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Kimi Raikkonen wins Abu Dhabi GP, restores lustre to Lotus

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Kimi Raikkonen won the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, his first victory this year and since his comeback which makes the championship even more interesting and intense with two races left.

The 2007 world champion overtook Red Bull’s Mark Webber at the start to stay firm in second. He took the race lead on the 20th lap when McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton retired because of a fuel pressure problem.

The Finn then held off Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who finished second. Two-time defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel clawedfought his way back from the pitlane (start, penalized due to fuel irregularities in qualifying) to finish third, resulting in lead over Alonso cut to 10 points.

Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers’ championship with 255 points, followed by Fernando Alonso at 245 and Kimi Raikkonen at 198.
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“I’m very happy for the team and myself but mainly for the team,” said Raikkonen, who last won a race in 2009 with Ferrari at the Belgian GP. “It’s been a hard season for the team. Hopefully, this gives us more belief, not just for those who are doing the work but those who run the team.”

Alonso, who struggled for pace across the weekend, said he is thrilled to have repeated his second-place finish from the Indian GP after also starting down the grid in that race.

“I’m very happy. We were not so competitive this weekend and we started sixth with Sebastian’s penalty,” Alonso said. “We had to fight from the first lap, some good overtaking. Then, we had a very good strategy that gave us the ability to fight until the end of for the victory. In the last couple of laps, Kimi was little slow and we attacked. Second was the maximum. We will keep fighting until the end.”

Vettel said he always believed he would end up on the podium.

“I said to myself either we go full attack or nothing,” Vettel said. “That is what we did. We had a fantastic race. It was nice fight with Jenson (Button). He was difficult to pass. With him, I was really struggling. I just squeezed my way past. It was thrilling grand prix up and down all the time.”

The race featured at least a half-dozen crashes — the most dramatic when Nico Rosberg ran into HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan, flew over his car and crashed into a wall — and resulted in two safety cars being sent out on the track.

Starting from the pitlane, Vettel was in the middle of many of the mishaps early on in the race.

Moving quickly through the pack, he clipped Williams driver Bruno Senna and had to visit the pits for a new front wing. He then went off the track to pass Romain Grosjean and collided with Felipe Massa, causing the Ferrari driver’s car to spin. Despite all the mayhem, he moved up to fourth and then overtook Jenson Button with three laps remaining.

Lewis Hamilton’s earlier departure ended his bid for a second title as it did for Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, who pitted at one point to allow the German to move ahead of him into fourth. The Australian’s race ended in the 39th lap when he collided with Lotus Romain Grosjean, who stalled after crashing into Sauber’s Sergio Perez.

Through it all, the Iceman appeared to remain above the fray. In fact, he repeatedly chided team officials on the radio when they offered him advice. At one point, he responded “leave me alone” when told of how far he was ahead.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, results:

Leading Positions after Race (55 Laps): 1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus F1 Team 1hr 45min 58.667secs,

2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:45:59.519,

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1:46:02.830,

4. Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:46:06.454,

5. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams 1:46:11.674,

6. Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber-Ferrari 1:46:18.743,

7. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:46:21.563,

8. Bruno Senna (Bra) Williams 1:46:22.209,

9. Paul di Resta (Gbr) Force India 1:46:22.827,

10. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:46:26.130,

11. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:46:26.742,

12. Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:46:33.573,

13. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Caterham 1:46:46.431,

14. Timo Glock (Ger) Marussia 1:46:55.140,

15. Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 1:46:55.435,

16. Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Caterham 1:47:03.262,

17. Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) HRT-F1 1:47:10.445

Not Classified: Charles Pic (Fra) Marussia 41 Laps completed,

Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus F1 Team 37 Laps completed,

Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 37 Laps completed,

Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 19 Laps completed,

Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) HRT-F1 7 Laps completed,

Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 7 Laps completed,

Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India 0 Laps completed .

Many fans will agree that it was the best Abu Dhabi GP among the four held so far which was action packed.

Next up will be the Grand Prix of America which will be held at a new venue Austin, Texas at the Circuit of The Americas which is very similar to the Buddh International Circuit at India in ten days time.

Official Press Release from the FIA about Sebastian Vettel & RBR electing to start from the pitlane

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Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has been disqualified from qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and will start from the back of the field.
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The world championship leader, who had qualified third, did not have enough fuel in his car for a fuel sample to be taken.

Vettel stopped his car out on the track on his way back to the pits at the end of the session, as had happened to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in Spain in May.

It promotes his title rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari to sixth on the grid.

Vettel heads into the race with a 13-point lead over the Spaniard after winning the last four races.

The F1 rules require the car to return to the pits with at least one litre of fuel on board – running less fuel gives a performance advantage.

Red Bull have elected to start Sebastian Vettel from the pitlane,
Christian Horner: ‘Sebastian will start from the pit lane for tomorrow’s race’

Red Bull have withdrawn their car from parc ferme to investigate further.

Abu Dhabi FP1:Dominant Lewis Hamilton leads a McLaren 1-2

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in FP1 with a 1:43:285s and second was his teammate Jenson Button +0.333 seconds behind.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was third fastest with a lap time of 1:44.050s.

In P4 was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who split the two Red Bulls with a lap time of 1:44.366

Webber was fifth (+1,257), Schumacher sixth (+1.409), Maldonado seventh (+2.170),Rosberg eighth (+2.091), Bottas ninth (+2.062) and Raikkönnen tenth (+2.137).

Maldonado (7th/+2.170)  was faster than his Teammate Bottas(9th/+2.062) who drive for Williams.

Timo Glock was on Kovalainen’s tail with 1:47.891s for Marussia, as Pedro de la Rosa took 22nd for HRT with 1: 48.354s. Max Chilton’s first Friday run for Marussia yielded a solid 1:48.887s, while Ma Qing Hua’s return to the second HRT, in place of Narain Karthikeyan, was good for 1m 50.487s.

The session was fairly uneventful in terms of errors, with just Giedo van der Garde suffering an engine failure which stopped him from completing a single timed lap.

FP1 Results for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

01  L. Hamilton McLaren 1:43.285s (21Laps)

02   J. Button McLaren 1:43.618 +0.333 (19)

03   S. Vettel Red Bull 1:44.050 +0.765 (23)

04  F. Alonso Ferrari 1:44.366 +1.081 (21)

05  M. Webber Red Bull 1:44.542 +1.257 (22)

06   M. Schumacher Mercedes 1:44.694 +1.409 (23)

07  P. Maldonado Williams 1:45.115 +1.830 (26)

08  N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:45.194 +1.909 (19)

09  V. Bottas Williams 1:45.347 +2.062 (25)

10  K. Räikkönen Lotus 1:45.422 +2.137 (15)

11  F. Massa Ferrari 1:45.567 +2.282 (24)

12  N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:45.587 +2.302 (20)

13  K. Kobayashi Sauber 1:45.722 +2.437 (20)

14  R. Grosjean Lotus 1:45.743 +2.458 (20)

15  J. Bianchi Force India 1:45.769 +2.484 (22)

16  S. Perez Sauber 1:45.811 +2.526 (22)

17  D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:46.649 +3.364 (24)

18  J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:46.708 +3.423 (26)

19  H. Kovalainen Caterham 1:47.418 +4.133 (23)

20  T. Glock Marussia 1:47.891 +4.606 (21)

21  P. de la Rosa HRT 1:48.354 +5.069 (22)

22  M. Chilton Marussia 1:48.887 +5.602 (22)

23  Q. Hua Ma HRT 1:50.487 +7.202 (20)

24  G. van der Garde Caterham No time (3)

Preview: GP of Abu Dhabi 2012

The Abu Dhabi GP is always a highlight for photographes, because the race begins in the evening and ends in the night. So you can see some great lightning effects and have some great pictures of it. Otherwise are the races on the Yas Marina Circuit totally boring. The tracklayout is crap and with to many chicanes. This track has 5km (not really) run off areas so you can spin seven times and can be still third overall (happend to De La Rosa in Bahrain 2006). Or as Raikkönnen said in  2009: The first two corners are good, the rest of the track is s**t. The Abu Dhabi GP is this weekend.

 

 

The Abu Dhabi GP was taking place since 2009 and until today we have just two drivers that won it: Sebastian Vettel

 (2009 & 2010) and Lewis Hamilton (2011).

That were the Abu Dhabi GP’s from 2009-2011:

2009:

Vettel won the last round of the season after losing the title in Sao Paulo against Jenson Button, who was third in the race. Webber was second and maked a one-two po

dium for the energydrink. Hamilton was starting on pole and lead the race for 35 laps until he had a brake failure. Kamui Kobayashi was making fantastic moves on Raikkönnen and Sutil and it was the last race from BMW and Toyota. The fastest lap cam from Mr. Vettel.

Full results of the Abu Dhabi GP 2009:

1 15 S. Vettel Red Bull 55 1:34:03.414 194,863
2 14 M. Webber Red Bull 55 +0:17.857 +0:17.857 194,248
3 22 J. Button Brawn 55 +0:18.467 +0:00.610 194,227
4 23 R. Barrichello Brawn 55 +0:22.735 +0:04.268 194,081
5 6 N. Heidfeld BMW 55 +0:26.253 +0:03.518 193,961
6 10 K. Kobayashi Toyota 55 +0:28.343 +0:02.090 193,889
7 9 J. Trulli Toyota 55 +0:34.366 +0:06.023 193,683
8 12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso 55 +0:41.294 +0:06.928 193,447
9 16 N. Rosberg Williams 55 +0:45.941 +0:04.647 193,289
10 5 R. Kubica BMW 55 +0:48.180 +0:02.239 193,213
11 2 H. Kovalainen McLaren 55 +0:52.798 +0:04.618 193,057
12 4 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 55 +0:54.317 +0:01.519 193,005
13 17 K. Nakajima Williams 55 +0:59.839 +0:05.522 192,818
14 7 F. Alonso Renault 55 +1:09.687 +0:09.848 192,486
15 21 V. Liuzzi Force India 55 +1:34.450 +0:24.763 191,655
16 3 G. Fisichella Ferrari 54 +1 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 191,202
17 20 A. Sutil Force India 54 +1 Rnd. +0:03.530 191,082
18 8 R. Grosjean Renault 54 +1 Rnd. +0:00.969 191,050

 

 

2010:

The most exicitng Abu Dhabi GP ever. Alonso, Vettel, Webber and Hamilton had chances to become Formula 1 world champion 2010. Vettel was starting on pole and just had to win the race. Alonso had to be fifth to become the new champion, Webber was second in the drivers table,  but after a terrible Qualifying (P5) the chance to get the first australian champion since Alan Jones 1980 was gone. All drivers had to retire and Hamilton had to win the race if he want it to be champion, unrealistic. Alonso had a good Qualifying session (P3), he just had to keep this position in the race. But Ferrari had to destroy every chance of winning the champioship with a bad pit stop strategy. Alonso left the pits behind Petrov on P7, who drove the best race of his career. Vettel was leading from start to finish. Vettel was coming trough the finish line and then Christian Horner said: Wait Vettel, it’s not over yet (remember Brasil 2008, Massa vs. Hamilton?). After all cars from P4-P6 came ahead of Alonso, Vettel won his first champioship and won the Abu Dhabi GP for the second time in a row. Hamilton second and Button third. Schumacher had a scary collision  with Liuzzi at the start of the race and had to retire, a bad end of his first season since his retirement in 2006. Hamilton drove the fastest lap.

Full results of the Abu Dhabi GP 2010:

1 5 S. Vettel Red Bull 55 1:39:36.837 183,923
2 2 L. Hamilton McLaren 55 +0:10.162 +0:10.162 183,611
3 1 J. Button McLaren 55 +0:11.047 +0:00.885 183,584
4 4 N. Rosberg Mercedes 55 +0:30.747 +0:19.700 182,982
5 11 R. Kubica Renault 55 +0:39.026 +0:08.279 182,730
6 12 V. Petrov Renault 55 +0:43.520 +0:04.494 182,593
7 8 F. Alonso Ferrari 55 +0:43.797 +0:00.277 182,585
8 6 M. Webber Red Bull 55 +0:44.243 +0:00.446 182,572
9 17 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso 55 +0:50.201

+0:05.958

182,391
10 7 F. Massa Ferrari 55 +0:50.868 +0:00.667 182,371
11 22 N. Heidfeld Sauber 55 +0:51.551 +0:00.683 182,350
12 9 R. Barrichello Williams 55 +0:57.686 +0:06.135 182,165
13 14 A. Sutil Force India 55 +0:58.325 +0:00.639 182,146
14 23 K. Kobayashi Sauber 55 +0:59.558 +0:01.233 182,108
15 16 S. Buemi Toro Rosso 55 +1:03.178 +0:03.620 181,999
16 10 N. Hülkenberg Williams 55 +1:04.763 +0:01.585 181,951
17 19 H. Kovalainen Lotus 54 +1 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 177,567
18 25 L. di Grassi Virgin 53 +2 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 176,711
19 21 B. Senna HRT 53 +2 R
nd.
+0:03.353 176,612
20 20 C. Klien HRT 53 +2 Rnd. +0:13.472 176,216
21 18 J. Trulli Lotus 51 +4 Rnd. +2 Rnd. 173,879

 

2011:

It looked like another win for Vettel, but everything was coming diffrent. At the start everything was normal, Vettel driving ahead into Turn 1 but then in Turn 2 came the surprise. The air of the left rear tire has gone away, so Vettel  spun out and had to retire at the end of the first lap. Hamilton was leading the race and won it at the end, Alonso behind and third was Button. Webber was driving the fastest lap.

Full results of the Abu Dhabi GP 2011:

1 3 L. Hamilton McLaren 55 1:37:11.886 188,494
2 5 F. Alonso Ferrari 55 +0:08.457 +0:08.457 188,221
3 4 J. Button McLaren 55 +0:25.881 +0:17.424 187,662
4 2 M. Webber Red Bull 55 +0:35.784 +0:09.903 187,345
5 6 F. Massa Ferrari 55 +0:50.578 +0:14.794 186,874
6 8 N. Rosberg Mercedes 55 +0:52.317 +0:01.739 186,819
7 7 M. Schumacher Mercedes 55 +1:15.964 +0:23.647 186,071
8 14 A. Sutil Force India 55 +1:17.122 +0:01.158 186,034
9 15 P. di Resta Force India 55 +1:41.087 +0:23.965 185,283
10 16 K. Kobayashi Sauber 54 +1 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 185,017
11 17 S. Perez Sauber 54 +1 Rnd. +0:13.321 184,596
12 11 R. Barrichello Williams 54 +1 Rnd. +0:00.710 184,573
13 10 W. Petrow Renault 54 +1 Rnd. +0:03.852 184,452
14 12 P. Maldonado Williams 54 +1 Rnd. +0:53.333 182,786
15 19 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso 54 +1 Rnd. +0:01.305 182,746
16 9 B. Senna Renault 54 +1 Rnd. +0:08.470 182,484
17 20 H. Kovalainen Lotus 54 +1 Rnd. +0:03.345 182,381
18 21 J. Trulli Lotus 53 +2 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 180,338
19 24 T. Glock Marussia-Virgin 53 +2 Rnd. +0:29.272 179,444
20 23 V. Liuzzi HRT 53 +2 Rnd. +0:32.001 178,476