Humble Alonso takes lead in Korea

By Lee Catuzzi

Not a bad Grand Prix this Korean one as it nearly was the GP that never was.

Viewers across Europe must have cursed the Asian weather, for waking up early to watch what looked like a procession lead by the safety car to try and dry the track or at least shed some of its water out of the way.

Team radio talk was probably the only excitement left at that stage for the viewer as it really revealed the state of mind of drivers. Some showed fear, some were happy for the race to be called off all together because of their ranking position and some (actually only one) showed the will to fight and the real racing driving spirit.

Lewis Hamilton bought a breath of fresh air into this sport. He is a true fighter, a very sporty character and he’s never short of a pleasing smile even when the world is against him. Lets hope he never decided to leave the sport and stays until is humanely possible.

The guy shows a true racing driver spirit, just like the ones years ago that used to drive with a leather helmet over their scalp as the only protection against the peril of the sport.

The race started with the safety car and was soon abandoned because of the awful conditions.
Fortunately after a long 45 minutes wait the stewards gave the go ahead for the race to start… again with the safety car. It took another 17 laps before the safety car came in and the race started properly.

Sebastian Vettel quickly showed some great driving in wet conditions by distance himself from Webber by 2.8 seconds on the first lap alone.
Unfortunately it was not a Red Bull day as Mark Webber first span and crashed against the wall out of turn 12 and was eventually hit by Rosberg’s Mercedes as the German was left with no room to avoid him.
This accident brought the safety car out again reducing Vettel’s hard worked margin to none.
When the race started again the promising young German driver had then the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso behind him but managed to establish a 3 seconds gap when the safety car had to come out again thanks to another accident involving Buemi, Kovalainen’ and Glock’s Virgin.

A problematic pit stop for intermediates made Alonso lose his second place to Hamilton but he retook when the British ace ran wide at turn 1.

It looked like Sebastian Vettel was going to seal a victory in this new Asian track, when at the beginning of lap 46 hell broke lose as his engine failed under a plume of smoke and had enough power to calmly park his fast but not so reliable Renault powered car at an opening on the track.

The Korean experience has brought the chase for the title even closer now, with Fernando Alonso in the lead by 11 points from favourite Webber and 21 from third placed Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel is relegated in 4th with 25 point behind the leader.

Michael Schumacher’s experience paid off here as he managed a convincing 4th place.

Apart for the podium finishers, the crown for star of the show must definitely go to Vitantonio Liuzzi. He qualified 17th and with brave driving took his Mercedes’ powered Force India car to a fantastic 6th position.

The Sauber duo scored well here too with Kobayashi in 8th and Heidfeld in 9th.

The Williams of Barrichello and Hulkenberg finished in the points too, in 7th and 10th.

Overall, considering the rush to finish this fabulous track and the weather that welcomed the actual race, the verdict can only be a good one without forgetting that could easily go in the F1 calendar as a night finish but without the sophisticated lighting that Abu Dhabi will offer us next month.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Humble Alonso takes lead in Korea”
  1. Cameron says:

    I don’t think that Hamilton would have had the same eagerness if he had been championship leader at the time. Be carefull not to confuse “true racing driver spirit” with tactics. Lewis had openly stated before the race that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  2. Oscar Joseph says:

    Gotta admit I’m with you Lee. If there’s one driver on the grid with “true racing driver spirit” it’s Lewis. For any doubters ‘google’ the time Lewis drove Senna’s McLaren. ‘Kid in a sweet shop springs to mind’ Despite Lewis’ success he has in my opinion remained humble and kept his desire to win………….. fairly!

    There were a couple of images during the race that speak volumes for me. Webber (Championship leader) going out recieved no reaction from Horner on the pit wall. Newey reacted by holding his head but Horner sat next to him unemotive. But when Vettel retired with engine failure both Newey & Horner sat with their heads in their hands! To anyone who has studied body language it is apparent despite Horners ‘support’ in post race interviews of Mark he dosn’t care a hoot. He’s eyes for Vettel only. Despite being a huge McLaren fan I would love Webber to bag the title then leave Red Bull ‘team’.

    Unfortunately I can see only one of my hopes coming to fruition………and it ain’t Mark bagging the title!

    • Zagott says:

      Hi Oscar and welcome back. I am pleased that you see it that way. Watching Lewis drive Senna’s car was simply an amazing sight.
      I am plased that you saw the body language at the Red Bull wall in Korea. In my opinion they never liked Webber to be the success story. The team is build purely around Vettel.
      It will be nice if Webber takes the title (unless Alonso does) and takes the number one somewhere else. I bet few teams will be queuing…

  3. Great blog. Got to agree with the Hamilton points mentioned above.

    1) Great to see such desire to go racing, albeit if it was because of the points deficit that needed making up. You’ve also got to admit that given his prowess in the wet he’d obviously be more keen to get racing than some others. (Incidentally, can you believe this was Alonso’s first F1 win in the wet?) It’s not without some irony that after urging a start, Lewis actually lost a place (to Rosberg)!
    2) Kid in a sweets/candy shop. Bang on.

    You’d have to say Alonso lucked in a smidge with this race (Webber’s crash, Vettel’s engine, Hamilton’s T1 error), but you’ve got to be there to get the results I guess – and that’s what he’s been doing lately. Far more consistent than his rivals… deserved drivers’ championship lead in my book.

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