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2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

The 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2010) was a Formula One motor race held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in the city of São Paulo on 7 November 2010. It was the 18th (and penultimate) round of the 2010 Formula One World Championship and the 38th Brazilian Grand Prix held as part of the Formula One World Championship. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the 71-lap race from second position. His teammate Mark Webber finished second and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari third.

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race 18 of 19 in the 2010 Formula One World Championship
A track map of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Race details[1][2][3]
Date 7 November 2010
Official name Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2010
Location Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.309 km (2.677 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 305.909 km (190.067 mi)
Weather Clear; 25 °C (77 °F)
Pole position
Driver Williams-Cosworth
Time 1:14.470
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:13.851 on lap 66
Podium
First Red Bull-Renault
Second Red Bull-Renault
Third Ferrari

Nico Hülkenberg for the Williams team took the first pole position of his career by recording the fastest lap in qualifying. Vettel overtook Hülkenberg for the lead at the start of the race at the Senna S chicane and Webber passed the Williams car at Descida do Lago turn soon after. He was able to maintain the lead until his first pit stop to switch tyres and Webber led for two laps until his own stop. Vettel was able to maintain the lead of the Grand Prix through negotiation of slower traffic for the rest of the race to take his fourth victory of the season and the ninth of his career. Webber was 4.2 seconds behind in second as Alonso drew closer to the former in the final ten laps, albeit not close enough to pass and finished third.

The race result reduced Alonso's lead in the World Drivers' Championship to eight points ahead of Webber. Vettel's victory elevated him from fourth to third place, past Lewis Hamilton for McLaren. Jenson Button, Hamilton's teammate, was mathematically eliminated from retaining the championship with a fifth-place finish. With its cars finishing first and second, Red Bull won its first World Constructors' Championship since the team purchased Jaguar for the 2005 season as McLaren could not overtake its points total with one race remaining in the season.

BackgroundEdit

 
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace (pictured in 2018), where the race was held

The 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix was the 18th (and penultimate) of 19 single seater races of the 2010 Formula One World Championship,[3] and the 38th running of the event held as part of the Formula One World Championship.[4] It was held at the 15-turn 4.309 km (2.677 mi) anti-clockwise Autódromo José Carlos Pace in the city of São Paulo on 7 November 2010.[4] Tyre supplier Bridgestone provided four types of tyres to the race; two dry compounds (super soft green-banded "options" and medium "primes") and wet-weather compounds (intermediate and full wet green-line central groove banded tyre).[2]

For the 2010 race, the organisers installed a 225 m (738 ft) long moveable steel and foam barrier to the outside of th Subida dos Boxes corner to absorb car impacts and drag it along as opposed to deflecting it back onto the track.[N 1][5] 2 m (6.6 ft)-wide of artificial turf replaced the grass at Descida do Lago corner, at the exit to the Curva do Laranjinha corner and turn eight. New kerbs on the exit to Curva do Laranjinha, the Mergulho and Junção corners were fitted.[4] The white lines denoting the boundaries of the track were coated with an anti-skid paint to improve adhesion in wet-weather conditions.[5]

Before the Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso led the World Drivers' Championship with 231 points; ahead of the second-placed Red Bull of Mark Webber with 220 points and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren in third with 210 points. Webber's teammate Sebastian Vettel was fourth with 206 points and the second McLaren of Jenson Button was fifth with 189 points.[6] Fifty points were available for the two remaining races, which meant Alonso could claim the title in Brazil in the event he won the race and Webber finished fifth or lower.[7] Red Bull led the World Constructors' Championship with 426 points; McLaren and Ferrari were second and third with a respective 399 and 374 points. Mercedes (188 points) and Renault (143 points) contended for fourth place.[6] Red Bull had to score sixteen points more than McLaren to win the Constructors' Championship in Brazil.[6]

At the previous race in Korea Alonso won ahead of Hamilton and Alonso's team-mate Massa. Of his championship rivals, Webber retired after he spun and hit Rosberg, Vettel's engine failed with ten laps to go and Button scored no points in twelfth place.[8] Nonetheless, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali commented the team would adopt a circumspect approach for the season's final two events, "We have seen how complicated the races have been throughout the season, which means we have to be very careful."[9] Alonso, the pre-race favourite,[10] for his part said he would not alter his approach in Brazil and anticipated Red Bull would be strong there. His teammate Felipe Massa said he expected to win the race and also confirmed he would help to better Alonso's position in the World Drivers' Championship.[11] Hamilton said he would be satisfied if his teammate Button assisted his title ambitions, an act which McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh affirmed would not occur.[9] Both drivers acknowledged the championship duel would be a difficult one.[10]

 
Christian Klien (pictured in 2014) took over Sakon Yamamoto's race seat at Hispania Racing for the event.

