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Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Nov 2012   |  3:59 pm GMT  |  381 comments

Kimi Raikkonen won a thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, arguably one of the most exciting races of the season, holding off Fernando Alonso in the final laps to win for the first time since Spa 2009 and giving Lotus its first win since the 1987 US Grand Prix victory for Ayrton Senna.

Raikkonen survived two safety cars, which cut his lead, to become the eighth different race winner of this 2012 championship. He went from 4th to first, Alonso from 6th to second and Vettel from 24th to 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton controlled the first part of the race from pole position but retired once again, as he did in a similar position in Singapore.

Amazingly Sebastian Vettel held onto a 10 point championship lead after a stunning drive through the field from last to third place, passing Jenson Button in the closing stages. He started in the pit lane, survived several scares, made an extra stop compared to the rest and still came away with a result.

Raikkonen’s win was built on a strong qualifying performance and a great start. He qualified fifth, which became fourth after Sebastian Vettel was penalised and jumped up to second place at the start.

“Not much (emotion) really,” said Raikkonen. “I’m really happy for the team, It’s been hard times lately and I hope this can turn around the tables. I’m happy, but there’s nothing to jump around about. We’ll have a good party and tomorrow when we feel bad after a long night we will remember why we feel like that.”

It was a thrilling roller coaster of a race, particularly exciting as far the the championship contenders were concerned with Alonso and Vettel both having swings of good luck and setbacks.

Vettel’s final result showed the sheer performance advantage of the Red Bull over the majority of the field, as Vettel was able to twice drop to the back of the field and still come through. It also silenced critics who think that Vettel lacks ability to overtake.

It was by far the most entertaining of the four races held at Yas Marina Circuit to date, with some great overtaking moves by Vettel and Alonso in particular. An early safety car bunched the field up, but Vettel had a torrid time, crashing into the barriers as he swerved to avoid a Toro Rosso under the safety car.


Sebastian Vettel was having to come through the field having been disqualified from qualifying for a fuel load irregularity and chose to start the race from the pit lane, which allowed him to make some changes to the set up of the car and a longer 7th gear to help with overtaking. It gave him a straight line speed gain of 5mph to 198mph.

The track temperature at the start of the race was 34 degrees, with quite a strong gusty breeze.

At the start, Kimi Raikkonen jumped from fourth to second as Webber made another poor getaway from the line and he challenged Hamilton for the lead on lap 2 as the McLaren s. Meanwhile Alonso jumped Button for 5th place and then passed Webber for 4th on the back straight in a stunning first lap.

Meanwhile a collision between Hulkenberg and Senna eliminated the Force India car, while Di Resta got a puncture and Vettel damaged his front wing in the opening exchanges.

In the opening stint, Hamilton led Raikkonen, with Maldonado third, Alonso fourth, Webber, Button, Massa, Perez, Kobayashi and Schumacher the top ten.

Hamilton settled into a high rhythm, the McLaren lapping at 0.5s a lap faster than Raikkonen. Alonso was tucked up behind Maldonado waiting for his opportunity.

On lap 9 the Safety Car was deployed for only the second time in the four years at Yas Marina after Nico Rosberg had a heavy accident, smashing into the back of Narain Kartikeyan’s HRT. The Mercedes was launched and passed over the top of Kartikeyan’s car, passing close to the Indian driver’s head. It was the third accident in four races for Rosberg.

Under the Safety Car there was a curious incident where Sebastian Vettel almost collided with the rear of Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso as the weaved to heat the tyres. Vettel hit the barriers causing more damage to the front wing of the Red Bull.

He pitted on lap 13 for soft tyres and a new front wing. But Vettel came out behind Grosjean who was at the back after a puncture in a quick Lotus, also trying to make its way through the field.

At the restart Alonso had trouble with cold tyres and had to defend from Webber, as the leading trio broke free at the front.

Vettel attacked Grosjean but the Frenchman came back at him and Vettel finally made the pass stick on the second straight, he went outside the white line to do it and had to give the place back then retake it.

At the front Hamilton returned to his rhythm with Raikkonen three seconds behind. But Maldonado and Alonso slipped back, the Ferrari not finding the pace it had before the restart.

On lap 20 Hamilton retired from the race, the engine dead. This gave Raikkonen the lead and lifted Maldonado to second and Alonso to third.

On lap 22 Alonso passed Maldonado for second place as the Venezuelan struggled with the tyres. He set off after Raikkonen.

There was a classic moment of Raikkonen radio on lap 23 as his engineer offered to keep him updated on the gap to Alonso, “No! Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!” shouted Raikkonen.

On the same lap, Webber made a mistake passing Maldonado and went into a spin and dropped back behind Button, Massa and Perez.

As the pit stop approached, Button passed Maldonado for third and Perez passed Massa for 5th.

On lap 27, Massa and Webber made contact, as Webber went off the track to overtake Massa spun and immediately pitted for medium tyres.

Alonso came into the pits on lap 29, moving to the medium tyres.

Vettel caught Webber on lap 31 and the Australian was told, “If Sebastian gets a run don’t fight him, ” Red Bull pitted Webber at the end of the lap just in case, releasing Vettel, who was now second on tyres which had done 15 laps.

Pirelli estimated that the soft tyres could do 36 laps, so Vettel was pushing his luck to try 40.


After the stops, Raikkonen led on the medium tyres, from Vettel, Alonso, Button, Grojean. There was a significant gap between these two which meant that Vettel could push hard and if he were to run out of tyres, he would be able to stop and slot into that gap behind Button.

He did so on lap 38, taking another set of used soft tyres and it worked to plan, then another Safety Car came out to hep him again, this time for an accident involving his own team mate Webber who was caught up in an incident involving Perez, Di Resta and Grosjean. The incident eliminated Webber.

Di Resta and Perez were fighting for position, Perez went off track and came back on making contact with Perez, which left Webber nowhere to go.

The race restarted on lap 43, with 12 laps to go, Alonso again struggling to get the tyres up to temperature.

On lap 46 Vettel attacked Button for third, but he wasn’t able to find a way past initially. He did make it stick soon after however, although he admitted that Button had been very hard to pass.

One final note; Mercedes had its fourth race with no points, although Rosberg was going well before the accident and Schumacher was in the points before he got a late puncture.

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, Yas Marina Circuit, 55 laps

1. Raikkonen Lotus 1h45:58.667
2. Alonso Ferrari + 0.852
3. Vettel Red Bull + 4.163
4. Button McLaren + 7.787
5. Maldonado Williams + 13.007
6. Kobayashi Sauber + 20.076
7. Massa Ferrari + 22.896
8. Senna Williams + 23.542
9. Di Resta Force India + 24.160
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 27.400
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 28.000
12. Vergne Toro Rosso + 34.900
13. Kovalainen Caterham + 47.700
14. Glock Marussia + 56.400
15. Perez Sauber + 56.700
16. Petrov Caterham + 1:04.500
17. De la Rosa HRT + 1:11.5

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381 Comments
  1. Miha Bevc says:

    Who’s the driver of the day? Raikonen or Alonso? Or Hamilton?

    1. James Allen says:

      Really tough one today between all the top 3 drivers on the podium. All were outstanding in their own ways

      1. Miha Bevc says:

        All were outstanding, agree. But common. This one is not “really” tough. But I guess this is discussion for tomorrow.
        I bet it will be a long one.

        Exciting race, Kimi deserved the win and I’m really happy for him. Disappointed by Webber… Too bad for Hamilton, he dominated the weekend and should have won.

        Can’t wait for the last two races!

      2. KRB says:

        I assume you mean Vettel should be DOTD? I disagree, going with Kimi. He got up into 2nd by the first corner, and pulled away from those behind him. Yes, he inherited the lead from Lewis, but that was always going to have to be the way for a Lotus to have a chance at a win this year, I believe.

        Kimi has been MR CONSISTENCY this year … finished every lap of every race. He’s only had one really bad race in the Lotus, and that was China when they misjudged the tires. But everywhere else he’s driven the car provided to him to its natural maximum position.

      3. Aj says:

        This is the kind of the thinking I can’t stand. The questioner asked about the driver of the day not mentioning Vettel, nice reply from James though saying the podium finishers including Vet.

      4. James Allen says:

        I think he was being sarcastic! Based on the view that VET is never DOTD

      5. Miha Bevc says:

        Yes, I was being sarcastic. Sorry for that, James. I think Vettel takes DoD, of course…

      6. Miha Bevc says:

        Yes, I was being sarcastic. Sorry for that, James. Vettel of course deserves DoD in my opinion…

      7. James Allen says:

        I think KIMI this time. Winning in a Lotus, great effort, great rhythm in the race and for once a really good quali performance

      8. dc says:

        Kimi gets my vote for ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!’

      9. John says:

        275 comments to this post says it all, congratulations Iceman, welcome back to the top step, first of many more I hope. And “Leave me alone…” is the icing on the cake. Well done. :)

      10. W Johnson says:

        This race perfectly describes the season so far…..

        Another new race winner and so swings in the fortunes of drivers competing for the WDC;

        Hamilton a strong WDC contender except for the fact he has been let down by McLaren reliability;

        Alonso hanging in again from a low qualifying position;

        More ups and downs from Vettel but also showing his metal as a top F1 driver;

      11. Honkhonk says:

        Why should Vettel win DOTD? The guy made mistakes during the race in his two collisions causing damage to his front wing. The only reason he is even on the podium is the safety cars and Hamilton’s demise. Vettel didn’t have an error free race, all we saw was the true pace of the Red Bull. Kimi or Alonso deserve it more. I’d say Kimi for pipping his teammate in qualifying and just for the pit to driver radio conversations. Alonso was impeccable as usual but I do wish he’d give up on the championship…he just does not have the car to fight. Vettel for Luckiest Driver of the Day.

      12. JR says:

        “Alonso was impeccable as usual but I do wish he’d give up on the championship…”

        That is not going to happen, is only thing we can be 100% certain for the last two races.

      13. Ant says:

        “Alonso was impeccable as usual but I do wish he’d give up on the championship”

        what do you mean he should give up?? the fact he is still in the fight is testimony to what a brilliant driver he is……..

      14. Sergio says:

        “impeccable”
        So that how you call driver, who made mistakes on restart and start.

      15. Merlinghnd says:

        Well David Coulthard also made the podium ( or very close to it!) and had a very good day. Interviewed Pat Fry and Alan Permane together from Ferrari and Lotus (very timely) on the grid plus Prost, had a good race commentary, had a good podium interview despite two cases of swearing (how cool is Kimi!!) and having rose water poured on his head. Never batted an eyelid, what a pro!!!

      16. dc says:

        never thought about him. <Now that you mention def between Kimi and DC

      17. Msta says:

        Yeah but DC undid all of his good efforts by asking KR about his ‘emotions’ on the podium

      18. Vinola says:

        Button. He was hard to pass.

      19. KRB says:

        An absolutely crazy race.

        56th straight race in the points for McLaren, but of course we know that doesn’t tell the story. A case of 25 lost today, more like.

        Massa now up to 8 straight races in the points, the 3rd longest streak by anybody this season. Considering his season, that’s a bit surprising. Up to 7th in the DWC now for him, which pushes Grosjean out of the top 8, and pushes Lewis to the very back of the bottom stat below (Race Finishes by the Top 8 in the DWC).

        Massa very unlucky with Webber today. I think Webber should’ve got a penalty for rejoining the track in a dangerous fashion. He had cut the chicane, he should’ve lifted and made sure he rejoined behind Massa. Massa perhaps messed up getting into a spin, but I’d put that down to him perhaps expecting Webber to do the right thing and lift and slot in behind, especially when Massa was coming out of a slow corner which Webber had cut and maintained speed through.

        8 different winners this season … when was the last time we had as many? It’s been awhile … there were 7 in 2008, but I think we have to go back to the 80′s to have so many different winners in one season.

        Stats to date
        =============

        Wins: SV5,FA3,LH3,MW2,JB2,KR1,NR1,PM1

        Podiums:
        FA11,SV9,KR7,LH6,JB5,MW4,
        RG3,SP3,NR2,FM1,KK1,MS1,PM1

        T5 Finishes (3+):
        SV14,FA14,KR11,MW9,LH9,
        JB8,FM5,NR4,RG4,SP3,KK3

        Pts Finishes (9+):
        KR17,FA16,SV15,MW14,LH13,JB12,
        FM12,NR10,RG9,NH9,PdR9,BS9

        Longest podium streaks (2+):
        SV5,FA3(2x),KR3,LH3,FA2(2x),KR2,MW2

        Current podium streak: SV5,FA3,KR1

        Longest T5 streaks (2+):
        FA7,KR6,SV5,SV4,MW4,FA3,LH3,
        SV2(2x),FA2(2x),MW2(2x),FM2(2x),
        JB2(2x),KR2,LH2,NR2,RG2

        Current T5 streak:
        SV5,FA3,JB2,KR1,PM1

        Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
        KR15,FA11,FM8,MW7,LH7,NR6,SV5(2x),JB5,
        SV4,MW4,FA3,MW3,LH3,RG3,NH3,PdR3,MS3,DR3

        Current pts finish streak:
        KR15,FM8,SV5,FA3,JB2,BS2,KK1,PdR1,PM1,DR1

        Retirements (not classified)(3+):
        NK7,MS7,RG6,CP5,SP5,LH4,PdlR4,PM4,KK4,NR3,JV3

        T8-DWC Race Finishes (after Rd 18):
        KR18,FM17,SV16,FA16,MW16,NR15,JB14,LH13

      20. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

        Wins: VET5,ALO3,HAM3,WEB2,BUT2,RAI1,ROS1,MAL1

        Podiums:
        ALO11,VET9,RAI7,HAM6,BUT5,WEB4,
        GRO3,PER3,ROS2,MAS1,KOB1,MSC1,MAL1

        T5 Finishes (3+):
        VET14,ALO14,RAI11,WEB9,HAM9,
        BUT8,MAS5,ROS4,GRO4,PER3,KOB3

        Pts Finishes (9+):
        RAI17,ALO16,VET15,WEB14,HAM13,BUT12,
        MAS12,ROS10,GRO9,HUL9,DIR9,SEN9

        Longest podium streaks (2+):
        VET5,ALO3(2x),RAI3,HAM3,ALO2(2x),RAI2,WEB2

        Current podium streak: VET5,ALO3,RAI1

        Longest T5 streaks (2+):
        ALO7,RAI6,VET5,VET4,WEB4,ALO3,HAM3,
        VET2(2x),ALO2(2x),WEB2(2x),MAS2(2x),
        BUT2(2x),RAI2,HAM2,ROS2,GRO2

        Current T5 streak:
        VET5,ALO3,BUT2,RAI1,MAL1

        Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
        RAI15,ALO11,MAS8,WEB7,HAM7,ROS6,VET5(2x),BUT5,
        VET4,WEB4,ALO3,WEB3,HAM3,GRO3,HUL3,DIR3,MSC3,RIC3

        Current pts finish streak:
        RAI15,MAS8,VET5,ALO3,BUT2,SEN2,KOB1,DIR1,MAL1,RIC1

        Retirements (not classified)(3+):
        KAR7,MSC7,GRO6,PIC5,PER5,HAM4,DLR4,MAL4,KOB4,ROS3,JEV3

        T8-DWC Race Finishes (after Rd 18):
        RAI18,MAS17,VET16,ALO16,WEB16,ROS15,BUT14,HAM13

      21. Jimbo says:

        2003 was the last season with 8 different winners. Shows how open this season has been, especially with 6 teams winning!

