Emotional Vettel in Seventh Heaven In Abu Dhabi
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  03 Nov 2013   |  4:44 pm GMT  |  315 comments

Sebastian Vettel equalled the record of seven consecutive Formula One victories in one season after driving an immaculate race to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.

He was emotional afterwards on the podium as he dedicated the win to his parents, who have not attended a race for quite some time and again in the press conference when he contemplated the great names whose records he is catching and equalling.

It is the 37th win of his career, just four less than Ayrton Senna, and the 11th of this season.

The all time record for consecutive wins is Alberto Ascari with nine, but he did it over two seasons. Victory in the final two races of 2013 would also see the Red Bull driver match Michael Schumacher’s record for the most race wins in a single season – thirteen.

“Any kind of record involving Michael Schumacher takes my breath away. I’ve grown up watching him win in what looked liked each and every race when I was a child. And now that I am nearly doing the same can be quite humbling,” Vettel said.

“Most often from the outside people do not see the challenges involved. But one has to be prepared every time to go out there and nail it. If you ask me, the numbers are not that important, but to equal what he has achieved makes me very, very proud and I am old enough to realise this,”


Today Vettel was a class above the rest right from the first corner, as he took the race lead from team-mate Webber and simply drove off into the distance. He managed to square the circle of maintaining strong pace with preserving the tyres and the first stint put the win beyond doubt.

After running to lap fourteen on the soft tyre – longer than any other driver except Felipe Massa – he was able to exit the pits still in the lead and set about extending his advantage. He won by over half a minute.

By lap thirty his lead stood at thirty seconds and the need for excitement drew the attention away from the four-time World Champion.

Behind, Webber spent the first stint in third place after losing out to Vettel and Nico Rosberg at the start of the race. After dropping back and complaining of a KERS issue, Webber pitted on the ninth lap, two earlier than Rosberg, and set about pulling the Mercedes driver back.

With Rosberg hampered by a long-running Paul di Resta on the medium tyre, Webber reeled the two in and made the move past Rosberg with little difficulty. He had saved a little more KERS than his Mercedes rival. From here Webber maintained a four-second gap over Rosberg to make it the third Red Bull one-two of the season.

Rosberg followed his second place in India up with another podium here, collecting a much needed haul of points for Mercedes with the on-going battle for second place in the Constructors’ Championship. The sister car of Lewis Hamilton had a more difficult race as he struggled to pass slower cars and eventually came home in seventh place.

The Contructors’ Championship is now hotting up nicely between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus. Lotus were hampered late last night when Kimi Raikkonen was disqualified from qualifying due to too much deflection in the car’s floor following the session and would always be on the back foot today.

Opting to start from last place rather than the pit-lane, Raikkonen made contact with Giedo van der Garde at the first corner and was out of the race.

That left Romain Grosjean as the hope for Lotus and the Frenchman put in another solid drive. A good start took him past Lewis Hamilton and into fourth place, a position which he retained for the duration of the Grand Prix. Grosjean threatened Rosberg for the final podium place in the closing laps but could not make it four consecutive podiums.

Fernando Alonso, however, was able to make it ground in the closing laps as he switched to a two-stop strategy and completed the race on softs. He and Massa had hoped to complete the race on just one stop but switched late on prevent their tyres falling off the cliff.

Having started from tenth, Alonso made his way to fifth place, setting the fastest lap in the process, and keeping his team within touching distance of Mercedes. He had a controversial incident as he exited the pits for the second time, where he went off the track to pass Vergne and Massa. He argued successfully with the stewards that Vergne gave him no room and there was no penalty for the Spaniard.

Alonso went to hospital for precautionary checks following the race, after registering a 25G impact when he hit a kerb at Yas Marina – but doctors gave him the all-clear.

Mercedes sit on 334 points, whilst Ferrari are on 323 and Lotus take 297 points to Austin.

Paul Di Resta kept Hamilton at bay in the closing laps to complete the race on one-stop and impress any potential employers for 2014.

The top ten was completed by Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil. Massa ran the furthest of anyone on the soft tyre and like Alonso had hoped for a single stop. However a drop in times in the closing stages necessitated a second tyre change, dropping the Brazilian to eighth.

Perez had an eventful race that saw him in the middle of many battles. He made a good move on Jean-Eric Vergne before passing Sutil late in the race for ninth place.

Kimi Raikkonen left early after crashing in the opening corner. A row over his salary payments with Lotus seems to have been resolved after he threatened them with an injunction. And we understand he will take part in the final two races.

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, Yas Marina, Race, 55 Laps

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h38m06.106s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull +30.8s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +33.6s
4. Romain Grosjean Lotus +34.8s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +1m07.1s
6. Paul di Resta Force India +1m18.1s
7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1m19.2s
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari +1m22.8s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren +1m31.1s
10. Adrian Sutil Force India +1m33.2s
11. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1m35.9s
12. Jenson Button McLaren +1m43.6s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1m44.1s
14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber +1 lap
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams +1 lap
16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso +1 lap
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham +1 lap
19. Charles Pic Caterham +1 lap
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia +2 laps
21. Max Chilton Marussia +2 laps

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1

I am so tired of people whining that they are bored watching F1. It isn’t just about who finishes in the first three places. There is all kinds of stuff going on further down the grid. One thing F1 has never been is entertainment. If you are looking for that, try NASCAR or Roller Derby.

2

But if F1 is not entertaining then people will stop watching. If peole don’t watch then what’s the point in having F1?

3

not Massa but Sutil had the longest stint on softs Sutil 25- Massa 19

poor Massa would have been “faster than Alonso” so he got the mediums for the last 17. Otherwise he would easily been in front of Jev when Alonso rejoined.

