Does McLaren now concentrate fully on Hamilton? Do Red Bull do the same with Webber, at Vettel's expense? Christian Horner has just said "that'd be wrong" but there's still a ridiculous number of issues to analyse and debate - and our TV team in Korea are doing so right now on the F1 Forum. That remains available on this page, in
the race report,
and on the red button. Bye all. What a day.
McLaren's Jenson Button, cackling darkly, appears to concede the championship he is defending:
"I can't do anything but laugh, that was an hysterical race. I just had no grip. I was pretty much the slowest car out there. It was a pretty horrific day. The race should have been stopped earlier. It was way too dark to drive a Formula 1 car. I'm not really [still in the championship]. People would need to have massive problems for me to win. I am not really in it any more."
Here's the top three drivers. Winner Alonso, who has won four of the last seven races now. "This is the best race of the year for the team [Ferrari]," he states coolly. "Two cars on the podium and being competitive all weekend. That's the first wet race I've won, so I'm very happy. But nothing has changed really. We all know the new points system. Anything can happen." Runner-up Hamilton looks shattered. "Still a great result, I'm very happy with it. Ferrari had a little more grip than us so it was about bringing the car home."
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel tells BBC2:
"It's obviously not a nice moment. But it was a tricky race for all of us. To be on top all the time and controlling the race, there was nothing we could have done better. We did more or less, a perfect job. The race is still on."
So, it's not only Abu Dhabi where we have day-night racing. "That evoked memories of night-racing in Le Mans," says Eddie Jordan on BBC2. "How these guys drove in that, and with the prior conditions with the heavy rain, it was remarkable". Alonso , Webber , Hamilton , Vettel , Button  is your top five in the drivers' championship. All are still in contention with just two races, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, of the 2010 season remaining. What a first race for Korea. Would you agree, that was a very special grand prix?
Lara Loo texts:
"What a race. Very happy I set my alarm to watch this. Bring on the next two races..."
Three hours after race was due to start, and so much has changed. Fernando Alonso unleashes a Doctor Evil-sounding giggle over his radio as he screams "avanti! Avanti!" at his euphoric Italian team. Second-placed Lewis Hamilton is told: "Great job. Treacherous conditions, and that's a great result." Hamilton and the new drivers' championship leader Alonso - and Massa, who finished third - towel off and emerge into the black night onto the podium. Anthem time.
FERRARI'S FERNANDO ALONSO WINS THE KOREAN GRAND PRIX Lap 55:
Final lap now. Strain those eyes. Hope you've been eating your carrots. Here's two-times world champion Alonso...
"Cars really starting to struggle now for fundamental grip," says Martin Brundle, now on BBC2. "This is not done yet." But it's Lewis who is struggling more than Alonso. He's 10 seconds adrift. Team-mate Jenson Button showing real skill to move up the midfield. Incredibly dark out there. The podium is lit up like an outdoor disco.
Dominic in London texts:
"When was the last time a team had the front row in qualifying, then both DNF?"
"I'm more confident now than I was before this race that I'm going to win this world championship," said Fernando Alonso after the British Grand Prix on 11 July, when he was 47 points adrift of the lead. That kind of belief is inherent. It cannot be taught. He's a very steely character, the Spaniard. Hamilton now 2.8 seconds behind Ferrari's race leader. We are going to get the full race distance.
Astonishing drama. The F1 world gasps with disbelief. What a race. What a season. Alonso would leap to the top of the drivers' championship if it stays like this. But Hamilton still has a chance...
VETTEL'S ENGINE HAS BLOWN. HE'S OUT. ALONSO LEADS! Lap 45:
And, triggered by an automatic sensor, the light has just gone on in Jonathan Legard's commentary box. "I cannot see the braking into Turn One," says Sebastian Vettel over his radio. Take note Charlie Whiting! The German, who should not think about an acting career in Hollywood when he hangs up his steering wheel, wants this to finish now. "The light level is fine," pants Lewis Hamilton. Hilarious.
We are going to have full championship points, because that's now 75% of the race completed. Still only likely to have another half-hour, perhaps less, due to light. Given full points, Button - if he finishes 15th - will stay in the championship. But he'll be hanging by the thinnest thread of unravelling cotton. Renault's Vitaly Petrov is out. Head lolling listlessly on his shoulders, he looks gutted. Starting to get dark down on the pit lane, Ted Kravitz reports...
"We want to think about protecting the tyres a little bit," Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is told over his team radio. "Not too aggressive through Turns Seven and Eight."