      22. Andrew M says:

        “8 different winners this season … when was the last time we had as many? It’s been awhile … there were 7 in 2008, but I think we have to go back to the 80′s to have so many different winners in one season.”

        I was wondering that too, and a quick Wikipedia trawl revealed the answer to be a lot more recent than I thought – 2003 (Coulthard, Raikkonen, Fisichella, M Schumacher, Montoya, R Schumacher, Barrichello, Alonso).

      23. MikeyB says:

        Thanks for translating those initials correctly, Rubinho’s Keyfob – they’re much easier to follow. KRB please take note.

      24. BlackJackFan says:

        Hi James
        I’ve long been an admirer of your site, and your blog comments but I am constantly bothered by the regular references to Team histories which to me make no rational sense. OK, Mercedes used to be Brawn, and Brawn used to be Honda, but Mercedes was never Honda just because they come out of the same garage, with some of the same team members. However, you beat the lot here by suggesting there can be any connection between the 2012 Lotus and the Lotus of 1987. Any young readers could just assume it’s exactly the same company – not just a name…

        Just my (old-fashioned perhaps) feeling…

      25. toleman fan says:

        I don’t think you’re old fashioned. I think you’re confused.

        Didn’t you just contradict yourself?

        If the Brackley team is “Mercedes” just’ because its owners choose and have a right to call it that, why isn’t the same true of Lotus?

        And if Enstone isn’t “Lotus”, then who are they? Surely the answer is, the same team that used to be Toleman & Benetton. In which case, then, yes, “Mercedes” -are- the old Honda (& Brawn, & BAR) team and have nothing to do with the “Silver Arrows” of the ’30s or the cars of Fangio and Moss in the ’50s.

        As an aside, it’s funny how the same people who insist that Lotus aren’t Lotus usually insist that they’re actually “Renault”, but that Mercedes really are Mercedes. If Enstone can’t claim Chapman’s legacy, how can they claim the legacy of the Viry-Chatillon based team of Jabouille and the turbo-pioneering yellow teapots? And why is it nevertheless OK to pretend that Rosberg and Schumacher are driving ‘Silver Arrows’ when it’s the same team operating out of the same UK factory that was called Brawn when it won its titles?

        Or is it just that British fans aren’t interested in the integrity of anyone else’s racing heritage, just their own?

        Seriously, what do you want us to do when a current team has the same name as an old but unrelated team? Accept the new name and embrace “Lotus”? Or insist that a UK based team obviously cannot have ‘any connection’ with the team of Fangio and the W196? And if it’s the latter, what -do- we call them?

      26. BlackJackFan says:

        Hi Mr Toleman Fan
        This is my reply to you because your Reply button isn’t working on my com.
        Sorry for the delay – hope you get this…

        I’m grateful for your polite and considered response. I am certainly confused – I’m an old man – I’m allowed to be confused… but I don’t think I contradicted myself because I was not suggesting the current Enstone team don’t have the right to call themselves: Lotus. They can call themselves RenTus, or even Team Caterham/2 for all I care. I just don’t see how one can relate this recent victory to the Colin Chapman Lotus era. And for the record I have been patiently waiting all year for Kimi to notch one up… Just sorry he hadn’t passed Lewis before the latter’s sad retirement.

        I accept all your other sentiments but feel you have developed my original comment much further than I had intended, but to answer your perfectly reasonable question:
        what do you want us to do when a current team has the same name as an old but unrelated team…?
        Of course, use the name – it’s what they are called – and also, when Mercedes win next year (and there’ll be pork in the tree-tops come morning…), of course James et al can say it’s their first F1 victory since the 50’s. In return I will put up with it also being their first win since 2009.

        Thanks again. It was nice to chat with you. BJf.

      27. toleman fan says:

        >I’m grateful for your polite and considered response.

        It’s exceptionally kind of you to say so. Likewise.

        It appears that I misconstrued your original point. I can only apologise for that.

    2. Sebee says:

      Vettel is the Bionic Man.  Ignore the math, he won the WDC today and better win the DOTD! :-)

      Kimi’s win was awesome to see.  Drivers probably don’t like hand-me-down wins.  But it wasn’t exactly a cake walk.  

      Lucky there is no Joker of the Day voting JAonF1.  I’d have to use Vettel’s podium words to describe Webber today.  His performance confirms he is of no help to his team or Vettel lately.  He just looked disinterested in attacking Alonso or even being in the GP.  Karma finally put him out of his misery.

      1. azac21 says:

        you choose to look elsewhere with regard to MW. The guy was out there to cause carnage (i.e take other drivers out) and bring out the safety car. It was clear that he tried to launch his car into a collision at every opportunity. This was a great help for Vettel.

      2. Sebee says:

        Interesting theory. But I have to discount this even if Webber is associated with Flavio. Mark would never go for it – that’s throwing your entire carrier legacy away. He’s not some junior racer who’s green being the ears and pulled around by his ear.

        Pesonally I think his bad driving is down to him eating a vegamite sandwich before the race. He is from land down under after all.

      3. toleman fan says:

        No, it was Grosjean who was trying to bring out the safety car.

        It was a secret plan to stop Kimi winning as an apology for crashgate.

        Or, you’re maybe a bit paranoid. One or the other, not sure which.

      4. domjones says:

        I was looking forward to the only opportunity this year that Massa has had to help Alonso. Will he block Vettel? Will he crash him out? Will he slow him down? Err no. Vettel’s team mate got there first and took him out of the equation. I’m not saying it was intentional, but how convenient. Having two bumps while overtaking and getting beaten by a team mate starting in the pit lane shows that Webber ain’t actually all that good.

      5. Sebee says:

        azac21,

        I looked at the Webber crash again and again, and there is absolutely no way. He was caught too close to someone else’s mess and got taken out. But it’s incredibly lucky indeed how Vettel was in just before. That’s probably the call that really put him on the podium – pit just before the second safety car. Otherwise he would have been 5th or so.

      6. azac21 says:

        MW was completely from an other planet on Sunday. He’s very experienced and fair racer usually so to see him been involved in so many coliisions with other competitors raises questions…

        At the start of the race he was clearly very careful when Alonso overtook him. I cannot explain the sudden change in his driving style after that.

      7. Sebee says:

        azac21,

        I have to say, I can’t argue with you on this point. He looked like a rookie in his first race. It was clearly noticable and I’ve said as much. I think it’s fair to ask the question why? Why was he so messy? Why was he so willing to take such risks? But I just don’t want to believe that he would want to cause a safety car. Notice that Grosjean drives into his path. When hit he drives off to the side onto grass and out of harms way. It’s Grosjean’s car that brings out the SC. On the other hand, that whole mess was happening in front of him for a few turns, he saw it happening and backing up to 1/2s wouldn’t have hurt him, but would have certainly saved his race. I will also say that the call for Vettel to come in just before the SC looks like one heck of a call and it instanly came to mind that he’s the luckiest of them all due to this second SC.

        I can go along in questioning Webber’s decision making yesterday and his driving abilities on the day. But until you present further evidence to support your argument, I can’t go along with intended SC.

      8. mel_drew says:

        Getting taken out was the best thing that happened to Webber today – at least in his own mind. He’ll now be able to regard himself as an innocent victim, rather than a man who started third and was soundly beaten by his pit lane starting team mate.

      9. Michael says:

        Enough with the Weber bashing. “Mark didn’t do Vettel any favours”. Seriously, RBR didn’t do Webber any favours. They bring him in for a pit stop so he doesn’t hold Vettel up, yet it ensures Mark comes out in traffic and inevitably gets caught out in that crash.

      10. Hotshoe says:

        Actually I think that it was extremely unfortunate, as it prevented him an opportunity to hit every car on the grid.

      11. DonSimón says:

        Utter rubbish mate. He isn’t a world class driver, he got taken out by an incident. He performed as expected. He is, however, fair and team spirited.

      12. Bradley says:

        Webber did help his team today – if he’d driven normally Vettel would have finished fifth behind Webber / Button. Instead, Vettel gets an extra 5 points.

      13. Vettelfan says:

        SV forDOTD went through the field twice

      14. azac21 says:

        I think we ‘ll have to wait until MW leaves RedBull. I am sure if there was a plan to get the safety car out he ll want to “get it off his chest” then.

    3. Rob Newman says:

      Good one :)

    4. Pedro says:

      What a hell of a race!!! phenomenal job by the top 3…once again a fine display by McLaren, this team will suffer next year..:)

    5. BW says:

      Oh, can’t we wait until the question is asked by JA?
      But it will be tough, I agree.

    6. AlexD says:

      Let’s see. Vettel did a phenomenal race except for few things:
      1. Almost ended the race with a front win damage (was not very careful)
      2. The way he overtook Torro Rosso was spectacular…or they had a blue flag waving?
      3. Two safety car periods did not help at all and so his charge from the back was even more spectacular
      4. Webber took Massa out, otherwise we would have seen another astonishing overtaking
      5. He was so in charge that forgot that overtaking outside the track is not very legal – other than that, superb move

      The way he overtook Button was something, I fully agree:-)

      So how many cars did he really overtake?

      1. domjones says:

        Compared to most races recently, there were loads of crashes. Plenty of people he didn’t even need to overtake.

  2. Msta says:

    Classic Kimi, leave me alone!

    1. jim says:

      Yes, yes yes!

    2. Dren says:

      Yes, I loved it. Classic Kimi, almost brought tears to my eyes I was laughing so hard.

  3. Phill says:

    Kimi, not a more deserving winner, waited for this all year, congratulations!
    Great drive from everyone on the podium.
    Never has one man been so lucky, in such a short amount of time.
    2 races, 10 points, bring it on!

    1. Wayne says:

      If anyone needed any more convincing that the Gids have decided that Vettel is going to win agian this year – job done. 2 safety cars to close up the field, survived an incident behind another car behind the safety car, wing damage due to a clumsy overtake, Hamilton’s retirement and a great drive to capitalise on it all. Alosno must wonder just what the hell he has to do.

      The mid-feild really are staring to embarress F1. All those pay drivers starting to have an effect?

      There’s really nothing left to say about McLaren, just when you think they cannot possibly let Lewis down any more they go and out do themselves. Anyone still need convincing that Hamilton may as well try something (ANYTHING) else next year? I mean really?

      1. Wayne says:

        Just noticed that Button is less than 10 points behind Hamilton – that is the most falsely flattering scoreline on the grid and just underlines how devestating Lewis’ own team has been to his season. That’s not fan fanaticism, that, my friends, is cold hard fact.

        [mod]

      2. MiG2009 says:

        Talk about chronic underachievement, wow Mclaren need to go see a witchdoctor. @Wayne yeah i agree this race was a microcosm of Hamilton’s year with Mclaren. How about Vettel’s luck my goodness talent alone isn’t enough anymore in F1.

      3. Aj says:

        Totally agree with you on this one. To anyone who believes that Button is in the same league as Hamilton is totally out of their mind. Thank God Lewis is leaving this pathetic team.

      4. Harry says:

        Spot On.
        You really have to worry about where McLaren is going to get their WCC points from next season. Button is good when he has the perfect car or a strong team mate to bounce off. There are no guarantees of either next season. Transitional year ahead I think.

      5. Peter C says:

        No, it IS fan fanaticism. I wonder if it will be at Mercedes too, or will they treat LH badly also?

      6. quest says:

        Button has also been let down by unreliability and pit stop problems just like Hamilton though to a slightly lesser extent.

        Vettel gained one place because of the safety cars. And Hamilton’s retirement affected Alonso and Vettel equally.

      7. Richard says:

        Entirely agree, although I think Button has suffered from set up difficulties as indeed has Hamilton, but Button had that awful spell where the car just would not switch on the tyres, and they failed to get an adequate balance. I really do feel for Hamilton because McLaren have cost him, through operational errors and reliability problems, at least 4 wins, and he could have been leading the championship. They really have lost the plot.
        That aside I’m pleased for Raikkenon, and it was a remarkable recovery from Vettel, but with the appropriate strategy and the safety cars he was able to make up considerable ground. – Evidently a bit of luck was with him today!

      8. Craig D says:

        He has been deeply unlucky. Button has also had reliability woes too like in Monza, but overall, yes Hamilton should probably be about 50 points ahead.

        The team have had a lot of issues and squandering a fast car. They need to improve next year operationally, but they’re still one of the best teams to drive for. And although I can understand Hamilton’s move on a personal level, in terms of performance it looks very likely he’s making a mistake. Mercedes haven’t scored in 4 races now.

      9. bob says:

        @Wayne

        There’s only 2 facts to know in the Hamilton/Button battle of the last 3 years;

        Mechanical Failures;
        Hamilton – 4
        Button – 5

        Points Scored;
        Hamilton – 632
        Button – 637

        3 Years as team mates with Button having MORE mechanical failures than Hamilton, and he has still out scored him.

        That is the fact.

        The only falsely flattering thing is you and the rest of the mindless Hamilton fanboys continually bigging Hamilton up, regardless of the facts.

        What are the facts? Well, the fact is, at best, Hamilton is 4th or 5th best driver on the grid.

        2009 – 5th
        2010 – 4th
        2011 – 5th
        2012 – 5th (maybe 4th, maybe 6th)

        Yeah, he’s the BOMB!

        But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your blind fan fanaticism.

        What sort of a Hamilton fan would you be if you were actually objective and used your brain instead of believing he is the best in the world ever – just because.

      10. Wayne says:

        Hey @Bob, calm down before you hurt yourself.

        I am a fanatic? Yet I am not making ridiculous, pantomine-villain claims like ‘Hamilton is 4th or 5th best driver on the grid’ MUHAHAHAHA – which puts you at odds with every F1 pundit, expert, reporter and team principal in the paddock – but hey, you D’BOMB right?

        Here is a fact: Button has been decimated by Hamilton this year, decimated. Only the Team prevents this from showing through – Button certaibnly has no answer for it.

      11. David Joyce says:

        @bob, a mechanical failure need not be terminal, but can simply impede your performance.

        In the last 5 races, Hamilton has suffered 4 mechanical failures alone:

        Japan – rear suspension problems
        Singapore – gearbox
        Korea – rollbar
        Abu Dhabi – fuel pump

      12. Sebee says:

        I told you safety car would come out. But even I couldn’t predict two.

        Hamilton’s DNF was sad indeed. At least Kimi was there to pick up the hand-me-down win. But I feel your pain today Wayne. You better pick another driver to cheer for, I don’t want to see you suffer like this next three years. Jump ship like me to Vettel camp.

