Alonso takes victory in rain-interrupted Korean Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso took his fifth victory of the season at the inaugural Korean Grand Prix, taking the championship lead by winning in a wet and delayed race at Yeongam.

For Red Bull Racing, this was a disastrous day with Mark Webber crashing out from second position, with Sebastian Vettel suffering an engine failure while leading from the beginning.

Lewis Hamilton kept his title hopes alive with a superb drive in tricky wet conditions to come home in second, but the same cannot be said to McLaren team-mate Jenson Button. The reigning world champion had a difficult race struggling for pace and finished in a lowly P12.

The racing didn’t actually start until nearly one hour and three quarters after the scheduled time. The rain forced the original start to delay by ten minutes and after four laps behind the safety car, it was red flagged.

The wet conditions made it impossible for the 24 drivers to race with fear of visibility. After a pause of nearly an hour, and then a further 13 laps behind the safety car, the race got going to the delight of Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver was quite vocal over the radio about the improving conditions.

Once the race started Vettel immediately pulled out a 2.8-second gap over Webber on the first proper lap of racing. Then it all went hideously wrong for the pre-race championship leader next time around.

The Australian ran slightly wide at Turn 12 and spun into the opposite wall damaging his car before rebounding back onto the track and collecting the passing Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, who just overtaken Hamilton for third at Turn 3 a lap earlier.

With two wrecked cars to collect from a narrow section of the circuit, the safety car returned for a few more laps before racing finally got underway once more. Vettel made a break once again, establishing a three-second cushion over Alonso until another safety car interruption on lap 30. This time when Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi – who had already tipped Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus into a spin – crashed into the side of Timo Glock’s Virgin at the end of the long straight.

Buemi was among those who had already taken on intermediates, and everyone else running on the full wets decided to following suit during the safety car period.

Vettel and Alonso had passed the pits when the yellow came out so had to do another lap, but Vettel retained his lead after his tyre change. A problem with the right-front wheel change on Alonso’s car let Hamilton into second position, but not for long as the McLaren ran wide at Turn 1 at the restart and handed the position straight back.

Unlike his previous restarts Vettel could not make a break with Alonso and Hamilton close behind. Despite that, the German had the race under control until his Red Bull’s Renault engine erupted at the start of lap 46.

After inheriting the lead Alonso then edged away from Hamilton to clinch his fifth victory of the season, opening up a 11 point lead over Webber. As for Hamilton, his second place finish moves the McLaren driver to third in the standings, only ten points adrift.

Felipe Massa completed the podium for the Scuderia after a consistent race, while Michael Schumacher produced his best performance of the year by taking fourth.

Renault’s Robert Kubica was fifth having passing both Williams as their tyres faded in the closing stages. Tonio Liuzzi followed him through to take sixth for Force India.

Sauber got both cars in the points again with Kamui Kobayashi in eighth ahead of team-mate Nick Heidfeld.

As for Jenson Button, finishing in P12 was a major disappointment. Initially he was running in sixth after making an early pit stop for intermediates but that change of tyres dropped him down to the midfield. Jenson lost even more ground after being forced off the road while battling with Adrian Sutil’s Force India. Struggling with the McLaren’s handling and tyre wear, Jenson had a late spin and came home 90 seconds after the race winner.

Other drivers to slip up included Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who had a massive crash at the final corner when running seventh on lap 40. Adrian Sutil, who had a series of wheel-banging incidents and excursions while battling with the Saubers, was out after breaking his suspension against Kobayashi’s car. As for Lucas di Grassi, he spun his Virgin Racing car into the barrier while trying to pass Sakon Yamamoto’s Hispania.

Heikki Kovalainen was top new team driver for Lotus, despite a pitlane speeding penalty, while his team-mate Jarno Trulli had a spin, a clash with Bruno Senna’s Hispania and eventually a race-ended hydraulic problem.

So it was an eventful Korean Grand Prix. Neither Red Bulls made the finish despite locking out the front row. Alonso’s race victory has promoted the Spaniard to the top of the drivers’ championship with two races left.

But the biggest issue will be made to the drivers and race officials for not racing in the early stages and at the sport governing body for approving the circuit despite the late completion.