TV COVERAGE SWITCHES FROM BBC1 TO BBC2 NOW... Lap 37:
Awesome sight. Vettel, with a gap of just over a second, is chucking his Red Bull around like it's a rag doll. That car is in a different league. Alonso breathing down his neck though.
Mini-disaster for Hamilton. The safety car comes in - and Alonso sweeps past him into second through Turns One and Two as Lewis's wheel fail to grip the asphalt almost take off for flight. Massa doesn't pass him though, so he's still set for a place on the podium. Button in 12th, no, worse as Sutil passes. If it finishes like this, the defending champion cannot retain his title. He's down in 15th now.
Now then. Lewis Hamilton says he might have to pit again. Problems with degradation on his front tyres. Vettel, driving superbly, still leading from the McLaren driver. But...
From an anonymous texter:
"Well done Mark Webber. Not many drivers are prepared to take responsibility for an accident."
Vettel and Alonso have pitted. The Ferrari driver has a slight problem! Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. Yes. Hamilton moves into second place. He's a street-fighter that boy. Lucky and brash and brave. Ah. A wheel nut flew Alonso's car. Going to be dark soon.
Hamilton, Massa and Schumacher all pit. Lewis away very sweetly. We've got another safety car. Buemi has come off. Kubica and a Force India - Sutil - graze each other in the pits. Ouch.
Red Bull's Mark Webber, who spun out of the race on lap 19, tells BBC Sport:
"Totally my fault. 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. And I collected Nico as well. It was a long one; I thought I had enough to catch it. Postions are not important - the points are the most important thing. This is my second non-finish of the year. There are still two races to go, I'll do my absolute best."
Alonso clocks the quickest lap. Vettel says he doesn't think he can made the distance on these [full wet] tyres as he's sliding around too much. Lordy, this is getting tight. Enjoying yourselves?
But Hamilton's just clocked the new fastest lap of the race. Team-mate Button, lying sixth, comes in for intermediate tyres. He's had a shocker though. Comes out in traffic that's worse than the North Circular on a Friday night. Nightmare for the reigning champion.
Wow. Brave on the brakes, Michael Schumacher overtakes Lewis Hamilton at Turn Three. the old master still has it.
Webber will be hoping for half points i.e. that we don't complete 42 laps in the allocated two hours. We'll see. Touch and go, but should be possible. Kobayashi has been running wide but corrects himself pretty quick. Trulli is back out after pitting for a new front wing. Lucas Di Grassi is out.
David Herron from Washington texts:
"When Webber crashed it was noticeable he didn't press the brake pedal after the first hit. It looked like he was hoping to drift back, and take one of his title-rivals with him..."
Having cleaned up the debris near Turn 13, the safety car comes in at the end of lap 23. Vettel has been flying, by the way, and off he goes. More light rain forecast in five to 10 minutes.
So, Webber hit the wall and spun across the track between Turns 12 and 13 - also collecting unlucky Rosberg on the way. No excuses, it seemed. Is that pressure taking its toll? The upshot is that Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton is your top three. If it finished like that, Vettel would lead the championship with 231 points. Alonso would stay second, with 224 points. And Webber drop down to third with 220 points. If. Massa fourth in Korea, Button fifth...
Crazy drama. Webber loses grip. Awful for him. Vettel and Alonso will be smiling like Cheshire cats. Leader Vettel was 8.1 seconds ahead. But we're now under the safety car, again.
CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER MARK WEBBER SPINS OUT OF THE RACE! Lap 18:
Instant excitement. Schumacher nails Kubica on Turn One to move into eighth. Hamilton gets passed by Nico Rosberg! Button and Massa are at it too. Still lots of spray out there.
THE SAFETY CAR GOES IN AFTER 17 LAPS!
And I must also inform you that our television coverage switches to BBC2 at 0930 BST, which is really 45 minutes away. We're about to go racing. Phew.
Renault's Robert Kubica says he doesn't think we should start yet. incredible. Lewis Hamilton appeals over his radio: "It's almost intermediate [tyre conditions]. It's really dried up". The deluge of texts I am receiving is heavier than the earlier rain. To paraphrase, get on with it! Here we go...
Lewis Hamilton, it appears, is the only driver desperate to race. His McLaren engineers tell him. Imagine the adrenalin coursing through his veins.
Ted Kravitz reports that Ferrari, unlike Hamilton, still consider these conditions dangerous. No different to earlier, they say. Science says the rain is set to stop now. Either they have a race in the wet - or they don't. This is becoming agonising. Do not go anywhere.
