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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Alonso grabs F1 lead after chaotic Korean win

Alonso grabs F1 lead after chaotic Korean win

October 24, 2010 14:57 IST

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won a rain-hit and chaotic Korean Grand Prix to seize the Formula One championship lead on Sunday after both his Red Bull rivals failed to finish.

In an inaugural race delayed by a downpour, started, stopped again and then re-started behind the safety car after a 48 minute wait, the Spaniard could scarcely believe his good fortune.

Fernando AlonsoWith two races to go, and a maximum 50 points to be won under the new scoring system, Alonso celebrated his fifth win of the year to turn a 14-point deficit into an 11-point lead over Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber.

McLaren's 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton finished second, 14.9 seconds behind, and moved up to third overall with 210 points, 21 behind Alonso.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was third for Ferrari.

"Beautiful, beautiful. You and the whole team deserved this. Grande!" declared Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali over the radio.

Alonso, now with three victories in the last four races, cackled and whooped wildly in reply after taking the chequered flag a full three hours after the race had been due to start.

Webber, who had started in second place behind team mate Sebastian Vettel, crashed out on the wet and slippery track with the race proper barely started after what seemed an eternity behind the safety car.


"Totally my fault," the Australian, winner of four races this season, told the BBC after making his way back to the paddock. It was only his second retirement in 17 races.

"I got on the kerb on the exit of Turn 12 and it was a very slow-motion moment off the back of that kerb. Totally my mistake. Wasn't my day."

He was one of many to feel the pain, with only 15 of the 24 cars still running at the finish.

Vettel, who had seemed destined to win and take over the championship lead for the first time this season, was halted on lap 46 with a blown engine.

"You saw, the engine stopped and I couldn't do anything. We'll see, there are two races left," he told Italy's RAI television.

Webber must surely have had to suppress an inner whoop of joy, despite the blow for his team, even if Alonso now looks an even more dangerous foe and favourite for what would be his third championship.

Vettel fell to fourth on 206 with McLaren's reigning champion Jenson Button finishing out of the points and effectively relinquishing his title. The Briton is now 42 points off the lead.

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