2010 F1 World Championship

  • 2010
  • F1
  • F1 World Championship
Champion
Other seasons
Other 2010 Championships
Drivers' Champion
Constructors' Champion
Most Wins
Races
19

This was a classic campaign that came down to a four-way contest for the title at the final round in Abu Dhabi. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso arrived as overwhelming favourite that day but a poor strategy call left him mired in the midfield and handed a first world title to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing.

The Red Bull RB6 was the class of the field and Vettel a worthy champion – 10 pole positions and five victories (including winning the last two rounds) were just enough to crown the youngest champion to date. However, poor reliability and an increasingly terse relationship with team-mate Mark Webber also characterised his campaign.

The Red Bulls clashed in Turkey as Vettel moved for the lead and the parent company’s perceived favouritism for the German soured Webber’s mood despite four victories of his own. A crash during the inaugural Korean GP lost Webber the championship lead and ultimately proved fatal to his cause. This was to be as close as the Australian would come to the title. He also survived a frightening 160 mph end-over-end crash at Valencia after being launched while lapping Heikki Kovalainen.

Fernando Alonso inherited victory after Vettel retired in Bahrain on his debut for Ferrari but his challenge initially faded as the team introduced a (Red Bull-copy) exhaust blown diffuser and (McLaren-copy) “f-duct”. Already 47 points behind by Silverstone, Alonso’s German victory next time out was thanks to Felipe Massa accepting team orders despite that practice being officially banned. A run of another three wins in four races handed Alonso a last-race points advantage that he ultimately could not convert when stuck behind Vitaly Petrov’s Renault.

McLaren’s aforementioned “f-duct” allowed the driver to manually reduce drag on the straights by covering a vent. Innovative though it was, it was outlawed after just a season. World Champion Jenson Button made the surprise move to partner Lewis Hamilton in the team. Many questioned the wisdom of going head-to-head with F1’s fastest driver in what was thought to be his private domain. Two victories in the first four races helped vindicate Button’s decision. Hamilton starred once more to lead the championship before incidents at Monza and Singapore dented his hopes.

Reigning champions Brawn GP were acquired by, and re-branded as, Mercedes-Benz although there would be no repeat of the previous season’s heroics. Ross Brawn tempted Michael Schumacher out of retirement but he failed to sparkle against F1’s new generation or team-mate Nico Rosberg – being out-qualified 15-4.

Renault was acquired by Genii Capital and Robert Kubica’s three podium finishes (including second in Australia) further enhanced his reputation as a future star. Petrov clashed with Schumacher on a couple of occasions but his major contribution was holding off Alonso to hand Vettel the title.

Both Toyota and BMW had withdrawn from F1 and the latter handed its team back to Peter Sauber. A supply of Ferrari engines was hastily arranged and Toyota-refugee Kamui Kobayashi emerged as the category’s most fearless over taker. Rubens Barrichello joined Williams-Cosworth and became the first driver to start over 300 GPs. Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg impressed during his rookie campaign, including qualifying for the Brazilian GP in a surprise pole position.

Three new Cosworth-powered teams were lured into Formula 1 on the promise of resource restrictions which were never introduced. Lotus (later Caterham), Virgin (soon to be Marussia) and Hispania Racing Team (formerly Campos) all struggled and it was four seasons before any of them scored a point. They had all closed their doors by the end of 2014 although Marussia returned as Manor Grand Prix at the start of 2015.

Aside from blown exhausts and the “f-duct,” the teams agreed to drop KERS for a season and refuelling was banned for the first time since 1993.

Races

Round Race name Date Circuit Laps Winner

1

Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

14/03/2010

Sakhir

49

Fernando Alonso

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

2

Qantas Australian Grand Prix

28/03/2010

Albert Park

58

Jenson Button

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

3

Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

04/04/2010

Sepang

56

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing

4

Chinese Grand Prix

18/04/2010

Shanghai

56

Jenson Button

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

5

Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica

09/05/2010

Catalunya

66

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing

6

Grand Prix de Monaco

16/05/2010

Monte Carlo

78

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing

7

Turkish Grand Prix

30/05/2010

Istanbul Park

58

Lewis Hamilton

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

8

Grand Prix du Canada

13/06/2010

Montreal

70

Lewis Hamilton

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

9

Gran Premio d'Europa Telefonica

27/06/2010

Valencia Street Circuit

57

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing

10

Santander British Grand Prix

11/07/2010

Silverstone

52

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing

11

Grosser Preis Santander von Deutschland

25/07/2010

Hockenheim

67

Fernando Alonso

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

12

ENI Magyar Nagydij

01/08/2010

Hungaroring

70

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing

13

Grand Prix de Belgique

29/08/2010

Spa-Francorchamps

44

Lewis Hamilton

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

14

Gran Premio Santander d'Italia

12/09/2010

Monza

53

Fernando Alonso

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

15

Singtel Singapore Grand Prix

26/09/2010

Marina Bay

61

Fernando Alonso

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

16

Japanese Grand Prix

10/10/2010

Suzuka

53

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing

17

Korean Grand Prix

24/10/2010

Yeongam

55

Fernando Alonso

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

18

Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil

07/11/2010

Interlagos

71

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing

19

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

14/11/2010

Yas Marina

55

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing

3,128

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