And yet another one behind the safety car. Hamilton wants to get going but here's Mark Webber: "I don't see a big difference to be honest". This is getting tactical. Red Bull want to hold what they have. McLaren's 2008 world champ Hamilton is gagging for the chance to steal points. Intrigue. Five minutes more rain forecast.
"C'mon Charlie, get on with it," seems to be the overriding emotion now. Schumacher off because he was testing his car, and the track, to the full. "Engaging his grey matter while others doze," is how Brundle puts it. This track is on what used to be a swamp.
Leader Seb Vettel says the water drainage is better off the straights, but there's still some there. Michael Schumacher has a little skiddy moment. Lewis Hamilton. What a warrior! "The conditions are good," he tells his race engineer.
Neil from Nottinghamshire texts:
"They should just race proper. That's what they get paid milllions for. They are meant to be the best 24 drivers in the world."
Conditions improving, yes. But is the drainage there?
0808: "LITTLE BIT BETTER BUT STILL VERY, VERY WET..."
Reigning champ Jenson Button tells us. You can see the expression on his face without seeing it, if you know what I mean. We must complete 42 laps, within the allocated two hours, for the drivers to be able secure full points. On lap five now. No dramas yet, no offs.
0805: KOREAN GRAND PRIX RESTARTS ON LAP FOUR...
And once again, we're behind the safety car. Remarkable. Looks like the 100,000 fans have stayed at the track despite conditions fit for penguins. Now. What will the drivers be thinking?
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"Renault's Vitaly Petrov looked doleful as he said he was very frustrated after qualifying 15th in Korea - which means he drops back to 20th because of a penalty for his part in a crash in Japan. The Russian, 26, isn't confirmed for Renault next season and the word is that the chances of retaining his seat hangs on whether Renault need a driver who can bring the team additional funding. Petrov wants to prove his talent and says: 'It was just the stupidest mistake in qualifying and it can cost you everything - all the work that you and the engineers did before you came here. It is always a very bad feeling.'"
0754: THE RACE WILL RESTART IN 10 MINUTES!
The safety car will do more than one lap. And wet tyres must be used. "It's unpredictable," says Nico Hulkenberg, before racing off to his car. Sit tight. We're racing. What are your predictions now?
All very professional and focused as Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali explains that, indeed, he does expect the race to go ahead. The problem is that the rain is standing on the surface - it has no way to seep through the tarmac - and it creates the spray which blinds the drivers, but...
Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher, driving for Mercedes, tells BBC Sport:
"You don't see anything, and it's really dangerous down the straights. You have no way of judging the speed or even seeing the car in front of you. [But] certainly the race is looking likely. We need another 15 minutes of patience."
Red Bull's championship leader Mark Webber:
"Visibility is the issue. Obviously, I am pretty lucky at the front. But it's still tricky there. Further back then sixth or seventh it is practically impossible. At the run to Turn Three there is quite a lot of water and obviously a lot of concrete. I think the best thing is to wait a while and see how we go. The water is sitting very evenly around the track in one small layer - the grip layers are not crazy but when you can't see anything it is very difficult to have a car race. A nice boring dry race is what you want, if you have the points in the bag. But this is a world championship and you have to deal with different conditions. Let's see what happens."
Listen up folks. If they can't start the race, half-points will be awarded based on the order of how it finished - would mean, in essence, be the order in which they qualified. Don't want to speak too soon but, equally, wanted to let you know. The upshot would be that all five title contenders coming into this race - Webber, Vettel, Alonso, Button, Hamilton - would remain in contention going into the penultimate race in Brazil in two weeks' time. Plot thickening like a warm winter broth.
Hmmm. From McLaren's Woking HQ, David Coulthard tells us that Lewis Hamilton told his engineers that grip wasn't too bad - the implication being that he might want to race. It's a fine balance between 100% and the opportunity to get crucial championship points. But the former, ultimately, is all that matters. Here's Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock: "It is just not possible to see anything. It is quite difficult there is no real visibility. I was blind behind Jarno Trulli and we were going very slowly, so imagine what it would be like at full race speed. At the moment there is no chance."
OK, here's Christian Horner. "The weather system we saw says 40 minutes [until the rain stops]. It was the right decision to stop the race. These cars aren't designed to drive round at slow speeds. There's a lot of aquaplaning," he tells us. "The biggest concern is daylight." It's set to go dark, officially between 0930 and 1000 BST - that's 1730 to 1800 local time.
Right. Problems. Challenges, shall we say. It's set to rain for at least the next hour. Cars are back in the garages. Hopefully we'll start sometime soon. But given the magnitude of those comments from Button and Alonso. Anyway. The key is to complete two hours racing. We might not get 55 laps. Sit tight...
