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Alonso takes championship lead after Red Bull debacle

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-10-24

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso moved to the top of the driver's championship on Sunday after winning a chaotic South Korean Grand Prix in which both Red Bull drivers failed to cross the finish line.

AFP - Fernando Alonso has taken over the lead of the Formula One world championship after winning a chaotic Korean Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Spaniard took his third victory in the last four races for Ferrari after pole-sitter and race leader Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing was forced to retire with a blown engine on lap 46 of the 55-lap race.

The inaugural Grand Prix in Korea finished in near-darkness after a rain-delayed start and a red flag after just three laps because of the soaked track.

Australian Mark Webber, the world championship leader heading into the first race at the new Yeongam circuit, crashed on lap 19 when running in second position to Vettel. It was Webber's second non-finish of the year.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton finished second for McLaren, 14 seconds adrift of Alonso, while Brazilian Felipe Massa rounded out the podium for Ferrari.

Seven-time world champion German Michael Schumacher equalled his best result of the season with a fighting fourth place for Mercedes, while Poland's Robert Kubica was fifth for Renault.

Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India), Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello (Williams), Japan's Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), his German teammate Nick Heidfeld and Germany's Nico Hulkenberg (Williams) rounded out the top 10 points-paying positions.

With two races remaining, Alonso has 231 points, while Webber is second with 220. Hamilton's second place elevates the 2008 world champion to third position in the title race with 210 points, while Vettel slips to fourth on 206.

It was a miserable afternoon for defending world champion Jenson Button, who finished 12th for McLaren after an early pit stop compromised his race.

The 30-year-old Briton is now 42 points behind Alonso with two races and a maximum 50 points available.

 

Date created : 2010-10-24

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