Monthly Archives: November 2010

Hamilton escapes penalty over Massa incident

The view from the camera bollard before Hamilton hits it

The view from the camera bollard before Hamilton hits it

Lewis Hamilton has avoided a potential grid penalty ahead of tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after an incident with Felipe Massa in Q2 in qualifying today.

As Massa was on a hot lap, entering Turn 4, Hamilton was close to the apex of the corner, and accidentaly turned into Massa, realised his mistake, then swerved off the track to avoid the Ferrari, hitting a camera bollard in the process. This incident, along with a separate one involving Massa and Rubens Barrichello, were reported to the stewards, but no action was taken in either case.

Here is what Massa had to say about the incident:

 "On my last out-lap, I came up behind so much traffic and it 
was all very confusing, especially as Hamilton, who was ahead 
of me, had slowed a lot at Turn 14.

At the end of the session, I was called to the stewards to 
discuss this incident and also the one with Hamilton again in 
Q2.

This sort of thing can happen as can be seen from the fact 
that no action was taken.

 

Vettel takes pole while Webber struggles in Abu Dhabi

Sebastian Vettel took pole position ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He was ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber was 5th, and has a huge task for the race tomorrow. Here is what happened:

Q1

The Toro Rossos got the ball rolling, setting 1.43’s. A 1.41.2 from Lewis Hamilton put him on top, while Sebastian Vettel was up to 8 tenths off his pace. Fernando Alonso went fastest, but 10 seconds later Lewis took the position back.

Vettel was held up slightly by Christian Klien, but still improved to 1st place, before Hamilton once again went back on top. Vettel went even faster, while Mark Webber didn’t trouble the top 2.

Kamui Kobayashi, the last driver to set his first time, initially only went 17th, before going 12th. In the dropout zone, Jaime Alguersuari was 18th, just behind his team-mate. However, Jaime improved on his time, leaving Buemi knocked out of Q1.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Sebastien Buemi

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Timo Glock

22) Lucas di Grassi

23) Bruno Senna

24) Christian Klien

Q2

The Ferraris went out first, with Fernando Alonso beating Felipe Massa by half a second. Jenson Button then topped that time by 2 extra tenths. His team-mate Hamilton had problems with his first two laps, running wide and out-braking himself, while Button improved by another tenth.

Halfway through the sesssion, the Red Bulls finally came out on the super-soft tyres. Mark Webber locked a brake, so he went 3rd before Vettel went fastest of them all.

Hamilton stayed in the pits after his problem, and still hadn’t set a time to get him into Q3. He went out on the soft tyres with 3 minutes to go, but was held up by traffic. Worse still, replays showed, while Hamilton was on an out-lap, he turned right into Felipe Massa at Turn 4, knocking over a camera bollard after realising the Ferrari was there. A stewards’ investigation may occur later.

Despite this though, he went 2nd, and Massa’s next lap got him 6th. Robert Kubica was in 11th with 30 seconds to go, and was 8 tenths faster than 10th placed driver in the middle sector, but made a mistake in the last sector, and stayed 11th. In fact, it is the first time this year that the Renault driver failed to make it to Q3.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Robert Kubica

12) Kamui Kobayashi

13) Adrian Sutil

14) Nick Heidfeld

15) Nico Hulkenberg

16) Vitantonio Liuzzi

17) Jaime Alguersuari

Q3

Jenson Button, Massa and Alonso all exited the pits first, all on the super-soft tyres. Webber and the rest soon left the garage, while Sebastian Vettel stayed in the garage.

Lewis Hamilton was the first to give it a try, blitzing all 3 sectors and setting a 1.39.5. Alonso was half a second slower, and Webber made a mistake in the first sector. Both Red Bulls were 1 tenth down in sector 2, Webber went 3rd, while Vettel got an extra tenth to go fastest.

Alonso fired up for another lap with 2 minutes to go, while the Red Bulls went out again. This time, Webber was again slower, while Vettel took another tenth off the fastest lap.

However, with a minute to go, amazingly, Sebastian went even quicker than his last 2 laps in the first sector. Meanwhile, a huge queue of cars, involving Hamilton and the Ferraris meant they started their laps slightly slow.

Neither of the Red Bulls managed to improve, so the focus was on Hamilton and Alonso. Lewis was a few thousands of a second faster in sector 2, but fell to 2nd, while Alonso’s final lap got him 3rd, ahead of Mark Webber in 5th.

While Webber struggled badly and paid the price, Alonso’s final lap could prove to be completely decisive in the championship battle tomorrow.

Jenson Button was 4th, Felipe Massa 6th, Rubens Barrichello 7th, Michael Schumacher 8th, Nico Rosberg 9th, and Vitaly Petrov 10th.

So, going into tomorrow, Fernando Alonso still has the advantage, Sebastian Vettel should be on course to take the race win, but Mark Webber has it all to do.

Hamilton tops Abu Dhabi second practice

Lewis Hamilton took over at the top of Friday Practice at Abu Dhabi, setting the fastest time in the second session. He was a quarter of a second faster than Sebastian Vettel, who was 2 tenths ahead of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in second practice

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in second practice

On the medium tyres, Alonso reigned supreme, but stood no chance when everyone switched to the super-softs. Despite setting less laps than his rivals, Hamilton was easily on top.

The Renaults of Kubica and Petrov were 5th and 7th, surrounding Felipe Massa in 6th, who stopped out on track, reporting that his car had run out of fuel.

Jenson Button struggled in 8th, Vitantonio Liuzzi was 9th, and the Mercedes drivers of Rosberg and Schumacher were 10th and 11th.

Heikki Kovalainen took over the new teams in 19th place, 4.2 seconds off Hamilton’s pace. He scraped ahead of Timo Glock, who comfortably beat Jarno Trulli and Lucas di Grassi. Christian Klien and Bruno Senna were up to 2 seconds off their rivals at the back.

Times from FP2:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.888 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.145 0.257 28
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.314 0.426 29
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’41.315 0.427 29
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.576 0.688 31
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.583 0.695 21
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’42.096 1.208 31
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’42.132 1.244 28
9 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’42.203 1.315 31
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’42.222 1.334 29
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.246 1.358 29
12 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’42.449 1.561 32
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’42.535 1.647 21
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.768 1.880 26
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.914 2.026 37
16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.950 2.062 34
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’43.128 2.240 17
18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’43.584 2.696 33
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’45.180 4.292 36
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.259 4.371 31
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’45.612 4.724 35
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’46.053 5.165 29
23 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’47.210 6.322 32
24 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’47.434 6.546 28

Vettel leads Abu Dhabi FP1

Sebastian Vettel laid down the gauntlet for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, by setting the fastest time in Friday Practice 1 today. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were 2nd and 3rd, followed by Mark Webber.

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest in FP1

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest in FP1

The session began on a damp track, but it dried out throughout the day. However, the first half an hour was a waste for many, as the drivers sat in the garages waiting for the track to clear. In fact, it took until 50 minutes in for the fast laps to began to be set.

Robert Kubica was 5th, and Fernando Alonso 6th. The Mercedes and Sauber drivers filled the top 10.

Felipe Massa was 11th, and 2.4 seconds off the pace of the leaders. Having said that though, he was forced to abort one of his runs after a problem with the car’s telemetry data, meaning that the team wouldn’t have been able to fully collect data if he had continued.

Rubens Barrichello was 13th, despite stopping out on track. He still managed to beat his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by 1.2 seconds.

Timo Glock led the way at the back, just ahead of Jarno Trulli, who in turn was nearly a second faster than Lucas di Grassi. Bruno Senna beat Christian Klien by 7 tenths, while Fairuz Fauzy, who replaced Heikki Kovalainen for FP1, was last, and despite setting more laps than most of the new teams, was 8.9 seconds off the pace. However, it was reported that the Lotus was experiencing overheating problems.

Times from FP1:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’42.760 18
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.369 0.609 16
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.785 1.025 19
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’43.840 1.080 19
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’44.080 1.320 19
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’44.121 1.361 17
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’44.199 1.439 19
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.604 1.844 18
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’44.718 1.958 19
10 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.737 1.977 19
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’45.160 2.400 18
12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’45.445 2.685 21
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’45.474 2.714 15
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’45.552 2.792 20
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’45.585 2.825 14
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.003 3.243 20
17 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’46.664 3.904 19
18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’47.105 4.345 22
19 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’48.450 5.690 19
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’48.472 5.712 17
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’49.375 6.615 13
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’49.590 6.830 18
23 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’50.274 7.514 17
24 Fairuz Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.705 8.945 18

Lotus to use black and gold livery in 2011

The classic Lotus livery will return to the grid in 2011

The classic Lotus livery will return to the grid in 2011

Lotus have today announced that they are to revive the classic black and gold John Player Special-sponsored Lotus livery from the 1970’s and 1980’s in their 2011 car.

Furthermore, they have also said that the fans will be able to have an input on the design, but haven’t said any more about this yet.

