Alguersuari did Alonso few favours as one Spaniard came up to lap the other – squeezing his countryman towards the pit wall – as the two McLarens ran line-astern and Vettel continued to pull away from Webber, eking his margin out to some 3.3 seconds as the man from Queanbeyan began to suffer from an overheating engine. Buemi clumsily nerfed Massa out of the way in their private duel over twelfth place, but the duel at the front was rapidly disappearing, as another searing fastest lap with only ten tours remaining opened the gap up to four-and-a-half.
Buemi continued his various shenanigans with Sutil, as Alonso kept Webber honest by matching his pace in third – and fastest lap for the Oviedo native on lap 64 kept the pressure on, closing to just within three seconds of the second-placed man. As the laps ticked down, so that deficit did likewise, with under two-and-a-half seconds between the pair entering the final four tours and the tension mounting.
Massa's robust afternoon in the Ferrari bumper car saw him make contact with Petrov with two laps remaining, but there was no such drama – or switching-of-positions – up at the front of the field, as Vettel motored serenely on and took the chequered flag for his fourth victory of F1 2010 and a result that kept him in the chase for the coveted crown. Webber held onto second – and in so doing closed down Alonso's world championship lead to just eight points – with the Ferrari star claiming the last podium position in third.
Hamilton and Button crossed the line separated by less than a second in fourth and fifth, ahead of Mercedes duo Rosberg and Schumacher, Hulkenberg – who perhaps inevitably faded to eighth in the final reckoning, but thereby lifted Williams above Force India in the constructors' rankings – and Kubica and Kobayashi, who rounded out the points-scorers as Sauber's alter native strategy paid off.
Outside of the top ten, Alguersuari, Sutil, Buemi, the luckless Barrichello and Massa, Petrov, Nick Heidfeld, Lotus twins Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, Virgin's Timo Glock and HRT pairing Senna and Christian Klien completed the finishers.
The one-two for Red Bull Racing left the Milton Keynes-based squad celebrating its maiden constructors' world championship in only its sixth season in the top flight, but with Alonso still on top in the drivers' standings by the handy margin of eight points, the question is, will they be celebrating quite so much in a week's time..?