      13. Wayne says:

        I’ll never go over to the dark side!

      14. Brad says:

        very good camp to be in indeed!

      15. Phill says:

        Jump ship to the Vettel camp. Are you serious! Is that not the definition of Glory Supporting. Since I was 5 I’ve supported Ferrari, Ive stick with them the last 2 years while they struggle, and I’ll always stick with them. I’ve she’d a tear in joy, I’ve shed a tear in pain, and that is the love for a team you can have, or for a driver. Don’t just switch whilst you’re in pain, wait for the joy.

      16. Sebee says:

        No doubt the fruit tastes sweeter if you’ve suffered. I just don’t like suffering like Wayne. Does that make me weak?

      17. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Actually I think Vettel damaged his wing not trying to PASS Senna, but defend against him, as an extended replay the BBC showed after the race hilighted (though nobody seemed to pick up on it).

      18. Matt says:

        I disagree with you. Vettel should have given Senna more room. Just like Button gave Vettel more room at the same corner with only a few laps to go.

      19. Anthony says:

        Gutted for Hamilton, like you I cannot believe how badly he has suffered this season. Even if he doesn’t blame the team – I do.

        He should be closing in on a second world championship this season.

      20. KRB says:

        Agreed about the midfield driving embarrassingly bad today. It was like they all took a crazy pill before the race! It was SHOCKING. Maybe they all thought “one of the big guys is not up front, I could be on for a good result today!” or something like that.

        Perez again was all 6′s-and-7′s, this time it wasn’t Grosjean’s fault at all. I am surprised that Maldonado didn’t get a penalty for the Webber contact. A leading driver can wedge out one trying to pass that’s a bit behind, but Webber was far up beside Maldonado, that he HAD to leave room, which he didn’t.

        As for Hamilton, it’s simply unbelievable. Spain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi … could’ve been an extra three wins. I’m convinced there are some F1 gods out there, and they’ve ordained that Hamilton is not allowed to win over three races a season. Wasn’t that a new engine?!?

        Webber, oh Webber! That was the WORST start I’ve ever seen!

        Did Vettel actually start from 24th? De La Rosa had to be pushed back to the pit lane before the start, so would’ve lined up behind Vettel there.

        Vettel drove great, but man he has quite the horseshoe stashed away somewhere very dark on his person. The two safety cars helped him greatly, the second one probably moreso. And then with drivers ahead seemingly intent on committing race suicide, it made his job easier than it should’ve been.

        The result will be and should be demoralising to Alonso and Ferrari, when looking at what the grid started out as today. If looked at from a whole weekend perspective, then sure, to take 3 pts off Vettel is probably a good deal, and I’m sure Alonso would’ve signed for that before qualifying started yesterday. But it’s only human nature to look at the full opportunity that presented, and how Vettel and RBR were supreme in mitigating the damage.

        JA, I don’t think Vettel hit the barriers when he swerved to avoid Ricciardo. He hit the DRS sign, but there was a kink in the barrier at the point he swerved right, so he didn’t hit the barrier.

        As for Vettel’s radio about that incident, I can’t see how any of it was Ricciardo’s fault.

        Lastly, Vergne was MIGHTY compliant letting Vettel through on lap 20. That was not good to see, and that’s why one company shouldn’t own two teams on the grid.

      21. Matt says:

        of I agree with you about one company owning two teams, but I disagree with you about the pass Webber tried to make on Maldonado. The incident was 100% Webber’s fault. Webber cut across the front of Maldonado. Webber didn’t leave Maldonado any room. Inorder to avoid an accident, Maldonado had to lock-up his front wheel.

        I think that Webber should have gotten two drive-thru penalties. One for the incident with Maldonado and the second one for the incident with Massa. Sergio Perez got a 10 second stop-and-go penalty doing the same thing that Webber did.

        The race stewarts seem to give out penalties based on the result of the action instead of on the action itself. Sergio’s action eliminated several drivers so he got a penalty. The same action by Webber didn’t cause Massa to retire so no penalty. Maybe we wouldn’t see that crazy off and on action if they gave a penalty each and every time.

      22. MikeyB says:

        Vergne was even more compliant when Schumacher caught up with him later. It was a pass for position – has he no fighting spirit?

      23. Niner says:

        Nicely put, Wayne.

        The midfield are unpredictably brilliant at best (Perez and Maldonando wins) and downright utterly embarrassingly dangerous at worst (…how many crashes have we had from – oh, I just can’t be bothered going there again…).

        The fight for the WDC will have been the result of the midfield’s inconsistency in being able to start, stop and pass safely and effectively, as much as it will be testament to Alonso or Vettel’s considerable and admirable skills as drivers. (That, and the fact that once again McLaren prove for all their ideological posturing they cannot get their crap together when it comes to fighting – y’know, racing – for the WDC.)

        DOTD? I think it’s churlish to suggest Vettel is less of a true and deserved champion than Alonso. The fact is they’re both extremely talented and have proven doggedly determined to keep fighting regardless of the pace and/or reliability of their cars (unlike Webber who seems to never have a chip too far from his shoulder). Newey is a wonderful and much-respected designer yet he’s not the one fighting for a podium from the back of the grid.

        But actually, my soft-spot for Kimi wins out. I think he’s an excellent racer (some of the best passing this year when his car’s had the pace) and an excellent character. How can you not love a guy who wins his first F1 GP since his semi-retirement and after being badgered for not being emotional enough down-plays it with a post-race aphorism like: “last time you guys were giving me sh*t because I didn’t smile enough…”! Classic.

      24. JustGuessing says:

        McLaren have become a joke- I’ve seen less hilarious pantomimes in my time! for that reason alone they’re the worst team in the paddock.

        At the start of every race now you automatically think when the villain is going to release the trap door for one or other McLaren (usually LH) to make a pratfall.

        Hilarious team.

      25. Jordan says:

        Some of the young mid fielders are real loose cannons. The Perez, DiR, Groj incident was just embarrassing.

        Wondering if McLaren might be regretting signing Perez over the Hulk.

  4. Robert says:

    Vettel has to be the driver of the day, but Hamilton will surely win the title for the unluckiest driver of the year. I feel really sorry for him.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      +1,000

      He fully deserved the win today IMO.

    2. Wayne says:

      The really nub of it is that he came back this year and has been faultless – he has done everything everyone has asked of him and ends up being a victim of friendly fire.

      [mod]

    3. Sebee says:

      I’m in ebay right now shopping for a Vettel poster for my office. Trying to find one without Webber in it.

      1. Sebee says:

        Surely this is the poster everyone is getting today.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/221144882800

        :-)

      2. Glennb says:

        I’ve ordered 2. If only we could get them signed….

    4. Dren says:

      I have to agree. Vettel put on one hell of a drive. Too bad Hamilton has had his string of bad luck race after race. This should be a three way race to the end.

  5. Mitchel says:

    Are you using launch control, James?

    Superfast post!

    1. JCG says:

      The quicker he posts it, the quicker he can join the after parties!

      1. Antti says:

        And I hear Kimi’s parties are the best… ;)

  6. Suhail John says:

    anyone who says vettel is not a racer cannot overtake can only race from the front Well how was that for you

    1. Mike says:

      They will come up with excuses like 2 safety cars helped him , overtaking bunch of back markers and midfielders aren’t real overtaking, he changed his set up from the pit lane, team orders, etc etc… This guy is legit and a real racer, enough said.

      1. Joe B says:

        @Mike – Since you’re pointing out exactly what happened (although you forgot to mention that he had the fastest car on the track, and his own driving mistakes put him onto a great strategy completely by accident), I’m just going to assume your last sentence is sarcasm…

      2. Mike says:

        no sarcasm there Joe B.

      3. Andrew M says:

        The safety cars did help Vettel, there’s no point denying it – they helped the other multi-stoppers as well (di Resta, Senna). The strategy was very fortunate, as it was triggered by him damaging the front wing which pushed the team into it (similar to Hamilton at Monaco in 2008).

        Don’t get me wrong, he drove very well and took advantage, his pass on Jenson was particularly brave given the incidents in the race before and the fact he had a championship on the line. But it wasn’t a faultless drive.

      4. Rishi says:

        +1. It reminded me of Lewis at Monaco in 2008 as well.

      5. Matt says:

        Vettel overtaking on Button was due to the fact that (1) the 2nd safety car came out exactly a lap or two after Vettel changed to a second set of soft tires while the KR, FA, and JB had already changed to the medium tire and already driven several laps on them. Pirelli said that the soft tires are half a second faster than the medium tires around the Yas Marina Circuit.
        (2) The safety car also eliminated the 9 second advantage that Button had on Vettel.

      6. Eleanore says:

        Senna only stopped once.

      7. Matt says:

        I know that it’s the regulation, but I think that it’s highly unfair that a team is alllowed to take their cars into the garage over-night and change whatever it wants when the other teams have to compromise their set-ups between qualifying and race.

        A few years ago, the FIA changed the rules after Vettel was alllowed to change to a fresh set of tires at the Monaco Grand Prix. I hope they change this unfair rule. You should not be allowed to change your car the night before the race because you got caught [mod]out.

        It’s as if you get to have a better wife or girlfriend because you got caught cheating. You should not be rewarded. You should be punished.

      8. Peter C says:

        Oh damn!

      9. toleman fan says:

        It’s both. Perhaps his best ever race – and, he was very lucky.

    2. Wayne says:

      It was ok (in terms of overtakes) and great in terms of overall drive. Let’s not get carried away by a driver in the fastest car in the field overtaking the middle and slowest cars (Button aside) in the field. Let’s also not forget he lost part of his wing early on through his own mistake also.

      It WAS a great drive overall – the overtakes were meh.

      1. Sebee says:

        Come on Wayne, he shamed his team mate who couldn’t make an outside line pass today if his life depended on it. He measured Button up and passed him without DRS. Isn’t that what you like?

      2. Wayne says:

        Did he pass him without drs? missed that – good on the lad!

      3. KRB says:

        They were also geared for different races. Webber’s was geared to run in the top 3, and to pull away from pursuers in sector 3. He holds the blame for screwing that up from the outset with his start. Webber’s car wasn’t set up to pass in the DRS zones.

      4. KRB says:

        It was with DRS, of course it was. You might be saying that he didn’t complete the pass with his wing open, but w/o DRS he wouldn’t have been near enough to effect a pass. But nice try.

      5. Matt says:

        So the fact the Vettel was on brand new soft tires while Button was driving around on medium tires with several laps already on them had nothing to do with it?

        Please go back and watch the race again. Vettel did pass Button in the DRS zone.

      6. Peter C says:

        What do you mean ‘Button aside’? Surely you would think that he is one of the easiest to overtake.
        There were two cars left for Vettel to pass, Raikkonen and Alonso, but he only passed the slow & middle cars in the field?

        Specsavers, I think.

      7. Wayne says:

        That where you get your rose-tinted ones from?

      8. Peter C says:

        Stuck for an answer,then?

      9. Rirory says:

        Vettel had never been DOTD due to bias, if Red Bull still has DC & MW, it would still be a mid rate team, Newey or no Newey. Give the germans their due, too bad they beat brits like schuey beat damon.

      10. Glennb says:

        You do remember HOW Schumi beat Damon don’t you?

      11. toleman fan says:

        @GlennB

        Same way Senna beat Prost, IIRC

    3. Mick D says:

      Still not convinced. He damaged his front wing during one overtake then damaged it again during a safety car period. On both occassions it was his mistake. The only decent car he passed was Button but even then it was because he had much better tyres. I think Martion Brundle summed it up nicely when he said “Lucky” was Vettel’s middle name tonight.

      1. Luca says:

        I’m with you on that – other people having pitstops and/or falling off the track at the right time, meant all the harder overtakes Vettel should have had to make were avoided.

        As for lucky – i think Nico and Narain also got a helping. To walk away from that accident. Think HRT should be made to stop racing if they cant sort out issues that compromise the drivers safety.

      2. Sebee says:

        Take it easy Mick. Vettel was just making it extra dramatic today, because that is what wins DOTD. Has anyone else ever hit a braking point marker and won DOTD?

      3. Matt says:

        LOL…that’s funny

      4. Simmo says:

        Plus he has a dominant car! In a regular car that might not have been so…

      5. André says:

        When he wins from the front leading every lap in 3.5 races he is boring and flattered by the car. When he ends on the podium coming from last place he is lucky. What does the guy have to do to convince people like you that he is on the way to become one of the all time greats? Win in a wheelchair or something?

      6. Simmo says:

        Well you could put (Ayrton) Senna on a lawn mower and he’d still find a way to win. (Tooned, Lift Story)

      7. HansB says:

        +1.
        One must have respect for the final result SV achieved today. And his speed was great…. However, being under pressure, in my eyes he made two silly mistakes (and another one in qualifying when hitting the wall). Those could have ended all of his hopes for a good result.
        On top of that, especially the second SC was another final big gift. On fresh soft tyres he was given a position within a second of Button instead of 20.
        The only real battle he had to fight for was with Button with tyre advantage. Other ‘big’ guns like Massa, Rosberg and Perez was already taken care of.

      8. messrine says:

        Totally agree with Mick D. For me Vettel still has not proved he can overtake the better drivers on a regular basis. He was simply very lucky today. Even if he wins the championship I will not consider him one of the ‘Greats’. The best driver of his generation is Alonso, whether he wins this year or not. And that is because a truly great driver can drive a dog of a car and still win!

      9. Vino says:

        Like Kimi in Spa 2009 or Japan 2005 from dead last

      10. For sure says:

        “Totally agree with Mick D. For me Vettel still has not proved he can overtake the better drivers on a regular basis. He was simply very lucky today. Even if he wins the championship I will not consider him one of the ‘Greats’. The best driver of his generation is Alonso, whether he wins this year or not. And that is because a truly great driver can drive a dog of a car and still win!”

        Complete rubbish mate. How do you overtake “better drivers” when you are the best?
        Yes, Alonso is perhaps second to none, but Vettel not as good? How do you back that up? Oh wait, you are Alonso fan.

      11. ian says:

        Absolutely, 2 rookie mistakes overtaking which could have finished his race,
        Jury is not out on this man.
        Newey is the man.

    4. Quattro_T says:

      A really good finish for him, but you are sounding like VET raced all the way to 3rd, from last, without incidents and a bunch of luck.

      First lap incident took out a few cars from his way. Add to that the two other RB cars (Ricciardo and Verge) just waving him by while infront of him.
      Two safety cars eliminated the gap to the leaders every time.
      Lucky to only damage and not loose front wing at one overtake.
      Lucky to not hit the wall behind Ricciardo, while behind the safety car.
      Add to all this the fact that he had the fastest package, right tyres at right moments, perfectly setup for race conditions and overtaking, while the others had a qualy/race setup.