Some Formula One pundits suggested the Red Bull team would adopt a strategy which would have Vettel assisting Webber in his title bid.[12] Webber courted controversy when he suggested Red Bull would support his teammate Vettel over him: "It's obvious isn't it? Of course when young, new chargers come onto the block, that's where the emotion is. That's the way it is."[13] His team principal Christian Horner stated his belief Webber's words were taken out of context and affirmed the driver was supported by the team and its owner Dietrich Mateschitz: "We've got two great drivers, we're in a unique situation where we've got two drivers competing for the championship. It would've been wrong from the team's point of view to back one driver over the other."[14] Vettel remarked: "If Mark needs help then he should take the medical car", and said he received no preferential treatment at Red Bull: "The team supplies us with a very good car and that's ultimately the situation that you want to be in, having a car where you can win races and fight for podiums."[15]

There was one change of driver before the race. The day before the first practice session, Hispania Racing for unexplained reasons announced Christian Klien would drive in lieu of Sakon Yamamoto whom Klien had also deputised for at the Singapore Grand Prix two months prior.[16] Force India cancelled a first practice session outing for third driver Paul di Resta because the team wanted to provide its race drivers Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi with additional track acclimatisation in its battle with Williams for sixth position in the World Constructors' Championship.[17]

Some teams made changes to their cars for the race. Ferrari and Williams modified their brake ducts as teams aimed to optimise their aerodynamic efficiency in the final races of the 2010 season.[18][19] Ferrari's alterations added a small fin to the front brake ducts to extract additional downforce.[18] Williams' design was designed to recover as much downforce as possible with the installation of fins on the rear brake ducts and to receive air extracted from the FW32's exhausts.[19] The team also installed a new engine specification in Rubens Barrichello's car.[20]

PracticeEdit

Per the regulations for the 2010 season, three practice sessions were held, two 90-minute sessions on Friday morning and afternoon and another 60-minute session on Saturday morning.[21] In the first practice session, Vettel was fastest with a lap of 1 minute and 12.328 seconds, followed by his teammate Webber, the McLaren entries of Hamilton and Button (who tested aerodynamic adjustments to their MP4-25 cars), Renault driver Robert Kubica, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, Barrichello, the second Mercedes car of Michael Schumacher, Sutil and Nick Heidfeld of Sauber.[22] During the session Vitaly Petrov lost control of his Renault cresting a hill to the Ferradura turn and heavily damaged its front-right corner in a collision against a tyre wall to the outside of the circuit.[22][23] Not long after Kamui Kobayashi spun at the same corner and loosened his Sauber's right-rear tyre from its rim against a barrier.[22] Alonso's high-mileage engine failed two laps earlier than anticipated and Ferrari changed engines.[24]

Vettel duplicated his first practice result in the second session with the day's fastest lap, a 1-minute and 11.938 seconds. His teammate Webber was 0.104 seconds slower in second position. The Ferrari cars of Alonso and Massa were third and fifth; they were separated by Hamilton in the faster McLaren. Kubica, Button, Heidfeld and the two Mercedes vehicles of Rosberg and Schumacher followed in the top ten.[25] Massa's session was curtailed after an hour with a disengaged clutch that lost him the ability to change gear caused by an electrical fault after he made an error and mounted a kerb through the Senna S chicane; he pulled off at the side of the circuit on the Reta Oposta straight between the Senna S chicane and the Descica do Lago corner.[26] Schumacher attempted to pass the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari on the inside line into the Senna S chicane and the two made contact at the turn's apex. Schumacher then appeared to suddenly brake test Alguersuari. Soon after Kobayashi avoided contact with the pit lane wall after he veered out of the slipstream of Heikki Kovalainen's slower Lotus under braking for the Senna S chicane.[27][28]

