Make no mistake, Sebastian Vettel, Formula One's youngest world champion yet, deserves his title. Despite taking pole position for the start of the 2010 season's final round in Abu Dhabi, most pundits would have given him no more than an outside chance of taking the honours.
After all, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber were ahead on points going into the finale. In fact, even if Seb took the victory, all Alonso needed to do was to finish fourth. And, having qualified third, the Spaniard was in the pound seats.
All the permutations didn't faze Vettel, however. Like a true world champion, he focused on what he had to do, taking the race by the scruff of the neck and recording a dominant victory.
Behind him, Webber and Alonso seemed to lose their heads, throwing away their chances with foolhardy early stops. Granted, Webber's early change of tyres was a gamble. But Ferrari's call with Alonso was sheer suicide, the team concentrating on Webber and seemingly losing sight of the other players, like Petrov and Rosberg, who had made their early stops under the safety car that was deployed as a result of the Schumacher/Liuzzi contretemps on the first lap.
I see an Italian political party – the Northern Party – is callng for Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo's head because of the failed strategy. "Only in Italy," I hear you say. But maybe somebody – perhaps team principal Stefano Domenicali – should fall on his sword. Because, strategically, Ferrari is way off where it was in the halcyon days of Schumi and Ross Brawn.
Interesting that Brawn's decision to pit Rosberg under the safety car netted his driver and the Mercedes team the fourth place finish that Alonso needed to clinch the title!