    With an hour or two having passed since the race finished, first and foremost we have to congratulate Sebastian Vettel – a combination of a truly awesome racer, able to extract the maximum from his car over both one lap and a race distance, and the magnificent Red Bull RB6, the class of the field for almost the entire season and suitably rewarded with the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship titles.

    With that said, I don’t know if I was alone (probably was!) in feeling slightly deflated by the way the final race of this epic season panned out – the track and tyre degredation (or lack thereof!) played a huge role in the final result, rather bringing things full circle from the first race in Bahrain. The difference being that THIS time, Vettel’s Red Bull didn’t give up on him!

    The lack of wear of the so-called “soft” tyres was just ridiculous, but it’s not the first time this season it’s happened – maybe this is something that will change with the introduction of Pirelli tyres next year? But most frustrating was the lack of overtaking opportunities, a which is particularly disappointing given that they had a completely blank sheet of paper (not to mention a blank cheque!) with which to design the track. What that meant is that every single one of the title protagonists (aside from Vettel of course, who needed to overtake nobody) were unable to get past whichever driver they found themselves behind; Hamilton behind Kubica until the Pole’s late stop, Alonso behind Petrov and Webber behind both of them. Clearly, this situation would not have arisen on a circuit where overtaking is more achievable, though credit of course must go to the Renault drivers for not putting a wheel wrong! :D

    You have to give credit to Vettel for putting himself in a position, race after race, where he just has to drive away from the rest of the field and let the rest of the drivers sort things out for themselves! The question marks over his overtaking ability will remain for as long as he’s in a dominant car and putting it at the front of the grid each race – you only have to look at how RB qualified in the top 10 at every single race this season to see how we never got to see how they fought their way up through the field, so from this season, we only really have Vettel’s crashes in Turkey and Spa as ‘evidence’ of how he handles this other important element of being a top racing driver!

    However, in the end, if you can put your car on pole and drive off, regardless of the quality of your opposition and no matter how many times safety cars come out and whittle your lead down to zero, your ability to overtake is almost irrelevant! Today, Alonso and Ferrari threw things away somewhat by concentrating too much on what Webber was doing – if they’d have been more patient on the soft tyres like the 3 cars in front were, they may well have experienced the same benefits! Instead, a poor strategic decision conceded track position to slower cars on a circuit where overtaking had already proven nigh-on impossible. Webber was nowhere this weekend unfortunately, but his own struggles to get past Alonso/Petrov amply demonstrate that even with the clear fastest car on the grid, the overtaking issue hasn’t gone away, particularly on these sorts of tracks!

    A memorable season anyway, a shame that the final race wasn’t really befitting of the occasion (again, more the track than anything else, which is a shame because Abu Dhabi could do so much better!), but full credit to Vettel and Red Bull, and if next season is even half as competitive, we’re in for another cracker :D

    JR

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      Vitali Petrov top speed in Quali was 316.2 compared to Alonso’s 312.9 and Hamilton 312.6

      So it wasn’t that much circuit related I guess, the Renault was too fast on the straight that’s it.

  54. CJH says:

    Gutted for Alonso today, it seems it just wasn’t meant to be. Red Bull undoubtedly got the champion they wanted, but fair play to Vettel, I can’t say I like him but when he’s needed to he’s put in some clinical performances this year. Today reminded me a little of Brazil ’07, where the man expected to challenge for the title, and who felt he wasn’t receiving enough support from his team (Alonso 07, Webber today), ended up having a lacklustre race, never looking like he will challenge and ultimately being pipped to the title by an outsider. It was good to see Button having a strong finish to the year, and also Alguersuari, who despite Buemi making all the noises about wanting the Red Bull seat has more than matched his team-mate this year.

  55. Jo Torrent says:

    On Alonso
    *******

    If Alonso won today, it would have been a huge achievement in the 2nd and sometimes the 3rd fastest car of the field. That would’ve sealed his position as a great of the sport.

    As he very well predicted, in order to win he had to be on the podium on every single race. But the day he needed only 4th, he did manage neither the podium nor the 4th and that in the most important race of them all : the decider.

    I didn’t like though the fact that he argued with Petrov afterwards and he should’ve congratulated Vettel immediately (maybe he did it but I haven’t seen). He showed a lack of class today.

    To sum his season, one must admit that Ferrari let him down more than he let them down and today’s strategy call was another example.

    I wonder though if Alonso’s tyres weren’t already well worn. If they were, no matter what strategy he would’ve chosen, he would’ve lost the title.

    The decider today was mainly Ferrari’s lack of pace and the resurgence of McLaren due to that new iteration of the rear wing.

    1. Lilla My says:

      Alonso did congratulate Vettel and he also praised Petrov saying that he had a faultless race.

      On his gestures towards Petrov – I’ve been doing some sport professionally and I know how it feels when you’re so close to get something you really want and you don’t. So I can’t blame him for that – in this moment he was probably very mad for losing the championship and various things come to your mind at such a moment, especially when you’re a hot blooded Spaniard. When he cooled down, he said something quite opposite to his gestures about Petrov, so I would really let it go. I mean – it wasn’t nice, that’s sure, but I can understand it perfectly.

      1. Alen says:

        We can’t make excuses for unsporting behaviour, rather we should say that Alonso’s antics were simply unacceptable… being hot blooded Spaniard doesn’t vindicate you, not just when you wave your fist at others for not clearing the way, but when you wave racist banners against black people as well…

      2. Peter C says:

        Good comment! My similar one, equally inoffensive but true, was moderated.

      3. Lilla My says:

        I like your comment and really agree with you. Unsporting behaviour is never welcomed and I disapprove Alonso’s gestures.

        All I mean, is that as much as I disapprove it, I can understand his frustration. Things like that (i.e. unsporting behaviour) happen in the heat of the moment. It has (unfortunatelly) happened in the past and will (again – unfortunatelly) happen in the future. Alonso sort of apologised for it afterwards when he cooled down a bit (acknowledging Petrov’s faultless race and saying that this is racing).

        To make it clear: as a sport fan – I didn’t like the gestures (as a sign of unsporting behaviour), as a human being – I understand it from a simple emotional perspective.

    2. moggi says:

      One more thing: if Alonso had a teammate who could take 20-30 more points from the others throughout the season, Alonso would have been a champion today. Massa was more disadvantage than advantage for the team and Alonso, as a second best this year, is a hero in my book.

      1. JW1980 says:

        Previous history shows that Alonso does not react well to pressure and the pressure of a fast teamate would reduce Alonso’s performance rather than enhance.
        Alonso had a significant advantage by being in effectively a one driver team.
        He drove well over the second half of the season but do not forget the many mistakes in the first half.

      2. moggi says:

        If someone can perform at his best under the pressure, it is Alonso. All the way back since he won WDC in 05 and 06, I will never forget how precisely he drove with MSH behind him.. They all make mistakes, and he made too many in the first half – yes, but with all that he finished second. In the second half of the season the pressure is greater IMO, and who scored most points ? Massa performance this year was horrible and nobody can’t count that as an advantage.

