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What a season!
Red Bulls show early signs of dominance - we look back at the 2010 F1 season
Posted Dec 28, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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The Formula One season in 2010 was one of the greatest of recent times, if not ever, and here we take a look back across a year that dazzled and saw a new F1 drivers’ champion crowned.
The season well and truly belonged to the Red Bull team and, in particular, young German maestro, Sebastian Vettel who went on to win his first world title at the final race of the season.
Red Bull were dominant throughout and their drivers were the guys to beat in qualifying as they commanded the front row throughout the race calendar. They also enjoyed the most race wins with Vettel earning five and Mark Webber taking four from the 19 races in 2010.
The team, based in Milton Keynes in the UK, had the best car from the very first race and despite a slow start, it was left to the other teams to try and catch up and eventually that just wasn’t the case.
So let’s take a look at the individual races and see where the championship was won and lost. In part one we look at the first nine races, starting in Bahrain.
This was a shockingly boring affair and it looked as if the new rules had taken so much away from the sport and that it would be a procession of cars throughout. Luckily that wasn’t the case.
Vettel took the first pole of the season from Felipe Massa with Fernando Alonso in third and Lewis Hamilton in fourth. Unfortunately for Vettel, who finished fourth, he got it a little wrong and Alonso was able to take advantage winning the race by 16 seconds from Massa with Hamilton third. It looked at this point as though the Ferraris would be the dominant force.
Going to Australia, Vettel once again took pole with Webber second but neither driver could make it count with the German retiring after 25 laps and Webber settling for ninth in his home land. But it was a good day for reigning champion Jenson Button as he earned his first win of the season. Robert Kubica was second with Massa third. The season was well and truly up and running and the action was in full flow.
Malaysia saw the Red Bulls take the win again with a Vettel one-two from Webber. They had dominated qualifying with Webber sat in pole and Vettel third. Nico Rosberg took third in the race.
The Chinese GP was just as thrilling with Vettel again on pole for the fourth successive race. However, this was a great day for the McLarens who, until this point, hadn’t competed consistently. They enjoyed a stunning one-two with Button getting his second win and Hamilton taking second spot. Rosberg was third.
Webber spoilt Alonso’s home GP as he won the Spanish GP from pole with a stunning drive. Alonso was second with Vettel third whilst Michael Schumacher, on his return to the sport, enjoyed his best finish with a fourth spot.
Monaco, as always, was one of the races of the season with Webber again winning from pole but he was just 0.448 seconds ahead of teammate Vettel with Kubica in third. There was only ten seconds separating the top 11 drivers, whilst only 12 finished on this difficult and romantic circuit.
Moving to Turkey, the McLarens returned to the points with another one-two, this time Hamilton leading home Button with Webber in third. Webber had enjoyed his third straight pole for Red Bull.
The same result was enjoyed in Canada as Hamilton led from pole, the first non-Red Bull pole of the season, with a stunning drive. Button was second with Alonso third.
In race nine, the European GP in Valencia, Vettel was back on form with his fifth pole of the season and his second win of the season. He led home the McLarens with Hamilton second and Button, racing from seventh on the grid, making up the top three.
At that point in the season, it was clear that the Red Bulls would be the guys to beat but the McLarens and Ferrari were doing their best to compete at the half way stage.