Fernando Alonso not only propelled himself to the top of the podium, but also to the top of the Drivers Championship in treacherous conditions at Yeongam.
The Spaniard, who started the race in P3, had an arduous task in hand behind the two Red Bulls. However, Mark Webber spun out of the race in Lap 20 after losing control, taking Nico Rosberg along with him. This helped Sebastian Vettel take the lead with Alonso and Hamilton close on his heels.
Hamilton took second after Ferrari had problems changing Alonso’s right-front wheel, only to run wide in Lap 35 to allow Alonso back in front. Alonso’s day only got better after that, with Sebastian Vettel’s engine blowing up in comprehensive fashion in Lap 46, allowing Alonso to take the lead in damp, gloomy conditions.
As if the rain gods saw justice in Alonso’s taking the lead, conditions got better, with even a few of the sun’s rays poking their way through the grey clouds for a few magical minutes. Alonso was never going to lose it after that.
The light then faded rapidly as Alonso took the chequered flag, ironically so, as Alonso took the lead in the Drivers Championship with 231 points, with Webber second on 220.
Alonso, who began the season with a win at Bahrain, then went through a dip in form, finishing as low as 14th in the British Grand Prix. He revived his season in Hockenheim, albeit in controversial fashion, leading a Ferrari one-two. He has since pocketed 133 points in seven Grand Prixs, after getting just 98 in the 10 races before that, propelling him to the top of the Drivers Championship.
Ferrari have also seen their fortunes change for the better after Hockenheim, pocketing 209 points out of a possible 301. They currently sit third in the Constructors Championship with 374 points, behind Red Bull Racing and McLaren, who have 426 and 399 points, respectively.
It has to be seen whether Alonso and Ferrari can continue their surge come Abu Dhabi. But one thing is for sure, both know how it feels to win a Championship and they will be gunning for it even more as we move into the final two races of what has been an enthralling Formula One season.
(This article was first published at http://www.isport.in)