0718: DRAMA IN KOREA. RED FLAG. THE RACE IS STOPPED
"It's completely impossible," says Fernando Alonso. "It's the worst conditions I've ever driven in." Here's Jenson Button. "We're driving completely blind. I can't see the front of my tyres."
0713: "IT'S LIKE A LAKE ON THE STRAIGHTS!"...
Jenson Button wails over his team radio. "It's so, so wet. I think it's going to be a while before they 'start' this one". So I remind you and stress, we're under the safety car. Could be five or 10 laps, speculates Rob Smedley. Incredibly grey in Korea. "Have they ever had a whole race under the safety car?" laughs a colleague...
0710: THE INAUGURAL KOREAN GRAND PRIX IS GO-GO-GO! 0707:
The rain looks set to stay then... But but but! We discover from Seb Vettel's race engineer that its intensity is set to lessen for the first 10 minutes of the race - so this could be as bad as it gets now. On reflection, Brundle still thinks the race should be started 'properly'. Though he does err on the side of caution with respect to safety. It's a tricky one. Stop biting them fingernails. Umbrellas everywhere. Is Steve McClaren in that crowd...
KOREAN GRAND PRIX WILL START BEHIND A SAFETY CAR 0658:
So that means an increased likelihood that we'll start under the safety car, and that the lights are to go out at 0710 BST (1510 local time). The rain has set in, by the way. The circuit is in a coastal region, out on a peninsula. So it looks like it might not blow over. This race could be a real lottery. Get your wellies on.
0656: RACE START HAS BEEN DELAYED BY 10 MINUTES... BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"Force India have yet to resolve their 2011 driver line-up with Adrian Sutil key to their decision. The team are understood to want to keep Sutil but he is waiting to see if he receives any better offers from the likes of Renault or Williams. 'I want to feel good in a team and first to move teams I need some options,' says Sutil. 'I still believe this team is capable of top 10. Let me think about it.' With reserve driver Scot Paul di Resta strongly tipped for a 2011 seat, Vitantonio Liuzzi might find he is the one to lose out. Liuzzi said here that he doesn't feel he has been able to show his true talent. 'From the outside people don't really understand what is happening inside the team. [Team boss] Vijay [Mallya] knows exactly what has happened this year and the team is fully behind me. This year has been quite tough. Sometimes you need to create your own luck.'"
Fat raindrops hammer into the umbrellas of the anxious crowd. FIA race director Charlie Whiting talks to the drivers in hushed tones. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says it would be "sensible" to start the race under the safety car. This is tense.
Brundle bumps into 1980 world champion Alan Jones, who is in Korea acting as the driver adviser on the stewards' panel. Jones says: "I think it's going to get busy. There's going to be plenty of action. As you well know, Martin, in these conditions anything goes." David Coulthard, I should tell you, is back in the United Kingdom at Woking HQ. They're busy doing frantic last-minute analysis, as you'd expect. Brundle grabs championship leader Mark Webber
for a quick chat: "There's nothing we can do about it [the rain]. I've got the same opportunity as everyone else," he says. And, crucially: "The track is not too bad. The grip level is ok."
0642: MARTIN BRUNDLE HAS BEGUN HIS GRID-WALK!
For starters, he thinks it will be "scandalous" if they start the race under the safety car. Why? Not enough standing water there...
Eddie Jordan on BBC1 predicting that Michael Schumacher will relish these wet conditions. He starts in ninth. I double checked that on our live leaderboard [and live standings] table, which is back with you on this very page. Keep an eye on that throughout the race as it changes in 'real time'. Do also have a gander at our
live driver tracker for an instant snapshot of where every driver is
on the circuit any given time. Raining hard now. Sky colour of dirty washing-up water.
BBC Radio 5 live F1 commentator David Croft on Twitter:
"Here comes the warm up show. Sailors, girls in big white dresses and kids on roller skates. Lots of massive drums & men in yellow hats... plus old men on roller blades, more kids with ribbons, and Koprean rock music. This is fab, it's like It's a Knockout, bring on the Belgians."
Jake - not Kake as I earlier called him! - and Eddie saunter over for a chat with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. He seems pretty poker-faced. "Communication between pit wall and car is going to be crucial. More rain is forecast, a very tricky surface that no one has experienced in the wet before," he tells us. "It's going to be a very tricky afternoon."
Is that a zimmer frame, Bernie?