Race results from Yongam after 55 laps:
1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    2h48:20.810
2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +14.999
3.  Massa         Ferrari                    +30.868
4.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +39.688
5.  Kubica        Renault                    +47.734
6.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +53.571
7.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1:09.257
8.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +1:17.889
9.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Ferrari             +1:20.107
10. Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +1:20.851
11. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1:24.146
12. Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +1:29.939
13. Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +1 lap
14. Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps
15. Yamamoto      HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps

Fastest lap: Alonso, 1:50.257

Not classified/retirements:
Sutil    Force India-Mercedes   46 laps
Vettel     Red Bull-Renault   45 laps
Petrov   Renault   39 laps
Glock   Virgin-Cosworth   31 laps
Buemi   Toro Rosso-Ferrari   30 laps
Di Grassi   Virgin-Cosworth    25 laps
Trulli   Lotus-Cosworth   25 laps
Webber   Red Bull-Renault   18 laps
Rosberg   Mercedes   18 laps

World Championship standings, round 17:

1.  Alonso       231
2.  Webber       220
3.  Hamilton     210
4.  Vettel       206
5.  Button       189
6.  Massa        143
7.  Kubica       124
8.  Rosberg      122
9.  Schumacher    66
10. Barrichello   47
11. Sutil         47
12. Kobayashi     31
13. Liuzzi        21
14. Petrov        19
15. Hulkenberg    18
16. Buemi          8
17. De la Rosa     6
18. Heidfeld       6
19. Alguersuari    3

1. Red Bull-Renault          426
2. McLaren-Mercedes          399
3. Ferrari                   374
4. Mercedes                  188
5. Renault                   143
6. Force India-Mercedes       68
7. Williams-Cosworth          65
8. Sauber-Ferrari             43
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari         11

Next race: Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos. November 5-7.

14 thoughts to “Alonso takes victory in rain-interrupted Korean Grand Prix”

  1. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso insists that the title is not won yet despite taking his fifth victory of the season (his fourth in seven races). has the story.

    Fernando Alonso is refusing to get carried away about his championship aspirations despite having taken a huge step to clinch his third title.

    The Ferrari driver scored his fifth win of the season in a chaotic Korean Grand Prix on Sunday, as Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel failed to score.

    The result moved Alonso into the championship lead, 11 points ahead of Webber, with just two races to go.

    Alonso, however, says nothing has changed and insists it will still be vital to score strongly in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

    “Nothing has changed really,” Alonso said. “We know with the new points system anything can happen in one race. If you don’t score you lose 25 points with one of your main opponents so nothing has changed really.

    “Bad luck for Mark and Seb, but anything can happen and there are still four/five contenders. Being on the podium and being consistent is maybe key to the championship.

    “We have been doing well in the last seven races but the last two we cannot forget we need to be on the podium and at least fighting for the victory.”

    He added: “One result for one race does not change the picture of the championship. There are still four contenders, five, so we knew before coming here that every race is important to finish.

    “Winning here is fantastic and every race we go to we aim to win, but that is not possible every weekend.”

    Alonso was nonetheless delighted with his victory, as Ferrari enjoyed one of its best races of the season, with team-mate Felipe Massa finishing third.

    “Absolutely. It was one of the best races of the year for us. Getting both cars on the podium was a fantastic achievement for Ferrari,” he said.

    “We have been competitive all weekend and in qualifying yesterday we saw the car was strong, so we knew the race pace was there. This morning was wet, know tough race and was winning the race and winning the first Korean wet race I am very happy.”

    Massa was also happy to return to the podium for the first time since the Italian GP.

    “It’s good points for the team and good race,” said Massa, who admitted the conditions were very difficult in the end.

    “At the end definitely was very, very dark so even having strong lights it was very difficult to see in front.

    “It was a good race, very difficult, with tricky conditions in the beginning and visibility was almost zero. It was difficult to see the car in front but anyway I am very happy for this position, for me for the team and Fernando did a very good job.”

  2. As for Lewis Hamilton, finishing in second position allows the McLaren driver to fight for the title with two races remaining in this exciting world championship. has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton is optimistic that he is still in the world championship hunt thanks to his second place in the Korean Grand Prix, although he admitted that McLaren needed to find more pace to give him a shot in the last two rounds.

