Vettel on pole for crucial title decider in Abu Dhabi
Scuderia Ferrari
Vettel on pole for crucial title decider in Abu Dhabi
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Nov 2010   |  3:33 pm GMT  |  111 comments

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the final round of the 2010 World Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

One eye on the title: Vettel can do it tomorrow (Darren Heath)

It was his 10th pole position of the season and a record equalling 15th pole of the season for Red Bull Racing.

Mark Webber could manage only the fifth fastest time, which deals his title hopes a real blow. He has to hope for misfortunes to the others tomorrow, as starting behind Alonso on the road and with less points, he’s in a difficult position.

Alonso made some changes to his car, reverting to settings from Friday, while Hamilton and McLaren were able to get the maximum from their F Duct.

Despite that, he did not have an advantage over the Red Bull on the straights in the second sector.

In the first part of qualifying, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel traded fastest laps as the track improved all the time. Even though it wasn’t for position, it was exciting stuff, building the atmosphere perfectly. Alonso was fastest, with the best compromise of the three cars, while McLaren was gaining on the straights but losing in the slower final sector, the opposite of Red Bull. Nico Rosberg did a spectacular lap to go P2 at the end of that first session.

Sebastian Buemi was eliminated in Q1, along with the new teams, outqualified by team mate Alguersuari for the sixth time in seven races. Both Lotus cars were ahead of both Virgin cars, with Jarno Trulli, who is under a little pressure, faster than Heikki Kovalainen.

In Q2, Hamilton had a torrid time, locking up on his first run and then almost colliding with Felipe Massa. He recovered to get through into the top ten.

Eliminated from the top ten for the first time this season was Robert Kubica in the Renault who was outqualified by his team mate Vitaly Petrov, which could prove crucial to the Russian’s chances of staying with the team next year.

In Q3 the pressure really started to show. The two drivers who had least to lose, Vettel and Hamilton, fought for pole position while Alonso and Webber looked out of it as Button was third after the first runs.

But Alonso soaked up the pressure to record the third fastest time on his last run. It bumped Button to fourth and Mark Webber down to fifth, six tenths of a second slower than his team mate. It was a big game moment,

“I took it very calm, the last qualifying lap, I had to stay very calm” said Alonso. “Our main target is to do the best we can. Sometimes we can be on pole sometimes third. If our best is enough we will see tomorrow. I’m confident, I have been for the last five months.”

“It feels good, “said Vettel. “It was a tough qualifying session today. The conditions changed so much between the afternoon and evening. We knew it would be tricky. I did only one run of three laps, but it was enough.”

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, Yas Marina Circuit, Qualifying

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@ larmada.

My point is, you can say someone (me for instance) is a stupid, or a crying man. Then the the other (me for instance) can say is not, and have a debate. But what you are not entitled to do by any means is to change the name of the people. You just have no right to do so. Then, there is fans, etc.

Thomas in Australia

If Vettel gets away cleanly, I could see Hamilton holding up Alonso so that Button can take a bite at him.

Here’s hoping we don’t end up with a “team orders” champion.


Alonso has been lucky in the whole year, so now we expect it to have bad luck.

If ML is better balanced today, LLoronso will not have easy life trying to pass him. Don’t you forget when they were both at ML.

Same car, easy cake for Lewis!!


I’ve just looked at the qually again – sad I know.

Is Alonso taking it easy with his engine, turning the wick up only twice a session?

I didn’t see it first time around but on second viewing . . .

Vettel was enormous, as was LH, all the way through. Alonso was hot and cold and perhaps this cost him.

What does seem to be true is that there is very little between the top three cars. It is going to be all down to the drivers.

The first corner should be interesting but in an exciting way rather than just who bumps into whom. Certainly Webber could do with that mystery glitch in his software being elsewhere tomorrow.

It is, in effect, a three car race if without retirements.

I would not like to be the one who had to decide whether to let LH pass or to squeeze him. He’s got nothing to loose apart from a finish.

I am firmly of the belief that the WDC is a construct, a bit of fluff invented to excite those for whom a race isn’t enough. It means littel other than who scored most points. There are too many variables, most of which can’t be quantified, for the WDC to prove anthing. However, tomorrow I’ll be there with my calculations.