      3. Lilla My says:

        Alonso had actually only one really fast driver as a team mate – Lewis Hamilton. And he said it on various occasions that his problems with Mclaren that year were connected with Ron Dennis and not with Hamilton (in fact, watching the two of them this season I think they really move along quite well and there are no, or very little, hard feelings between them), so I guess we can’t actually be sure whether he cannot cope with a fast teammate as the only real evidence of that (2007) is sort of distorted.

        On Massa – he really wasn’t too helpful this season, but I would give him the benefit of a doubt and hope he’ll do much better next year.

        I know that people say that Alonso is awful with his team mates, but basing on the photos and videos (e.g. the one from the rollercoster) I don’t think that Massa’s relations with Alonso are as bad as some would like them to be.

        And I agree with the comment above – Alonso can really deliver under pressure. This year, whenever he was criticised, he answered with a good performance next race. He’s really immune to pressure IMHO.

      4. Jo Torrent says:

        Maybe he would’ve taken those points from not only the others but from Alonso as well.

      5. moggi says:

        Lets say that he underperformed 20% behind Alonso. If that was just 5-10% bahind, we could easily assume that the majority of that ponits would be taken from others (sometimes RB), not from Alonso.

      6. Nesto says:

        I honestly don’t feel like Massa was even trying to help Alonso these last races even tho he was claiming to in the media. I understand if hes upset over Hockenheim but it was basically Alonso vs both McLarens and both RBRs all year. But you know what ? So be it. I hope he does better next year. Just let them race so Massa isn’t down, Alonso will still show his superiority and come out on top.

        Thats not bias, theres a reason Alonso is called “the most complete driver” and “relentless” He doesn’t give up and he has the mentality of a champion. Massa is known as…. “fast.” I can’t think of anything else. Alonso’s motivation comes from deep within himself. All this talk about he needs a supporting driver is hogwash. Last I checked he tied with Hamilton, rookie or not, he is universally considered among the top 3 drivers on the grid today. A competitive teammate will only push Alonso harder. But with all the greats, they know AND believe that if you back them, they will bring you the championship. It was in his hands today before his team panicked.

      7. Lilla My says:

        Well said. I agree with you and I hope Massa will be stronger next year so Ferrari can score some big points and I don’t think it will do any harm to Alonso. I like Massa, because he seems a nice guy. But a champion doesn’t have to be nice. In fact most of the top guys aren’t nice, cause you have to be ruthless to achieve what you want. And I absolutely adore Alonso’s championship mentality.

        I also hope for a strong McLaren, so we could see a proper Alonso-Hamilton battle – I was waiting for it the whole season this year and it didn’t really happen. They were both in the championship race, but we didn’t see many direct fight between them on the track. Hopefully next year will be better.

      8. Damian J says:

        If Massa was more competitive, it may have been far less certain that Alonso would have had such as an easy ride within Ferrari to be appointed as the #1 driver.

  56. Matt says:

    Well done Vettel!

    But this race really showed how poor a race track that is. It may be all very well for the few ‘fans’ who attend this race to have ’7′ star hotels and super yacht parking – but the track itself is awful!!!

    When one of the best drivers (Alonso) in one of the best cars can’t get past a very average rookie you have a serious problem.

    Why build tracks like this?

    If it wasn’t the final we’d all have wondered why we bothered to tune in today.

    I personally watch motor racing to see motor racing, not lights and flash hotels.

    1. pasq says:

      Spot on, the track is crap, like the world we live in its become all about the exterior, and lose track on what the true substance are. The f1 world are going to places with no soul or no heritage in motor racing or even motor cars, fuck the pc world but unfortunately they still ride camels in these parts. Money destroys everything, its happened in football, the world cup has lost its magic, please dont let it happen to F1. STOP THE GIMMICKS, bring back san marino! Italy, england and germany deserve 2 gps each.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      It wasn’t the track, it was Renault straight speed !

      1. Matt says:

        I’m certainly not saying F1 shouldn’t be taken to other markets, or that all the tracks in Europe are great – The spanish races are about as boring and souless as they come, and I won’t even get onto some of the tracks on the otherside of Europe.

        But when you’re building a brand new track and have all the resources in the world why do you build in no overtaking opportunities?

        Singapore is unique but Korea seems to be the only new tracks that’s come on line recently which is going to excite.

      2. Anil says:

        Yeah the track really is one of the worst on the calender. Alonso was lapping almost 2 seconds down on Vettel which sums it up nicely. Only ovetaking oppotunity was at the end of the straight so unless you’ve got a clear speed advantage you won’t be able to make it stick which was a shame. Think we saw less overtakes at this track than we did last year. Can’t believe i’m saying this but I genuinely think the Bahrain race was better than todays, shocking.

        James, I know the guys who were at the race loved the track (EJ and Jake were constantly saying how much of a spectacular venue it is) but do they realise just how boring it is to watch on tv and just how most people felt about it? So many people watched todays race as a one off just for the occasion due to the hype (similarly with Bahrain) and just like that race they leave with a negative impression of the sport as you can’t overtake.

        I’m a massive F1 fan but god 40 laps of nothing happening is ridiculous. The world is ruled by money and F1 is no exception, this track and Valencia should be dropped.

      3. jack_faith says:

        yep. the BBC had the tone of their coverage wrong again. So repetitive and no mention that the race itself was a very dull affair. It would have quite different had we seen Hamilton dueling with Vettel, and Alonso being able to take on Petrov and Rosberg.

  57. Paul Mc says:

    Congrats to Vettel although he is not my favourite driver he was the fastest and a deserved champion, Webber was not up his team mates pace.

    That Schumacher incident was scary James it’s amazing how he avoided a serious injury, I wonder after that will he be rethinking things. Too close for comfort.

    Congrats again to Red Bull for a great 2010 season.

  58. Nick Hipkin says:

    Hello James, great finish to the season and congratulations to a deserving champion. I wanted to ask you about your thoughts on Schumacher’s crash. Personally I think F1 had a very lucky escape today, Do you think he will be shaken up by what happened?

  59. Miyu says:

    As an Alonso fan, I am very sad. Ferrari made a terrible mistake today. Fill sorry for them too.
    Congratulations to Vettel, RB and all their fans. At the end, it’s been fair. No doubt.
    :(

  60. Chris says:

    I can’t belive alonso’ gesture to petrov completly sad as if to say I’m alonso’ I drive for Ferrari why didn’t you move idiot

    If that was Hamilton there be a he’ll of slot on here castrating him!!!!!

  61. drums says:

    First and foremost, congrats to Vettel and Red Bull. And then to all other contenders for their performance and the season they gave to all of us.

  62. Nesto says:

    Can’t believe Ferrari pulled the trigger on Alonso. Throughout the year, the first to pit loses. You can’t pass at Abu Dhabi. The options CAN last, others have shown it in other races. You’d have to overtake 2 guys who were good to go to the end. Alonso was already in 4th, why risk it ? React to Vettel, Hamilton, Button not Webber. Its not hindsight, I know it at the time, DO NOT PIT. Damn it, Ferrari !!!

    *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

    Congrats to Vettel, of course. He dominated the last races. But the title wasn’t his for the taking until that fatal pit call. I’m gutted.

  63. Til says:

    First of all and foremost the sport won today!

    The fastest man of the season with the most pole positions and wins grabbed the title!

    It was very nice to see how Sebastian learned from his mistakes throughout the seasons and mistakes he made quite a few.