    Following a three-race absence from the podium, Hamilton chased winner Fernando Alonso home at Yeongam today. With the Red Bulls both retiring, Hamilton is now third in the standings, 20 points behind new leader Alonso.

    “Today we picked up some good points,” said Hamilton, “it could have been better but if you look at the last four races we didn’t pick up such good points.

    “We have to make some improvements to the car as the qualifying pace is not good enough. We have some good things coming so it’s not impossible.

    “We will keep pushing and as you saw today anything can happen, we didn’t expect two Red Bulls to go out but that is how close this championship is. Fernando is quick but it is still open.”

    While most drivers insisted over their radios that conditions were too bad to race during the long initial safety car period, Hamilton was adamant that the track was dry enough.

    “I wasn’t frustrated, I just wanted to race,” he said.

    Hamilton could have been in a position to inherit the win when Sebastian Vettel stopped, as he briefly got up to second when Alonso was delayed in the pits during the mid-race safety car period. But the McLaren ran wide at the first corner on the restart, letting Alonso back through.

    “I was just really struggling with the brakes, locking fronts and rears, and locked both fronts,” said Hamilton. But otherwise we were very, very quick everywhere else.”

  3. For Mark Webber, who crashed out in the early stages of Korean Grand Prix, the Australian has commented that he is still within the title fight with Brazil and Abu Dhabi left. Read the story below as taken from

    Mark Webber says he can still win the Formula 1 World Championship despite crashing out of the Korean Grand Prix in wet conditions and losing his points lead in the process.

    The Australian spun out of second position after running wide onto a kerb, then struck a wall before being collected by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in a race badly affected by long delays because of rain.

    The accident occurred as his title rival and team-mate Sebastian Vettel was extending his lead at the front of the field.

    Asked whether he can still win, Webber told the BBC: “Absolutely. “Positions are not really important at the moment, the points are the important thing.

    “They can change very quickly and this is my second non-finish of the year, but there are still two races to go and I will do my absolute best,” he said.

    Webber admitted that his retirement was entirely down to his own mistake.

    “Totally my fault,” he said. “I got a wheel on the kerb on the exit of Turn 12 and it was a very slow motion moment off the back of it. Totally my mistake. Today isn’t my day.

    “It was a very long one (slide), frustrating. I thought I had done enough but in the end it wasn’t enough. The wall obviously was close and did some damage and then I wrecked Nico’s race as well.

    “It brings me back to them on points and we are all back together again so we go to the final two races.”

  4. After leading from lap one, Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire with an engine failure. But the German insist that he won’t give up the title with two races left. has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel says he will not give up on his world title ambitions despite losing victory, and a shot at the points lead, when he retired from the lead of the Korean Grand Prix.

    The German is now 25 points behind race-winner and new championship leader Fernando Alonso, but after a race that also saw erstwhile leader Mark Webber crash out and lose his points advantage, Vettel remained optimistic that he could turn that deficit around.

    When asked by television reporters if he could still win the title, Vettel replied: “I think we can. There are still 50 points to go. Obviously it would have been much easier if we had won today. That’s life, that’s how it goes sometimes.

    “There has been a little bit too much of it for us this season. Ups and down, everyone has had those, but I think we have had quite a lot in particular, but you can’t change it.

    “So we will keep our head down and keep doing what we were doing up to now. Just trying to get the best out of the car and I think in terms of speed there is nothing to improve.”

    Vettel felt he had done a perfect job until the moment when his car stopped with an apparent engine failure.

    “It’s obviously not a very nice moment but I think it was a very tricky and difficult race for all of us,” he said.

    “To be on top of the field all the time, controlling the race and looking after my tyres, I think there is nothing that we could have done better. So all in all I think we did a more or less perfect job, also with the [qualifying] result yesterday.”

    Shortly before his retirement, Vettel had been complaining over the radio about poor visibility as darkness fell over Yeongam. He admitted that it would have been a stroke of luck for Red Bull if the race had been halted before his failure, but said he could not complain as the grand prix ultimately managed to cover its full distance without any safety issues.

    “I had a medium visor on my helmet and it was getting very dark and it became very difficult to see the bumps on the track and the reference points for braking,” said Vettel. “So Turn 1, the first sector was quite bad in places, [Turns] 11-12, and then the last sector was a bit darker.

