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Alonso Korean victory turns title battle on its head

Suddenly, though, the Renault engine in the back of Vettel's RB6 began to sound sick and Alonso swept past into the lead, with tell-tale smoke signs shortly afterwards leading to an eruption from the V8 – and with it, the loss of what had appeared to be a certain race victory for the luckless 23-year-old, having put not so much as a foot out-of-place. Red Bull's predilection for self-destruction in F1 2010 had suddenly struck again, and the title chase had been turned right on its head once more – and it was falling right into Alonso's lap.

Sutil's scrap with the Saubers came to a perhaps predictable conclusion as the German lost it as he endeavoured to take Kobayashi on the outside, side-swiping his opponent as they duelled over ninth place, scattering debris across the track once more.

As the laps – and the clock – ticked down and darkness fell, new race leader Alonso began to edge away from Hamilton as the positions looked settled, but there was heartbreak for Williams' Nico Hülkenberg who was forced to sacrifice an excellent sixth place with a late-race tyre change, the rubber on his FW32 worn down to next-to-nothing as team-mate Barrichello similarly started to suffer and fall back.

Further back, Button's slim chances of points ended with a pirouette just three laps from home, but out front Alonso was pressing on, lapping comfortably clear of anybody else in the race as he dropped Hamilton like a stone, the McLaren star like his team-mate visibly struggling.

For Ferrari's talisman, however, there was no such drama, as the Oviedo native motored serenely on to take the chequered flag for his third victory in four races to claim the world championship lead for the first time since the Bahrain curtain-raiser, whilst Hamilton kept his own title bid alive with the runner-up laurels. Massa came home to take a deserved podium in third, as Schumacher matched his best finish of the campaign behind his former team-mate in fourth.

Following an unusually quiet and somewhat nondescript race, Kubica took advantage of others' late tyre woes to move up to fifth from towards the foot of the top ten, as Vitantonio Liuzzi scored a vital result for Force India with sixth place, passing the fading Barrichello, who clung onto seventh, with Sauber pairing Kobayashi and Heidfeld winding up eighth and ninth and the unfortunate Hülkenberg recovering to tenth.

Behind the young German, the sole-surviving Scuderia Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari ended up just outside the points in eleventh, ahead of Button – whose challenge for the crown, although still mathematically possible, is surely now over – and new team runners Kovalainen, Senna and Sakon Yamamoto.

To see the race result in full, click here

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Thursday, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Qualifying,Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Sunday, Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 3rd position and Christian Dyer (AUS), Ferrari Race Engineer
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner
1983 Spa Francorchamps - Belgian Grand Prix
Brian Redman - Cooper Belgian Grand Prix Spa 1968
Nivelles circuit - Belgian Grand Prix [credit: Google Earth]
Nivelles circuit - Belgian Grand Prix
Belgian Grand Prix - Nivelles

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Nigel K

October 24, 2010 11:08 AM

Fernando pre-Silverstone was trailing 41 points behind the leading driver. Now he is leading the WDC by 11 points with two races to go and 50 points to be taken and won. Drivers have now run out of new engines so the playing field is that much more level now. Button and Vettel are out of it and so as predicted it can be a three horse ABU DHABI grand finish but with Fernando, Webber and Lewis in the lead. Fernando showed, in the worst prevailing conditions in 2010, that he is the master, and deserves his 3rd WDC.Weldone Fernando.

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