    5. azac21 says:

      He achieved a single overtake on the front running guys. On Button with softer and newer tyres… nothing else. The rest was drivers crashing out (with the help of Weber in many occasions) and safety cars.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Passed Grosjean (same car as Kimi the race winner) twice, also made short work of Maldonado whom had Strong race pace. Something that other drivers including Alonso had trouble with, and Webber could not do.

        Majority of overtakes were not in the DRS zone, but into our out of braking zones.

        Best overtake of the race was easily Vettel on Button. But i suppose vettel cannot race, and can only lead from the front right???
        lol

      2. azac21 says:

        Grosjean and Maldonado ???? and JButton because he had softer and much newer tyres?

        LoL indeed …

    6. Simmo says:

      What a chaotic race! Contact at the start was just one of those things. Grosjean caused a collision with Rosberg, and I don’t know what caught Rosberg…

      Vettel was very clumsy really. Twice.

      Poor Lewis, for the second time this year :(

      Mark Webber made a mistake, a few laps later did it again.

      Perez really made me angry with that collision, diResta had done so well to recover from his puncture. It was so unnecessary.

      Well done to Kimi! Fantastic! Vettel driver of the day, no doubt. He still has a dominant car though, let us not forget.

      1. Simmo says:

        I have no idea why this comment has appeared here – I posted it as a new comment :/

    7. AlexD says:

      Who, except for Button, did Vettel overtake today?

      1. Anthony says:

        The 2 toro rossos…

      2. AlexD says:

        Sorry, missed it….I thought that theyhad blue flags, no?

    8. Matthew says:

      What race did you watch?

      He overtook a load of backmarkers, took half his front wing off doing so, nearly crashed into the back of another, then almost got a drive through for over-taking off track AGAIN.

      He them benefitted from 2 safety cars and went from 12th to second without over-taking anyone for position! Everyone just crashed or pitted!

      He made one decent overtake in Button but that was with soft tyres that were 15 laps newer.

      Vettel can definitely over-take and I don’t dispute that but today’s GP has to be one of the luckiest for any driver I’ve ever seen!

      There were about 5 decent midfield runners out or in the pits on lap 1! It was ridiculous – just when the championship needs a ‘normal’ race… typical!

      Vettel had good pace but he made so many mistakes, he’s a lucky, lucky boy.

      1. Ryan M says:

        Could not have summed Vettel’s race up better myself in so fewer words! I’ve watched all his victories in their (often boring) entirity, and he’s always lucky with the safety cars but yesterday was ridiculous.
        +1

    9. hero_was_senna says:

      I have never thought Vettel couldn’t overtake but doesn’t the ease with which he came through the field on 2 occasions, despite damage to his car, prove slightly ominous.
      A good drive, as was webbers last season from 18th on the grid to 3rd in China, without all ahead crashing out. The pace of the RB8 is staggering…

  7. Andrew M says:

    Best race in Abu Dhabi, best race of the year. Heartbreak for Lewis, more Grosjean first lap shenanigans, Maldonado driving forcefully but (in my opinion) fairly, combat and overtaking throughout the field, Vettel coming from the back and going wheel to wheel with Button, Alonso doing his almost routine charge to the podium and a long overdue comeback win for Kimi.

    1. Ez Pez says:

      I think it was more rosberg’s fault than grojean’s to be fair. Rosberg went for a tiny gap that was always going to disappear, and from a fair way back.

      1. Andrew M says:

        Maybe. The best thing for Grosjean is that with all the other carnage everyone kind of forgot about it!

      2. toleman fan says:

        Except of course for Rosberg saying it wasn’t Grosjean’s fault. Apart from that, yes, of course.

  8. danny11 says:

    Congratulations to Vettel! Amazing drive! Was helped by SC a bit but he also had an extra stop. Feeling sorry for Lewis really! Singapur repeated again! Cannot comprehend what happened with Mclaren reliability? I guess now they can put Sebastins name on the board of the champions cause it Game Over for Fernando. Maybe next year?!

    1. kers says:

      Seb had an extra stop due to his own mistakes though…

  9. Basil says:

    KIMI I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

    1. Sebee says:

      Please form an orderly cue.

  10. Galapago555 says:

    I’m breathless. What a race.

    So difficult to chose the Driver of the Day…

    Fernando delivered. He came back from 6th to end up a great 2nd driving the – say between 5th and 7th fastest car on the grid this weekend? I would probably vote for him any other weekend, but today we have seen other drivers.

    Seb performed an incredible come back, from the pit lane till the podium. He would surely deserve to be my the DOTD in any other race but today we saw another fantastic performance.

    And yes, my DOTD vote will be for Kimi. First win since his return to Formula 1. He drove a perfect race, great start and no errors. So my vote today will unusually be for the race winner, Mr Iceman Räikönen.

    1. k5enny says:

      I cannot believe that Alnso culdnt overtake Prtrov on this circuit a few years back!!

      1. marian says:

        Alonso did not have a DRS!!!

      2. HansB says:

        No DRS maybe?

    2. Pasq says:

      How can anyone think other than Alonso was driver of the day, can anyone tell me how he got within 1 sec of winning the race in arguably the 5th or 6th fastest car! Sebs drive is great but the safety cars and bumper car shanningans really helped plus having arguably fastest car! Please, we need him to do the business when he’s got 3rd or fourth fastest car.

      1. Rockie says:

        All this misguided comments about Alonso did u watch the race because of the love fest for Alonso He was borderline poor today should have attacked Kimi earlier and would have won the race what was he expecting Kimi’s tyres to fall off after he stopped after him he was lucky today that Vettel didnt get pass Button quicker if not would have had him for lunch.

      2. Thisisanirban says:

        “6th fastest car” – hahaha. In your universe maybe.

      3. Ahmed says:

        Safety car no. 2 is your answer.

        P.S. I dont agree with your 5th-6th fastest car theory. He was not 10th-12th on the grid.

    3. W Johnson says:

      We know that the Ferrari has good race pace (due to good tyre wear) so why make such a big issue with Alonso making up a few places from qualifying especially when there was one retirement from Lewis Hamilton so one less overtaking happened by Alonso?

      That would be 6th to 3rd without the Lewis retirement…

  11. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Great Kimi, sure I was wrong when I did not believe in his possibilities of winning soon, but he did it brilliantly, and as a plus his radio words were historically very entertaining.

    Many drivers were great today, of course Vettel, I was correct about getting big points. And fantastic results for Maldonado, Koba, Senna and Di Resta. Also Williams did a fantastic job.

    Not the same for McLaren, really it is worry have these bac performances again, they mess Lewis possibilities again and again and again.

  12. Joe B says:

    I was hoping for Alonso to completely erase Vettel’s lead here today, but Seb’s luck knows no bounds. His driving smashed up his own front wing twice, and inadvertantly put him onto a winning strategy. Two safety cars (the second at an extremely fortunate point), the Torro Rosso’s letting him through and Webber (who had an absolute shocker) suddenly having to pit and he’s in contention with fresher tyres and the fastest car. Unbelievable; literally unbelievable. I don’t know what this guy’s done in a previous life to enjoy this fortune, but dear Lord I can’t wait for this streak to end…

    Congrats to Kimi, long time coming, and glad to see him back on the top of the podium. Gutted for Hamilton, the guy has no luck whatsoever this season. The guy in car #1 must have stolen it all!

    1. marian says:

      The Toro Rosso team is a shame and it is not fair al all. Red Bull in fact has four cars

    2. Matthew says:

      Oh my god, I wish you were in my sitting room today, we would’ve provided moral support.

    3. JR says:

      Haha, so true! I admit Vettel drove very well, but all your points are 100% correct!

    4. KRB says:

      Sold his soul to the Devil in return for some GP wins, poles, and fastest laps? Seems fair to me.

  13. David Pullen says:

    Hmmm we closed off before the race end there James, anyhow what a race great drive by Seb, poor Mark appeared out of sorts tonight. Sad Lewis did not get the chance to cement a final win for the Team. Great racing at end there between Jenson and Seb, two of the World’s best wheel to wheel, .. Great Race

  14. Fareed says:

    Very scary incident between Karth and Rosberg. We see again why the forward roll bar is inferior to the canopy. The former offers no protection to the driver’s head from the side. I think Karth was a foot away from having his head taken off. Similar to Gros vs Alonso at Spa.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      It was scary. The video feed showed the cars after the accident and for a moment I thought the front portion of the mercedes was completely smashed. It reminded me of the Senna crash. However, I saw Nico walking away and was relieved. That would have been near fatal if it was the concrete barrier. Thanks to the modern safety measures, Nico walked away from the incident.

    2. Andrew M says:

      I agree, we’ve had two very lucky escapes this year, hopefully we wont need a fatality before things change.

      Damon Hill made a good point that the drivers should be heavily consulted on whether they want the added protection or not.

  15. Seán Craddock says:

    Any news on what happened in Rosberg’s accident James? BBC had no interviews with either driver. I found it mad how Karthikeyan’s wheel came off like that! The cars have 2 wheel tethers, how did it come off? Are HRT’s any weaker than the Mercedes?

    1. Fareed says:

      Lookes like the HRT had a mechanical problem causing it to slow quickly and Rosberg couldn’t slow in time. Agree the wheel should not come off so easily. At another track it could have been a danger to marshalls or even fans. Actually everyone was lucky that it occured at this track in an area with lots of run-off,large gap to barriers so car had some time to decelerate before hitting wall.

    2. KRB says:

      The HRT lost all hydraulics, meaning no steering control. So Narain lifted off, and Nico was just unlucky to be the first to come upon him.

  16. Peter says:

    Great race and a great year by Raikkonen. He and Alonso are the absolute top drivers in my opinion going back to early 2000`.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Agree. But when people look at the stats several years from now they will not realize what great drivers these guys were.

    2. Greg says:

      Got to agree with that, Kimi is easily DOTD for me and I agree with you about him and Alonso too.

    3. Charlie says:

      Spot on.

  17. AuraF1 says:

    If nothing else 2012 will be remembered as the year that two of the dullest tracks (Valencia and Abu dhabi) conspired to give us two of the most thrilling races ever.

    Miracles will never cease!

    1. DK says:

      Sometimes I can’t help wonder if Bernie has a secret remote control to the race :)

      1. marian says:

        Sometimes I wonder if Bernie writes the scripts before the race.

  18. Jay says:

    Great race from Vettel! i think this is answering all the moaners!!!!! hard luck for Hamilton,really sad for him. gearbox problem?

    1. Elie says:

      Nah.. Freaking “electrical” problem

    2. AlexD says:

      I agreed, great drive from Vettel. But seriously, who did he overtake today except for Button?

      1. Quattro_T says:

        “who did he overtake today except for Button?”
        The Mclaren of Hamilton, although it was stationary, retired and abandoned at that time…

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      There is no doubt Vettel is a supreme driver, but today he lucked out. If he had managed this result without any safety cars or front-running retirements then it truly would be astonishing.

      1. Jay says:

        Wade,

        yes Vettel was a bit lucky with the last safety car! why we didnt see other drivers capitulating on this event? just compare webber to vettel then only u know the difference…

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        Other drivers had nothing to CAPITALISE with; Vettel had the most to gain and a Red Bull at his disposal to do it with. Webber put in a pretty poor drive but was also hindered by his own team (timing of pit stop) and had luck opposite to Vettel’s. In fact, Vettel benefitted most from the safety car brought out by Webber’s incident with Grosjean.

  19. Simon Donald says:

    DoD definitely Kimi. He lucked into the lead with Hammy’s car failure but was faultless after that. Vettel was very fast but also quite lucky with how the safety cars came. I doubt he would have been on the podium without the second one. He can definitely race well Vettel can’t he. Great pass on Button! Also great race by Maldonado and Senna and quiet but solid race by Kobayashi. I think Grosjean was the victim today. Very dangerous move by Perez and he was definitely responsible for taking out both Grosjean and Webber!

    1. Elie says:

      +1 on those points. Without safety cars Kimi was pulling a gap of 9.7 sec to Fernando- he earned that 100% phenomenal drive

    2. Sri says:

      “DoD definitely Kimi. He lucked into the lead with Hammy’s car failure but was faultless after that”

      Should be said as “faultless through out”. It was not as though Kimi was committing faults before Hamilton’s retirement. I think you were thinking on similar lines, just wanted to show the choice of words was not appropriate.

      1. Simon Donald says:

        True, the way you phrase it is as I intended it. In my defence I am in New Zealand and have only had two ad half hours sleep after the race!

    3. olivier says:

      Don’t understand what happened to Perez. He transformed into a reckless rookie driver since he signed the McLaren contract.

      Kobayashi did a solid job. Sauber is now within striking distance of Mercedes in the Constructor’s Championship. They deserve to be the fifth best team in 2012.

  20. Nick says:

    Grosjean is awesome!
    He causes mayhem which brings out the safety car (luckily not an ambulance. Yet) which makes for thrilling racing.

    1. rad_g says:

      It does look like it was not his fault this time.

    2. Onko says:

      Funny,that Renault powered cars has so much
      contributed towards Vetel succsess thus far
      in this year championship,It was Grosjean
      that put Alonso out of a race in Spa,then
      Raikkonen the same,and today again Grosjean
      play the part for safety car thus allowed
      Vetel to close up front.
      One must feel for Alonso as he gave a 110%
      every race,even his team mate desereted him
      most of time particulary today when Mr Massa
      should have rode a shotgun for his team and
      his team mate, what a waste of grid space that guy is.

      1. nusratholla says:

        Sorry, Kimi didn’t take out Alonso… Alonso did to Kimi in Suzuka what Grojean did Hamilton at Spa and to Schumacher in Monaco… thought it was his god given right to move across and expect cars around him to roll out the red carpet for them.

        So, if Grojean is blamed for moving across and causing the mayhem in Spa, then Alonso should be deemed blamed for moving across in Suzuka.

        The only difference being Grojean took out half the grid and almost Alonso’s head in Spa… while Alonso took out himself in Suzuka.

        Nonetheless, there is no difference between the two incidences… same move different drivers with different consequences.

      2. Rockie says:

        if he truly gave 110% he would have won today but was waitingg for Kimi’s car to fail or run out of tyres

    3. Mike Turnbull says:

      Perez was rightly penalised for causing the accident, which brought out the safety car. Perez was off track and drove right in front of Grosjean as he returned to the track, where was Grosjean expected to go? He can’t disappear.

  21. Chromatic says:

    “I know what I’m doing.”

    F A N T S T I C.

    Mr Cool Kimi.

  22. DK says:

    Wow what a great race, and so many to talk about! I was glued to the sofa after the second SC.

    Very happy for Kimi to win the first race since his comeback. At the same time, one must be wondering what jinx Lewis has , DNF when he dominated on Saturday.

    What a day for Seb, cutting through the field and limit Fernando’s gain to only three points. two more races to go and it is now straight fight between Seb and Fernando !

    Yes, yes, yes …. quote of the day :)

  23. Natty P says:

    James,

    Is Mclaren keeping Mika’s Record of wins intact? Or are they positioning JB to be higher than the “Leaving” driver for the Final standings?

