Ferrari wins in Korean carnage

Seoul, South Korea - Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won a rain-drenched and chaotic Korean 2010 GP to seize the F1 championship lead on Sunday after both his Red Bull rivals failed to finish.

In an inaugural race that was 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.

With 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, 14.9sec 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.

'My fault'

"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.

2010 Korean F1 GP results

1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)  hr48min20.810
2 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) +14.9
3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) +30.8
4 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP) +39.6
5 Robert Kubica (Renault) +47.7
6 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India) +53.5
7 Rubens Barrichello (Williams) +69.2
8 Kamui Kobayashi (BMW Sauber) +77.8
9 Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) +80.1
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Williams) +80.8
11 Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) +84.1
12 Jenson Button (McLaren) +89.9
13 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus) +1 lap   
14 Bruno Senna (HRT) +2 lap 
15 Sakon Yamamoto (HRT)+2 laps     
Adrian Sutil (Force India) +9 laps
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +10 laps
Vitaly Petrov (Renault) +16 laps
Timo Glock (Virgin) +24 laps
Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) +25 laps
Lucas di Grassi (Virgin) +30 laps
Jarno Trulli (Lotus) +30 laps
Mark Webber (Red Bull) +37 laps
Retired. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) +37 laps

Drivers’ points
1 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 231
2 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull - 220
3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren - 210
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 206
5 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 189
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari - 143
7 Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault - 124
8 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 122
9 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes - 66
10 Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - 47
11 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - 47
12 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - 31
13 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - 21
14 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault - 19
15 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - 18
16 Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - 8
17 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Sauber - 6
18 Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Sauber - 6
19 Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - 3
20 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - 0
21 Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - 0
22 Karun Chandhok (India) HRT - 0
23 Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - 0
24 Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - 0
25 Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - 0
26 Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - 0
27 Christian Klien (Austria) HRT - 0

Constructors’ points
1 Red Bull - 42
2 McLaren - 399
3 Ferrari - 374
4 Mercedes - 188
5 Renault - 143
6 Force India - 68
7 Williams - 65
8 BMW Sauber - 43
9 Toro Rosso - 11
11 Lotus - 0
11 HRT - 0
12 Virgin - Cosworth 0
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