    “Looking back obviously it would have helped our result if they had stopped the race with 10 laps to go. But the guys finished so they were still able to see something at least.”

  5. Vitaly Petrov was sorry for his race-ending crash at the Korean Grand Prix, but the Renault driver said he was at least encouraged to be running in the top ten.

    The Russian rookie lost control of his car with 16 laps to go, crashing heavily against the wall at the start of the main straight.

    Although he walked away from the accident, Petrov was disappointed to miss the opportunity to score points.

    “I had stopped early for intermediate tyres on lap 20, so they were pretty worn by the time we started racing after the second Safety Car period,” he explained.

    “I was still pushing to keep in front of the guys behind me, and I lost the car on the penultimate corner and had a big crash – but I’m okay.

    “This was my first experience of such extreme conditions in F1, and I think the FIA did a good job to let us run behind the Safety Car and understand the circuit before starting the race. The team had made a good call with the change to intermediate tyres, and I was in a strong position in P7 when I crashed.

    “Of course, I am disappointed to end the race in the wall and not in the points, but it was encouraging to be running in the top ten.”

    Team-mate Robert Kubica, on the other hand, welcomed his fifth-place finish following a difficult race.

    “Fifth place means good points for the team and it’s a good reward for all our efforts this weekend,” said Kubica. “It was a long, difficult race – and a race of two halves. The first part was very tricky for me, because I had big problems warming up the tyres.

    “I had no grip at all and couldn’t push – I was just concentrating on keeping the car on the track. For the second half, though, I think it was very good.

    “It was important to look after the intermediate tyres and keep them in as good shape as possible, to get the benefit in the final laps. That was when I managed to gain a lot of positions, which meant everything turned out pretty well in the end.”


  6. This was Michael Schumacher’s best performance of the 2010 season and the Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn was absolutely thrilled with the seven times world champion drive in the Korean Grand Prix. has the story.

    Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn praised Michael Schumacher’s performance after the former champion equalled his best result of his comeback year with fourth in Korea.

    Schumacher made good progress from ninth on the grid, passing Robert Kubica and Jenson Button on-track in the wettest conditions early on. Once up to fourth following retirements ahead, he nursed his car to the finish once it became clear that the podium was out of reach.

    “The team did an excellent job this weekend and have been rewarded with a very good result for Michael today,” said Brawn.

    “Michael had an extremely good race. He took all of his opportunities and drove sensibly in the tricky conditions.

    “We spent the latter part of the race looking after the tyres and making sure that we got through to the end as we didn’t think that we could challenge the leaders. Overall a very positive weekend and we hope to finish the season with equally strong performances.”

    Schumacher added: “I am pretty happy with today’s race and I have to say thank you to my team who guided me perfectly through the afternoon.”

    But Brawn admitted that the race was also a missed opportunity, as Schumacher’s team-mate Nico Rosberg was taken out by Mark Webber’s spinning Red Bull early on when running right behind eventual winner Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

    “It could have been even better as Nico was in a strong position and obviously we are disappointed that he was taken out of the race,” said Brawn. “Nico had made a great overtaking move on [Lewis] Hamilton, he was very happy with the car and everything was going well up that point.”

    Rosberg, who had been very satisfied to qualify fifth yesterday, was hugely disappointed not to get the chance to build on that in the race, potentially as a podium looked likely had he finished.

    “We had a near-perfect weekend with the car that we have until the collision in the race today,” Rosberg said.

    “Qualifying in fifth place was great yesterday and the car has felt good all weekend. The team has done a great job here and the straightline speed that we had enabled me to overtake Hamilton early in the race.

    “So it’s a big shame that my race was ended early. It was really difficult to judge which way Mark’s car would go and I took the decision to go left but he spun more and more that way and I just couldn’t avoid him. It’s a real shame as we could have had a great result today.”

  7. McLaren’s Jenson Button has admitted that his title defence is now over following a difficult Korean Grand Prix in which he finished in P12. has the details.

    Jenson Button has admitted that his chances of retaining the Formula 1 world championship title are now all but over following an uncompetitive showing in the Korean Grand Prix. He is now 42 points behind Fernando Alonso with two races to go.

    The McLaren driver finished a distant 12th, having struggled for grip and revealed afterwards that he suffered from locking brakes throughout the race. To compound the issue, he was forced to take on a set-up of intermediate tyres having churned through his available sets of wet tyres.