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Twice = coincidence. If it happens again at either of the final two races, I think Hamilton will be thinking the same way.

    2. Peter C says:

      Mercedes fuel pump caused it, but was not part of your conspiracy theory.

    3. Sebee says:

      I have this gut feeling that if Honda is making a comeback with them, McLaren are going lean next season and investing everything into 2014 effort early. Clearly RBR can’t be stopped and last year of V8 is going to be dominated by Red Bull.

  24. FerrariFan says:

    Great race. Sad for Hamilton and Alonso (for not capitalizing on the opportunity). But what a race from Vettel! Not a fan of him, but on a day like this he earned my respect.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      and who said Abu Dhabi races were always boring. I thought Mark Webber was a bit off key this race.

      1. db4tim says:

        A bit off is correct, he continued to hurt himself..

  25. Quattro_T says:

    Are teams allowed to run 4 cars these days?
    It surely looked like Verge and Riccardio, while should be racing for positions and championship points, just let VET by as if they are being lapped. Surely, they would be fighting and RACING ALO as hard as they possibly can, in the same situation.

    If I remember correctly one of the Torro Rosso cars also LET WEB by at one deciding point in the race in ABU in 2010, after the first stint, making WEB loose nothing while fighting ALO for the title.

    FIA at late lunch during races?

    1. Terry says:

      You hit the nail on the head about the four Red Bull cars with the two Red Bull teams.

      Red Bull has a unfair advantage over the other teams they can order 3 cars to let the golden boy pass. when all season long when they need points they get help from their sister team Toro Rosso by letting them just pass on through.

      Red Bull is breaking the team orders rules.

      I hope all the F1 teams protest and have the Fia reviews all races this season pulls all the points earned by both Redbull teams and drivers have earned by letting each other pass by instead of fighting for position.

      Terry

    2. Peter C says:

      What about TRs Ferrari engine?

    3. Speedster says:

      Yeah, I don’t know about you guys but it’s getting quite pathetic seeing this happen time and time again. I’m surprised McLaren and Ferrari don’t make a bigger fuss about this. You would think two teams that are dishing out hundreds of millions to win races and championships would be going completely berserk over the fact that their main rival is cheating on the racetrack.

    4. Darren says:

      That’s a difficult one I think. So long as the same guy owns 2 teams or the same major sponsor backs 2 teams there will always be this issue. You cant stop them because like the ban on team orders the teams can get round them, with “coded messages”, “driver mistakes” or “precautionary pitstops” both of which I think are more contrived and damaging for the integrity of the sport than simply telling people how it is.

      We have seen one team helping another to the expense of another in the past. The best one I can recall is Jerez 97 where Mclaren and Williams (both renown for disliking Ferrari at the time) did a deal where Villieuneve effectively let Hakkinen and Coulthard through on the premise that they would steer well clear of him so he secured the 3rd place needed for the championship, eliminating the possibility of an incident and denying Schumacher and Ferrari the title (although Schumacher managed that on his own of course).

      Getting back to the original point, whether one person or company should be allowed to own two teams is a whole different argument.

      1. KRB says:

        that was b/c Villeneuve’s car was wounded after being deliberately speared by Schumacher!

    5. Andrew says:

      This seems to escape sanction. Another example of Red Bull [mod].

      James, surely there is a rule against a team letting a rivals car through deliberately? If this happened in football it would be called match fixing.

    6. Jason C says:

      I agree very strongly with this – team orders are fine and allowed, but Toro Rosso and RBR are not the same team, no matter who their owners. Collusion between two competitor teams IMO should be very severely punished.

    7. Nuno says:

      Couldn’t agree more….the way the RedBull b’s moved out of the way was incredible

      1. AlexD says:

        I thought they had blue flags, no? They should move like this when they see a blue flag, so I do not understand why are people so angry.

      2. Sri says:

        Blue flags? Vettel was racing them as he was behind them!

      3. JR says:

        No blue flags, they were supposed to be fighting for position.

    8. Chris b says:

      Vettel drove well today,but the ammount of help he received from torro-rosso,the safety car,other renault engined cars crashing at the right time,his team mate doing the same,makes me question the integrity of F1,like i say,a good drive from vettel,but not that good.

  26. Deborah Farrell says:

    Well chuffed for Kimi so glad to have him back in F1. Brilliant victory! Sorry for Lewis who drove superbly all weekend. For Alonso, 2nd place was probably the maximum today and he achieve that. I am still trying to figure out how Vettel finished 3rd-great recovery drive, got to give him credit. Roll on Austin and Brazil.

    1. Oly says:

      How 3-rd ? Well with a help of 7 DNF-s, 2 Toro Rosso, uselless Massa (as usual), 2 SC-s, fastest car and MASSIVE amount of luck.
      He has to thank Grosjean too, again.

      Pity for HAM. Ironically, best car and luck combo will win the WDC. Sad time for F1.

      1. OscarF1 says:

        Massa didn’t allow Vettel to overtake, he was facing the opposite direction after an incident which is 99’99% Webber’s fault

  27. OscarF1 says:

    I think there was something between Vettel trying and failing to overtake Button at lap 46 until the end of the race…
    Like how Alonso achieved to escape DRS Zone from Button and consistently drove fast lap after fast lap to close the gap with Kimmi to 0’8 secs.
    Or, indeed, the success from Vettel in overtaking Button…

  28. JCG says:

    Great race, really enjoyed it. Wasn’t sure which of my favourite driver to back in the last few laps. Wanted Alonso to win to maximize points but wanted Kimi to get a well deserved win!

  29. Panagiotis says:

    Sebastian safety car Vettel, that’s the driver of the day. fantastic race !!!!!!!!!!!

  30. hugh says:

    I missed the commentary but thought Vettel made an overtake off the track. Obv stewards didnt think so.
    Been waiting all year for Kimi to win and knew he would – big congrats to him. Not a fan of Lewis but hard luck as he was clearly fastest all weekend – his luck will need to change next season if Merc are to give him a win.
    Alonso deserves this years title for making the best of a second rate car.
    Vettel is still an enigma to me – fast driver or fast car? Webber has a weight distribution disadvantage so not really a level playing field there.

    1. toleman fan says:

      Re vettel going off track – He did, on Grosjean, but apparently he gave the place back & did it properly. Didn’t see it on the feed, but post-race commentary has been very clear.

  31. Elie says:

    Yeehaa! – there you go I will show my emotion as Kimi doesn’t !. Congratulations to the Iceman and Lotus what a stirling effort from the team. ! We’ve been waiting all year for this and they have taken us by surprise ! – Fantastic bring on Austin & hopefully they will find some more pace by then!

  32. Rodger says:

    Haha! Vettel!!! Brilliant!!
    You just keep shutting them up boy, just keep shutting them up.

    1. Goober says:

      He’s good, very good.

      Felt for Webber. Bogged if off the line, which meant he was scrapping, Which means Vettel caught him. Which means the team boxed him out of synch, which threw him behind the Perez, Grosjean mess.

      If he’d got away cleanly, all that should have been way behind him.

      Bring on Austin. Track looks amazing. Bit of everything there. Silverstone, Turkey, Suzuka, huge straight, elevation change. Interesting to see how teams set up for it.

    2. AlexD says:

      which way? For overtaking Button? I think Kimi and Alonso overtook more cars today.

    3. Elie says:

      Noone ever said he ain’t quick – it’s just that in that RB8 he looks even quicker than he is.! Its was a bit amateurish clipping Ricciardo. Then both Torro Rossos “opened the door for him “He had three safety cars and at the end of it he could see the leader from where he was – no big deal really. My grandmother would have got to 3rd from there…Lol Slight exaggeration I know but you get the point don’t you.

  33. quest says:

    Don’t know why people are saying that Seb was very lucky with the safety cars. He gained at most one position because of them. The first safety car didnt help him any and probably hindered him because he had to drop to the back again. The second one did help him gain one position.

    Poor Mark was probably made to pit early because he didnt seem inclined to let Seb who was faster on fresher tires pass him. But this is no worse than Ferrari keeping Massa out even though he was struggling with tires just so he can hold back Webber and Vettel and help Alonso.

    Also Webber was probably lucky not to get a penalty for his incident with Massa when he re-entered the track unsafely just like Perez.

    1. James Allen says:

      But S Car cut the time gaps, that’s where they helped him. Allowed him to close up and make up time

      1. Rockie says:

        I didnt hear you saying this in Valencia James Seb was atleast 20 secs clear of Grosjean before SC also why is the fact that Alonso wasted his oppourtunity to win this race not highlighted as he left it too late to attack Kimi.

  34. Richardd says:

    With the car he had, what could he do but overtake much slower cars and the TRUTH is he was massively helped by the safety car and good calls from the team, despite that he was clumsy and careless in some overtakes. He did good though

  35. JMR says:

    A breathtaking race. If this GP didn’t set your pulse racing than you need to find a new sport! Such a contrast to previous races at this circuit, too.

    Outstanding performance from Raikkonen, finally delivering on Lotus’s potential – and his own – with a peerless performance out front (and some priceless clips on team radio!).

    Alonso couldn’t really have done any more than he did in this race – chaos all around him, with cars dropping out or having contact left, right and centre, but did a very good job of preserving his advantage over Webber, Button etc. during the spells when they were pressing him closely. He nearly caught Raikkonen at the end, but Kimi performed outstandingly and had just enough in hand (though another lap or two and you wonder what could have happened!). He will, however, surely be wondering what he has to do to get a big score over Vettel, given that he finished just a few seconds behind him in spite of all the issues he’d faced!

    Vettel… credit where it’s due here, because his performance was very impressive indeed. Consider how many accidents and incidents took place in the middle of the pack today – Vettel could have quite easily been punted off the track in any one of these clashes, but managed to work his way through the pack quickly and effectively. He did have a significant chunk of luck, though – and naturally, this will be the point that vexes all the people who insist on arguing eternally about his quality as a racing driver!! The timing of the second safety car was particularly fortuitous and I thought he might even go and win it after that, with the brand-new soft tyres to play with. He will be very happy with a podium place – in terms of ‘damage limitation’, finishing only one place behind your championship rival is as good as it’s going to get!

    Hamilton would almost certainly have won this race, but his car let him down once again – a real shame. Button was never on his pace (especially in qualifying) but even he nearly hung on for a podium, so Hamilton was looking very good for the win today, with Mclaren’s reliability once again costing them dearly. Their concern will probably be the battle with Ferrari for second place in the Constructors’, which they could still get (especially given Massa is not proving a reliable scorer of big points – his spin after the clash with Webber, which he managed to do all by himself, was a very strange one!).

    Some very clumsy driving in the midfield – Vettel must have been breathing a sigh of relief when he came out of the pits ahead of Grosjean/di Resta/Perez/Webber, because I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wondering how long it’d be before things ended in tears!

    All in all, a great race – enthralling viewing and the Championship very much still alive. Vettel’s pace in the Red Bull is ominous though – he passed half of the field as if it wasn’t even there, and such a pace advantage over the majority of the field means that if he qualifies ok and stays out of trouble in the races, he’s always going to be in the top 4 or 5 places, no matter what happens. This is going to mean Alonso has to start winning – really, you can’t help but think that he needed to beat Raikkonen today to maximise the damage. It’s not all over, but Alonso will seriously have to work for it if he’s going to deny Vettel his third straight title!

  36. Tim says:

    I think vettel was extremely fortunate today. Pit lane to 3rd is a strong achievement, but benefitted massively from two perfectly timed safety cars. Not to mention twice making a mess of his front wing and an illegal overtake on grosjean. Vettel will probably win this championship, but I agree with Hamilton that he is not on the same level as alonso.

    1. Tim says:

      Do you want to keep using “Tim” and I’ll change my long-standing use of “Tim”? Just askin’. Please let me know asap. And thank you.
      P.S. I’ve been asking you this on at least 5 or 6 of your last posts, maybe I’ll catch up with you on this one.

      Tim

      1. Peter C says:

        Identity theft.

  37. Vinola says:

    Vettel impressed me today, and gained my respect as a top notch driver- yes, he has a fast car, but he made an outstanding use of it, helped by the safety car.

    Raikonen drove a solid race. Alonso was plucky and in fighting spirit.

    McLaren is in real trouble for the near/medium term; I dont see Whitmash surviving much longer. They’d have to have the best car by a mile and reliability to maintain this year’s performance next year, never mind winning the championship.

  38. Dave says:

    And the award for luckiest driver of the day goes to…..Vettel. Sorry, but well timed safety cars and lots of attrition do not make a good drive…they make a lucky one.

  39. alam says:

    I am the biggest Kimi fan but I can’t give him DoD,

    1. He was slower than Alonso in the end so if there was a lap or two more kimi would have lost it.

    I give it to Vettel even though I think he is more world Champion on car than merit.

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Did you happen to sleep through both of the safety cars when allegedly Alonso was faster then Kimi?

      Seriously, what a Alonso fan boy.

    2. JR says:

      I am a Alonso fan but yours is a weird assessment, the goal in F1 is to be the fastest in covering a given race distance, not a lap more not a lap less, and that is just what Kimi did.

    3. Megan says:

      Yeah right Ferrari was better then Lotus. If Alonso had won in a Lotus you would have been hailing him as the best.

      1. manu says:

        thats not assumption. But facts. From technical point of view no way in hell the E20 is better than F2012. The car has everything, power, downforce…whereas E20 must compromise straughtline speed to compensate for decent downforce.

  40. Dean G says:

    It used to be “Seb always has clean air – once he’s in traffic – then you see he’s no Alonso”…

    Today it will be “Seb’s car was so good”…

    He was driving a totally new set-up, so he had ZERO time to figure out exactly what he could and couldn’t do in the car. Yes, that means Red Bull got to do the best they could… But anyone who has ever raced a car knows that if you haven’t even turned 1 lap in anger on a set-up, you are going to be on pure talent as to how fast you figure out what you can and can’t do.

    He started in the pit, ended up 3rd, and managed to pass Button which (even though he had better rubber) was very impressive when you break down the sector times in relation to where the DRS is…

    Seriously, people, can you stop now? If Alonso or Hamilton started 24th and came 3rd on this track with the championship on the line, you would call it “one of the greatest clutch drives in history”

    I not a huge Vettel fan… I’m just able to judge drivers without some ‘slant’ as to who I think has talent or not.

    This is the one of the hardest tracks to pass one. Period. DRS or not. And the guy gained 21 places.

    1. Matthew says:

      Such an amateur opinion.

      Tell me how he gained places 10 to 2 before the second safety car and how many overtakes were involved.

      1. For sure says:

        Ha just wondering, do you work in F1?

      2. Matt H says:

        No I don’t – I wish I did!

        I suggest you look up the word ‘amateur’ in the dictionary though – it doesn’t just mean unpaid.

      3. For Sure says:

        Ok thanks I will. Please feel free to look up “armchair expert”, its not too different.

