Fernando Alonso of Ferrari wins the inaugural Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix and is ahead in the Driver’s Championship by eleven points with two more races to go for this season. It looks like things are down to the wire this season between Alonso (231pts), Mark Webber (220pts) and Lewis Hamilton (210pts). Meanwhile, the Korean GP was a good watch, with at least 10 cars not finishing the race which started with a safety car leading the cars due to heavy rain.
It wasn’t a washout though as we all know; rain makes the racing even more entertaining. It’s where you see real car control and where you see championship material drivers shine and mayhem occurring for some too. However in Korea things were so bad that after a 2 lap parade-like start, lap 3 was red flagged and the cars lined up the grid again. This delay lasted 50 minutes before race was to begin again. Drivers started getting back into their cars to continue with lap 4.
14 laps later the cars were still having a slow, wet Sunday drive and most drivers, including Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and his team mate Felipe Massa thought so too. Lal 18 saw the safety car come in and by lap 19, Mark Webber of Red Bull takes out Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg after hitting a barrier and bouncing back on the track right into the Mercedes of Rosberg. Another safety car incident.
The race proper began again on lap 24 and drivers had to decide whether to switch from wets to intermediates. At this stage tire choice is important and Jenson Button, who was on wet tires had no grip by lap 27 and was eaten up by Michael Schumacher before pitting for new tires.
Lap 29 caused another safety car as backmarkers Sebastian Buemi (Toro Rosso) hit Timo Glock (Virgin). Yes, it was slip sliding away for nearly everyone and by now it was getting dark; the wet track and low visibility was getting to everyone. Another incident I remembered was when Adrian Sutil of Force India hit Kobayashi of Sauber. The Sauber somehow surviving the incident but the Force India car couldn’t.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Alonso drove impeccably and was far ahead of second place Lewis Hamilton. Third went to Alonso’s team mater Massa and Fourth, the original ‘rain-meister’ Michael Schumacher – showing the youngsters that he still can ‘kick some behind’ when it counts. I hope the old man stays for another season of F1.
On another note, Red Bull, which started this season on a high have lost out on both the driver's championship and the constructors championship lead to Ferrari. A come back of sorts for Ferrari but real bad luck for Red Bull.
01. Alonso Ferrari 2h48:20.810
02. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 14.999
03. Massa Ferrari + 30.868
04. Schumacher Mercedes + 39.688
05. Kubica Renault + 47.734
06. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 53.571
07. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:09.257
08. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:17.889
09. 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
Did Not Finish
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 63
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 62
Petrov Renault 56
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 48
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 47
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 42
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 42
Webber Red Bull-Renault 35
Rosberg Mercedes 35