Red Bull Crowned Constructors' Champions, But It All Comes Down to Abu Dhabi

Patrick AllenAnalyst INovember 7, 2010

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 07:  (L-R) Race winner Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and second placed Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrate on the podium as Vettels win hands Red Bull Racing the Constructors Championship following the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos Circuit on November 7, 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images


I must admit (and I’m not just saying this as an Alonso fan), I would really have liked it if the Brazilian Grand Prix concluded the 2010 season.

I make no secret of the fact that I dislike the new "flashy circuits," but when you consider the great show we were treated to today, you’d surely agree with me that such a historic venue should have the honour of closing out a fantastic show. Alas, as in everything else…money conquers all.

That's all rather gloomy, but personal grievances aside, the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix was once again one of the best races in a tight season, in which the Drivers’ title has yet to be decided.

Despite his phenomenal performance yesterday, Nico Hulkenberg was powerless off the line. The Williams driver did his best into turn one, but Sebastian Vettel simply had a better start.

Just two corners later, Hulkenberg found himself behind Webber and under intense pressure from Hamilton and Alonso.

The first few laps were a real treat with wheel-to-wheel action, half overtakes, full overtakes and clean, professional driving all around.

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Here were the positions after two laps:

Vettel, Webber, Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Kubica, Barrichello, Massa, Button, Schumacher, Rosberg, Heidfeld, Alguersuari, Buemi, Kobayashi, Liuzzi, Kovalainen, Glock, Sutil, Petrov, Trulli, di Grassi, Senna, Klien.

Fernando Alonso had been all over Lewis Hamilton for the first few laps, but the McLaren driver held well. But on the third lap, Hamilton crucially went wide into turn four, leaving a Ferrari-sized gap for Alonso to squeeze through.

Meanwhile, Jenson Button was overtaken by a resurgent Michael Schumacher into turn one.

At the front, the Red Bulls were pulling away, but the race maintained an electrifying pace as Alonso and Hulkenberg fought it out for P3.

The Williams rookie driver held off the two-time world champion with some excellent defensive driving, but by the seventh lap, the Ferrari had put enough pressure on to make a beautiful pass stick into turn four.

So Hulkenberg was going backwards, but he was doing it in style. Next up was Lewis Hamilton, who had been complaining of a lack of grip. The battle between Williams and McLaren continued for many more laps.

Jenson Button had done a great job to battle his way up to P10, but an early stop on lap 12 left many observers slightly puzzled. Felipe Massa pitted one lap after Button (lap 13), but found himself far closer to the current world champion than he would have wanted!

Button easily slotted past Massa, and that early stop started to make sense as the McLaren lapped well on harder tyres.

Massa’s luck went from bad to worse when he was forced back into the pits as a result of a faulty wheel nut. In fact, it was bad news all around for Brazilian drivers, as Barrichello was held up by a poor stop.

Hulkenberg pitted on lap 15, finally releasing Lewis Hamilton. All of McLaren’s attention was focused on Button, who had passed Petrov on the track and Schumacher, whilst the Mercedes man was in the pits!

Hamilton pitted on lap 21, hoping that his new tyres would give him more grip. The front three cars all stopped around this time, too, but no positions were changed.

On lap 28, the action was still intense enough to keep us entertained, and the positions were as follows:

Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Kobayashi, Button, Rosberg, Sutil, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Kubica, Heidfeld, Alguersuari, Barrichello, Buemi, Liuzzi, Massa, Petrov, di Grassi, Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, Senna, Klien.

The race cooled significantly after the stops. Webber moved ever closer to Vettel, and poor old Barrichello suffered a puncture after contact with Alguersuari. Other than that, not much action to speak of.

Hamilton continued to complain to his team (this time about his ‘F duct’), and little squabbles in the midfield kept the race alive.

The safety car was deployed on lap 51 after a Liuzzi crash, but nothing really changed after the re-start.

Red Bull’s one-two finish may have clinched the Constructors’ Title, but in preventing Alonso from getting a victory, the result also leaves the Drivers’ Title unresolved.

As I said above, I am personally disappointed that Abu Dhabi will host the finale, but I do concede that it is great for F1 to have the season go down to the final race.

We’ve only got one week to wait for the thrilling conclusion to what has been, on the whole, a pretty great season. Well done, Red Bull, for a deserved Title.

Let’s hope Abu Dhabi proves me wrong!

Drivers’ Championship Top Four (the contenders)

Alonso: 246

Webber: 238

Vettel: 231

Hamilton: 222

Constructors’ Championship Top Three

Red Bull Racing: 469 *2010 World Champions

McLaren: 421

Ferrari: 389

1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault

2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault

3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari

4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes

5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes

6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP

7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes

8 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth

9 Robert Kubica Renault

10 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari

11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari

12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes

13 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari

14 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth

15 Felipe Massa Ferrari

16 Vitaly Petrov Renault

17 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari

18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth

19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth

20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth

21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth

22 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth

Ret Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth

Ret Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes