The Korean grand prix was definitely a highlight of the 2010 championship. Round 17 took place on the brand new track in Korea, Formula 1s 68th venue, with 5 contenders for the championship title; little did we know only 2 of those would finish in the top ten.
On pole position was Sebastian Vettel followed by Championship leader Mark Webber in second. The 8th time this season there has been a one and two starting grid for Red Bull. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton followed the top spots with 3rd and 4th position with Jenson Button right down in 7th.
Heavy down fall meant a 10 minute delay for the start of the race, and the decision was made to start the race under the safety car. All cars were on extreme wet tyres to cope with the weather condition and the added problem of the new track surface. But the standing water, amount of spray and lack of grip was seen as treacherous for most of the drivers.
“So so wet it’s like a lake on the straight, its going to be a while before they can start this one.” Jenson Button explained over the team radio.
A similar comment was made by championship contender Fernando Alonso “It’s the worst condition I’ve ever drove a car, it’s completely impossible.” After 4 laps behind the safety car the red flags were out.
After an hours delay the cars lined up on the grid behind the safety car for the second time. Were we going to see a race? Hamilton was certainly ready to get going “It’s almost intermediates; it’s dried up so much already.”
After 17 laps behind the safety car, it finally pulled in and the race way underway. From spins, to unrecoverable crashes, to fantastic overtaking, the Korean grand prix was full of excitement. Michael Schumacher from 9th place fought his was to 5th overtaking Robert Kubica and Jenson Button in the early stages. Vettel leading the race was opening up his lead bringing in a 1:57 lap time.
Webber’s race came to a devastating end on lap 19 as he lost control on the third bend, slamming into the wall, taking out Nico Rosberg and losing sight of that all important championship title. “It was my own fault, got on the curb on the exit of turn 3; it was a slow motion moment, totally my mistake.” Webber explained. One of the two Red Bulls was out of the race.
Little did we know that the second was just about to be. On lap 43, leader of the race and championship contender Sebastian Vettel was forced out of the race. No one expected to see the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel blow up into flames, leaving first place to be taken by Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.
As the flag dropped Alonso took 1st from Hamilton in 2nd with Massa in 3rd. Leaving the F1 championship in the hands of Alonso, with Webber back down into 2nd.