Gallery: Vetttel's first title and Alonso's heartbreak

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Gallery: Vetttel's first title and Alonso's heartbreak
Federico Faturos
By: Federico Faturos
Translated by: Rachit Thukral
Dec 7, 2018, 8:11 AM

Sebastian Vettel staged a major upset in the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win his first Formula 1 title, while pre-racing favourite Fernando Alonso was left disappointed.

 

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Photo by: LAT Images

Four drivers went into the final round of the season in contention of the title. Alonso led the standings with 246 points, followed by Mark Webber (238), Vettel (231) and Lewis Hamilton (222).

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Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

Vettel led the field at the start of the race from pole position, while Jenson Button passed Alonso to demote the Spaniard down to fourth.

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Photo by: LAT Images

Later on the opening lap, Michael Schumacher spun while trying to pass teammate Nico Rosberg and was hit by an unsighted Vitantonio Lizzui. The incident brought out the safety car and forced many drivers to change their strategies. In a move that turned out to be crucial for the outcome of the championship, Vitaly Petrox pitted for his one and only stop.

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Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

Webber had to pit early on lap 12 when the right rear tyre of his Red Bull made light contact with the barriers. He came out in 16th place, behind Jaime Alguersuari, with the title increasingly out of his sight.

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Ferrari called in Alonso to cover off Webber's pitstop, with the Spaniard emerging out of the pits ahead of his Red Bull rival

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Photo by: Charles Coates / LAT Images

However, Alonso got stuck behind Petrov, who had already pitted under the safety car, and proved hard to pass by on a track that offers limited opportunities for overtaking.

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Photo by: Charles Coates / LAT Images

Vettel, meanwhile, was cruising out at front, doing his part in hope of a maiden title

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Photo by: Drew Gibson / LAT Images

Ultimately, Alonso was powerless against Petrov's defensive skills, spending nearly 40 laps behind the Russian without a way through.

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That allowed Vettel to take the championship with a fine victory in Abu Dhabi.

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Photo by: Charles Coates / LAT Images

Interestingly, the German had never led the championship until the end of the final race - when it mattered the most.

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Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

Vettel was crowned the youngest F1 champion at the age of 23 years and 135 days, displacing Hamilton, who was alongside him on the podium, from the top spot.

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For Alonso, who led the championship coming into the finale, it was a bitter heartbreak. The Spaniard missed out a chance to win a title on his first season with Ferrari.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel Shop Now
Author Federico Faturos