  41. kev says:

    Vettel .. lucky.. How many midfield/top teams did he pass… answer 2 .. safety car did the rest..
    red bull engineered mark out of the way .. threatened torro rosso drivers.. good drive but thats it Lucky

  42. For Sure says:

    Let me think of a way to put down Vettel.
    Hmm….wow I never thought it would be this hard.
    Oh wait, he finished behind Alonso, who was driving a tank, despite driving Adrian Newys car.
    Mark my words guys, it’s all because of that genuis enguneer.

  43. Lojen says:

    Amazing race with examples of great and awful driving from many of the drivers. Yet more terrible luck for Hamilton who must wonder what exactly he needs to do to catch a break.

    Really pleased for kimi who would be my driver of the day, though I wouldn’t ever want to be his race engineer.

    And then we have Vettel and its hard to know where to start. On the face of it coming from “pit lane to podium” is an astonishing achievement however such a simple statement does not really paint a true picture of his race.

    At the start he seemed to me to be a bit wild and dare I say it desperate. The contact with Senna was clumsy at best, and he was lucky not to end his own race behind the first safety car when he nearly rammed Ricciardo.

    He also benefited greatly from the mishaps of others, and it was a bit like watching the parting of the Red Sea as drivers fell off the road in front of him. Maybe he should adopt the nickname Moses?

    Two perfectly timed safety cars where truly the gold leaf on the cherry on the cake as far as his luck was concrened.

    Having said all that, he certainly got the maximum out of his race, and in the final 2/3rds or so drove very well indeed. His overtake on Button was very nice, though he might not have got away with it with some of the other divers out there.

    Overall a very exciting race to watch with a worthy winner.

  44. Joe Bella says:

    A very very popular win that.Some observations:

    1. Alonso had the pace to win today once he passed Maldonado after Hamilton retired, but he was too conservative until the last 6 laps, this after the Safety Car had given him a golden chance wiping out Kimi’s 7 seconds lead.

    2. Vettel drove a brilliant albeit not flawless race. I dont think any sane racing fan will claim that drive was lucky. He started from 25th or 26th, made brave moves but most impressively recovered brilliantly from losing the front wing after a moment of carelessness. He will be a deserving 3 time champion and a great if he clinches the title.

    3. Ironically, Alonso could have denied Vettel 3rd if he had kept Jenson in touching distance behind him. Once the gap between Jenson and Alonso grew more than 1 sec, it was a matter of time Vettel passed Jenson who had no DRS.

    4. Whats up with Mark Webber? Lousy start, lousy spell behind Alonso and some very lousy racing. Not a lot of grit from the aussie today.

    5. Raikkonen has a great career in commentary awaiting him when he retires. His radio comments were legendary. It may seem rude to some people but his engineer Mark Slade has been with Kimi since his days at McLaren and therefore knew exactly what his man was saying.

    6. Kimi was right though. He did look after his tyres brilliantly after the SC and sped away from Alonso who seemed to have the faster car. Very popular winner in the paddock

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      That get away from second safety car was monstrous, I’m glad Martin Brundle made a notice. Kimi just switched it on with fastest laps straight out.

  45. AlexD says:

    It is not very difficult to guess what topic is going to be discussed the most today:-)

    I will analyze the race myself later and will try to follow the whole race being Vettel – is his 3rd place today more impressive then the win of Alonso from 10th in Valencia?

    I will not judge now…I will analyze it myself and will have my mind clear: either it was something exceptional or rather expected considered circumstances.

    A great race, one of the best of this season…absolutely sensational. Great to see Kimi winning and sad to see Ham retiring. Webbel is yhe odd case today…not penalized in 2 situations. Again, might be wrong, but ot was a bit too opportunistic what he did. At the end of the day, he got the penalty served.

  46. Sri says:

    “I guess last time you guys were giving me s*** because I didn’t care enough [when I won], so [you're doing the same] this time again,” he responded to a question about how it felt to win again. But I’m very happy for the team and myself, but mainly for the team.”

    I liked Kimi’s openness. In any profession, the guy who is chatty even though with not much substance in his talk is seen “motivated”. The one who talks less because there is nothing much to talk about, will be seen as “demotivated”. Button had similar issues this year as Kimi had in 2008, but he was chatty enough to put the point across that the car did not suit him. Imagine a performance of Buttonesque from Kimi and the story about Kimi will be different. The same goes about Webber too with a much faster car at his disposal.

  47. colin grayson says:

    how about a poll for luckiest driver of the day …as so often vettel would win at a gallop ; not that he never gets any bad luck

    unluckiest ? yet again hamilton

    driver of the day ? kimi without a doubt …twice built up a lead that he lost due to a safety car , but kept his head and got home first

  48. Lol says:

    Lol at the Vettel-[mod] going crazy on all F1 forums, haha.

    It really hurt them to see the race today :P

  49. Wade Parmino says:

    This Grand Prix weekend has been the unluckiest and luckiest for a single driver (Vettel) ever. It was unbelievable how many problems Vettel encountered, yet was gifted with such good fortune as well. Big name mistakes and retirements as well as safety cars were what got him on the podium.

    Tragic for Hamilton; he deserved to win this one. Tragic for Alonso as well; he did the best he could only to close the gap to Vettel by a measly 3 points.

    Admittedly, Webber drove rather disappointingly right from the start but also was a victim of wrong-place-wrong-time circumstances. RBR treated him very untrustingly as well, by pitting him earlier than necessary, which is actually what put him in the position behind Grosjean and Perez. If Webber ever really did have the opportunity to join Ferrari as Alonso’s wingman, he should have taken it. At least with Ferrari he would know where he stands. Red Bull say their drivers are equal but everyone knows that is a load of Bull.

    On a final note (not that it bothers me too much personally), I wonder if Vettel will be fined by the FIA for his language on the podium.

  50. Arya says:

    Just wonder where did that chunk of time came from during last 6-7 laps for Fernando!!!

    Any idea James???

    1. James Allen says:

      Looked after his tyres well

      1. Brad says:

        and then it started to fall off… Kimi had it covered I feel, the Lotus being more gentle on it’s tyres

  51. JB HAM says:

    James how was Ron Dennis?

  52. Irish con says:

    The more I watch f1 this season the more impressed I am with the quality of the guys are the very front. Alonso, Vettel, Kimi and Lewis are 4 all time greats and its just a joy to watch them and I don’t want to read anymore nonsense on who’s the best. Just enjoy them because the next generation are not in there class. The more I see of Perez the more he doesn’t impress me and I have said that since he made the mistake in the last 5 laps at Malaysia.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      +1 on everything you said!

    2. IgMi says:

      (Kimi fan here.)

      I agree with your comment completely. I noticed that I have totally different feeling when watching those four-five top drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, comparing to the “next-generation” drivers. I do, though, keep my fingers crossed that they (NextGen drivers) would mature in time to provide us the same enjoyment the top folks do now.

    3. zombie says:

      Really not that simple, is it ? The top 4 ( or top 10 ) all are within half a second of each other because of the rules. No testing,standard electronics,standard tyres, no engine development, no radical aero..this really is the reason why we’ve been having such close seasons of late. Had the rules been the same way in the 90s/2000s, we would have still 5-6 drivers fighting for wins on any given sunday.

  53. Val from montreal says:

    Raikkonen is this years best driver …being in 3rd place in the wdc standings in his first comeback year is simply unbelievable … Imagine where KR would be if his car was RED and not black & gold ?? …. Vettel is the best of his generation and this race proves it once again …He’s far from being another Michael Schumacher but hes just as strong mentally and Fernando’s recent Vettel bashing has’nt affected him one it …. Here’s to a new era in F1 …. Long live the germans …..

  54. Geenimetsuri says:

    Raikkonen dominated much of the race and Vettel stormed past slower cars like they’re air.

    Exciting race for sure!

  55. AlexD says:

    There is no question that Vettel did a great job today.
    Was it a miracle drive from him? I really do not think so:-)

    Some facts:
    1. Vettel was not very careful and could have ended his care in the first few laps. I remember what James Allen said when Alonso had an accident with Kimi and James said that it was Alonso who was not very careful. To me, Vette was not careful today and could have finished the race outside points.
    2. First 6-8 cars you do not have to count at all. You have usual suspects which are 3 sec per lap slower and then 2 other Red Bull which will move away.
    3. Two safety car periods which really helped Vettel today – to have the new wing, to spend most of the race on fresh soft tyres and always have new tyres just before the restart
    4. Webber was not part of calculations at all
    5. Webber took out Massa and so Vettel did not have to overtake Massa, he did not spend any time behind him and Webber at all

    All of this really helped Vettel to get to the podium. He move on Button was the only serious move today.

    1. Rockie says:

      You dont like Vettel we get it, to counter your flawed logic,

      1. Almost doesnt count he didnt end his race so whats your point he made a mistake and recovered from it.

      2. You need to go and re-watch the race really.

      3. The 1st SC he went to the back of the grid and had to start all over again.

      4. Webber had a lousy race and was not a team player had it been Alonso you would have said Massa should move over immediately.

      5. Oh yea too bad for Massa as Feerrari was planning to use him as a road block .

  56. Quietone says:

    Managing extreme pressure was the name of the game in this race.
    Vettel cracked and had to be calmed by his team after an abysmal first part of the race.
    Webber was Maldonado on steroids.
    Massa cracked under Webber’s pressure.
    Ditto for Perez, Vergne (under Vettel’s pressure), Jenson…and Rosberg!

    So DOTD must go to Narain. He managed to keep his head! ;-)

    (And yes, the whole comment is tongue-in-cheek!)

  57. JohnBt says:

    Fantastic race, best one of the year!
    Gonna be tough to pick DOTD.

  58. AlexD says:

    To use Vettel’sown words, this is what his race was for me: “”I had a fantastic race, the safety car helping here and there, and in the end there was a nice fight with Jenson, who was difficult to pass,” said Vettel.”

    Mostly the luck with the safety car and a great fight with Button.

  59. Ahmad says:

    “It also silenced critics who think that Vettel lacks ability to overtake.”

    Oh come on! There was a pile up at turn 1, he damaged his front wing dive bombing Senna, Rosberg flew over Narain, he hit the DRS board during the first safety car period, he passed Maldonado initially outside of the track confines, Massa spun, Perez took out a few more vehicles.. another safety car period……..

  60. vxyler says:

    I can’t decide who is the man of the race, but i can decide, who is/are the winner of the race: RAI and VET. And everyone who saw VET on the podium knows, that he also feels like a winner.

    Because of his two answers to his engineer I would say: Kimi is the man of the race! ;-)

  61. Rob Newman says:

    Great race. Kimi was Fantastic. Hope we can listen to more of his car radio.

    It was getting a bit annoying with some TV pundits and F1 personnel saying how unlucky Hamilton was and how lucky Vettel was. No one said Vetel was unlucky yesterday. He worked so hard to get on to the podium. Hamilton is not the only driver to hit engine problems while leading a race this season. In F1 you make your own luck.

    Webber is a very good driver but his manoeuvers today explains why his not championship material.

    For a man in his eighties, never imagined Bernie could walk so fast to wish Vettel on the pit lane.

    And on Ferrari … who are they kidding? Alonso was pumping fastest lap after fastest lap at the end. So why do they say they are not fast enough?

    1. Quattro_T says:

      “And on Ferrari … who are they kidding? Alonso was pumping fastest lap after fastest lap at the end. So why do they say they are not fast enough?”

      Good on you to calling their bluff! There is no rational explanation to him driving faster than the Lotus at that stage of the race. They have been trying to fool everyone to believe, the RB and Mclarens are much faster – even limiting their engine power output at qualy all year long, to achieve that goal – but hey, they cannot fool you can they!

  62. Pman says:

    The mid field is a bunch of jokers. They are intolerably bad. It’s like playing whacky wheels.
    Every pass you have to be on edge. Even Webber got in on the stupidity today. I used to think Alexander Wurtz was bad but these guys take the cake.
    Rossberg almost killer Kartikeyan, Perez takes to the track like it’s his backyard, Webber thinks that Maldo is invisible. It goes on and on. Perez is almost as bad as Gro.

  63. Dominic J says:

    James,

    Given Perez was penalised both for forcing a car off the track and causing an accident:

    a) Jenson Button wasn’t forced off in a similar manouvre with Vettel, so should Di Resta have backed off?

    b) Perez was 95% of a car length ahead of Grosjean, and recovering from an incident, shouldn’t he get some leeway from being blamed for that incident?

    I’ll agree that he was “brave”/”reckless” in making the move on Di Resta in the first place, but once that was done I’m not sure where else he could really have placed his car.

  64. Steve B AKA Bring Back Murray says:

    Wow reaffirmed my faith in F1 that one did. All the big guys (Bar Hamilton) going at it.

    Wasn’t just some random race that depended on who got the tyres sorted out best.

    How are we going to do driver of the day?

    Vettel might just about shade it. Even though he was lucky with the 2nd safety car he still had to drive right through the field a couple of times!

    Come on Bernie nobble something else next weekend!

  65. Richardd says:

    It’s sad to see Button struggling in the same car that Lewis was way ahead of everyone in. McLaren must surely be regretting that he’s leaving, like James posted earlier, definitely a “big loss”

  66. Jonny says:

    Can’t forget Hamiltons dodgy gear slip to put him out of contention for world title in last race of his first year. Was mclaren warned Hamilton not to win title or wld be thrown out of f1? Same this year, think I’m off to the bookies tomorw to place a beat on JB coming higher in the championship!

  67. Stuart the Old Geezer says:

    James,
    Slightly off topic. Why were Red Bull team allowed to do so much work on Vettel’s car overnight? The BBC commentators said they changed the gear-box and the ratios to give him a higher top speed in the race. I thought the cars were in ‘parc ferme’ conditions between Q3 and the start.
    Or have I missed something?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, they took it out of Parc Ferme to do the work, but the rules say if you do that, you must start from the pit lane

  68. rad_g says:

    There was something interesting said by Ted Kravitz today, after the race in Teds’ Notebook. I can’t remember it word by word but in essence it was along the lines:

    The pit lane wonders how RB is managing their fuel line. If they did not ask SV to stop the car and allowed to come back they could somehow get the fuel out of the car, , presumably he meant “top it up” and pass the checks, no one would know about the problem.

    Can anyone shed some light on this one? What’s the procedure of getting the fuel out of the car for the check?

  69. Quade says:

    Great win for Kimi, at last! It was quite a thrilling race with way out radio messages from him, as well as all the uncertainty that saw Vettel make an exciting drive. There were choice words from both Kimi and Vettel that would have made granny blush too!
    As for Lewis, it was a real pity. Another let down by the team. Did anyone hear Whitmarsh blaming Mercedes for Lewis breakdown? Somebody, please give that man the boot, pleeeaase.

  70. monza01 says:

    Not sure who was best driver today but it has to be Lewis or one of the podium trio but Perez was second only to Webber for most incompetent driver of the day.