    And while Button has vowed not to give up on the title until it’s a mathematical impossibility, he accepts that he is now relying on a significant level of misfortune from all of his rivals in order to stay in the hunt.

    “Everyone else needs to have failures,” he told the BBC. “That’s the way it is. I don’t know what happened but there must have been something wrong because the car was undriveable.”

    Asked if he would now assist his team-mate Lewis Hamilton – who moved up to second in the points behind Alonso – Button replied: “I won’t be asked. If I can’t mathematically win it I’d do whatever I needed to, to help the team.

    “My championship, if the other guys don’t have non-scores or issues, is pretty much over. But you don’t win championships by sitting back and saying ‘I can’t win it any more’. You have to keep on fighting. Seeing what’s happened to the Red Bulls here proves it can turn around easily.

    “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, it’s a very small chance but that’s all I need to keep pushing.”

    Button struggled for speed from the outset of the race, and hinted afterwards that new parts fitted to his McLaren may have contributed to the lack of grip he suffered in the tricky track conditions.

    “I just didn’t have any grip, I was so slow,” he said. “I was pretty much the slowest person on the circuit. I was struggling with locking fronts, I couldn’t not lock them so when I hit the brakes we locked up. Every time I braked for the corner I went straight on, because I couldn’t stop the car, even though I was dialing backwards and backwards on the brake bias.

    “[Mine and Hamilton’s] cars were different and it was something that I chose to run with. I had a new part that I thought would benefit me here – it did in the simulator – but looking at it now, some of the issues I had could possibly have come from what I was running.

    “And with the limited testing we have you have got to take risks. I think it was the right thing to take the chance but it didn’t work out for us, especially in the tricky conditions.”

  8. Adrian Sutil and Sebastien Buemi will lose five places on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix following their accidents in Korea.

    Force India driver Sutil was given the penalty after making contact with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on lap 47 of the race.

    The German was also fined $10,000 “in view of the driver’s admission that he was aware of brake problems with his car throughout the race,” according to the stewards.

    Toro Rosso’s Buemi will also lose five places on the grid in Brazil following his accident with Virgin’s Timo Glock.


  9. Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg rues a late puncture that cost him sixth position in the final stages of the Korean Grand Prix. has the story.

    Nico Hulkenberg felt the slow puncture that cost him sixth place in the closing stages of the Korean Grand Prix was cruel luck given how strong his performance had been at Yeongam.

    Williams was on course for fifth and sixth places with Rubens Barrichello and Hulkenberg going into the final laps, but heavy tyre wear saw the former fall to seventh, while Hulkenberg’s extra pitstop meant he could only salvage 10th.

    “We did everything right today; we simply had some bad luck,” said Hulkenberg.

    “I came in just before the safety car was released which cost me time and lost me a place. We managed to claw back position and were running in sixth towards the end of the race, but then my engineer told me I had a slow puncture.

    “I couldn’t keep running until the end as the car was totally undriveable. We had to pit and that cost us a big result today.”

    Barrichello was pleased with Williams’s pace even though the result was less than the team had looked set for.

    “It was a tough race, but we were competitive today,” said the Brazilian.

    “I was lucky with the timing of the safety car and we were running in a good position right up until the closing stages.

    “Unfortunately, I just ran out of tyre in the last five laps which cost us two places in the end.”

  10. Adrian Sutil said he was unhappy with his performance at the Korean Grand Prix after failing to finish the event following a crash.

    The Force India driver struggled with brakes issues and was involved in a series of incidents before retiring following contact with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.

    The incident cost Sutil a penalty, the German forced to drop five places on the grid in the next race.

    “I’m not happy with my performance, it was not a good race for me personally, but I’m pleased that the team did well with Tonio and the sixth position,” said Sutil.

    “I was just struggling with my brakes all the time. I had so much brake force that I always locked up and it was hard to drive consistently. There were a lot of times I was off the circuit, or locked up, and then got past a driver and went off the road.

    “In the end I tried to overtake Kobayashi but lost the car on a patch that was a bit more wet than I expected and went into the side of him.”

    Team-mate Tonio Liuzzi, on the other hand, enjoyed one of his best races of the season after finishing in sixth position.