A friend has created a little Excel sheet (actually Open Office but he assures me it’ll work in my MS version) where all you have to do is enter the current positions to find out the points.

I have to say I will keep it up to date.

My friends and I have £50 each on where Alonso finishes. I say his engine will let go. No one wanted first.


For the guys who feel Hamilton should be penalized. Massa was also on an out lap. I guess he could wait rather than forcing himself through the corner.


If everything goes normal, Alonso is going to be Champ, but I am 100% that nothing is going to be straightforward tomorrow.

I am really curious what will Alonso to at the start tomorrow. In theory, he would love to see Hamilton overtaking Vettel. We would probably not want to get into this action. On the other hand, he needs to protect his 3rd position and that might not be super easy.


Hamilton in front of Alonso? This is great news for Fernando! P2 should come soon tomorrow 🙂

Forza Fernando!


you’re so right man


Funny listening to the BBC team who were almost gleefully trying to get Hamilton punished. Not quite sure what for though considering they were both on out laps.

What an awesome last sector by Alonso. Loved the images of Montezemelo on the Ferrari pit wall. It reminded me of the last corner of Brazil in 2008 where he I believe he threw his remote control through the TV!! Tomorrow I think is going to be epic……….


I don’t know what the BBC said but he deserved a penalty and a fine yesterday. He got none.


Max Mosley was right about the “Bella Figura”. He shows off too much doesn’t he. The embrace with Brawn, the handshake with every team manager along the pitlane, the walk down the pitlane, the emotions, etc.

Tomorrow, we’ll get some more of his cinema. There must be some camera-men specially working on him.


That was a good qualifying round made even better with a bit of Ferrari and McLaren rivalry.

Massa was actually on his out lap the same as Lewis, and to be fair Lewis couldn’t get futher off track to avoid the Ferrari that was in his blind spot.

What I also find odd is that at the very end of the qualifying session you have Massa blocking Nico for about 5-6 corners, only to let him by on the second to last corner of the lap. Then for Massa to stop to allow Alonso past also ?


I don’t think 5th on the grid is a disaster for Webber, a lot can happen… a bizarre race would be an appropriate end to this crazy season. Personally, after all the talk of team orders the last week or so, I really hope Hamilton steals it…


Yes, If Hamilton wins (very possible)

Alonso blows (possible)

Webber 4th, I think he wins!


I was stunned by Alonso’s lap in Q3. The Ferrari was nowhere near the McLaren and RedBull today. He really worked for that priceless 3rd spot.


We know that Alonso and Hamilton are not best of friends, Alonso has said he wants Hamilton to win so he has a bigger chance of winning the title.

Now, if Lewis was in front at some point, would he slow so Alonso does’t win the title if possible.

I wouldn’t of thought so, but you never know.


Sad news – Alonso and Hamilton are not enemies. The only man who made them look like they do – Ron Dennis.


This really should have been a McLaren 1-2. The last-minute efforts from both Vettel and Alonso were ethereal!


Hamilton shouldn’t be punished as both Massa and him were on outlaps.


Well, if Webber is forced into passing Alonso and the two take each other out……


Then Vettel’s engine will blow and Hamilton will take the championship… lol

Best thing about four driver in with a chance, Alonso can’t do a Schumacher and take Webber out to clinch it, there isn’t necessarily a guarantee of Vettel winning if Webber takes out Alonso and Hamilton can still spoil everyone elses show if they have any major problems….


It’s time to see whose car is less vulnerable!


I love the Irony. All the talk till now has been if Vettel would move over and help Webber. Come Saturday the real situation is that Webber needs to overtake Alonso into third to help Vettel.


It’s not enough. For Vettel to clinch the title Alonso has to finish 5th. Vettel needs Webber and both McLaren to help him.

He must be relieved Ron Dennis is here. He hates nothing more than seeing Ferrari win. Oh ! I forgot. He hates something more : to see Alonso win. The Spaniard cost him a driver’s world championship, a constructors world championship and a bit of money (100 million dollars).


What a bull…t. Sorry – it was Ron Dennis who cost Alonso 3rd WDC. “We are basically racing against Fernando”. Nevermind Hamilton pressing all buttons on his wheel in Brasil – it’s definetly Alonso’s fault. Mike Coughan also worked under influence of Alonso. Whahaha. Epic!