Leaderboard and standings>0622: Formula 1's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone celebrates his 80th birthday on Thursday. What staying power. Jean Todt's been praising him this weekend - no, not for retaining his youthful good lucks and a tremendous head of hair for an octogenarian - but for letting him get on with his job as head of the sport's governing body, the FIA, after completing his first year in charge. "He's got on with the other things that needed looking after," said the former Ferrari boss. "It's good for us and good for him I think."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"Rubens Barrichello is a man who has witnessed a few title fights in his 18-year career, including his own with Jenson Button at Brawn Grand Prix last year. The wise Williams driver has been dishing out words of advice to the five 2010 contenders. 'The problem of the world championship is you become anxious and best thing for a driver to do is to keep focused on what you normally do. Silly things like if you arrive at the race track or have meetings at a certain time, keep it the same. You might say I'll get up earlier because I'm fighting for the championship - but already you've made a problem. If you do change a little bit you might not feel that good and you can start asking questions. I can see them all doing quite well.' His tip for the title? 'If I had a Red Bull I'd be very cool about it.'"
Lots of pressure on McLaren shoulders today. Their English drivers Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, and Jenson Button, the defending champion,
say they must win the final three races to keep their 2010 title hopes alive.
Makes sense. Hamilton is 28 points behind leader Webber, with Button three points further back. Jake and Eddie chat to Felipe Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley in the Ferrari garage. "It's going to be very slippy today," winces. "We're hoping for a proper start." Meaning no safety car...
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"It has been raining here at the Yeongam circuit since Saturday evening and that could have a significant effect on the race. The drivers starting on the dirty side of the grid - all the even numbers from Mark Webber in second backwards - had been moaning that the grip was so bad that they feared they would go backwards off the start. Renault's Robert Kubica, who starts in eighth, had even said: 'I would rather start in P11.' But now the dust and dirt has been largely washed away they could have a better chance of overtaking into Turn One. That could be crucial to Webber's hopes of protecting his championship lead as Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in third is a real danger off the start."
Hour to go before the lights go out - you know what that means. Coverage has started on BBC1. Jake is back at the helm after his Commonwealth Games sojourn. "Nature is playing it's joker card," says the man Humphrey. Just to confirm, it's wet. "Can you imagine what's going to happen here?" muses Eddie Jordan [in an outrageous 'can't get a good TV signal' shirt]. "We're probably in for the most exciting, enthralling race of the season." Big day for South Korea.
Mopko, the nearest town to the new Korean Formula 1 circuit
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"Hello Chris. Can I present you with a special guest in Korea who has been out-and-about to get us a picture of what Mokpo - the nearest city to the circuit - is actually like? Yes? Ok then, here is a special report from Kate Slotover: 'Known throughout Korea for its tasty octopus and dried fish products, Mokpo is an easy, laid-back kind of town. Cultural highlights include some fine museums of which the Maritime is impressive. Mokpo is still a busy fishing and trading port today and you see octopus everywhere. The highlight of Mokpo, and highest point at 228 metres, is Mount Yudalsan. From the peak, Ildeungbawi, there is an impressive view of the city, the lights twinkling at dusk, while on the other side the island-dotted ocean stretches away into the distance.'"
BBC Formula 1 presenter
Jake Humphrey on Twitter:
"Ok, VT's watched, show discussed, script written, shirt ironed...see you at 6am BBC One people...! PS - still raining ;-)"
Yes, Red Bull might be in control. First and joint second in the title race and with Sebastian Vettel and championship leader Mark Webber locking out the front row. But - sorry, I'm having to roll out a cliché here - anything can happen
here in this Korean race. It's the great unknown. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, and the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, know that - and will be breathing down their necks uncomfortably. What are your predictions? To get involved use
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BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in South Korea:
"Welcome to the first-ever Korean Grand Prix. In 2006 it was announced that a race would run here and ever since there has been a sense that F1 is entering the unknown. Well, now we are here and we've had fun learning about the nuances of a new track, a new culture and a new take on 'last-minute'. The track was given the green light less than two weeks ago and as we arrived it was frantically being finished by teams of construction workers with the help of the military. But after four days here, F1 is once again entering the unknown. Steady overnight rain has washed the dirt - and the rubber - off the top layer of asphalt and the teams are worried about a slippery track, a greasy pit lane, whether to fit wet or intermediate tyres and interruptions from the safety car. It is going to be exciting, I promise."
Greetings folks. Well, we've made it through the delays in construction. The incessant rain. Been given a relatively last-minute safety licence. It's been a long journey to the inaugural Korean Grand Prix. But it couldn't be set up more nicely. Three races of 2010 to go. This championship is Red Bull's to lose, no?