    Really, Mark can be brilliant ( Monaco )but he does sometimes look like a rookie, despite being one of the most experienced drivers on the grid.

    Extraordinary !

  71. Alberto Martínez says:

    Overtaking of the Race: Vettel to Vergne without DRS.

    I think this is a sort of team orders I´ve never seen before. James: Are team orders allowed between different teams?

  72. Greatracetoday says:

    Gutted for Lewis, deserved the win today but through no fault of his own, again another DNF. Given the spite of Ron Dennis it wouldn’t surprise me if he told McL to turn off Lewis car, better that than have to explain to the UAE sponsors why he has let their best asset leave the team.

    Seb did well to get to third, but didn’t really see any amazing driving….question still unanswered on whether he is a great.

    Mark must have upset the gods at some point, can’t wait for his next comment on Romain…

  73. goferet says:

    Woooooooo, what a race, what a spectacle, what a show, what a thriller >>> Fantastic all around.

    Good to see the iceman returnth and more so, was fun to see that he hasn’t lost any of his cool under pressure demeanour e.g. when Alonso decided to tighten the screws.

    WoW! What a drive from Sebi, for sure he has officially been accepted into the exclusive club of worthy champions and more importantly in that exclusive of exclusive club of thoroughbred racers >>> Congrats lad and oh, fair play to Jenson for driving fair & thus avoiding an accident with Sebi on what turned out to be the overtake of the race for me.

    No joking, there were so many good drives out there today that I can’t really pick my driver of the day (including Maldonado) however the usual suspects were causing mayhem as always & maybe it’s time some of them got full time mentors.

    Phew, glad Narain got to walk away from that shunt, it was pretty frightening, what’s also worrying is the number of accidents Rosbery happens to be involved in of late.

    Last but not least, so sorry for Lewis, for sure, the Mercedes gig can’t come soon enough.

    P.s.

    Talk about irony

    On any given Sunday, Abu-Dhabi & Valencia would have been tied as the most boring races in the year.

    Here comes 2012 and both those two are tied as the most fun races of the year.

    Well done Pirelli + the FIA

    1. Brad says:

      well, you were right about Hamilton having a DNF based on your stats…

  74. jeremy says:

    Best race of the year and the best race for Yas Marina. Unfortunate for Lewis, but can’t count how many times Kimi lost a race win (Title) to the second or third fastest driver of a Grand Prix weekend due to a mechanical problem since 2003. There are so many factors a race can go wrong. That’s the way it is in Grand Prix racing. The key factor for the race win is the first lap after the last SC period, with the comfortable gap eroded the best is to maximize grip in the most opportune time. Kimi did that, that won him the race. Similar to what is needed in the dying laps in Spa 04 over MS who had a superior chassis. Great race craft for all podium winners.

  75. tom says:

    love Iceman on radio…don´t bother me, I´m at work…

  76. goferet says:

    You know what, I think the 2013 form book has just been shot to shreds.

    You see, in it’s short history, the Abu-Dhabi race has been able to give us an indicator on which cars would be the fastest the following year.

    We saw this with Vettel in 2009 etc and what’s more, for the consistent teams, the Abu-Dhabi race track has also been able to grant them major silverware in the form of a drivers’ world championship.

    So with Kimi having won it this year, maybe the cat has just been placed amongst the pigeons.

    Welcome back Mr. Kimster, says I.

  77. Lloyd says:

    Big Webber fan but why chose the outside to pass? Yes the major crash wasnt his fault but you put yourself in that position from the start. Mega win from Kimi, we have missed you dearly!

  78. BlueRacer says:

    James: why didn’t Vettel change engine before the race?
    He could have got a “free” ninth engine since a 10-grid penalty didn’t matter as he was starting from the pitlane anyway.

  79. JCA says:

    I see McLaren are saying Seb was luckiest man in f1, so no more Vettel to McLaren rumours then.

  80. spyke says:

    KIMI IS THE ICEMAN and one of the most popular drivers without even trying. Imagine if he tried to be popular

    1. Sri says:

      He then would not be so popular. The other drivers try that and you know they have good number of haters except Kimi perhaps.

  81. KJ says:

    The fact that SV is a very good driver is not in question; he drove brilliantly again today. However I cannot understand why a team that has been penalised should be allowed to change the specs of the car to gain speed advantage. Surely the rules need to be such that a penalty means just that and the perpetrator should not be given the opportunity of benefiting in any way whatsoever. In my view, the altering of the car set up contributes to SV carving his way through the field in an already fast car

  82. Timmay says:

    Cringiest podium ever

  83. richardc says:

    What a day for mclaren. I just can,t get my head round it. LH does everything that is asked of him and the team blow his chances ……again! I mean come on,JB is a nice guy but can he really challenge for the WDC?? I can,t see it. Whitmarsh and his team of YES men are hopeless. This is yet another terrible terrible race for Mclaren. I am seething at the inability of a multi-million pound operation to get a car to the end of the race. Mclaren,s reputation is in tatters and they deserve all the critisism they get!!!

  84. Darren says:

    Que the usual arguments about DOTD. I will admit I am one of the ones that very rarely votes for Vettel. My reasoning for this is because he is generally so good he has to do something outstanding to catch peoples attention. I don’t think its an easy one, heres my reckoning.

    Hamilton
    Great job yesterday and looked to have the race comfortably in the bag, unlucky.

    Raikkonen
    Drove a solid race and took his win well. Managed the safety car restart well and built a comfortable cushion.

    Vettel
    Drove a great race coming from last to the podium. He was very lucky with the safety cars, I think the Ricciardo incident was his own fault he was too close to him, not the first time he has been in trouble under the SC. That said he would have probably still came 5th or 6th. Some outstanding overtaking, I was cringing when he was trying to pass Grosjean!

    Alonso
    He will be devastated that Vettel made it onto the podium. Was absolutely wringing the neck of that Ferrari, doubt he could have done any more. Given another couple of laps he may of passed Raikkonen for the win but I doubt it.

    For me it has to be either Vettel or Alonso. I think Alonso got the maximum out of the car he could have. Vettel was lucky to get a podium, but even so driving like that from the back of the grid to get anywhere near the front deserves DOTD.

    p.s. if Vettel started on the options given how early he had to stop due to the wing breakage. If he then put on the primes and ran to the end (i.e. no second stop), do you think he could have won? Or would Alonso, Button and co been fast enough to catch and overtake him on fresher primes? He would have surely fancied his chances on Kimi at the restart. I know this wouldn’t have happened as they couldn’t have predicted the wing breakage but its an interesting thought is it not?

  85. nusratholla says:

    R A I K K O N E N !!!!!
    By far the coolest man in the entire World of Sports :D

    Lotus was down on power while the chasing Ferrari could’ve driven past it if it got into his DRS Zone…. He maintained it pretty well… I was holding my breath till the last lap then I saw Kimi Pull out a little distance only to ease off in the last couple o’ corners.

    It was Sacrilege to see Kimi’s 10+ Lead blown away by Grojean, Perez and Diresta’s crash.

    Nonetheless, it was the Win of the YEAR :D

  86. Frank kyle says:

    Hello James, I heard that Ron Dennis had rather interesting reactions towards today’s race, is it true? Is Martin under pressure?

    1. He would have to be under some pressure – losing Hamilton, significant reliability errors and no drivers in the hunt despite arguably having a quicker car than Ferrari and Lotus for much of the season

      But you can’t forget that they did win three in a row mid season and will probably win one before the end of the year – so I can’t see any major movement here any time soon

  87. Adam says:

    Vetted as DOTD? I don’t think so. Come on, you can’t take it away from Raikkonen. Vettel drove well, but he made a couple of mistakes and significantly benefitted by the safety cars – without them, he would be just inside the to 10. Luckiest driver of the day…absolutely.

  88. primi says:

    I’m taking Vettel’s result with some reservation. He did extremely well to finish third from the pits, there is no denying that. However imagine for a second that there were no safety cars. Where would he end up? What would you remember his drive by?

    He damaged his front wing in a racing incident. He overtook someone off track (and corrected his mistake). You don’t have to be a genius to overtake the back makers driving a Red bull with some help from the DRS. And by the time you’re by the front is so far away that even a Red bull doesn’t help all that much.

    His only real work was overtaking Button, everybody else that was fast pretty much eliminated themselves out of the equation. And he was only in the position to overtake Button because of the second SC. I don’t think he’d even be present in the rear view mirrors on the longest straight otherwise.

    The safety cars gave him a chance and he took it. A fantastic result for him. The stars really aligned very well this time. But it looks better than it was IMHO.

    Now I better duck :)

  89. nusratholla says:

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR:

    1. Just leave me alone… I know what I’m doing :D

    2. YES YES YES YES… I’m doing it all the time… You don’t have to remind every second :D

  90. Illuminatus says:

    Sigh, what a great race yet such bittersweet feelings. So happy to hear the Finnish Anthem, yet unhappy to see Fernando’s cut the lead only by 3 points after yet another great drive. Good job Seb, I don’t begrudge you for today even though there are always going to be question marks over your success given the RBR.

  91. olivier says:

    Vettel made his own Luck today. That was a Champion’s drive!

    I don’t understand why Rosberg is not getting a 5 place grid penalty at the next race for driving into another car? In what way is his crash different from Michael’s crash in Singapore?

    1. tom in adelaide says:

      Narain’s steering was broken.

  92. JEZ Playense says:

    GO KIMI!

    Together with Vettel and Alonso, these three make the others look like time wasters.

    1. tom in adelaide says:

      I think you’re forgetting who really dominated the weekend prior to his car breaking.

  93. D1M0NST3R says:

    Great race indeed, and… i have a question, what do you think about Perez? I mean, if he gets the passing done well, what would you been saying about that (now i can say) bad move?

    in overall, do you preffer a risk taking driver or a safe racer?

  94. andrewBarratt says:

    Next season should be interesting because with McLaren having two drivers who are weakest in quali, they’ll end up alongside Lewis in the Merc he’ll have wrung the neck out of in quali – that will be fun to watch

  95. Anthony says:

    James, is it my imagination or have reliability issues, punctures, and mechanical faults in general played a much bigger role this season than in the past two or three.

    We seem to have punctures in nearly every race, the Redbull gearbox problems, McLaren taking a leaf out of Alfa Romeo’s book with the car, Ferrari’s back end trouble.

    I can’t remember a recent season that mechanical reliability has been so dominant.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, you are right it seems like a lot doesn’t it?

      1. Anthony says:

        It really does. Limiting the number of engine and gearbox changes seemed to have a positive effect on reliability, I can’t recall the last blown engine I saw.

        I wondered if something had changed, or if some other factor had come into play. Any thoughts?

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      Not even close to how it was in 70s-80s :)

      1. Anthony says:

        Indeed, and the 90′s.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining as such, but in the last few years most of the cars have been rock solid.

        Yet this season has brought problem after problem for multiple teams, and this left me wondering if the aero regs or some other factor had bought new issues to the cars.

  96. aveli says:

    fantastic race! dramatic dropouts, spectacular crashes, safety cars, brilliant drive from the back to the front, lots of overtaking, 3 world champions on the podium. was there ever a race like this? a classic! all 3 champions deserve dod!

  97. Nick Lynn says:

    I’m not sure Vettel silenced his critics with some of the overtaking he did. As you rightly say, the Red Bull was very much the class machinery by a long way.

    The original damage to his front wing came from a very ill advised impetuous punt up the inside.

    Likewise, the first overtake of Grosjean, which he had to relinquish, was also impetuous.

    For me, he still doesn’t instill a sense of confidence when he’s racing wheel to wheel. He lacks the imperiousness and savvy of Alonso or Hamilton or some of the greats from yesteryear. That’s not to say he can’t acquire it – but not on this showing I’m afraid.

  98. Sammy says:

    Deserved win for Kimi as he had to deal with 2 safety car periods.
    Alonso drove a good race but one would suspect he started pushing too late and took not enough risks once he was in 2nd place.
    I believe he should have started pushing a bit earlier as Kimi’s tyres were not going to last as long as Alonso’s.
    Nevertheless the championship is still alive and in Austin anything could happen.
    Bring on November 18th!!

  99. Thomas Mason says:

    Epic for Kimi, and spectators as this was the most enjoyable race to watch. However I know were in the midst of the season close and drivers are anxious about contracts, but it seems way too much on the mentality of do or die than concede and re-attack. “Lucky” my name is Sebastien.

  100. ChrisG says:

    James

    Regarding the “giving Lotus its first win since the 1987 US Grand Prix” line, do the team actually align themselves to the original Lotus Team when discussing team history, or do they refer to their time as Benetton/Renault, i.e. the Enstone based team?

    The reason I ask is because they have 3 stars on the nose in front of the driver which I always assumed refers to their 3 championships as Benetton / Renault?

  101. Craig D says:

    Lovely race. Unlucky for Hamilton but very happy Raikkonen and Lotus have bagged a win. They’ve deserved one this year and it looked liked their chance had gone.

  102. Rayz says:

    The return of the ICEMAN is complete.
    Forwards… into the pages of history!!

    Fantastic drive. Congrats Kimi

  103. Munchies says:

    Vettel had a fantastic race and added to the spectacle of what was probably the best GP of the season. But Vettel did have his fair share of luck along the way to help him onto the podium. The irony of the matter was that his bad luck (front wing damage) ended up helping him onto a very good stratergy and let’s not forget the Safety Car! Alonso was as magnificent as ever although I don’t think he’ll win the championship… The best car by far has done its work. For me the driver of the day is Kimi and his two classic moments on the radio that had me in stitches! Mention for how unlucky Lewis has been this year!

  104. marian says:

    If Massa had caused a collision and a safety car as Webber and Grosjean did, what would you say?? I think live is very easy for Vettel, fastest car, he has second team to support him(what about the overtaking to Toro Rosso team mates), everybody excepts Grosjean and Button let him pass!

  105. Steve Pritchard says:

    And Button hasn’t had any DNFs!

    1. Peter C says:

      Where did you get that information? Best to check.

      1. Steve Pritchard says:

        (Sarcasm implied)

    2. Anop says:

      He did in Monza.

      1. KRB says:

        Monza is the only DNF where he was on for serious points before retiring. Hamilton’s DNFs have cost him conservatively around 78 pts.

  106. Paul Woods-smith says:

    Most impressive recovery? Poor DC having to field first Kimi, then Seb’s (especially) profanity. Dealt with it with class and professionalism. I don’t accept giving Seb latitude because of not using his mother tongue, he should know better, his English is more than up to it.
    As for the race, loved it and Alonso and Seb are two of the top 3 in F1 by some way. Alonso with his car has no right to be there but he really is something else. Gutted for LH – he was on another planet all weekend.

    1. kers says:

      Actually, Seb used the f-word twice: during the podium interview and then during the press-conference. Must be under high pressure…

  107. zx6dude says:

    I’m not a fan of Vettel (specially his finger which I find extremely arrogant!), but he had a great race. A bit lucky here and there, a bit scrappy sometimes, but a great race. From the pit lane to third. Amazing.