    Congrats RBR and chapeau Sebastian Vettel!

  64. Frank Dernie says:

    Exciting season, but in the end the Champion was the faster of the two drivers in the best car, as usual.

  65. Frankie says:

    “He was also lucky on the day that Ferrari made a terrible tactical error, which crippled Fernando Alonso’s race.”

    Don’t get over taken by Button off the start line and you have a whole new, far easier strategy you can look at. Put yourself in a position where the strategy becomes tricky and this is the sort of thing that happens.

    I dislike what Ferrari and the implication of teams orders is doing for what remains of this sport. When you put Massa out with the sole intention of just blocking Webber, this is more tag team wrestling than any sport. Can anyone explain how a drivers objective is to give his partner as many points as possible, then block competitors from getting near his partner? If anyone thinks that is a sport, than wrestling is for you!

    1. Peter C says:

      Right on! But the stategy didn’t work, so RBull& McL had the last laugh anyway.

      Let’s hope for some totally clean stuff next season.

      BTW, when is the much awaited F1 car coming from the Iberian peninsula?

  66. gil dogon says:

    Well, let me congrat myself, by pointing out that I had this scenario in mind already after last race, and could see the reason behind RBR strategy of letting Vettel get the race win in Brazil. I was actually rooting for Webber, but he really had a bad finish to the season, and Vettel really earned this one, having suffered quite his share of mechanical misfortunes during the season. Also his emotional tears welling on the podium did make him more likable than before!

  67. Yomi says:

    Ron Dennis looked very upset…why do you think that was James? Another strategy blunder? Trying to get Button ahead of Lewis?!?! To what end?

    1. george cowley ci5 says:

      i agree, according to the notw,norbet haug wants lewis in the merc,i thnk lewis should jump ship when the merc seat is available,in the last 20 years the mcs have only won 3 drivers titles,which is a pathetic return, considering there resources,

  68. bones says:

    James,any ideas why Webber was so off the pace this weekend??
    It is strange,last week they were so close as it has been the case the whole season and on the very last race he is so slow compared to his team mate.
    Was was Red Bull’s opinion about it before the race?

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      pressure, expectations, raising to the occasion, etc…..

  69. Paige says:

    Congrats to Vettel on a tremendous effort at the end of the year. He went through the grinder this year, and he came out of it a champion. He’s taken a big step toward being the dominant driver so many of us have thought he would be.

    One thing I would like to bring up that I don’t think many people have noticed yet:

    Lewis Hamilton cost himself the world championship this year. He ultimately lost the championship by 16 points. He lost 24 points in Monza and Singapore when his attempted overtakes resulted in crashes. He did a brilliant job throughout the year in a car that wasn’t on terms with the Red Bull and Ferrari, and it says a lot about him that he was a title contender despite this. Ultimately, though, he has no one to blame but himself for impatience- even if the incident at Singapore wasn’t entirely his fault.

    Hamilton has got to learn patience. He showed this year he has the ability to win a world championship without the best car- which he’s not always going to have- but doing so requires no mistakes, and he certainly made them. Everyone has said this ad nauseum since he entered the sport. After this year, you have to wonder if he ever will.

    1. Mark says:

      Lewis will be fine. He’s still relatively young in F1 ones, the cool and calm and patience comes with time. The speed is always there, which he has in abundance

    2. sebsronnie says:

      If, if, if! So what if he hadn’t lost those points AND Vettel also hadn’t had all those reliability issues? Same results methinks …

      1. Paige says:

        Then Vettel would have won. No doubt about it. In fact, Vettel really should have walked with this one. He had by far the best car, and he is one of the top-three drivers in F1 at the moment without a doubt.

        That’s not my point. My point is, if you don’t have the best car, you have to be the most consistent and hope that your rivals have consistency issues if you want to win a championship. Red Bull had consistency issues with mechanicals and driver errors, and that opened the door for Lewis. Before Monza, he did an incredible job of not making errors and racking up points while not having the best car, and he took full advantage of races when the strengths of the car made it capable of contending for a win. And in two races, he reverted back to some of the impetuous driving that has cost him/nearly cost him championships in the past. And it cost him another championship.

    3. JW1980 says:

      Don’t forget that Hamilton has already won a world championship in an inferior car in 2008.
      Looking at Hamilton’s season indeed he could have been world champion. Remember Spain when he was leading Vettel in the dominant RBR until the wheel failure? That second has also made the difference. However, on saying that Vettel lost three race victories due to poor reliability.
      When reviewing a season you have to consider it in it’s entirety. Look at how many points Alonso lost during the first half of the season due to several mistakes. Button and Webber would appear to have made less mistakes than their rivals but ultimately lacked the pace required.

      1. Paige says:

        Don’t know that I would call the MP4-23 an inferior car to the F2008. I think they were about equal: Ferrari had the edge on twisty circuits, Macca had the edge on high-speed circuits. And Hamilton made it a lot closer with numerous mistakes he made that it should have been: killing his tires in Hungary, the infamous pit incident in Montreal (which also screwed his race in France with a grid penalty), the idiotic dive-bomb on Kimi on the start at Fuji, etc..

        Lewis needs to learn that sometimes, 2nd place or podium is OK; and that sometimes, even merely getting decent points is OK, as well.

        I don’t blame mechanicals or team errors for Lewis losing the championship one bit. Vettel had plenty of mechanicals. The mechanicals balanced out for all of the drivers. Lewis’ lost championship this year is solely down to those two errors in Monza and Singapore. Vettel could afford to make mistakes with a car vastly superior to everyone else’s. Lewis couldn’t. He drove a perfect season until Monza, and then he blew it all away in two races.

      2. haystack says:

        Oh yeah? What about Alonso, wouldn’t have he won without that jumpstart in China, or chicane cut in Silverstone, or mess-up in Spa? Vettel crashed in stupid overtaking moves twice too, cocked up behind the Safety Car but then his Championship validates whatever he’s done.

        Of course anyone would have won if they were flawless semi-gods who never make a mistake. Your point is totally moot.

    4. John Smith says:

      To be fair to Lewis, Monza he was unlucky Singapore he was impatient.

      But in arguably the 3rd or 4th fastest car to be in the postion he was before these mishaps shows that he is still a class act.

      Imagine Lewis in the Red Bull this year, does anyone think Lewis would have capitulated like Webber did towards the end of the season ?

      1. Paige says:

        John,

        Sorry, but I have to disagree. When you’re the championship leader like Lewis was at Monza and are in position to gain points on your main rival at the time (Webber), you absolutely DO NOT wreck, which means not attempting an overtaking maneuver unless it is an absolutely sure thing. (Like being beside the guy half-way down the straightaway.)

        Also, if you are trying to win a championship while not having the best car, you CANNOT give up points by not finishing. Even after he lost the championship lead in Monza, he should have kept it on the track instead of having a go at Webber. Vettel was well behind in the championship in Singapore, and he elected to stay behind Alonso even if he was faster rather than risk an accident. Look how things turned out for Vettel.

        Lewis has to be much smarter about this crap. Vettel demonstrated more gains in poise and intelligent driving in the last handful of races of this year than Lewis has in the four years of his F1 career. And this is coming from someone whose favorite driver is Lewis.

