The 2010 Formula 1 world championship will go down in the memory as one of, if not, the greatest season ever.
Five race winners, four different world championship leaders, four drivers going into the last race with a shot at the title and a top four separated by just 16 points at the close of the season. And all of the new teams made it to the end of the season.
Yet, I just can’t quite see how it was one of the best.
In reality it was painfully one sided. Rarely was another team quicker than Red Bull Racing. The stats say it all: 15 out of a possible 19 poles and 9 victories. Without petty in-team rivalry and frequent mechanical failures it could easily have been far more.
Yes, in terms of how close it was in the points standings it was very close. You can’t ignore the fact that it was the first time ever that four drivers went into the final race of the season with a chance at the title. Indeed they ended up separated by a mere 16 points.
But any of the four title contenders could have easily won the title earlier in the season.
For sure Vettel would have won both the Australian and Korean grands prix had he not had mechanical failures.
Webber would probably have taken the title if he hadn’t put his Red Bull in the wall at the Korean grand prix.
Alonso would be celebrating had Ferrari decided on an attacking strategy in Abu Dhabi.
We’d surely be celebrating a British champion if Hamilton hadn’t got caught up in those silly incidents in Italy and Singapore.
But it was these mistakes and failures that added some spice to an otherwise tame season.
The season of course had its wilder moments. The clash between Vettel and Webber in Turkey. Mark Webber attempting to turn his RB6 into an aeroplane in Valencia. Lewis Hamilton’s sheer dejection as he climbed out of his ruined Mclaren in Singapore. All will go down as some of the most memorable images of the 2010 season.
But race wise it just didn’t live up to expectations and, as with many recent seasons, the most exciting races were the wet ones. Few can argue that they would rather have been at the Bahrain or Brazilian grand prix and not the Australian or Korean grand prix.
At the end of the day though, Formula 1 has a deserving champion in Sebastian Vettel. No one can deny that he was consistently the quickest driver this year.
Ten pole positions and five victories, three in the last four races, says it all. I’m sure he’ll soon be challenging the benchmarks that Michael Schumacher has set so high.
I just hope that next year the on track racing can be as close as the championship table was this year.