    It was great that Kimi won it, it was great to hear Kimi on the radio (I know what I’m doing leave me alone!), it was fantastic to see DC on the podium and the swearing by Kimi and Sebastian was really hilarious, DC took it very professionally though! Brilliant race, lots of action, drama, funny and scary moments.
    Nico and Narain were very lucky to walk away from their accident. Good to see.
    Shame about Lewis, it is never nice to see a driver going out like that. Webber was not with it today, I wonder why he was so rattled?

  108. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    What do you make of Mclaren’s reliability issues this season? I think it must have been there worst year since 2005, a season which also cost them a possible WDC

  109. Matt says:

    Allen,
    How can you say “Vette’s final result showed the sheer performance advantage of the Red Bull over the majority of the field. It also silenced the critics who think that Vettel lacks the ability to overtake”.

    Let’s look at the facts:
    (1) when the teams set their cars up, it’s a compromise between race and qualifying. Vettel’s car failed scrutineering and he was allowed to change to a race set-up.

    (2) Vettel had 2 free pit-stops today due to 2 safety cars. Saving at least 40 seconds on the rest of the pack.

    (3) To prove to you that Vettel drive wasn’t that spectacular. Paul di Resta , who finished 9th, had a decent race after picking up a puncture at the first corner, which forced him to pit and rejoin almost dead last. Pastor Maldonado, who finished 5th, drove a great race. Especially as he was without KERS for much of the race.

    (4) How about the splew of retirements? Besides Ferrari, every team had at least one car that didn’t finish the race. When was the last time that many cars retired from a race? Vettel didn’t have to do a lot of overtaking..

    (5) The final safety car was perfect for Vettel. It erased the 9 second gap to Button and while the front-runner had several laps on their medium tires, Vettel had brand new soft tires for the final 15 laps to the checker flap. According to Pirelli, the soft tires are half-a-second faster than the medium tires around the Yas Marina Circuit.

    (6) Luck was on Vettel’s side today. It was not his driving ability that allowed him to move up through the pack. It was the inability of the other drivers and two very prefectly placed safety cars.

    (7) Lewis Hamilton about Vettel’s drive to P3, “he must be the luckiest man in F1″. He didn’t say the greatest driver.

    (8) In a few days, you will ask us to name the “Driver of the race”. My vote is for Kimi. He made a great start from 4th to 2nd and control the race from the front. I would have liked to say Hamilton, but to finish first, you have to first finish.

  110. ketthalllotus says:

    “giving Lotus its first win since the 1987 US Grand Prix victory for Ayrton Senna” James….can we really describe this as a win for Lotus in these terms? The 2 teams have little or nothing in common and somehow I just can’t see this win being proudly displayed on the wall in the Lotus factory boardroom!!I drink in a pub where they have a poster on the wall showing every Lotus GP winning car. Do you think that this poster is now out of date? And do you think the name LOTUS will be used by this team next year?

    1. Mike says:

      You’re being too technical

    2. toleman fan says:

      Do you apply the same standard to “Mercedes”? Did you apply it to “Honda” or to “Renault”?

      All three bought existing British F1 teams with no relationship to their own previous F1teams, all three of which had won races in the past.

  111. Zack says:

    Lewis Hamilton – thumbs up
    McLaren – thumbs down

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Yup.

  112. tom in adelaide says:

    So….. Sam Michael anybody?

  113. andrew says:

    “Vettel caught Webber on lap 31 and the Australian was told, “If Sebastian gets a run don’t fight him, ” Red Bull pitted Webber at the end of the lap just in case, releasing Vettel, who was now second on tyres which had done 15 laps”

    …bringing him out behind a train of midfielders….

    Mark had a shocker all round (those starts are hard to watch for a Webber fan), but the impact of this team call on Webber was the nail in the coffin for him today .

    1. zx6dude says:

      RB was merciless with Webber, but he did say he would never move over for SV.
      I’m not saying I agree with RB, I think it was a really tough call on Webber, but this is a team sport and Vettel is in the title hunt which Webber isn’t. Webber had a horrible race from the start until he was taken out and I think a lot of the blame is on the calls made by Red Bull.

  114. Don Farrell says:

    Watching Alonso after the race in the room where they get their winners caps / refreshments… did anybody else notice how deflated he looked….. prehaps thinking his golden chance to get ahead of Vettel had passed…

    1. Mike says:

      Even on the podium he was deflated and I notice most of the time he’s not smiling at all in the podium unless he’s in the top step.

    2. Matt says:

      It’s amazing to me how two people can see the exact same thing and come away with two completely different conclusion.

      According to Christian Horner, who was actually there at the race, Alonso was smiling as if he won the race.

      Now lets look at the fact:
      (1) If Vettel would have started 3rd on the grid, he would have won the race because of McLaren’s reliability issues and Webber’s legendary poor starts. That meant that Vettel would have collected 25 points.

      (2) Alonso would have probably finished 3rd so he would have collected 15 points. Vettel would now be leading the WDC at 23 points.

      (3) So instead of being down 23 points with only two races, Alonso is only down 10. I don’t know about you, but that would be enough to make me smile if I was Alonso.

      (4) Not to mention that Ferrari extended their lead over McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship. As we all know, that is where the teams get paid.

  115. All revved-up says:

    Excellent observations.

    The second safety car wiped out Kimi’s lead. The way Kimi pulled out a gap when the safety car pulled into the pits was very impressive.

    I think Kimi secured the win by driving the last few laps as conservatively as possible but yet maintain the 1 second gap.

    SV had two pitstops that didn’t cost him any time, due to safety cars. But he would have ended up 4th.

    Had Hamilton’s fuel pump held together, FA would have finished 3rd and SV 4th. Hamilton’s bad luck gave FA an extra point and he cut SV’s lead to10 instead of 11 points.

    Difficult to say what should have been. But the safety car and misfortunes of others have benefitted FA and SV.

  116. Senninha says:

    Great to see Iceman on the podium, of course he took his advantage of Hamilton DNF. Well deserved solid performance. Alonso drove as expected, faultless from P6 to P2. His attack for P1 was initiated too late to succeed, but then SV on much better tyres had to be covered…..

    So predictable result of SV drive, signed of by BE himself …… It was a joke how his supernatural RB8 plowed through the complete field and make all look like sitting ducks, while Webber was again faster in qualy, but lost place after place in the race…..

    It is a shame that a penalised team is allowed to modify their set up and replace parts. High speed set up, very favourable SC and three best (quality performing) sets of Pirellis did the work. A Narthikeyan would have be probably sufficient to do this job today. SV himself made 2 or 3 larger driving errors which robbed him even from a very possible P1….. !!!

    Most relevant: WDC remains fully open, 10 points is less than one DNF / DSQ.

    Also interesting was to see the amount of agressive driving again and crashes. Rosberg was flight was really wild, and Webber` T-Bone another one…. More TNT action is to be expected for next races…..

  117. F12012 says:

    What a race, just what F1 needed, so glad kimi held on

    Poor Lewis, think of the damage he could do with a good team and reliable car, hopefully mercedes can step up

  118. David Goss says:

    James

    Although the crash that ended his race wasn’t his fault, Grosjean got into another clumsy first lap incident today.

    Do you think his seat is slipping away because of all these incidents?

  119. KAlan says:

    James, It’s a little off-topic but i was wondering if you or anyone else here has seen this. Is this normal? If not, why haven’t we heard anything about it.
    Curtsey Craig Scarborough. Entire front wing and even the nose is flexing!

    http://www.gaiaconscience.com/img/trucorb2.gif

    1. James Allen says:

      Interesting but we always have to be careful of edited clips like this

  120. Nick says:

    Interesting bit of trivia that I’ve not seen reported anywhere else:

    Every ‘team’ (going by various different names in some cases) that has won a Constructors Championship since the 1970′s, has won a race this year:

    Red Bull
    McLaren
    Ferrari
    Lotus / Renault / Bennetton
    Mercedes / Brawn
    Williams

    1. toleman fan says:

      If you link BAR to Tyrrell, it holds back to ’69 and Stewart’s Matra (which Ken of course fan).

      Even if you break the Lotus / Lotus link, every WCC team since ’79 is still on the grid, altho’ some have changed names.

    2. Dave Aston says:

      Cool stat… and Michael’s been at three of them, Newey’s been at three of them…

  121. JB says:

    I think Webber really underperformed this race. Worse than the renewed Massa. I wonder if it is the fact that he realise there is no chance for him to get anything more for himself this year? His start was a disaster, then all his overtaking moves were way below par for his level of experience. A huge contrast to Vettel’s overtaking capability.

    I stayed up to watch the race till 2am! Geez it was a great race.

    Kimi is a man of few words but all them are true classic. He has the best personality, I think.

  122. Kay says:

    ‘“No! Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!” shouted Raikkonen.’

    In another words: Stop shitting my pants!
    :D :D :D :D :D

  123. Dean Cassady says:

    I am very pleased to see Kimi start (again) winning. Maybe it could have come earlier, but it’s just the way it is in this sport. He drove a great race, and fully deserved the win.
    Alonso has been so gloomy for a while, since the Red Bull-Vettel package became so good (again); nonetheless, Alonso was fully deserving of his place.
    Vettel: what is it with some people, classic attribution theory (psychology), when others win, the circumstances are blamed, when we (our driver) wins, it was because of his great talent, and the corollary: when others lose, it is because of their poor input, but when we lose (our poor Alonso), it was because of the luck of that Vettel and his unfair advantage Newey!?
    Anybody who does what Vettel did at Abu Dhabi, regardless of anything else, is a great driver.
    When Alonso has done it, and he has, more than once, I was happy to admit the display of greatness.
    I am a fan of the racing; the facts, both quantitative and the more objective qualitative, will clearly show that the best driver, definitely, since the Hungarian GP has been Vettel, and on balance, for the year to date.
    And Webber: it looked pretty good from where I was watching; he provided about 50% of the spectacle of this exciting race! Even though, while the move on Massa looked reasonable enough as a racing incident, it was a pretty tight squeeze he put on Maldonado, but he got his penalty then and there and it was appropriate.

  124. For sure says:

    I thought Mclaren was supposed to the best car yesterday, at least in the hands of Lewis.
    Vettel came from dead last, (yes SC helped, without that no driver can make up that gap as they are all in F1 for a reason), and overtook a world champion who was driving arguably the best car. If it doesn’t impress you, you need help.

  125. Joe Bella says:

    Reading the comments on this forum as well as the BBC and PF1 forums gives you a lot of insight into fan behaviour. Too many fans carrying hatred for the driver they dont like or the driver that will beat their favorite driver and blindly dismissing achievements of world-class drivers. Really really sad.

  126. Joe Bella says:

    I see few very fans praising or pointing out what their favorite driver did well to win their admiration. I only see a lot of jealous and bitter fans saying x had a faster car, loads of luck etc..FFS, enjoy the sport and be happy. dont be so bitter

  127. Indigo says:

    James,

    We all know Helmuthead can get a bit flustered when things go wrong for Vettel, do you see him having some stern words to Ricciardo? Personally I don’t think Ricciardo did anything wrong in that incident, but when dealing with Marko especially after Alguersuari-Vettel in Korea last year, I’m amazed he wasn’t hung at dawn.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I do!

      My Network 10 Australian TV interview with Dan in Austin will be interesting!

      I reckon he’ll get the hairdryer treatment, although not as bad as it would have been if Vettel had lost significan points

      1. Indigo says:

        Well then I look forward to it!
        And you’re right it could have been worse if Vettel had lost points but it actually forced Red Bull’s hand onto the strategy that got them to finish 3rd. He’ll still get the hairdryer treatment though anyway as you say.

      2. toleman fan says:

        James, do you think he actually did anything wrong?

        It’s not as if he could have let Vettel past, either.

      3. CRT says:

        James, I am honestly curious, doesn’t bother you this subordination of the Toro Rosso drivers to Red Bull? The image of Vergne close to going out of track in a turn to leave Vettel through is quite ugly, isn’t it?.

  128. alam says:

    Everyone is quick to point out had there been 3-4 more laps Alonso would have taken the win off Kimi,

    lets not forget he had to deal with two safety cars which diminished any time margin he had over Alonso and Vettel.

    1. toleman fan says:

      +1

      Kimi and Lotus were lucky in having Vettel put to the back in quali and then Hamilton’s retirement. But without the safety car periods, I don’t see any evidence that Kimi would have been under real pressure after lap 20. James?

  129. toleman fan says:

    ‘Ran’. Not ‘fan’. Grrr..

  130. Tiga says:

    2 Tech questions… (perfect race by Kimi – seized the opportunity)

    So, James if you could possibly shed some enlightenment -

    1. what kind of work did Red Bull do on Vettel’s car that saw him start from the pits – is there some kind of compromise on the qualifying setup that could usefully be altered for the race and still be within the rules?

    2. Kimi’s perfect start seemed pre-ordained by some sort of setup condition as he indicated he tested from the false grid and then knew how good it was, and Webber’s seemed equally destined to be a flop. What’s under the driver’s control at the start these days? Thanks… great site…

    1. James Allen says:

      If you take the car out of part ferme you can make changes but you have to start from pit lane. That rule has been in place since parc ferme came in years ago. So they changed gearbox, longer 7th gear, changes to rear wife etc and suspension, gave the car 10km/h more on straights, but not at the expense of damaging tyres

      The start is under the drivers’ control, by releasing the clutch at a set level of revs, but there are control settings on clutch etc which are prepared by a “control engineer” together with the driver. This is an area Webber has consistently had problems with over the past few years. Raikkonen has had some dodgy starts this year but some good ones too, like in Abu D

      1. Tiga says:

        Great – thanks, it sounds like the car changes were to optimize overtaking for starting at the back rather than something you’d do for a race-only (no qualifying) set-up in general, or do they all jeopardize the race set-up a bit to maximize qualifying…?

  131. Albert L. says:

    Hi James, I am still worried about the use of Italian during a GP by the Ferrari team. This time around they used it to insult Button. Yes.
    When Vettel passed Button, Domenicali said ” Vettel e adesso terzo perché Button si e addormentato”. The translation is ” Vettel is now 3rd because Button slept”. Even the Italian press which is so passionate about Ferrai and Alonso did not aprove of this statement. MAybe aam wrong but is this not an insult to Button. I am not a Button fan but I think on sunday he did everything possible to defend his position eventhough some people think that with the car he had he was suppose to be challenging Alonso and Raikonene and not defending from Vettel.
    James is there an official language in F1? Is there any rule on this?

  132. Dave says:

    I really think there needs to be some rules changes here. Vettel was essentially given free reign to change their whole set up even after he/the team had ‘broken the rules’. Whereas everyone else who abided by the rules had to keep their current setups. So by breaking the rules, he’s gained an advantage (he was also disadvantaged by starting at the back).

    Surely, if you are deemed to have broken the rules and sent to the back or pit lane, you should not be allowed to make any further setup changes to the car.

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