      2. Mark says:

        He still did well to race with the Bulls all year!!
        Singapore wasnt an error, it was unlucky that his car suffered damage, couldve gone either way.
        Had he suffered not the crashout in Spain perhaps he wouldve been in a stronger position NOT to risk anything in Monza.
        Lewis is Lewis, as fans of his driving(I am too), you have to take the good with the bad, his style is dangerous, brilliant when it works, sometimes a catastrophe when it doesnt.
        This guy is going to be up in the pantheon of F1 greats when its all said and done.
        Relax.N

      3. David C says:

        You’re missing one important point: Unlike Vettel, Lewis seldom had the quickest car at his disposal, and therefore had to drive the car that much closer to it’s limit (and sometimes over it) in order to remain within sniffing distance of being competitive, yet he also committed fewer unforced errors than Vettel over the course of the year. The McLaren was probably the 2nd quickest car (tied with Ferrari) in the first half of the season, and then fell behind Ferrari to become the 3rd fastest car in the second half of the year. It’s also important to note that Lewis finished only 16 points behind Vettel and 26 points ahead of Button (despite DNFs due to technical failures that robbed him of certain 2nd and 4th place finishes at Spain and Hungary, respectively), so at least give him his due credit.

      4. Paige says:

        Dave,

        I do give him his due. Lewis was probably the quickest driver this year relative to the car he drove. He absolutely destroyed Button, a world champion, so his quality was on full display this year.

        It’s one thing to drive a car over its limit and spin. It’s another to attempt overtaking maneuvers when he doesn’t really need to. He lost the championship because he did the latter.

    5. David C says:

      It should not be forgotten the 18 points that Lewis lost in Spain (due to a wheel hub failure) alone would have given him enough to win the WDC, but that’s racing. Nonetheless, in my opinion, none of the other WDC contenders have transcended the performance of their machinery to the extent that Hamilton has, so credit is certainly deserved.

      1. Lilla My says:

        Everyone lost some points here and there (well… mayby Button didn’t lose as many as the others but he was the slowest of all the contenders anyway). You can say that Lewis unnecessarily lost big points in Spain, Italy and Singapore due to stupid mistakes, failures, impatience, bad luck or whatever else.
        But then Alonso lost points in Monaco, Spa, China and Australia due to same reasons.
        And Vettel in Bahrain, Australia or Korea.

        This is racing and thinking “what if” doesn’t make much sense. F1 is loved for its unpredictability and sometimes injustice.

  70. Baghetti says:

    so I guess that today we have learned the hard way that one should never give up track/race position for championship position…

  71. d.h. says:

    I can imagine ferrari were desperately trying to hack Renault’s team radio with some sort of message. maybe ‘ fernando is faster than you, do you understand?’

    Quite pathetic display from alonso at the end towards petrov.

    and well done sv.

    and most certainly thank-you James for your coverage this season.

  72. Peter C says:

    James

    “Schumacher got caught out by his team mate”.

    He said afterwards that he got on the dirty side of the track & it was his (Schu’s) fault.

    He seems to have changed quite a bit this season, more able to own up to mistakes whereas he never would before.

    It’s a great shame that F.A. couldn’t swallow the loss a bit better, giving Petrov a bollocking really was the pits. Still, Petrov seemed quite amused that the great man couldn’t pass him!

  73. Aaron9 says:

    Superb Great job, congratulations to Sebastian Vettel well deserved it. I’m a newcomer on this site and feel this is the best F1 blog, Thanks for it James. Farewell F1 2010

  74. Pawel says:

    Amazing season! Amazing race! Amazing world champion!
    Defensive strategy will never be a PERFECT one I believe!!!

  75. pasq says:

    james, this is my first ever comment so thank you for giving fans their chance to express their views on your fantastic website. The bottom line about this years f1 championship is that Adrian Newey was the major factor. This absolute fucking crap about red bull being only 6 years old and taking on the established teams gets on my nerves. They have done a chelsea, and bought success, hes a major problem in formula one because hes a super genius, that come around once so often. All the teams should pay him off so he can go off to design boats. This Red bull RB6 is up there with 1992/93 williams, the ferraris of 2002/04 and the lotus 79s of 1978 as one of the most dominant cars ever of formula one, the only reason the championship went to the wire is the brilliance of alonso and hamilton. Alonso is still by far the best, Hamilton the most gifted but lacks finesse. The ferrari dominated only one race in which by luck massa got ahead of alonso because of vettel and the nature of that racing line into the first corner. Alonsos real bad luck meant that ferrari had to do the right thing whilst they were leading and in full view of the watching world. Massa has been weak and unfortunately and sorry to say never destined to be world champion, just like Mark Webber. Both great guys but, like most of us its written in the stars, some are just blessed with timing and luck. Alonso deserves to be a 3 time or even 4 time world champion but im not sure it will happen, when the rules keep changing every year it seems to mess the big teams up, getting into a big team now doesnt mean immeadiate success like it used to. Congrats to Vettel, hes incredibly quick and done the business today.

  76. Fausto Cunha says:

    So, my 50 euros on Lewis are gone but i´m still happy for Red Bull and Vettel.
    I think Seb his a deserving champion, nevermind the mistakes they all made he had terrible bad luck when leading some races and that Red bull car really deserved the title.

    The fact that Red Bull let their both drivers fight for the championship is also a big victory for the team.

    Mark wasted a great oppurtunity at his age he might not get a second chance but today he was way of pace and was never a menace to Alonso or Vettel.

    Ferrari and Alonso payed for the conservative aprouch to the race. Alonso will win more titles , his so good that he will be a champion again and he deserves it.

    Same for Lewis, he just needs to be more patiente, his very fast but sometimes he forgets that it´s all about scoring points and at Monza and Singapure he forgot about that.

    This was a great championship, Vettel hasn´t led the points table before become champion and that says it all.

    Thanks!!

  77. Jay B says:

    Rushing to get the final chapter of the book written, eh James?

      1. Jay B says:

        Can’t wait! =)

  78. drums says:

    I think RB lay a well calculated trap to Ferrari today; that is, diverting Webber from the pack and hoping Alonso will follow him in the pit. Clever they were.

  79. alex says:

    Can we get rid of Domenicali please?
    The mistake by Ferrari boss today was gigantic. All they had to do was play for position on track, instead they tried to cover early on a track where you cannot pass (not even someone like Lewis can) which they knew full well from last year.
    I am really sorry for Mark but Vettel deserved to be champon, I guess.
    And Ferrari deserve to lose it with such an inadequate man at the helm.
    Go and hide somewhere Stefano, don’t come back, and please take Massa with you.

    1. Mal says:

      Domenicali isnt the one ordering stategy, it is 7-8 other high ranking guys.

      Seriously, the team bosses just mainly sit on the pit wall and watch it pretty much like we do while the other team members do all the work.

    2. Paul says:

      Well said! Alonso has really made a bit of a fool of massa this year, and whoever called in Alonso to cover webber made a fool of Ferrari today.

    3. Andy C says:

      Stefano doesnt make the strategic calls on when to pit. They have a whole team of strategists.

  80. Charles M says:

    Yes yes YES!!!
    Take that!
    What a great champpionship for the world’s best driver!
    And he didn’t even need his no. 2 driver in the end! ;)

  81. Peter says:

    The similarities between Vettel and Raikonnen are stark. Worryingly though for Vettel’s rivals is that he is much more committed than Kimi.