Their full statement is as follows:

In a move that is certain to excite Lotus fans and followers of 
Formula One™ around the world, Lotus Racing has announced this 
morning that its cars will be running in a black and gold colour 
scheme from the 2011 Championship onwards. This move echoes the 
evolution of Lotus Formula One™ cars of the past by moving from 
the iconic green and yellow paint scheme of the first season to 
the much loved black and gold.
Lotus Racing has already won an army of fans worldwide whose 
support for the Anglo-Malaysian squad has been fuelled by the 
team's open, honest approach to racing, and its efforts on track 
which has seen the team edge ever closer to securing the 'best 
of the new teams' title in its debut season.
To bring the fans even closer to the team in its second season 
Head of Marketing Silvi Schaumloeffel today explained how the 
2011 livery will be designed: "We have worked all year to make 
sure our fans are given unprecedented access to our team. We 
are all very excited about the move to a black and gold paint 
scheme for next season, and we want our fans to help us design 
the livery that will be racing around the world next year. We 
will shortly be announcing exactly how the fans can take part 
in our design process, so keep an eye on our website 
www.lotusracing.my for more details. The person who designs 
the livery we finally choose will be joining us at our first 
test next year to see the car out on track for the very 
first time, so for Lotus and F1™ fans it is the chance of a 
lifetime to help us take the next step forward in our 
amazing story in 2011."
Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing Chief Executive, added his thoughts 
on the next step in the Lotus Racing story: "When we first 
unveiled our 2010 car there was unanimous praise for our 
decision to bring the historic green and yellow livery 
back to the modern F1™ grid. I know the return to the 
track of the legendary black and gold will be met with 
even more universal support as it strikes such an 
emotional chord with fans around the world. Giving 
those fans the chance to help us bring it back to the 
contemporary grid is true to our core belief of 
putting our supporters right at the heart of Lotus 
Racing - we can't wait to show the world what we 
come up with!"

After this year’s excellent livery, I’m really looking forward to next year’s one, seeing as we haven’t seen a Lotus car run the design since the 1980s. As for the dispute between Lotus Cars and Lotus Racing (which is halting the change of name for the racing team), we will have to wait…

Marussia invests in Virgin Racing

Nikolay Fomenko, owner of Marussia, with Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock

Nikolay Fomenko, owner of Marussia, with Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock

Marussia, a Russian sports car manufacturer, has announced that it has invested in and acquired a “significant stake” in the Virgin Racing team. As well as this securing the team’s participation in the sport, it also means that the team will be renamed Marussia Virgin Racing next year.

For much of this year, word around the paddock was that a lack of investment, particularly from Richard Branson, was stunting Virgin’s progress. With this new company on board, the team claim that they can now “cement their place on the F1 grid”.

Marussia logos already appear on the Virgin cars, as they have sponsored them all year, and this investment is to promote Marussia’s venture into the European sports car market.

Klien retained by Hispania for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at HRT for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at HRT for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at the HRT team for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it has been revealed today. He will continue to partner Bruno Senna, while Sakon Yamamoto and Karun Chandhok continue to be left on the sidelines.

After replacing Yamamoto for the Singapore GP and impressing the team, Klien was hired again for the Brazilian GP, where he out-qualified Bruno Senna by more than half a second. Because of this, he will be retained for the final race of the 2010 season.

It’s good to see Hispania are starting to prioritise driver ability over financial assets brought to the team, but very few fans will be happy until we see Karun Chandhok return to the driver’s seat. However, with the 2011 driver market closing up fast, time is running out for Chandhok to get a drive for next season.

The maths behind the 2010 championship battle

With just one more race to go this year, Formula 1 is about to experience something historic, as this is the first time in history that 4 drivers have entered the last race with a chance of becoming World Champion. With this in mind, there are many ways that each of them can take the title.

With this in mind let’s have a look at each driver individually, starting with the underdog:

Lewis Hamilton

2 DNFs in Italy and Singapore have killed Hamilton’s title challenge, and he comes to Abu Dhabi with an extremely low chance of becoming champion. At the moment, he is 24 points adrift of Fernando Alonso.

His task is simple but very difficult: Take the win while Vettel, Alonso and Webber all finish out of the points. While the McLaren isn’t bad at Abu Dhabi, the likelihood of the other 3 drivers being taken out are slim to say the least.

My prediction: As likely as Nick Heidfeld shaving his beard.

Sebastian Vettel

The first of the Red Bull drivers is in with a better chance than Hamilton, but like the McLaren driver, will need a good performance and a stroke of bad luck to hit Webber and Alonso.

Although he is 15 points behind, a 3rd place (with Alonso scoring no points) will not be enough for Vettel, as Fernando has taken 5 wins already, more than any other driver this year. If Vettel finishes 2nd, he will need Alonso to finish 9th or lower, with Webber 5th or lower.

