Mark Webber went into the final round of 2010 with more points than Sebastian Vettel.
But a top-drawer drive by Vettel meant he clinched a championship that seemed destined for Fernando Alonso.
And an indifferent performance from Webber cost him his chance of winning the title.
|Sebastian Vettel||Mark Webber|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’39.394 (-0.531)||1’39.925|
Quickest in the first and third practice sessions, he set his tenth pole position in 19 races on Sunday.
He brushed off an attack from Lewis Hamilton at the start. After that his lead was rarely under threat, apart from around laps 11-15 when his super-soft tyres went through a graining phase, allowing Hamilton to get within a second of him.
Hamilton’s pit stop took him out of the equation, leaving Vettel to a reasonably comfortable win. His team didn’t reveal Fernando Alonso’s troubles to him until after he crossed the line, to help him stay focussed:
Vettel has won three of the last four races – and it will be remembered that he was leading in Korea before his engine failed. After some high-profile mistakes earlier in the season, he ended it in superb form.
Disappointed at qualifying only fifth, half a second slower than Vettel.
Never happy on the super-soft tyres, he lost five seconds to Vettel in the four laps after the safety car came in, coming perilously close to damaging his car against the turn 19 barrier.
That prompted an early pit stop – one which inadvertently led to Fernando Alonso’s undoing. It didn’t do Webber’s chances much good either – after passing Jaime Alguersuari he spent the rest of the race stuck behind the Ferrari driver.
Eighth place meant he fell to third in the championship having led it for six races during the course of the season:
It was a big day and we had the chance to do something incredibly unique, but in the end it didn?óÔé¼Ôäót turn out for us.
Earlier in the race we knew we had to roll the dice and go for it with the strategy, but it left us exposed and Fernando (Alonso) covered us. I tried my absolute hardest and we did everything we could, but in the end it wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót enough.
You?óÔé¼Ôäóve got to take your hat off to Sebastian, he’s done a great job all year and to lead the Championship at the last race, he?óÔé¼Ôäós got the timing right and I fully congratulate him on the World Championship.
I was in with a chance of winning the Championship until the last race, so I must have been doing something right and in the end there are a lot of positives.
2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Drivers’ and teams’ end-of-season photographs
- Alonso’s role in Ferrari strategy revealed in pit messages
- Hamilton: McLaren learned a lot in 2010
- Button vows to address qualifying weakness
- Vettel ends season on a high to snatch title
- Ferrari hit back at criticism of race strategy
- McLaren rediscover their form at final race
- New engines help Renault to best result of 2010
- Schumacher not blaming Rosberg for crash
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images