The atmosphere at Yas Marina was thick with anticipation and excitement as the cars for the 2010 Formula 1 Championships’ final round got ready to race. With all attention focused on Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) to win the drivers’ championship, there was one factor not many fans took into account, and that was the fact that in pole position was Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber started in fifth position, with Alonso in third, and the stage was set for a race and a showdown that people are unlikely to forget.
As the cars pulled away from the start and spectators prepared for racing action, the first lap turned out to be a hair-raising lap, as Michael Schumacher ended up in a spin, which resulted in Vitantonio Liuzzi not being able to avoid the crash. Safety cars were brought out onto the track and both Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso used this time for pit stops. Unfortunately, this put them back in the middle of the contender field, and with Alonso stuck behind Vitaly Petrov for most of the race, his top four placing in the drivers’ championship began to slip away.
Sebastian Vettel on the other hand delivered a perfect performance, leading the race and managing to collect twenty-five points after completing his fifty-five laps, making him the 2010 World Champion. It was a second reason for the Red Bull Team to celebrate, as they managed to win the constructors title as well during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
At the end of the season, the Champion Standings and points were as follows: Sebastian Vettel (256), Fernando Alonso (252), Mark Webber (242), Lewis Hamilton (240) and Jenson Button (214). The constructor title and points saw RBR-Renault in first position with 498 points, followed by McLaren-Mercedes (454), Ferrari (386), Mercedes GP (214) and Renault (163).
Vettel expressed his joy at his magnificent achievement saying, “I can’t believe it. The car is a masterpiece. Senna and Schumacher have been champions and now it’s me. It doesn’t seem real. It was light when I started and will be light again by the time I’ve finished celebrating.”
Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel found themselves at the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings following Sunday’s Monaco F1 Grand Prix event in which the talented duo took first and second place respectively. As the sixth race of the season, the Monaco victory puts Webber and Vettel at the top of the standings, each with 78 points, however the Australian’s two-race victory puts him in the lead, with the German having claimed first place once this season. Webber started off the race in pole position maintaining his determination to stay ahead of the pack, following up on the success he had enjoyed in Spain just a week previously, where he claimed fastest lap, pole position and first place. He is also the first Australian to win at Monaco since Jack Brabham took the checkered flag in 1959. Driving for Ferrari, Spaniard Fernando Alonso fought his way from the pits to claim seventh place in the iconic street race, putting him at third place in the season.
This is Mark Webber’s fourth season with Red Bull and it appears that he is on a long-awaited winning streak. In his inaugural season with the team he scored just 10 points, finishing the 2007 season in twelfth place. The following year saw somewhat of an improved performance by Webber, with 2009 being his most successful F1 season – finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship with a total of 69.5 points. Certainly, 2010 has started out well for the Red Bull team, with both its drivers delivering superb performances.
Prior to joining Red Bull, Webber had spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons driving for Williams, but with limited success. So it may have come as a surprise to many that Frank Williams has been quoted as saying: “When we had him, our car was a disappointment, and we felt that he was part of the problem, but he probably wasn’t actually – with hindsight.”
There are many variables with auto racing and those who participate in it will readily agree that it truly is a team sport, with every member of the team contributing to success. The Red Bull team is on a roll right now and fans are no doubt eager to see how the season progresses.
Vitantonio “Tonio” Liuzzi was born in Locorotondo, Italy, on 6 August 1981. He began kart racing at the age of 9. During his time as a kart racing driver he won the Italian Karting Championship (1993) and the Karting World Championship (2001), amongst other successes.
In 2001 Liuzzi debuted in single-seater racing, taking second place in the German Formula Renault championship. The following year he competed in the German Formula Three championship, where he came in ninth overall. During the year he also test drove for F1 team Williams. In 2003 he was signed by Red Bull’s F3000 team. He ended the season in fourth position. Continuing on in F3000, he joined the Arden team for 2004 and took the title that season.
Vitantonio Liuzzi made his Formula One debut in 2005, racing for Red Bull, sharing his position on the team with Christian Klien. He scored his first point during his first race at San Marino that year. In 2006 Liuzzi enjoyed his first full F1 season racing for Toro Rosso. He earned the team’s only point at the United States Grand Prix, though his consistency was praised. The 2007 season with Toro Rosso was challenging and Liuzzi scored once at the Grand Prix in China. He joined Force India as the third driver for the 2008 season. In 2009 he raced the last five rounds for Force India. He became a full-time driver for Force India in 2010.