If Sebastian take the win, which is likely is he is on form, the Ferrari needs to be 6th or lower, while Webber will be knocked out automatically, seeing as even if he was 2nd and level on points, Sebastian would have taken one more win.

While the odds are against this Red Bull, the title is certainly not out of reach, though it will take some luck to push Alonso down the order.

My prediction: If he doesn’t win it, he will at least get very close.

Mark Webber

This Red Bull driver is within better striking range of the Ferrari, although Mark’s title hopes were hit slightly by failing to overtake his team-mate in Brazil. Nevertheless, Webber is in with a good shot.

If none of his rivals scored a point (although Hamilton can still win the race in this situation) Mark only needs 5th to take the title. If he gets 4th place, Alonso will need to be 9th or lower, with Vettel not taking the win. If he is in 3rd position, Alonso can be 7th or lower, and Vettel not to take the win.

If Webber takes 2nd place, Fernando has to be 6th or lower, while Sebastian again cannot take the race win (effectively 3rd or lower). Meanwhile, if Mark wins the race, Vettel is taken out no matter where he finishes, while Fernando would have to be 3rd or lower in order for Webber to take the title.

There are many more possibilities as you can see, and it demonstrates why Webber needs to be pushing as hard as he can coming into this final race.

My prediction: A good chance, although he may find trouble keeping Vettel (and Alonso) behind him.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando comes into this race with the title lead, and 8 points to spare against his rivals. He may have the point margin, but his Ferrari will probably be slower than the Red Bull this weekend, so he needs to be very careful.

If he takes either the win or 2nd place, then the championship is his, no questions asked. However, seeing as the Red Bulls are probably going to be on form in Abu Dhabi, this is unlikely, so now the fun begins. If he takes 3rd place, Webber would need to take the race win, and Sebastian Vettel would be knocked out.

If he is 4th, Webber will again need to take the win, and Vettel would still be out of the running.

However, if the Ferrari is 5th, Webber yet again needs to win, and the same goes for Vettel. However, you might notice a small problem there. If Vettel were to win, and Alonso was 5th, then they would be equal on points. FIA rules regulate that the winner would be the driver with the most 2nd place finishes, and both Alonso and Vettel have the same amount. The rule would then move to 3rd place finishes, and -surprise surprise – they have the same amount again! However, Sebastian has two 4th places to Fernando’s one, so this would most certainly be an interesting end to the championship to say the least.

If Alonso is 6th, Webber will need 2nd place, and Vettel would need to win the race. If Fernando was 7th, Mark would have to be on the podium, and Sebastian again requiring the race victory. The exact same requirements for the Red Bulls are needed if the Ferrari is 8th.

In the event of Alonso being 9th, Webber needs 4th, and Vettel needs 2nd or 1st. If Fernando is 10th, Mark would need 5th or higher, and Vettel again requires 1st or 2nd.

In the unlikely event of the Ferrari not taking any points at all, or retiring, Mark Webber would need 5th or higher, and Sebastian Vettel once again has to take 1st or 2nd. If Alonso was not to score, with Vettel 3rd and Webber 6th, then all 3 would be tied on points, but Alonso would take the title because of the “most wins” tiebreaker rule.

My prediction: Best mathematical chance, but needs to watch his back.

Round-up

As you can see, with a 4-way battle for the first time ever, the amount of mathematical possibilities are greater than ever before. With all of these chances of winning the title, we are in for an epic showdown in Abu Dhabi in just a few days time!

Brazilian GP stats and facts

The 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix saw the newest addition to the pole position club, as well as a return to form for Williams. Here are the stats and facts from Interlagos:

Red Bull are the first constructor outside of Italy, France or Britain to take the constructor's title

Red Bull are the first constructor outside of Italy, France or Britain to take the constructor's title

  • First things first, Nico Hulkenberg became Formula 1’s 94th driver to take pole position (103rd if you include the Indy 500). He is also the 6th youngest person to do so.
  • Red Bull took their first ever constructor’s championship, and they are the first team outside of the Big Three (Italy, France, Britain) to do this. It was also their 14th win.
  • Sebastian Vettel took his 9th career victory, as many as Jenson Button. It was the 21st time he has started from the front row in 61 race starts, a 34.42% rate.
  • Williams took their first pole position since Nick Heidfeld back in 2005, although it was still their 126th.
  • Lewis Hamilton got the fastest lap, and with 6 he has as many as title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
  • The last time a Cosworth engine took pole was with Rubens Barrichello at France in 1999. Not since the 1983 Brazilian GP though has a Williams – Cosworth taken pole.
  • This may not seem like an odd achievement, but it is the first time since 1963 that the constructor’s title has been won by two different teams 2 years in a row.
  • Red Bull now have 8 1-2 finishes, as many as Tyrrell, Lotus, and Brabham.
  • Once again, the leader of the driver’s championship failed to win the race, continuing the record from the 2009 Turkish GP.
  • The all-time record for most classified finishes in one race was levelled yesterday, as 22 cars were classified. This equals the record from the the 1952 British Grand Prix (though drivers didn’t need to get within 90% of race distance to be classified back then. If the 90% rule was to be implemented into that race, then the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix would be a record breaker in that respect.)
  • This is the first time in Formula 1 history that 4 drivers have entered the final race with a chance of becoming champion.
  • The front row of the grid was the youngest ever, with an average age of 23 years and 104 days.
  • The last 2 Brazilian Grands Prix have seen the polesitter fall to 8th in the race.

If you have spotted any others, let me know in the comments.

Vettel wins, while Red Bull seal constructors title in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel took the win in today’s Brazilian Grand Prix, heading team-mate Mark Webber. Their 1-2 finish ensured that Red Bull now take the constructor’s championship with one race to go. Fernando Alonso was 3rd for Ferrari, and retains his lead of the driver’s championship.

At the start, pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg was swamped by the Red Bulls, Vettel out-braking him into Turn 1, and Webber catching him out at Turn 3. On the second lap, Lewis Hamilton made a mistake at Decida de Lago, allowing Fernando Alonso into 4th.

For the next few laps, the Red Bulls shot away, while Hulkenberg held up Alonso for the moment, the young German holding off the double world champion’s attacks. By Lap 7, a switchback at Decida de Lago ensured Alonso was up to 3rd.

However, Lewis Hamilton was unable to make the same move quickly enough, getting held up behind the Williams for far too long. He then began to complain of low grip on his car. His team-mate Button, up to 9th, was the first to make the call to change to the hard tyres on Lap 11, and instantly set the fastest middle sector on the next lap.

This prompted a charge for the pits, and on Lap 14, Hulkenberg, Massa and Kubica made the change, which released Hamilton. Felipe Massa suffered a disaster in the pits, with a wheel nut problem forcing him to pit again one lap later.

Lewis finally pitted on Lap 20, and emerged just ahead of Button, who had made good progress having stopped 9 laps earlier. Meanwhile, Rosberg and Kobayashi were 4th and 5th, but yet to stop. Nico Hulkenberg lost out badly through the stops, falling down to 10th.

The top 3 were still yet to pit, and Alonso, being 10 seconds behind the duo of Vettel and Webber, was the first to stop. Vettel, and then Webber, stopped one lap after each other, and retained their positions. Further back, Jenson Button made a dive down the inside of Kamui Kobayashi at Turn 1.

On Lap 36, the Brazilian jinx returned for Rubens Barrichello, suffering a puncture while battling for position with Jaime Alguersuari. A few laps later, Nico Rosberg was the next to make a move on Kobayashi, as the Sauber seemed to be struggling badly for pace.

There was a huge train of cars battling for points, which would soon come into play for the frontrunners. Mark Webber began to close on Sebastian Vettel, but was swiftly frustrated by being held up by several backmarkers, like Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi. After losing several seconds, and then regaining them, over the next few laps, the battle at the top was altered again on Lap 52, when the safety car was deployed.

Vitantonio Liuzzi made a mistake at Turn 2 and hit the barriers. This meant that the field was now bunched up, but there were two backmarkers between Vettel and Webber, keeping Sebastian safe at the restart. Both McLarens pitted at the safety car period, as both cars were struggling with the hard tyres.

The safety car pitted on Lap 55, and Kobayashi and Buemi got stuck into the battle for 11th, with Kamui coming off better. Felipe Massa tried to pass Buemi a few laps later, but they make contact, and Massa ran wide, losing several positions in the process.

Apart from Nick Heidfeld suffering a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags, not much happened in the final few laps, so Sebastian Vettel took a well-deserved win at Interlagos, leading Webber by 4 seconds. This ensured that Red Bull now have an unbeatable 48-point lead in the constructors’ championship.

While there were rumours during the race of Vettel handing the lead to Webber, this was swiftly ignored as Sebastian drove fantastically well today, and is still in contention for the title next weekend at Abu Dhabi. Alonso is 8 points ahead of Webber, who is 7 ahead of Vettel. Hamilton is 24 points behind Alonso, just within contention, while Jenson Button is now out. The full standings are available here.

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