Rain briefly fell in São Paulo on Friday night and returned on Saturday morning; weather forecasts suggested more rain would fall, albeit not to the same intensity as observed in the qualifying sessions for the Japanese and Korean Grands Prix.[29] This created a damp track surface, which prompted drivers to use wet-weather tyres; several drivers undertook tests to see how cars would behave in qualifying during the session's final five minutes.[30] Kubica used the intermediate compound tyres to set the session's fastest lap of 1 minute and 19.191 seconds, three-tenths of a second faster than Vettel and Hamilton in second and third. Massa, Alonso, Petrov, Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi, Rosberg, Button and Barrichello made up positions four to ten. During the session Button had a lack of frontal grip and his teammate Hamilton made two driver errors in the second section of the lap.[31]

QualifyingEdit

Saturday afternoon's qualifying session was split into three parts. The first session ran for 20 minutes, eliminating cars that finished it 18th or lower. The second session lasted 15 minutes, eliminating cars that finished 11th to 17th. The final session determined pole position to tenth. Cars in the final session were not allowed to change tyres, using the tyres with which they set their quickest lap times.[21] The first two sessions and the first minutes of the final session were run on a damp racing surface, and as such, drivers used intermediate compound tyres.[32] After lap times were 108% slower than they were in the dry weather conditions,[2] every driver changed to dry weather compound tyres with five minutes remaining when a dry line emerged and provided additional car grip.[1]

 
Nico Hülkenberg took the maiden pole position of his career and the Williams team's first since the 2005 European Grand Prix.

Williams driver Nico Hülkenberg ran more front wing angle than Barrichello,[1] and the super soft compound tyres earlier than the fastest teams after his teammate used it.[33][34] An aggressive lap out of the pit lane allowed him to generate sufficient heat against the weather conditions,[2] and his final time of 1 minute and 14.470 seconds earned him the maiden pole position of his career and the Williams team's first since Heidfeld at the 2005 European Grand Prix.[N 2][36] He was joined on the grid's front row by Vettel who was seven-tenths of a second slower and Webber took third after both drivers were slowed by traffic.[1] Hamilton qualified fourth due to him not being able to extract temperature in his tyres and another vehicle slightly delayed him at Arquibancas corner.[1][34] Alonso was fastest in the first session;[34] he fell to fifth in the final session due to a loss of time after he ran onto a damp area and lost tyre temperature. Barrichello, sixth, lost 17 seconds on his first lap out of the pit lane with Hamilton ahead of him and a driver error.[1] A driver error at Junçao corner on dry tyres,[33] and a car with a low downforce setup put Kubica seventh.[36][37] Schumacher in eighth ran onto a damp patch towards the end of the third session to allow the Red Bull cars past and lost tyre temperature. A lack of grip left Massa in ninth.[37] Petrov, tenth, made the final session for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix three months prior and was the highest-placed rookie driver.[1][36]

Button was the fastest driver not to progress to the final session after Massa demoted him to eleventh in the closing seconds of the second session;[32] a lack of grip on a set of damaged intermediate tyres and brake and tyre temperature slowed him. Kobayashi fell from fifth in the first session to qualifying 12th in the second session due to tyre wear.[1][33][37] Rosberg set the 13th-fastest lap and was slower than his teammate Schumacher for the fourth time in the season; he attributed the result to Buemi impeding his fastest time.[32][36] Alguersuari was the faster of the two Toro Rosso cars in 14th and qualified higher than his teammate Buemi in 15th for the fourth consecutive event.[1] Heidfeld was 16th-quickest and spoke of his belief he changed tyres two laps too early.[37] Liuzzi experienced a loss of car control, which sent him into a spin and into Kobayashi and Sutil's path; he was 17th.[33][36] Sutil was the highest-placed driver not to advance beyond the first session due to a lack of grip on his final timed lap that left him in 18th. Timo Glock of the Virgin team found a switch to a second set of intermediate tyres slowed him and qualified 19th. Kovalainen and his Lotus teammate Jarno Trulli took 20th and 21st places after traffic prevented an improvement in lap time from both drivers. Lucas di Grassi's slower Virgin car was seven-tenths of a second slower than Glock en route to 22nd.[37] The Hispania Racing cars of Klien and Bruno Senna occupied the grid's provisional final row:[32] Klien lost time on his final timed lap due to rain,[37] and Senna was seven-tenths of a second slower since he completed a single lap on the damp track and spun towards the close of the first session.[32][1][36]

Post-qualifyingEdit

After the session, Buemi and Sutil each took a five-place grid penalty because they were deemed by the stewards to have caused separate collisions with Glock and Kobayashi at the preceding Korean Grand Prix. Both drivers were required to start from 20th and 22nd positions, respectively. This elevated Heidfeld to 15th, Liuzzi 16th, Glock 17th, Trulli 18th, Kovalainen 20th and Di Grassi 21st.[36] Rosberg reported the incident of Buemi impeding him in the second session to the stewards, who scrutinised and rejected the complaint.[34]

Qualifying classificationEdit

The fastest lap in each of the three sessions is denoted in bold and by a  .

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
1 10   Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:20.050 1:19.144 1:14.470  1
2 5   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:19.160 1:18.691 1:15.519 2
3 6   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.025 1:18.516  1:15.637 3
4 2   Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.931 1:18.921 1:15.747 4
5 8   Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:18.987  1:19.010 1:15.989 5
6 9   Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:19.799 1:18.925 1:16.203 6
7 11   Robert Kubica Renault 1:19.249 1:18.877 1:16.552 7
8 3   Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:19.879 1:18.923 1:16.925 8
9 7   Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:19.778 1:19.200 1:17.101 9
10 12   Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:20.189 1:19.153 1:17.656 10
11 1   Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.905 1:19.288 11
12 23   Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.741 1:19.385 12
13 4   Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.153 1:19.486 13
14 17   Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.158 1:19.581 14
15 16   Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.096 1:19.847 191
16 22   Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.174 1:19.899 15
17 15   Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:20.592 1:20.357 16
18 14   Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.830 221
19 24   Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.130 17
20 18   Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.250 18
21 19   Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.378 20
22 25   Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.810 21
23 20   Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:23.083 23
24 21   Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:23.796 24
Source:[38]

Notes:

RaceEdit

The race took place in the afternoon from 14:00 Brasilia Time (UTC−02:00).[3] Weather conditions at the start were dry and clear. The air temperature was between 24 to 25 °C (75 to 77 °F) and the track temperature ranged from 47 to 51 °C (117 to 124 °F);[39][1] conditions were expected to remain consistent throughout the race,[40] and no rain was forecast.[41] Klien stopped his car at the exit to the pit lane and failed to make the start due to fluctuating fuel pressure. His car was extricated by trackside equipment to the pit lane for the Hispania Racing mechanics to repair it.[40][42] When the five red lights went out to begin the Grand Prix,[41] Hülkenberg experienced excessive wheelspin and a heavy defence to maintain the lead failed as Vettel overtook him on the left heading towards the Senna S chicane. Webber repelled a challenge by Hamilton on the outside to claim third position.[1] At the exit to the Descica do Lago corner Webber lined up a pass on Hülkenberg on the Reta Oposta straight.[43] He took advantage of an oversteer that affected Hülkenberg's ability to accelerate early and the latter braking early that led to a driver error to take over second place. Hamilton had an unbalanced car; he was able to fend off Alonso on the inside at the exit of Descica do Lago turn for fifth and continued to do so for the remainder of the lap.[2][1]

 
Fernando Alonso (pictured at the Singapore Grand Prix) finished third and remained in the lead of the World Drivers' Championship.

Behind the first four drivers, Schumacher fell to tenth through driving onto the grass.[1] Kubica moved from seventh to sixth and Button advanced from eleventh to ninth.[41] Petrov meanwhile made a poor getaway and mounted a kerbs at the exit of the Senna S Chicane to avoid a collision with Alguersuari and fell to 22nd position.[1][42] Towards the end of the first lap, Hamilton was slow to exit Junção corner and allowed Alonso to challenge him on the start/finish straight before Hamilton retained fourth place at the Senna S chicane. Nevertheless, Alonso executed a second attempt and moved to fourth position after Hamilton made a driver error at Descica do Lago turn. Alonso immediately began to draw closer to Hülkenberg.[1] On lap three, Schumacher passed Button driving towards the Senna S chicane for ninth place.[41] Alonso closed up to Hülkenberg and began to pressure him for third position.[44]