    What a great season it’s been. I am absolutely thrilled for Sebastian and mega thanks to you James for the high standard analysis you’ve given us f1 fans throughout the season. I look forward to your postings through the winter. Great job.

  82. Anand says:

    Fernando’s thoughts … “It’s the pits!”
    LOL ;)

  83. David Perel says:

    James, first of all your coverage on the blog this year has been incredible. Thanks very much!

    I wanted to ask, Lewis seemed quite ‘down’ in the interviews. Was there a particular reason for that (despite obviously losing the championship). Do you think no longer being the youngest ever champion would upset him?

    It just seemed that he felt defeated today. Maybe frustrated. Im not sure?

    1. James Allen says:

      He was deflated in the interview room, you’re right. I think he was annoyed not to have the chance to attack Vettel because he came out behind the Renault from his stop. He fancied his chances of a win today

      1. Peter C says:

        He’s also had tonsilitis all weekend, I understand. I think he has been a bit unhappy for a while now, nothing more serious than having a car that has not really performed all season.

        He wants to win, that’s all that matters to him hence the over-driving & silly errors.

  84. Debb says:

    First and foremost congratulations to Red Bull and Vettel on winning both the constructors and drivers world titles. I would be lying if I said that this was the result that I was hoping for! But you have to respect the hardwork that the whole team have put in to get the result well done guys hope you have a good party tonight!

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      I understand Williams situation they have bills to pay and employees with salaries. But what a shame !

      It’s a bad situation for the team attractivenesses on one hand and it puts a huge pressure on Maldonado. He will be compared to the Hulk from the 1st day he puts a foot in the car and as far as their GP2 record tells, he stands no chance. Besides, people won’t feel sympathy for someone who’s place was won only by money.

      The problem for the Hulk is that there are no interesting prospects. Force India is on the back foot and Lotus has taken some of their key people. If Renault has a seat, it would be great but it’s unlikely.

      The best position is Lotus maybe if Lotus gets rid of Trulli but that’s not sure either.

    2. Andy C says:

      I saw that too. That would be a huge mistake for Williams, but it looks like its all down to finances. I wouldnt be surprised to see Hulk and Vettel at Mercedes in 2012…

  85. Nick F says:

    Congratulations to Vettel. He’s a very nice guy, and I’m happy for him. What an unexpected result though. Weird how stuff works out.

    I was one of the people that thought Red Bull had got it wrong last week and should have switched the 2 drivers to maximise their chance of winning the drivers championship. I got that wrong…although having said that who could have predicted that both Webber and Alonso would get caught out so badly like that.

    It’s a shame the event was held on a track where over taking is difficult. It both made it exciting, but also spoiled it. I would have loved to see Vettel have to fight off Hamilton to take the win and the championship. It would have been great also to see Webber have a go at Alonso whilst Alonso was trying to get past Petrov, but it just didn’t happen. Webber just sat there behind him, and Alonso was stuck behind Petrov.

    wow. Schumacher was lucky. Did anyone else see that he moved forward a little just before he was hit. That might have made all the difference in avoiding injury.

  86. James says:

    Congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull for finally scraping over that line and getting it done. They deserve all their success and more.

    The track today was awful. Where’s the racing when a Ferrari can’t overtake a Torro Rosso?

    And thank you Fernando for showing your class with the gestures to Petrov at the end.

    A winter without F1?
    Are there any helplines out there?

  87. James says:

    Thank you for all the great features and news this year James.

  88. michael grievson says:

    Congratulations Sebastian. You drove an excellent race. It’s a shame the season is over. I can’t wait for next year

  89. jack says:

    Couldn’t believe it when Ferrari pulled Alonso in for his pit stop after Webber. I could never see how that was going to work. He was always going to lose places to the cars that pitted under the safety car, on a track thats not good for overtaking. Really disappointed for Alonso. A driver of his skill deserves a 3rd WDC, but well done for taking the fight to the last race against a clearly superior Red Bull.

    And congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull. They got everything right today, and Vettel has been driving really well since Monza.

  90. Gary Smith says:

    I didn’t particularly want Vettel to win the drivers championship but now that he has, I’m oddly pleased.

    Great, great site and I can’t wait for the book.

  91. Douglas says:

    Nice to hear you doing the interviews at the end James, great to hear your voice back on the box.

  92. Paul D says:

    James – can you answer something for me which has been bugging me for ages!

    In the press conference the Mclaren drivers seem to have their overalls tied round their waist and a seperate set of upper body overalls on?

    Why do they do it, the sponsors on both look the same?!

  93. giorgio0078 says:

    Unforgetable day today for F1 history. Looks like fortune played today vs ferrari and alonso for unfair game they conducted. I wonder what feels now Niki Lauda saying two weeks ago that SV got no more chance and RBR shall switch on Webber. and comments of Flavio Briatore is interesting too.. lol

  94. James B says:

    Great end to a fantastic season. Vettel when you consider how he was hampered by 3 failures really is a deserving champion. He has been the fastest all year. Webber in the end just didn’t quite have the pace and the pressure told. Bet RB are glad they didn’t listen to all the calls from the media for them to back Webber!

    Alonso and Hamilton dragged themselves into contention and enhanced their reputations. Must say though I don’t like the way Alonso acts. I have no problem with team orders in Germany but just wish he could have been more consoling to Felipe and not try and act like it was deserved. Then, today again towards Petrov it really was bitter and wasn’t needed. Maybe though that is what makes him great!

  95. seifenkistler says:

    Vettel winning had one bad thing on it: my third daughter was in finals at an indoor youth soccer tounament. And suddenly the hall was becoming empty mid in final game because some idiot used a beamer to show F1 in the entrance room of the sport hall.

    Just watched the race on replay (daughter had priority):
    What was up with Webber? With this non exisiting fighting spirit i wouldn’t hire him if i would be a team manager. Alonso did so many mistakes and Webber was never close enough to take advantage.

    Did Webber damage his car when ‘hitting’ the wall? There were some sparks and i thought the pit stop to change wheels was because of damage?

    Savety car, Petrov and Rosberg changing wheels, Kubica overtaking Kobayashi were the key facts of the race in my eyes

    Hamilton did a tactical mistake in my opinion. By hunting Kubica he ruined his tires and he would have needed Kubica in front of Alonso. So why not let Kubica go?

  96. JimmiC says:

    The long term future, it seems, is Hamilton – Vettel – Kubica – Alonso. That’s not a bad prospect. A street fighter, a run-and-hide sprinter, the quiet man and the total package.

    Vettel has really impressed me in the close to the season. He’d disappointed me up until recently, but he’s shown champions class in the last few races. All the same, I’m sad that Webber didn’t get the title.