    “What a crazy race today, a bit like Australia back at the start of the year, and it was very fun to be out there,” he said. “It was the right decision to delay the start as there was so much water on the track. Unfortunately we had to do a lot of laps behind the safety car after that but the track was so slippery that it was really hard under braking.

    “Then at the end it was like a night race without any lights and the steering wheel lights were so bright it was almost dazzling! Even though there was so little grip I was able to get into a good rhythm and get a great result for the team.

    “After all the bad luck we’ve had in this part of the year it’s brilliant to be back in business and up there in the points again, extending our advantage over Williams and setting ourselves up well for the last two races.”


  11. With neither Red Bulls made it to the finish in the Korean Grand Prix, the team have not ask Sebastian Vettel to play the support role to Mark Webber in the remaining two races of the season. has the story.

    Red Bull will not ask Sebastian Vettel to play a supporting role in Mark Webber’s quest to win the Formula 1 World Championship title, despite the German’s own chances slimming when he suffered an engine failure in the Korean Grand Prix.

    Vettel was forced to retire from the lead of the race, and whereas victory would have given him the world championship lead, he is now fourth in the standings, 25 points behind Fernando Alonso and 14 behind team-mate Webber.

    But Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it was too early for Vettel to give up on his own challenge, and that things could turn around quickly just as they had in Yeongam – where Webber began the race as the points leader before crashing out.

    “As we saw in this race, at different points during the race, different drivers were leading this championship,” Horner told the BBC. “We gave a big gift to Fernando today and as a team we need to look at that, but we’ve seen how quickly this can change.

    “In last year’s scoring there is only 10 points between Sebastian and Fernando and obviously Mark is even closer than that so our strategy will be to push both drivers.

    “It would be wrong [to ask Vettel to do that]. Nobody has a crystal ball and if anybody could have predicted today’s race I’m sure they would have done very, very well. This championship is not over until the last lap in Abu Dhabi and we will be pushing flat out until that point in time.”

    Red Bull started the inaugural Korean F1 race with both its cars on the front row, and Horner admitted that it was a bitter experience to come away from the event with zero points.

    “Sometimes motor racing can be cruel and for Red Bull it was one of those days,” he said. “Sebastian and the team had done everything right, read the strategy and the conditions.

    “He got himself in to a commanding position, almost in sight of the end of the race and then a catastrophic engine failure unfortunately denied us a certain race victory.

    “Mark hasn’t made many errors this year, but unfortunately made one today that cost him dearly. Mark is obviously bitterly upset with what happened today, but he will bounce back. After Valencia, which was the last time he had a DNF – he came back and won the next race. He’ll bounce back at Brazil, it’s a track he enjoys.

    “Sebastian has been remarkably philosophical. He’s dealt with that issue. It’s cruel for him because it is not the first time and to lose a guaranteed victory right now is tough.”

  12. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has warned his team against getting too excited by Fernando Alonso’s important victory in the Korean Grand Prix – as he urges it to maintain its focus for the final two races of the season.

    Alonso’s triumph in the rain-hit Korean race has moved him to the head of the title standings with only the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix to go.

    But, despite the 11-point advantage Alonso holds over his rivals, Domenicali is adamant that Ferrari cannot feel as though the championship is within its grasp.

    “The mission is to stay cool, keep very concentrated and without over-reacting to a great part to the season,” said Domenicali after the Korean Grand Prix.

    “Now is the time to stay really concentrated, be humble and prepare for the races in the best way we can because the competitors are very, very strong. We cannot afford to have any kind of problems. I think that will be the difference.

    “So we want to have the preparation, the reliability – and then of course to manage the race with no mistakes. That is speaking about us, my engineers, my mechanics, Fernando and also Felipe [Massa].”

    Domenicali believes that the key to Ferrari’s resurgence in the title standings, which has seen Alonso win three of the last four grands prix, has been in keeping its mental resolve even throughout the troubles it faced earlier in the season.

    “It is a strong message for the strong mental approach to the races, but I have to keep the right approach to the guys not to get their feet off the ground. We have to stay concentrated because up to now we have not done anything.

    “There are a lot of points to be scored and the other thing that I want to say is that with the fact that Red Bull today did not score any points, the other [constructors’] championship is there. It is very difficult, but still there. So we don’t want to give up to anything up until the end.”

