Home » Headline, Reports

The Highway Code Guide to 2010

By Mav | 7 Dec 2010 | 9 Comments | 9,364 views

Well, I thought I’d take a moment to summarise an eventful 2010 season which saw Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull victorious after 19 races interspersed with drama and controversy…

First off, there were the usual crop of new faces in the class – this year it was Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Lucas di Grassi, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna making the big step up. There were also some old faces as Pedro de la Rosa joined Sauber but it was Mercedes that had everyone gossiping – seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher making a comeback. Inevitably, there were also some missing faces, most notably Kimi Raikkonen who’d gone for a drive around the countryside. And USF1 never even turned up.

A faulty spark plug in Bahrain cost Sebastian Vettel victory in an otherwise uneventful season opener that had F1 fans worried about what the season might have in store.

Melbourne and the first wet race of the year produced a tactical victory for the reigning World Champion as Jenson Button called the conditions just right to leap frog the majority of the front-runners. As Sebastian Vettel ended up stranded in the gravel after the loss of torque drive to his front left wheel, the McLaren driver clinched the win.

Sebastian Vettel finally got the win that slipped away from him in the first two races but the main talking point that caught most people’s eye in Malaysia was Lewis Hamilton’s efforts to lose the slipstreaming Vitaly Petrov.

At the start, Fernando Alonso went before the lights went out. At the finish, Jenson Button once again called the tactics right to win an eventful Chinese Grand Prix but it was the action in the pitlane that had everybody talking. First Alonso passed his team mate in the entrance lane and then Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were released in to the pitlane side-by-side, the two racing side-by-side down the lane until Hamilton yielded.

Once again in Spain, the pole-sitter was victorious but behind Mark Webber it was all happening. First Sebastian Vettel suffered a split brake disc which sent him fron the gravel, although he recovered and nursed the car to the finish. Then, on the penultimate lap, second-placed Lewis Hamilton suffered a blown tyre which uncerimoniously dumped him through the gravel and into the tyre wall.

Mark Webber was the man on the top step of the Monaco podium but everyone was talking about Michael Schumacher’s late overtake on Fernando Alonso after the safety car pull-in on the last lap. Schumacher thought it was opportunistic, the stewards thought otherwise…

Even with the McLaren pair breathing down their necks, it all looked like it would be a dominant Red Bull 1-2 in Istanbul until Sebastian Vettel tried to pass Mark Webber only to turn in to the side of his team mate. Vettel crashed out, Webber dropped behind the McLarens, and nobody at Red Bull could explain why…

It was all about tyre strategy in Montreal, as every driver except the two Red Bulls and Robert Kubica started on the soft compound. The result was a race of changing fortunes. However, as the grip improved as more rubber went down, the soft tyres lasted better than Red Bull had predicted, they were to lose out as McLaren recorded their second consecutive 1-2 finish.

While his team mate was victorious, it was Mark Webber’s crash, which left him staring at the sky over Valencia after being launched off the back of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, that stole the headlines.

While Mark Webber was disappearing off with victory as Silverstone, the safety car was to have a profound affect on the eventual destination of the Drivers’ Championship. It meant that Fernando Alonso was dumped from 4th to 16th as he served a drive-through penalty but also allowed Sebastian Vettel, who dropped to the back of the field after a disastrous first lap and about to be lapped, to catch the mid-field. The result was an eventual 7th place and 6 crucial points for the German while Alonso left empty handed.

After leading the field away from third on the grid at Hockenheim, Felipe Massa handed the lead over to team mate Fernando Alonso following not-so-cryptic messages from the pitwall. In the end, Ferrari picked up no more than a fine from the stewards as the WMSC chose not to increase the punishment.

Red Bull returned to winning ways in Hungary with Mark Webber but it was Michael Schumacher’s agressive defense, pushing the charging Rubens Barrichello towards the pit wall, that had most people talking.

Mixed weather conditions ensured a lively Belgian Grand Prix. Even race winner Lewis Hamilton wasn’t immune in an otherwise perfect race, sliding off at Rivage and missing the tyre wall by the smallest of margins. His lead at the time was sufficient to ensure he retained the lead but Fernando Alonso wasn’t so lucky, spinning out and into the wall.

Ferrari’s season picked up on home territory with the first of two consecutive victories for Fernando Alonso as his bid for a third title gathered momentum.

Victory for Fernando Alonso in a Singapore Grand Prix marked by a series of collisions and accidents. However, the most spectacular involved the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen when he damaged his fuel system after coming together with Sebastien Buemi. As he returned to the pits, the rear of the car burst into the flames – the Finn bravely tackling the fire himself armed with a fire extinguisher.

A washed-out Saturday in Japan saw the qualifying session moved to the Sunday morning in what turned out to be a perfect day for Sebastian Vettel as he clinched pole and led away to comfortably win the race.

Everyone was wondering whether it would even happen but in the end it was the weather rather than the construction work that delayed the Korean Grand Prix. It was worth the wait, though, as the drivers’ title was thrown wide open as Mark Webber crashed out and Sebastian Vettel’s engine gave up.

A Red Bull 1-2 at Interlagos saw Red Bull wrap up the Constructors’ Championship.

The season finale with four drivers still in a position to claim the crown in Abu Dhabi. In the end, it was Sebastian Vettel who clinched the drivers’ title after Fernando Alonso found himself down in the midfield and unable to overtake Vitaly Petrov.

Tagged: , ,
Bookmark and Share

9 Comments »

  • Keith Collantine

    Brilliant idea for an article.

    I’ve never seen that sign with a car with a campfire on its roof before, though!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • saltire

    Brilliant idea for an article.

    I’ve never seen that sign with a car with a campfire on its roof before, though!  

    Isn’t it risk of explosion or something along those lines?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • .
  • Kai

    Very clever. I really enjoyed this. Maybe I just like pictures. :)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • Marina

    Very nice! The visual learner inside me is smiling.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • Steven Roy

    Very original. I don’t know about anyone else but I found myself looking at the signs for each section and trying to think what incidents they would refer to.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • Maverick (author)

    I’ve never seen that sign with a car with a campfire on its roof before, though!

    “No vehicles carrying explosives.”
    Probably worth 1000 points in your ‘I Spy’ book :-)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .
  • .
  • Pat W

    What a fantastic idea for a post :)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

    .

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.