  97. Steve W says:

    What an epic battle we saw today,Alonso considered favourite yet Vettel stole the prize,a worthy win.
    Alonso lost at the first turn to Button,Ferrari then kick in plan “B”,it was never going to work,they knew how difficult this track is to pass on,the F10 seemed to struggle with grip,and yet Alonso was put behind cars who had already stopped during the SC period,yes to cover Webber was the excuse, but had Alonso continued on softs he could have secured another championship by pitting later,Newey pointed this out.
    His frustration towards Petrov at the end was uncalled for,to have Alonso behind you hounding every inch of track to get past and yet manage to stay in front shows Petrovs mettle,which is admirable.
    I can understand Alonso,s anger,but his team let him down,may be behind closed doors he will demonstrate that,and question his own gut instincts,his tyres could have lasted much longer before pitting.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Thanks James for all the great insights in to F1,hopefully an interview with Alonso post race will enable us to understand more.

  98. momo says:

    well done to seb he deserve this title,as a mclaren fan i just hope they learn something this time because coming next season they will have no excuse for making a dog of a car,they have to come back very strong,this is the 2nd year running that mclaren find themself really strogling in the fight,its have to stop.

  99. Rhys M says:

    Congratulations Vettel, a worthy World Champion after a most fantastic season, one that surely will be counted as one of the greatest seasons ever. It is only fitting that the fastest car this season won both titles.

    But I have a feeling that next year will be even more epic. So long as the rule changes do not have an adverse affect upon the racing, then I reckon that next year will see a 6 way fight for the title, between the Red Bulls, McLarens, Alonso and one of Massa, Rosberg and Kubica. Can’t wait!

    And thank you JA for your views throughout the season, they have been most interesting and insightful.

  100. Taz says:

    Alonso, with his behaviour towards Petrov proved that he has always been a sore loser. Even Schumacher with retirement in sight went and congratulated Alonso even though he could have totally won the 2006 WDC.

    I am so happy that Seb won today. Totally deserves it and a great win, not just for him, but for the Sport!

  101. Andy Will says:

    Didn’t think that that result would have happened, well done to Vettel a good winner, but still looks a different driver when he’s not in the lead, he has suffered in the media as being made to look the favoured one, but do agree that the F1 won today by red bull not interfereing with results until they had to, because i do believe Vetttel would have had to have given way to Webber today if needed to.
    Didn’t undestand JB’s tactics today, i was watching the driver tracker and you could see Vettel, Kubica & Hamilton catching him lap after lap whilst he stayed out on older tyres, thought he would have been better served pitting as soon as they started clawing the deficit back on him.

  102. Paul says:

    It’s only a shame that this race couldn’t have been on a track where overtaking wasn’t nigh on impossible. We could have had a much more exciting championship finale and a much less dull 2 hours. When an on-form alonso in an on-song ferrari cant get by petrov in a renault with the WDC at stake, things are blatantly in bad shape in F1. Congrats to Seb and Red Bull though, worthy champions.

  103. Neil Kenward says:

    Of the four, Alonso was the driver I least wanted to win. However I now find myself feeling just a little sorry for him.
    He had it all sorted by the exit of turn one. Barring a technical issue, he was WDC. Ferrari just had to cover fourth place. And they didn’t.
    No wonder he was shaking his fist at Petrov by the end, I’m surprised he didn’t blow a gasket, never mind his engine.
    I can’t stop laughing, but nevertheless…

    Thanks for the blog James, consistently the best coverage of the F1 year. I hope you keep it going, it adds to the sport for me and I’m sure many others would agree.

  104. Nando says:

    Congrats to Vettel!!! Thought Kobayashi was going to take him out coming out of the pits. I don’t think Alonso was able to change his conservative mindset when needed.
    One sour point Red Bull saying they wouldn’t use team orders,but then having the Toro Rosso move over for Webber!

    1. Nesto says:

      For sure, Nando, he kept that conservative mindset. I was waiting for him to become desperate and just throw his car in front of Petrov. Hearing Petrov say after the race that he would have avoided making contact is great to know AFTER the race. Seeing how he crashed out so many times this year, I’m sure Alonso was thinking the same and didn’t want to risk blowing the championship making a stupid move to which the media would have had a field day with.

      But as it started to sink in that he wasn’t going to get past, I wanted to see the “screw it, what have I got lose” mentality when he threw the car into the corner in Malaysia after chasing Button with the bad gearbox. He didn’t care then as it was only a few points to risk but this was for the WDC in the last race, honestly, I was screaming “DO SOMETHING, ALONSO!!!!!!!” or at least someone on the radio tell him to do whatever it takes and just risk it all but you have to get past !! It was utterly agonizing to see him trapped. Scream at the guy next time, now was not the time for the calming voice.

  105. Sergey says:

    What an ending of this awesome season! However, the funny thing is that one of the factors that led to today’s result is the nature of the track. It is unbelievable that the track built from scratch with very solid budget available is just dull. One can say that lack of overtaking today is caused by the efficiency of F-duct on McLaren and Renault cars, but Massa was unable to overtake Toro Rosso as well. So the question is why there are so many tracks that almost disallow overtaking? Martin Whitmarsh has once pointed to the statistics of overtaking – and in general it is not that related to the car design. So why are these Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi designed that way?

    Sure congratulations go to Vettel and Red Bull. Remember that without technical failures Vettel would be ahead of his rivals before Abu Dhabi. And this applies to Vettel only – no other driver suffered that much from failures this season – that’s just a fact. So after all it is absolutely deserved win.

    As usual, Alonso is on the pace, and surely he is a team leader, but we’ve seen a couple of mistakes from him. And his gesture to Petrov at the end of the race once again showed that he is an unpleasant person. And I did not see him congratulating Vettel – I think it is not the way it should be in the sport of this level. It has nothing to do with selfishness – it is about respect to your rivals.

    1. Fluebroggle says:

      Don’t forget that Vettel cannot overtake, unlike Hamilton. He crashed into Webber and Button in two seperate races when he tried it.

      So, as has probably been said already in this blog, yes, he is a supremely fast driver and has won several races, but only cos he had a fast enough car in the first place to enable him to get to the front row for most of the season and hence stay at the front during the race with no overtaking required.

  106. Wombat says:

    Vettel deserves the win and title – always trying (if sometimes very trying!) he has raced at the front all year.
    The man from Queanbeyan has had a great year – one to remember with pride – the puzzle for me is why a guy that has been within a tenth of his team mate all year, and at times quite dominant, faded towards the end of the season especially in this race?
    Alonso came so close, an exercise of pure will in the second half of the season nearly got him there.
    But we started the season with the most boring F1 race of all time, and apart from the tension of the championship, we finished with another very boring race. When is F1 going to wake up – these tracks make overtaking near impossible and the complex and vulnerable (and unnecessary) aero kills man-to-man racing and adds to the dangers of accidents if somebody is tagged.

  107. Oliver says:

    I just went through the comments above and surprisingly I couldn’t find the following theme: Redbull employed ‘team orders” to win the championship!

    It was sheer brilliance but after all, Redbull obviously sacrificed Mark — who admittedly had put himself out of the running — in favour of their front runner. By pitting Weber when they did, they forced Ferrari’s hand; pit to cover Mark or track the front-runners? Obviously Ferrari made the wrong decision but that is all 20/20 hindsight. The fact is that any one that thinks that Redbull pitted Mark for his own sake is naïve. It had everything to do with attempting to distance Alonso from Seb. And it worked.

    Team orders are a part of the sport — some employ them more subtly than others but employ them they will nonetheless. I am happy that Ferrari did what they did in Germany when they did otherwise Alonso wouldn’t have had a chance later in the season when the tracks suited Redbull so much better. But for Christian Horner or Mateschitz to pontificate on their “whatever happens, happens” approach is hypocritical.