Sebastian Vettel was born in the city of Heppenheim, Germany, on 3 July 1987. The racing-bug bit Vettel at a young age and he began racing karts when he was five. At the age of seven he began taking part in the mini klasse kart league. In 2001 he won the German and European Junior Karting titles.
Then, in August of 2002, Vettel began taking part in the selection process at Valencia’s Formula BMW ADAC Racing School, where he met with much success. 2003 saw Sebastian Vettel taking second place in the Formula BMW ADAC championship and winning the rookie trophy. He followed this up in 2004 by winning the Formula BMW ADAC championship with 18 victories and podium finishes in all of the 20 races.
Sebastian Vettel advanced onto the Formula Three Euroseries in 2005, driving for ASL Mucke Motorsport. By the end of the season he came in fifth with 64 points and was named the best rookie driver. He was rewarded for his success by being permitted to test drive the Williams FW27 F1 car. 2006 was a busy year for Vettel. He finished the F3 Euroseries as runner-up, debuted in the World Series by Renault, and was BMW Sauber’s reserve and Friday test driver. A test driver for BMW Sauber in 2007, he substituted for Robert Kubica at the US Grand Prix, ending the race in eighth position. He gained his first ever F1 World Championship point and was named the F1’s youngest point scorer. At the end of July 2007, Vettel joined Scuderia Toro Rosso, and began racing for them in the Hungarian Grand Prix, with exceptional results for the team.
2008 was Sebastian Vettel‘s first full F1 season. During the season he became the youngest winner in F1 with a triumph at Monza. By the end of the season he had finished in eighth overall, with a total of 35 points. For the 2009 season, Sebastian Vettel was moved to the Red Bull Racing team. A thrilling season, Vettel scored the team’s maiden pole and win in China, as well as taking first place at Silverstone and Suzuka. After gaining victory at Abu Dhabi, he came in second in the drivers’ championship. It was announced that Vettel’s contract with Red Bull would extend to 2011.
Australian Formula One driver Mark Alan Webber was born on 27 August 1976 in the New South Wales’ town of Queanbeyan in Australia. His father a motorcycle dealer, Mark Webber began racing motorcycles at a young age. In 1991 he decided to start karting, winning the New South Wales state championship two years later in 1993. The following year he went on to compete in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, where he finished 14th overall. 1995 saw greater success for Webber, who gained a number of victories and finished in fourth place.
Mark Webber moved to the United Kingdom in 1995, so as to further pursue his career in the world of auto racing. That same year he took part in the Formula Ford Festival for the Van Diemen team and took third position. In 1996 Webber came in second overall in the British Formula Ford Championship and third in the Formula Ford Euro Cup. At the end of 1996 he was signed by Alan Docking Racing to begin his foray into Formula Three racing in 1997. His Formula Three season was successful, ending the season in fourth position overall. Webber was signed to the Mercedes team for the 1998 FIA GT Championship. He met with further triumph that year, taking the runner-up position after five wins. 1999 saw Webber again racing for AMG, but the season was cut short after aerodynamic problems with the vehicles.
In 2000 Webber made a move to Formula 3000 racing. Racing for Eurobet Arrows, he came in third overall in the FIA International Formula 3000 series. A talented driver he went on to take second place in the 2001 F3000 season, driving for Super Nova Racing. 2001 also saw Mark Webber test driving for Benetton Formula One.
Mark Webber’s Formula One career began in 2002. Competing for the Minardi team, with teammate Alex Yoong, he impressed many in his debut season. Webber decided to join the Jaguar F1 team for the 2003 season, gaining 17 of the team’s 18 points and coming in tenth overall in the standings. He carried on with Jaguar in 2004, though it was a difficult season with few highlights to speak of. 2005 saw Webber joining the Williams team, though it was not quite what was hoped for, though he did qualify with seven top-five grid slots and gained a podium position in Monaco. Still with Williams in 2006, he was able to score just seven points for the season. Webber had a trying 2007 season with the Red Bull team, ending on 10 points and 12th place overall. 2008 was an improvement gaining 21 points and finishing 11th in the standings.
2009 was Mark Webber’s most successful F1 season. He finished fourth in the drivers’ championship with 69.5 points, racing for Red Bull. Amongst his achievements for the season were eight podium finishes, three fastest laps and two race wins. He continues racing with Red Bull for the 2010 season.