At the start of lap four, Alonso steered right to attempt an overtake on Hülkenberg; the latter blocked the Alonso into the Senna S chicane;[45] Hülkenberg ran with his rear wing at a high angle, which made him vulnerable to a pass and it required him to turn left and brake later than Alonso.[1] On lap five, Alonso tried agan to pass Hülkenberg on the outside line into the Senna S chicane and again was unable to complete the manoeuvre. This allowed Hamilton to close up to Alonso, albeit he was not close enough to affect a pass.[40][41] Nevertheless, Alonso continued to pressure Hülkenberg.[45] On the seventh lap, Alonso slipstreamed Hülkenberg after he exited the Senna S chicane.[41] Hülkenberg ran wide at the entry to the Descica do Lago turn and Alonso drew to the inside of him cresting a hill towards Ferradura corner and made a pass for third position.[43] The time Alonso lost behind Hülkenberg was ten seconds,[1] and meant he was eleven seconds behind Vettel.[2]

On lap eight, Hamilton made an unsuccessful overtake on the outside of Hülkenberg to claim fourth into the Senna S chicane.[44] This was due to a lack of tyre grip,[46] and he sought to conserve his tyres since he did not want to overheat them in the aerodynamic turbulence created by the airflow over the rear of Hülkenberg's car.[41] In his first lap out of aerodynamic turbulence, Alonso was unable to close up to the Red Bull cars;[45] Vettel opted to be circumspect to avoid tyre strain and a loss of grip in case of a safety car deployment.[1] Hamilton steered left to attempt a pass Hülkenberg for fourth place at the start of the 11th lap, which the latter blocked,[45] notwithstanding the higher straight-line speed of Hamilton's engine over Hülkenberg's.[43] They drew alongside heading to Descica do Lago turn as Hülkenberg maintained fourth.[41]

 
Mark Webber started from third position and improved to finish the race in second place

At the conclusion of the same lap, Button, separated by slower cars,[1] made the race's first pit stop to switch to the medium compound tyres.[45] He emerged in 18th position.[2] Button's faster on-track pace meant he was followed in due course by:[43] Massa, Barrichello, Hülkenberg, Kubica, Heidfeld, Alguersuari, Liuzzi and Buemi over the next seven laps.[44] Massa and Barrichello each had wheel nut installation problems, which required them to make a second pit stop. Both drivers rejoined behind Button.[1] Hamilton made his first stop for the medium compound tyres on lap 21. He emerged in sixth position, narrowly ahead of his teammate Button.[41] At the head of the field, Alonso entered the pit lane to switch to the medium compound tyres on the 25th lap, and continued in third position. Vettel followed suit on the end of the lap, and relinquished the lead to his teammate Webber for laps 25 and 26 until the latter's own stop on the latter lap.[44] After the pit stops, the gap to Vettel and his teammate Webber was less than three seconds.[2] Alonso was a further thirteen seconds behind in third place,[45] albeit ten seconds in front of fourth-placed Hamilton.[1]

On lap 30, Button overtook the yet-to-pit Kobayashi on the inside for fifth position going into the Senna S chicane.[40] Barrichello attempted a pass on Alguersuari for 13th position on the outside line at the same corner five laps later and the two made contact. Barrichello sustained a front-left puncture and slowed on his way to the pit lane replace it with the super soft compound tyres. He rejoined the race one lap behind race leader Vettel.[44] Four laps later, Rosberg overtook Kobayashi around the inside on the run to the Senna S chicane for sixth place.[40][44] At the front of the field, the two Red Bull entries of Vettel and Webber appeared they would remain in first and second position. Webber was told by Red Bull over the radio to lower the performance of his engine because it was overheating and reduced its water temperature. Nevertheless, slower traffic allowed him to lower the deficit to Vettel to 1.5 seconds as he received a radio communication his tyres had overheated.[1] In the meantime, Lucas di Grassi was forced into the Virgin team's garage on the 44th lap to rectify a worsening rear suspension fault.[1] He rejoined the race four laps later.[44]

 
Sebastian Vettel (pictured at the Japanese Grand Prix one month prior) took his fourth victory of the season and the ninth of his career.

