You could be forgiven for questioning whether today’s race really was held at the Yas Marina Circuit, which normally proves quite uninteresting. This year we saw an incredible race, where the Championship leader came from the pit lane to finish 3rd, a few silly mistakes, the 8th different winner of the season, oh and a couple of Safety Cars.
From the front to the back, Sebastian Vettel: On Saturday evening, things looked terrible for Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who was disqualified from Qualifying as his car was only found to have 850 ml of fuel, rather than the 1 litre of fuel required for sampling.
He started the race from the pitlane and set about the task of making his way through the pack. Despite a damaged front wing, Vettel was able to storm the back of the pack and the Safety Car for the Karthikeyan and Rosberg incident played right into his hands, or it should have done.
While under the Safety Car, Daniel Ricciardo was trying to keep the heat in his tyre and a very frustrated Vettel obviously wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have done and ran into the DRS board, destroying his front wing. He was then forced to pit for a new front wing and soft tyres and have to begin his work again.
He stormed his way through the pack and found himself in second place, looking like he could challenge leader Kimi Raikkonen. Doubts then began to creep in about whether Vettel’s tyres would last the rest of the race, so Red Bull decided to pit him for fresh tyres.
Proving that he really can overtake, he overtook Jenson Button in a clean move and grabbed himself third place.
Vettel will leave Abu Dhabi leading the 2012 World Championship by 10 points over second place Fernando Alonso.
Kimi Raikkonen takes his first win of his return to the sport: There were a few times at the start of the year where Kimi Raikkonen looked like he should have taken the win, but seemed to be let down by a car which wasn’t quite there.
While he may have been ‘gifted’ the lead after Lewis Hamilton retired, he did a fantastic job of retaining the lead and fending off Fernando Alonso.
We also saw some of Kimi’s humour in the form of a couple of amusing messages over the Lotus team radio, where his engineer made the mistake of telling the Finn what to do. The response that came from the cockpit was a “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.”
Smart decision by Red Bull: As Vettel made his way through the field, he had to pass Lotus driver Romain Grosjean. Vettel initiated the pass off the track, while Lotus were talking to Charlie Whiting, Red Bull made the decision to give the place back to Grosjean to avoid a drive-through penalty. The reigning champion’s hardly lost out though, as Vettel regained the position corners later.
Pastor Maldonado’s clean drive:Pastor Maldonado had a great race, after gaining third place on the grid following Vettel’s
English: Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi Deutsch: Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
disqualification he made the most of the race, drove cleanly to finish in fifth place.
He’s really come on this year after gaining a bad reputation last year for repeatedly making silly and dangerous mistakes. It was nice to see the Williams challenging, taking on and getting past some of the big boys.
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