McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took his third victory of the season as Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel crashed out in an intriguing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina. So who was your driver of the day?
Began the weekend strongly, topping the times in second and third practice as his McLaren team had some trouble-free running. Set the quickest time in qualifying, albeit in Q2 when times don’t count for pole, and finished second quickest after getting edged out by Vettel. Made a clean getaway and benefitted from Vettel’s puncture at the start to take the lead. Was closed down by Alonso in the first stint but came out in front after the first stops and from there controlled the race. It was his third win of the season and 17th of his career.
Was fifth, third and fifth fastest in the first three practice sessions respectively before out-qualifying his team-mate Massa by over half a second to start fifth. Made three places on the opening lap courtesy of Vettel’s misfortune and solid passes on Webber and Button. Kept pace with Hamilton in the first two stints but got baulked by a HRT coming into the pits at the final round of stops and was unable to jump Hamilton. Struggled for pace on the harder tyre in the final stint but held on for second to score his 10th podium of the season and close the gap to second-placed Jenson Button in the drivers’ standings to 10 points.
Topped the times in the opening practice session but lacked the pace to match team-mate Hamilton in the next two. Delivered a storming lap in qualifying to finish 0.009secs behind Hamilton. Starting third, he lost a place to Alonso on the first lap before a KERS problem hampered his progress. Managed the problem for the rest of the race and held off a charging Webber to finish third and score his 11th podium of the season.
For his overtaking as much as anything! Qualified fourth but lost a position to Alonso at the start. Ran a net fourth after team-mate Vettel’s retirement. Was glued to the back of Button’s gearbox but could not make a move stick. A problem at the first stop saw him lose time leading to the team moving him onto a three-stop strategy. Was very fast in the closing stages before pitting with one lap to go for the harder compound tyres and went on to finished fourth.
Started the weekend by announcing a multi-year contract extension to his Mercedes’ contract. Out-qualified team-mate Schumacher for the 15th time this season but dropped behind him at the start. Held his nerve to take the position back with a brave move before comfortably pulling away. Managed his tyres well and had good battles with Webber and Button to finish fifth, just two seconds behind Massa. He is now seven points ahead of Schumacher in the drivers’ standings with one race remaining.
A disappointing qualifying session saw him finish 16th fastest, five places behind Sauber team-mate Sergio Perez. Made up five places on the opening lap but lost three of those as he struggled for pace on the harder compound tyre. Found some speed when he switched to the softs and fought his way up the field, passing Perez for 10th. It was his first points finish in seven races and helped Sauber inch ahead of Toro Rosso in the battle for seventh pace n the constructors’ championship.