Lap 51 saw the Grand Prix's sole safety car deployment:[45] Liuzzi lost control of his car on a kerb to the outside of the second part of the Senna S chicane due to a suspected front suspension failure. He crashed into a barrier to the track's inside at the bottom of a hill before the exit of the turn.[1][40][44] Liuzzi was unhurt;[41] his car was deemed to be in a dangerous position and a recovery tractor extricated it.[1][45] Under safety car conditions, several drivers made pit stops to replace worn tyres.[2][44] McLaren called Hamilton and Button into the pit lane for a second pit stop to switch to a new set of tyres in an attempt to gain position through overtakes.[43] Both drivers lost no positions. Mercedes asked Rosberg to make a pit stop to challenge Button at the rolling restart; a miscommunication between Rosberg's race engineer Jock Clear and the Mercedes mechanics over which type of tyre he would use meant they readied the medium compound instead of the super softs Clear had requested. Ultimately, Rosberg's mechanics fitted an old set of tyres; he completed an additional lap before they installed the super soft tyre compound onto his vehicle.[1]

Racing resumed at the conclusion of the 55th lap when the safety car was withdrawn due to the removal of Liuzzi's car from the track.[40][46] Vettel led as lapped drivers separated him, Webber and Alonso in second and third. The first three drivers lapped faster than they had done before the safety car and prevented Hamilton and Button from gaining further positions.[1] Alonso managed the wear on his tyres to allow for a challenge against Webber, who was distanced by his teammate Vettel with a sequence of faster lap times than him.[43] On lap 62, Sutil lined up an overtake on Buemi going into the Senna S chicane; albeit with minor contact, Sutil passed Buemi for 12th position.[41] Three laps later, Kobayashi passed Alguerusari to take over tenth place.[1] Not long after the stewards informed the Sauber team that Heidfeld was deemed to have ignored blue flags instructing him to allow faster cars to pass and incurred a drive-through penalty. He took the penalty on the 66th lap and lost 14 seconds.[40]

Alonso closed to within six seconds of race leader Vettel,[44] as Red Bull did not invoke team orders to instruct Vettel to relinquish the victory to Webber to improve his teammate's position in the World Drivers' Championship.[47] Vettel finished first in a time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 11.803 seconds for his fourth victory of the season and the ninth of his career.[46][47] The win, along with Webber's second-place finish gave Red Bull the 2010 World Constructors' Championship since no other team could pass its points total with one race of the season remaining. It was Red Bull's first since the team joined Formula One in the 2005 season.[47] Alonso completed the podium placings in third. Off the podium, the McLaren pair of Hamilton and Button finished fourth and fifth, almost one second separating the two drivers.[2] Schumacher allowed Rosberg past after the safety car was withdrawn as his teammate had a new set of tyres and thus was better able to challenge Button; the two ended the race in sixth and seventh. Hülkenberg, Kubica and Kobayashi rounded out the top ten. Alguersuari, Sutil, Bueimi, Barrichello, Massa, Petrov, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, Senna and Klien (the latter registered his first finish since the 2006 German Grand Prix) were the final classified finishers.[1]

Post-raceEdit

The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and spoke to the media in a later press conference.[4][21] Vettel said it was important for him to pull away from Hülkenberg after he passed him: "The car felt fantastic. All throughout the race I was able to hold the gaps as I planned, so I could control the race from there. With the safety car in the end it was the right choice not to try to pull away too much, to have some tyres left."[48] Webber agreed the start was the most important aspect of the Grand Prix and commented on its importance: "Most of the races are decided as we know pretty much on the Saturday or the first lap. You can follow each other around but eventually... in the old days you could play with the strategy a little bit, change the fuel loads and have a look at going long or a bit shorter."[48] Alonso spoke of his belief he attempted to perform to the best of his ability and a higher starting position would have allowed him to pass a Red Bull at the start: "We are very close in race pace, maybe one or two tenths quicker some laps, one or two tenths slower some of the laps, so when you lose 12 seconds probably it is over."[48]

 
Jenson Button (pictured at the Malaysian Grand Prix seven months prior) was mathematically eliminated from the World Drivers' Championship with a fifth-place finish.

