Alonso wins in Korea, takes F1 title lead
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took over the Formula One championship lead by winning today's extraordinary Korean Grand Prix while rival team Red Bull had neither driver finish.india Updated: Oct 24, 2010 15:40 IST
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took over the Formula One championship lead by winning Sunday's extraordinary Korean Grand Prix while rival team Red Bull had neither driver finish.
Red Bull's Mark Webber led the championship entering the race but spun out soon after racing belatedly began, while teammate Sebastian Vettel led from pole position until 10 laps from the finish when his engine failed.
The incident-strewn race began behind a safety car but was red flagged after only two laps due to persistent rain and standing water on the track. After resuming, the safety car remained out until lap 18 while water was cleared. The race went the distance but finished in darkness at 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT). McLaren's Lewis Hamilton finished second to keep his title chances alive and Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third. With two races remaining in the season, Alonso moved to 231 points, ahead of Webber on 220 and Hamilton on 210. Vettel remained on 206 points and his championship chances look all but over. "This is the first wet race that I won, so I am even more happy," Alonso said, while downplaying his championship lead. "Nothing changes. It was bad luck for Mark and Sebastian but anything can happen in the next two races."
Reigning champion Jenson Button dropped out of title contention after finishing 12th.
Two laps after the cars were finally released from behind the safety car, Webber ran slightly wide at a corner, putting his tires on the slippery ripple strip and slid across the track into a wall. Webber's car drifted back across the track, and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg could not avoid hitting the Red Bull, ending the race for both drivers.
"Totally my mistake. Wasn't my day," Webber told the BBC. "This is my second non-finish of the year. There are still two races to go, I'll do my absolute best."
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher finished fourth to match his best result of the season. Renault's Robert Kubica was fifth and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi sixth in his season-best finish. Williams' Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg were seventh and tenth respectively, sandwiching the Sauber pair of Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld in eighth and ninth.
First Published: Oct 24, 2010 15:34 IST