I am not criticizing Alonso. I am just imagining Ron’s feelings. You’re wrong about something, the evidence that led to McLaren being found guilty was the emails brought by Alonso.

Before that, McLaren got away with it.


May be because of this the Spaniard was—in order to be released of his contract with McL— obliged to accept being silent from there on on what had happened along those obscure years. I really would love to know all the inners in the plot.


Anyone noticed that Massa sacrificed his last fast lap for Alonso??

Until the last corner in their in lap, Masso was just infront Alonso then at the start/finish line, it was Alonso directly behind Hamilton and Rosberg and Massa just passed as the track was red !!!…did he managed to make this lap or what?


I noticed. That is what Mr. Horner calls lately “I trust the drivers will do the right thing for the team, given the right conditions” or what He called “team orders” right after Germany… your choice but no different to what Vetel was prepared to do for Mark in tomorrow’s race where it really would have mattered,so live with it.


….no he didn’t sacrifice his lap…he was on time to do it and be, as usually, 0.5 s slower than Alonso….it seems to me that Massa hasn’t been of much help to Alonso, barring Germany…


I did notice. He scarified all he could sacrifice. In the race there’s nothing he can help Alonso with.


He did (just), but thought he hadn’t, so he didn’t went for it. Still, it was a nice gesture from Massa.


He didn’t complete the lap, whether this was because he did not start before the end of the session or some other reason I am yet to determine.


That was a really nice session. I hope Hamilton won’t get any penalty for Massa incident – that wouldn’t be good for the championship race.

I think the pressure has reached Webber lately and that’s not good for him. Nice to see Button and Massa doing a bit better than they did in the couple of last GPs. I hope everything goes well tomorrow with no crashes or car failures – I would love to see the championship decided on the track and not outside of it. And today’s results look good for Fernando which makes me feel really happy (that was a nice last lap from him).

On the one hand I want Sunday to come asap, cause I’m getting quite nervous, so I would like it to end, but on the other hand – I so don’t want the season to end!


By the way, (3)Alonso < (5)Webber by 0.133 in Q3. And the winner is… I admit I've not been through all the guessings of the last stint, but I feel no one nailed it. Life is still unforeseeable.


I think i guessed it exactly… !!


Is it hard for you to watch the races knowing the results and the gaps before the start ? By the way, who’s the winner tomorrow ?


I’ve got it wrong! Here it is, he’s not?

Jo Torrent

November 13th, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

GAP Alonso Webber 0.133


I got it wrong to, I said 0.269 but I accept the present if nobody has the right answer.


Probably the two fastest drivers on raw outright speed on the front row with the big bad dog of alonso they all look upto now starting 3rd. Love it. Come on fernando bring it home for all us Ferrari fans. First lap should be a whopper.


Wow! What a penultimate round for what a fantastic season! As for today, kudos to Vettel, squared kudos to Hamilton and cubic kudos to the magic & genuine genious who is Alonso. Tomorrow will be another day full of rivalry with, I hope, all contenders in the track to the end.


I was holding my breath all the way. This qualifying session was something else. Even the lovely but slow Button decided to mix in the show.


Btw, James, who won the signed book predicting the gap between Alonso and Mark?

I was wondering that probably the same person will be one of the top ten comment leavers, so he/she gets a second free book.

And I bet that probably has also ordered one copy, so three books on a row!! 😀


Looks like Brian M was spot on with the answer. Congrats to him.


Alonso was star of the show today! the car did not have the pace for P3…. nice work. Championship in the bag I think. Unlucky Webber, pressure is on and it shows!


Congratulations to Seb! But what amaze me is the cold blood in the final Alonso´s lap. Tomorrow, the first 200 metres will breathless! Could be the best final ever!


Just a conspiracy theory: Alonso qualified higher than Webber. Redbull has been favouring Vetel and is the best position to win the race.

Now, all Vetel needs is Webber deliberately spinning out Alonso in early laps to make that happen… even later laps would do the trick.

Now, will this happen? 🙁


The last thing Webber wants is to hand the title to Vettel.

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