Afterwards, the Red Bull team celebrated their first World Constructors' Championship.[49] Christian Horner commented on how Red Bull was regarded as "a party team" after they purchased Jaguar in 2005: "In six years, this team has come from a team that no-one took seriously – that everyone thought was a party team – to the 2010 F1 constructors' champions. We have finished ahead of teams with far more experience and heritage than ourselves – we took them on and we won, thanks to the tremendous dedication of every single team member, the incredible support from Red Bull and the vision and unfaltering commitment from Mr. Mateschitz."[50] Adrian Newey, the team's technical director, thanked aerodynamicist Peter Prodromou and designer Rob Marshall for their work to the RB6: "This is amazing, to have done it with this team, To be with it from near the start and for us to have jointly built the team up to win the Constructors' Championship is a fantastic achievement for all the team in Milton Keynes."[51] Vettel stated Red Bull's Constructors' Championship win was special to him because he had visited the team's factory in Milton Keynes, England in 2005 and was intrigued by the experience: "Looking up to Formula One and now to be part of the team and part of the driver line-up to give them their first championship is incredible.”[52]

Hülkenberg said he was happy to finish the race in eighth position: "The team did a great pitstop and chose the right strategy; we just needed some more car pace. Even though we started on pole, my expectations for the race were to finish between fifth and tenth, so P8 is fine and it means we are now sixth in the Constructors' Championship."[53] After he finished fifth, Button was mathematically prevented from retaining the World Drivers' Championship.[47] He said he would enter the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi with no concerns: "I’ll just have fun and try to enjoy it. I won the drivers’ world championship in Brazil last year, and I lost it here this year. But, all in all, it's been a pretty good season. It was a learning year, and good practice for next year: I firmly believe we can really build on this for the 2011 season."[42] His teammate Hamilton commented on his prospects of title success in the season-finale: "In Abu Dhabi I'll be doing everything I can to pull off the win I need, and hoping the other guys hit problems. As always, we won't give up and we'll keep on pushing. We've seen many times before that almost anything can happen in the last race of the season. It'll take a miracle, but miracles can happen."[54]

The race result meant Webber lowered Alonso's lead in the World Drivers' Championship to eight points. Vettel's victory elevated him ahead of Hamilton to third place as Button maintained fifth place.[6] In the World Constructors' Championship, Red Bull finished first with 469 points. McLaren were second with 421 points and Ferrari were another 32 points behind in third position. Mercedes secured fourth place from Renault with one race left in the season.[6]

Race classificationEdit

Drivers who scored championship points are denoted in bold and by a  .

Pos No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 71 1:33:11.803 2 25 
2 6   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 71 +4.243 3 18 
3 8   Fernando Alonso Ferrari 71 +6.807 5 15 
4 2   Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 71 +14.634 4 12 
5 1   Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 71 +15.593 11 10 
6 4   Nico Rosberg Mercedes 71 +35.320 13 8 
7 3   Michael Schumacher Mercedes 71 +43.456 8 6 
8 10   Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 70 +1 Lap 1 4 
9 11   Robert Kubica Renault 70 +1 Lap 7 2 
10 23   Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 12 1 
11 17   Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 14
12 14   Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 70 +1 Lap 22
13 16   Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 19
14 9   Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 70 +1 Lap 6
15 7   Felipe Massa Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 9
16 12   Vitaly Petrov Renault 70 +1 Lap 10
17 22   Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 15
18 19   Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 69 +2 Laps 20
19 18   Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 69 +2 Laps 18
20 24   Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 69 +2 Laps 17
21 21   Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 69 +2 Laps 24
22 20   Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 65 +6 Laps 23
NC 25   Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 62 +9 Laps 21
Ret 15   Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 49 Accident 16
Source:[1][2]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ The wall was installed in response to the fatal accident of driver Rafael Sperafico at the track in a 2007 Stock Car Brasil race.[5]
  2. ^ It was the first pole position for Williams' engine supplier Cosworth since Barrichello drove for the Stewart squad at the 1999 French Grand Prix and the first for a Williams-Cosworth car in Brazil since Keke Rosberg at the 1983 race.[35]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit