Hello and welcome, you are listening to the F1 Advent Calendar 2010, and this is our final episode. That makes it Christmas Day, so happy holidays to everyone. We've been reviewing the season just gone in three minute episodes and now we have reached the end - Day 25. Double champs.
We were heading into the final round of the season with Alonso leading the championship. He had a slight buffer ahead of the two Red Bull drivers, while Hamilton was just staying in contention 24 points behind with 25 up for grabs if he could engineer a win. There were a lot of different ways the championship could turn out, but it mostly revolved around where Alonso finished in relation to Webber.
In qualifying, Vettel took pole position and Hamilton managed to get second. Alonso picked up third, whilst Webber was down in fifth behind Button.
The race began on a nice clear Sunday with no chance of rain. On the first lap, Schumacher spun and ended up facing the wrong way. Most of the following cars managed to avoid him, but Liuzzi had nowhere to go and the Force India mounted the side of the Mercedes. It was a scary crash, showing just how exposed a drivers head can be, but both Michael and Tonio climbed from their cars safe and well, and were even spotted joking with each other on their way through the pitlane.
The accident brought out the safety car, and lots of drivers came into the pitlane to switch their strategy. Of the championship drivers though, it was Webber who pitted first, after brushing a little too close to one of the barriers. It didn’t look like there was any damage, but he took an early stop anyway.
Bizarrely, Ferrari decided they would have to pit Alonso almost immediately after Webber, a strategy move that made very little sense. The Ferrari remained in front, but both were now stuck in traffic in the mid-field.
For Alonso and Webber, they were too far down the order to do anything about Vettel romping away with the lead, and for Sebastian, with the victory came the championship.
He finished four points ahead of Alonso, who in turn was ten points ahead of Webber. This was the only time Vettel managed to lead the championship, but he saved it for the best possible moment. Becoming Red Bull's first world champion, Vettel also stole the youngest ever champion title from Alonso, to go along with his youngest ever point scorer and youngest winner records. I'm sure he doesn't care about any of that though, he cares about being the 2010 F1 World Champion.
The other drivers were bitterly disappointed. On the cool down lap, Alonso pulled his Ferrari right up alongside Petrov, who he had been stuck behind, and gesticulated wildly at the Russian. He was later shown being consoled by his team. Webber had the harder job of celebrating with his team and feeling wretched at the same time, but he's signed up with Red Bull for next year and they're all confident they can have another go for 2011.
In the post-race press conference, Vettel said he was speechless and then went on to talk for a good couple of minutes. He said: "I don't know what you're supposed to say in this moment. It has been an incredibly tough season for myself, for all of us. Physically and mentally especially. We have always kept believing in us, our team and the car. Today was a special day all around."
Post season Webber revealed that he had raced the final four GPs with a fractured shoulder after yet another mountain bike accident - actually the first time he had got back on a bike since breaking his leg in 2008. Most importantly, he hadn't told the team of the injury, and Christian Horner admitted he wasn't impressed. With another year ahead of the Vettel/Webber line-up, and with tension clearly still rife in the team - what is 2011 going to be like?
That's all for this episode of the F1 Advent Calendar 2010 and for the whole series. Thank you for sticking with me throughout December, and for leaving your comments on Sidepodcast. If you haven't, yet, why not head over to Sidepodcast.com, and I will see you there!
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Filed under Mini Series
References Christian Horner
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