    I am happy that Ferrari employed team order in Germany just as I respect and admire their use today by Redbull. It is a part of the sport. Nevertheless, Sebastian is as worthy a world champion as Fernando is a runner up.

    1. Nesto says:

      Unfortunately, some F1 fans just don’t get it and I don’t think they ever will. Team orders, favoring one driver, its all the same. These same fans don’t care if they’re fooled into thinking its all “equal”, just do it in a way they won’t know and they’ll be happy. RBR have clearly been favoring Vettel as McLaren have been favoring Hamilton for the last few races. You can see it in strategies and how the teammates are suddenly lacking pace in comparison to the sister car (whereas before, the performance would seesaw). Because the focus and development is on the favored driver, how hard is that to see ? They preached equality to the end but its not in fact.

      F1 is all about the details, if you get them wrong, we all know the consequences. You can give what is seemingly equal equipment but everything little bit adds up. A slightly better chassis, a slightly better engine, tires, strategy and so on. These things can not all be equal. When a teammate is tenths slower, its not because driver A is simply faster than driver B. As a team, you pick your prize horse and run with it. That is sport, live and deal with it.

    2. srk says:

      Thought Mark radioed in complaining about his tyres?

    3. Nando says:

      Mark wasn’t sacrificed. RB had to throw the dice to get him into contention but he just wasn’t fast enough initially on the hard tyres.
      Thought we might see the red-mist come down and see him try and charge through the field but sounded like he just couldn’t find the performance in the car. Whether that due to mental or mechanical issues I don’t know.

      1. James Allen says:

        He called for new tyres on radio remember.

  108. Aey says:

    Poor Alonso for your gesture.

    let assume that you have a chance to pass Petrov. What you think about Rosberg?

    Why Ferrari Team don’t radio to Petrove to let him know that “Fernando is faster than you, do you understand the message?”

    If you want to pass someone,do it yourself, Alonso, not just waiting for helping from People around you. . . Alonso might forget that the car in front is Petrov, not Massa.

  109. Markuss says:

    Alonso lost today, but he the fact is that in a what was practically the third car he lost the title by only a couple of points. And what is really striking to me: he demolished his team- mate. I cannot understand one thing: why Massa has been so lacklustre this season? Massa is a very nice person, he can loose (oh yes he can, and with class), can play as a team-mate, but isn’t he just a bit off the pace of Alonso? As a Polish fan I wished Kubica took his place of course, but that’s impossible next season. And I really wish Massa all the best, but…

    1. Nando says:

      Massa was slower before Hockenheim (notably not slower at Hockenheim though) but since that incident his confidence has gone completely with that the updates have obviously focused on what Alonso prefers.
      Thought he’d picked up the last two races, in Brazil his race was destroyed by a loose wheel-nut and today it was destroyed by Ferrari trying to use him as a blocker.

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      It’s been gone over several times… the hard tires don’t suit him… same thing happened with Schumacher; he couldn’t make the car work with the narrow fronts.

      Remember, every car doesn’t suit every driver. Some cars push, and some cars are loose. Some drivers prefer one, others prefer the other. Villeneuve consistently beat Frentzen in Williams; Frentzen was faster than Schumacher in Group C; Schumacher was faster than Massa in Ferrari; yet Massa was faster than Villeneuve in Sauber. Does that mean that Villeneuve lost his talent from Williams to Sauber? Does it mean that Schumacher suddenly learned how to drive once he got out of Group C and into F1? Buemi beat Alguersuari last year, but this year it was the reverse. Was it all down to talent or experience? I doubt it.

      It just means that different cars suit different drivers. This year’s cars didn’t suit Massa, Schumacher or Buemi, but they worked quite well for Alonso, Algeursuari and Vettel.

  110. Edwin C says:

    Congratulations to Seb for WDC, the fastest driver with the fastest car, it was a well deserved win.

    It was kind of sad to see Mark’s hopes faded like that. Let’s all hope he could keep his form for 2011.

    On an end note, James, thank you for all you contributes here and on One HD. It was an unforgettable year with a nice twist to the end. I’ll certainly be glued here over the winter.

  111. StallionGP F1 says:

    What a load of rubbish who finished runner up nobody remembers or cares get over yourself Alonso was lucky this year had the redbull been very reliable the season would have been over since mid way

  112. Jackel says:

    Vettel has been absolutely brilliant in the final four GPs of the season. A big thumbs up to Red Bull for allowing their drivers to race. In fact it is that position that allowed Vettel to win the title. Alonso had to cover Webber when he pitted for tires and that allowed Vettel to slip through. Had all of RBR’s eggs been in Webber’s basket Alonso would only have one moving target to fend off for the title, but because RBR allowed Seb to remain in the title fight it made Ferrari blink at the wrong time and Vettel and RBR capitalized in style. Congratulations to Seb on a truly outstanding achievement.

  113. Andrew Duffy says:

    Hi James,

    Well done to Red Bull and Vettel, no question they are worthy champions.

    Thanks for the great insights over the past year. It was also great to see you doing the gridwalk\live broadcast on One. Will we see you back in the Comm box anytime soon?

    Cheers
    A Duffy

  114. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Poetic justice.

    Maybe this is karma for Alonso after Singapore 2008.

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      And Hockenheim this year? Or is that accepted now? What about losing out in 2007? Or was that karma for Hungary that year? I can’t keep up with the ins and outs of karma these days.

  115. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    I just watched the end of the race again and I’m appalled at the utterly unsportsmanlike conduct of Alonso.

    Vettel was heavily criticised for gesturing to the crowd for signalling that Webber’s move was insane. Alonso pulls up to Petrov and remonstrates at him that he should have pulled over.

    Had Hamilton not won the 2008 WDC, would it have been right of him to pull alongside Vettel and approve his disgust at him for overtaking him and costing him the championship?

  116. John says:

    Well done Seb. Congrats to you. Well it seems that Bernie Eccelstone and RBR Management got what they wanted. Could not of written a better script my self. Got give it to the kid(Seb) lots of talent.

  117. John says:

    Hi James. Just an addition to my other comment i just submitted. It would of been a great story if Mark Webber had won it. I know Seb derserves it but it feels like it was planned and orchestrated from the begining of the year. It may be a sport but it definetly is the Bernie F1 Show.

  118. Jingjing says:

    Congrats to Vettel and RBR, they deserve both titles~

    As a big fan of Fernando, I’m so angry of the Ferrari’s strategy in the race.They have the car, the driver, and Lewis & Jenson in between, why they were so focus on Mark? All the strategists should be fired,I think.

    At the end of the day, Ferrari is the laughing stock!!!

  119. John says:

    I will try again. Congrats to Seb Vettel he deserves to be champion. It seems that Bernie and RBR Management got what they wanted. Seb Vettel the F1 2010 Champion. It felt to me it was a planned and orchestrated event from the begining of the year.I know F1 is a sport but let’s not forget it is the Bernie F1 show.For the people’s champion Mark Webber wining would of been a great story! But what do i know?

  120. JohnBt says:

    Congrats to Sebastian Vettel for clinching the 2010 WDC. He drove very well and earned it. Vettel never lead the championship this season and did it in style. But what an awful podium celebration for Vettel without any grand fanfare. Not one confetti dropped from the sky.

    Felt so sorry for Webber, like nobody cared about him at all. In fact I felt real SAD.

    Alonso luck finally caved in after the safety car and the championship slipped away from him while both Renaults held him and Hamilton from overtaking.

    Honestly the race wasn’t that great and processional, well, it’s a Herman track. Interlagos will be the perfect finale for 2011.

  121. Sarvar says:

    Huh, fantastic job, Sebastian.

    After Kimi you’ve proved to be “iceman” at the track.

    Brilliant!!! CONGRATS!!!

  122. Chris K says:

    Farewell F1 2010 – its been a cracking year.

    Well done Sebestian, I’m not a fan but you got the job done and deserve credit for it. Red Bull designed by far and away the best car of 2010 – probably better than Brawn’s effort of last year and on that basis I think that Button, Alonso and Hamilton are all better than Seb as they would have had it sewn up a long time ago.

    Abu Dhabi was a bit of a let down, the race was very processional with hardly any overtakes that I can remember – let alone for WDC winning overtakes. Goes to show that all the rule changes have had little affect on the ability of an F1 car to overtake another on a track. Lets hope the banning of the double diffuser next year will alleviate this somewhat and other rule changes. 2010 was a fantastic season, but it always took rain, or crashes to mix it up a bit and I feel that F1 could still do with more overtaking. Perhaps I’m a little deflated after Abu Dhabi, but I want to see more of moves like Hamilton overtaking on the outside of turn 11 at Melbourne Park.

    Its been a fanastic and exciting year overall, and I’m looking forward to F1 2011

  123. Stevie P says:

    Congratulations to Seb Vettel and Red-Bull – 2010 Drivers and Constructor Champions.

    They really should have had those titles wrapped up earlier in the season, but their reliability issues kept others in the hunt and made for a close championship. As in most seasons there were some stunning races where outside influences (weather and track conditions affecting tyre wear) impacted upon proceedings and then there were the usual “processions”.

    Despite Abu Dhabi falling somewhat into the latter category; it was an exciting climax to the season – if only watching Alonso endeavour to get past Petrov and failing. I wasn’t too impressed with Alonso’s reaction on the slow down lap – but you can understand some of his frustration.

    Only with hindsight can you say that Ferrari made a bad call to pit Alonso when they did and who’s to say that their soft-tyres would have “come back in”, as they did on the Macca’s and Vettel’s RB.

    Bring on 2011 :-)

  124. Karen says:

    It is great, that he won, but would he have won the worldchampionship, if the old points system were used.

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      Which “old” points system are you referring to?

      The original points? (9-6-4-3-2-1, 2nd is 67% of 1st)

      The next system? (10-6-4-3-2-1, 2nd is 60% of 1st)

      Or the “we don’t want Schumacher to dominate” system? (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1, 2nd is 80% of 1st)

      The current system (25-18-15…, 2nd is 72% of first) bridges the gap between the old and new systems. It’s not like they’ve radically changed anything, apart from giving points to lower positions.

      Remember, it’s the percentage difference that actually matters, not the number of points given.

      Therefore, it doesn’t really matter which points system it is. He may have lost using 2009 points… he may have won using 1995 points… he may have tied using 1950 points (no idea, I haven’t bothered to do the math). Realistically, the only system that matters is the one they’re using now. F1 has used enough points systems now, including some silly drop-score systems, that “comparing the past” doesn’t hold much water at all.

      Last year’s system was also a ridiculous attempt made a few years ago to prevent Schumacher from winning titles four races before the end of the year, and made championships artificially close. This year they brought the system closer to the older systems that actually rewarded trying to win a race. Personally, I think they should have adopted the (10-6-4-3-2-1) system again, but that’s just because I like seeing people fight for wins, it rewards consistently finishing up front (reviving the coveted top-six finish, where getting points was a real challenge) and prevents drivers from merely strolling to the finish to just get points. At least the current system helps that.

  125. C Lin says:

    Vettel The Real Chanmpion!!!

    1. S2K says:

      I am not happy to say that but Well Done Sebastian! In the end the best driver, in the best car won.

  126. Fluebroggle says:

    What happened to the champagne after the presentation of the trophies?! It was all flat with no fizz, so there was no spray no matter how hard Seb, Lew and Jen shook the bottles!

    Can’t see that brand of champagne having its contract renewed next season!

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      They are in the UAE, which is a Muslim country. Ergo, no alcohol allowed; they used rose-water instead.

      Personally, I think they should have used something fizzy… non-alcoholic sparkling wine? Sparkling apple-cider? Perrier? Any of those would be better…

  127. malcolm.strachan says:

    James, what do you bet that if Webber is kicking himself for anything, it was his mistake in Korea?

    Had he just kept it on the road there, he could have had a decent finish… perhaps top-5. His DNF was wholly his fault, and eliminated a lot of possible points.

  128. Olga says:

    Congratualations Seb.
    Clearly the fastest guy of the season in the fastest car and he deserves the accolades.
    But….
    It is extremely hard to remember him pulling a rabbit out of the hat when there have been cars in front of him, or actually racing and winning on a wheel to wheel basis through sheer bravery or determination.
    There have been plently of drivers who have championships to their name on the same basis (Damon Hill and even Jensen Button amongst them!) when the drivers I really want to have a shield are those that bully hassle and really race – coming from behind and scoring big.
    Still – Well done Seb, in years to come you will always be a World Champion, how this is achieved is actually irrelevant and no-one will remember those who lost. (read second, third, fourth etc)!!

  129. David Ryan says:

    Congratulations to both Seb and Red Bull on what is a quite amazing achievement. It may have relied upon Ferrari’s abysmal strategic choice today, and there may still be a few rough edges to work on, but anyone who wins 3 out of the last 4 races (and leads the 4th before engine failure) with that much pressure to perform is a worthy champion in my book. Commiserations to Mark and Fernando on just being pipped to the post, but it leaves 2011 looking in pretty good shape.

  130. Spenny says:

    Good short article in the Independent today, where Seb says the Button crash was the incident that made a change.

    The essence of it was that Seb realised that he did not have the right to win and got his head together – I think he suffered from too much support within the team and finally twigged that there was a problem. I think there was a change from arrogant outrage to a more relaxed demeanour. The Seb of the first half of the season lacked self-criticism.

    In a way, it seems he has taken a leaf out of the Hamilton propaganda book – “I learn from my mistakes and come back stronger.”

    No complaints about his driving since then, though I’d still like to see him race for a victory from within the pack.

    So on to next year and we will see the rise of the new generation of F1 bendy cars from all the teams to level the playing field. That’s quite a design load for the teams to handle – flexible cars, KERS, adjustable rear wing, properly integrated blown diffusers, taking the f-duct concept and working out other ways to make it work.

  131. Michael S says:

    James, you should do a nice piece on Vettle no doubt like you would have for Hamilton, Webber or Alonso….

    I am not saying you don’t like Vettel, but it is fairley clear the other 3 you quite enjoy…

    so far all I have seen is stories on how Ferrari blew it, or a fans perspective(which was more of a gripe)

  132. moggi says:

    I agree on RB part. Very well said.

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