    Domenicali also praised the efforts of Felipe Massa, who took a podium finish following difficult races in Singapore and Japan.

    “I am very pleased for him today after a lot of pressure and a difficult period,” he said. “I am pleased to see him back in business with the right way and the right approach. He was able to handle the situation and this is what we need. I am happy for him and happy for his guys.”


  13. Decent sized crowd, remains to be seen if it continues next year. Maybe the Next Shanghai with bused-in supporters?

    On the count of Three cheer! One, Two, Three…

  14. Well this is a late post, but stuff got in the wayjust happened so blame life in general for that. Whilst you do that, I can blame my shitty SKY HD+ box for not recording the damn race. Caught the last 10 mins but then just a busy and hard day from then on inc. spending 2 hours getting my damn ( and heavy ) surround speakers on the wall having swapped rooms from where they were. So could only watch the highlights.

    Not the best of days tbo.

    So a very wet race then no for the first time Korea race no? If that’s the weather they had for 50 odd days in a row, no wonder they were behind. Of course the weather also made the place look like a complete shit hole. I know most circuits are in the middle of some fields, but most make a better job of making NOT looking like it’s in the middle of a field!!

    I didn’t get to hear about all the cry babies saying it’s too wet to race, but obviously their voices carried some weight with Charlie Whiting. So it was a quick jaunt behind the safety car for a bit from the off, and WOAH, it’s raining and that’s made the track wet! What an effing shocker eh? Who’d of thought that would happen.

    So we had a break and then a trundle behind the safety car again for a around a week! Jesus, what a crock of crap. Anyone with something to loose was moaning like a baby. “Ohhhh help! It’s too hard to drive! It’s a bit wet out here!” What grates me is the fact that how the **** do you know how bad it is following a safety car?!! All the cars are bunched together, so it makes the spray look 20 times worse. Then your not driving at speed, so you don’t know about what difference the downforce makes, and your tyres are cold! Oh and bare in mind Lewis just want to race, and Button commented that although it was very wet, at no point did he loose traction and aquaplane

    But hey, it’s not my call, so I can say what I like and it make no effect or carry no risk.

    But finally we got a race, and of course, plenty of ‘offs’. I didn’t even get to watch all of the highlights, but did see the major points, and saw Webber, make his championship chase a whole lot harder. I must admit, if I were a betting man, until this race I’d put all my money on Mark. But now? Well I hate to say but it’d be on Alonso. I just dont see it going any other way. The bonus is, that when Alonso is winning and getting his own way, he’s much more bearable.

    But the misery continued for the Red Bull team as Vettel’s engine decided it’d enough and blew up. Not a good weekend for then for the energy drink’s team. But they still lead the constructors race and I don’t see them loosing it.

    Mclaren had a mixed bag with Lewis storming it, and Jenson, er not. Not good for the defending champion, who didn’t seem to be able to get anything out of his car apart from embarrassment. Hell even Shuey overtook him! But to be fare, it did seem as though the German was having the race of his season! His wet skills of the past are certainly still evident. I just wished ( as does he ) the car wasn’t a complete nail.

    Anyways, some other stuff happened, it got dark, Vettel complained about it getting dark and the race ended with Ferrari rubbing their hands with glee.

    I have to say, I found the new venue and track very strange. The much talked about pit entry seems to me to be absurdly dangerous, with the pit exit lane just plain absurd. Well, I say lane, it’s not. You know how in magic a magician makes something appear from nowhere and goes “tah dah!!”? Well, that’s the same as the pit exit. The cars leave the pits, and tah dah!! There they are, on the track, right on the corner at the end of the main straight. How moronic is that?! Who the hell designed this and who in the hell signed it off as OK? Quite mental.

    But is had decent crowds given the weather, and I would like to see cars go round it at full speed. One good thing though is that I read it can rain a lot at this time of year, so the prospects of getting a wet race are quite good, so there is that to look forward to. Just so long as the drivers get a pair and don’t whine like babies.

    So Brazil here we come. I don’t know about all the permutations of the outcomes of who wins, crashes out etc. I not an Alonso fan really, but I’d quite like it if Alsono could win it at Sao Paulo. Least that way, I dont have to watch the shower of shit that is Abu Dhabi.

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