Korean win hands advantage to Alonso

Posted on Oct 24, 2010 by

Alonso capitalised on 's woes to win in Korea by 15 seconds

Fernando Alonso capitalised on Red Bull’s misfortune to take victory at the South Korean Grand Prix and the lead of the world championship.

The driver swept past the until-then dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel when the German’s Renault engine blew up seven laps from the end, after Mark Webber crashed out.

Lewis Hamilton was second for McLaren and Felipe Massa third for Ferrari. Jenson Button had a day to forget, finishing 12th and effectively ending his hopes of retaining his title.

The race began under the safety car thanks to torrential rain in Yeongam, and only four laps were completed before the stewards stopped the race as drivers complained that they couldn’t see anything.

Hamilton kept his championship hopes alive with second place

It was almost an hour before the action began again, and Vettel immediately stamped his authority on the race to establish a lead over his teammate and championship leader Mark Webber as the rain continued to fall. But Webber’s title hopes suffered a major blow when he lost control on lap 19 and crashed, taking Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes out as well.

The race continued under several safety car periods as the slippery conditions claimed more victims, but Vettel continued to lead comfortably from Alonso with Hamilton in third. But the McLaren driver managed to get past the Spaniard when a loose wheel nut delayed the Ferrari mechanics from changing Alonso’s front tyre when he pitted while the safety car was out.

As soon as the race restarted however, Hamilton ran wide at the first corner having complained of a lack of grip from the front end of the car, and allowed Alonso to retake second.

Michael Schumacher equalled his best result of the season with fourth place

With the light in Korea fading, Vettel’s lead ended dramatically on lap 46 when his engine blew, leaving Alonso in a position where he simply had to keep Hamilton behind him. With the McLaren’s tyres failing, that proved a relatively simple task, and Alonso crossed the line almost 15 seconds ahead of the Briton, with Massa a further 16 seconds back.

Michael Schumacher had a strong race to finish fourth for Mercedes, with Robert Kubica fifth for Renault and Vitantonio Liuzzi scoring a strong sixth in his Force India car. After the race, Sebastian Buemi and Adrian Sutil were given five-place grid penalties for the next race for causing accidents, while Sutil was also fined $10,000.

The result puts Alonso top of the championship standings on 231, 11 points ahead of Webber in second and 21 points ahead of Hamilton in third. Vettel drops to fourth on 206 with Button on 189.

There are two more races left in the season – the next is at Interlagos in Brazil on November 7 before the final in Abu Dhabi a week later.

1  Fernando Alonso // Ferrari
2  Lewis Hamilton // McLaren-Mercedes  +14.999
3  Felipe Massa // Ferrari  +30.868
4  Michael Schumacher // Mercedes  +39.688
5  Robert Kubica // Renault  +47.734
6  Vitantonio Liuzzi // Force India-Mercedes  +53.571
7  Rubens Barrichello // Williams-Cosworth  +1:09.257
8  Kamui Kobayashi // Sauber-Ferrari  +1:17.889
9  Nick Heidfeld // Sauber-Ferrari  +1:20.107
10  Nico Hulkenberg // Williams-Cosworth  +1:20.851
11  Jaime Alguersuari // Toro Rosso-Ferrari  +1:24.146
12  Jenson Button // McLaren-Mercedes  +1:29.939
13  Heikki Kovalainen // Lotus-Cosworth  +1 lap
14  Bruno Senna // HRT-Cosworth  +2 laps
15  Sakon Yamamoto // HRT-Cosworth  +2 laps

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