• Brazilian Grand Prix

Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 to seal constructors' title

ESPNF1 Staff
November 7, 2010

Sebastian Vettel led home team-mate Mark Webber for a Red Bull 1-2 as their team wrapped up the constructers' championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

More importantly for the drivers, it keeps both of their title hopes very much alive heading to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso finishing third ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The result means that Alonso leads Webber by only eight points with Vettel a further seven behind his team-mate. Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth, is now very much an outsider for the title as he is now 24 points behind Alonso. But Jenson Button's championship challenge is over after he finished fifth and dropped to 47 points off Alonso.

Both Vettel and Webber made short work of pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg at the start, and Alonso also found his way past the Williams within a few laps of lights going out. But Lewis Hamilton was unable to do likewise and found himself stuck behind the young German, losing valuable ground on his title rivals until the Williams pitted.

The pit stop window was opened early by Jenson Button, who stopped for hard tyres in an attempt to leap the cars ahead of him that were bottled up behind Hulkenberg. The strategy worked and he finished fifth by clocking some quick laps on his new tyres while the softer rubber on the cars ahead grained and lost grip.

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher went the opposite way with strategy by putting up with the slow pace behind Hulkenberg and then setting quick laps once the Williams had pitted. It also worked, although not as well as Button's strategy, and saw Rosberg take sixth ahead of Schumacher in seventh.

Midway through the race Webber launched an attack on Vettel as they came up behind traffic, but he never got the gap under 1.5 seconds. On lap 58 the race took on a new dimension as Tonio Liuzzi had a bizarre accident at turn two and brought out the safety car. However, with backmarkers scattered among the frontrunners, Vettel's lead was safe.

Hamilton, Button, Schumacher and Rosberg were the only drivers outside the top three on the lead lap and used that advantage to pit for a new set of tyres and rejoin without losing position. However, the fresh rubber didn't give them the advantage they had hoped for at the restart and Hamilton didn't trouble Alonso.

Hulkenberg led the drivers a lap down in eighth, with Robert Kubica and Kamui Kobayashi rounding out the top ten and taking the final points. Local drivers Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa had disastrous races and dropped from their top ten grid positions to 14th and 15th respectively. Barrichello suffered a puncture after a slow first pit stop and Massa had to pit twice early in the race to tighten up a loose wheel nut.

The drivers' championship now goes to Abu Dhabi with a Red Bull one-two led by Webber securing the title, but a Vettel victory putting the contest back in Alonso's hands.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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