If than had happend at RB the reaction of the media would have been massivly different

4

Analysis of the ALO-JEV overtake.

According to stewards (source Autosport):

1) ALO was forced to leave the track by JEV

2) JEV had worn tires and had fully committed to the turn

3) Telemetry confirms that ALO was faster and had the advantage

4) Neither car could avoid the incident

5) Drivers explanations were completely clear

6) No advantage was gained as a result of the incident

1-4 states nothing that allows overtaking off the track. So it all comes to ALO and JEV agreeing it was OK, hence the conclusion: no advantage was gained.

5

+1

And I´ve to say that, obvious danger for the drivers apart, was the most spectacular moment of the GP and the bravest movement so far.

6

James,

How would you assess Hamilton’s season? From the outside, it looks like flashes of speed, but without the consistency of Vettel, with some pretty average weekends. What the paddock view?

7
Tornillo Amarillo

If you check this site, I said aprox. in October 2012 (last year) that without important regulation changes VETTEL will be the 2013 Champion, no doubt. But what’s the paddock view? I guess almost every person in the paddock knew that.

Maybe this year we were just all distracted with the Pirellis’ problems.

Show must go on.

8

I was thinking that Hamilton is going through one of his emotional phase again. If you reckon LH is focused on 2014 and not the current race weekend while being paid €20++ million a year. I think that is not good, i prefer Michael Schumacher’s or Vettel’s never giving up mentality. That’s the true spirit of a champion in any sports.

9

Not so strong since Hungary

Seems like mentally he is on to 2014

10

James I would say he needs to make sure he finishes ahead of Rosberg in the Championship first.

11

Hulk had a penalty dont forget

12

I’m sorry to say, but the race was boring.

13

Hamilton is starting to remind me of Massa, fast but nebulous in his approach. However, Hamilton has generally been in superior cars since their titanic battle. I see Nico beating him in 2014, and he may beat Ham this year.

14

Completely correct decision from FIA not to punish Alonso. Did Vergne leave a car’s width of room to Alonso? No he did not. Alonso had no other choice but to go off the track in order to avoid a crash. The rules clearly state that you need to leave a car’s width of room for the other driver. Alonso didn’t gain an advantage by going off the track, he was just trying to avoid a crash, and that’s why the stewards didn’t penalise him. Alonso didn’t break any rules, it was Vergne who didn’t leave him any room. Right decision from FIA, end of story.

15

Hulk from 5 to 14.

ROFL like Koba from 15 to 6 last year, just the opposite.

16

How on earth did FA not get apenalty??!! By driving the way he did he was able to carry the speed enough to out out pace the other car. His four wheels were outside the white lines, therefore a rule was broken and a penalty should have been applied. Yet the stewards agreed with his explanation of events?? Why does this happen time after time? I bet when LH does it in the next race the whole pit lane and the BBC commentators will have a field day! Disgraceful!

17

I am glad you are not a race steward….

18

Vettel is really THAT good. The car is great, yes, but he is obliterating the field.

19

BUTTON “obliterated” the field back at Brawn.

20

Well, for the first half of the year, anyways.

I just hope whatever mega-downforce-creating-with-zero-drag thingamabobber RBR have on there can’t be recreated on next year’s car.

21

@KRB

I’m a little bit pessimistic.

They will dominate as usual.

22

Did Kimi plan that first corner incident?

He was snoozing in the 1st class flat bed by the time Vettel painted his doughnuts.

A “go slow” at work protest – Kimi style.

23

I could not understand why they did not start him from the pit /give him a longer gear, we saw vet get on the podium last year the same way. Had they done it he would have avoided all the turn 1 crunch, what a pants decision

24

Would have meant more work and expense for the team. Besides, a local restaurant was already booked for a team party.

25

What happened to Ricciardo?

Why such a weak race from him? Car? Driver?

Force India is responding to the Sauber challenge really well. Sauber suffered an own goal today – with Hulk’s unsafe release.

26

It is Vettel’s skill piloting that car that largely lets him keep it on the road and get it to the flag.

Those who criticise posters who say it is the car and not him should remember that till the first third of the season, we were able to say he could not overtake, but that was the car.

Now the CAR has been modified to be able to pass, and I don’t see anyway that we can stop him winning.

Barring technical issues that only exist on Rocky’s radio script, Austin is a done deal, as Seb is not going to get stuck behind a backmarker at the s-bends long enough for Lewis or other best-of-the-rest candidate to overhaul him.

27

The most dominant performance of Vettels career so far in my opinion. He destroyed everyone. It takes more than a good car to produce what he did and left Webber in the same machinery for dead.

If Senna was doing this we would be lauding the achievement. I find Seb hard to stomach sometimes but his class is now undeniable and his status of F1 greatness is now cemented.

Take a bow Seb. Magnificent.

28

vettel is not fit to wipe Sennas shoes ….period

29

Question for James

Is there any way the media have access to the teams GPS screens as I was wondering if it would be possible for you to do some analysis on which corners/ part of the lap Vettel is so much better on over the first couple of laps against the others.

I accept that I’d others are battling a bit it helps bit to see the way he just left them for dead AGAIN makes my wonder what the others do so wrong – after all the cars are all similar paced in qualifying usually…..

30
Alexander Supertramp

Disappointing race by Lewis.. I think the beating by Rosberg might do him some good for 2014, the fighter is still in there- just need to wake him up…ASAP

31

Mr Allen,to all due respect to you Sir, I am

bit suprised that you who have been associated

with the Motor sport and in particular F.1,

for donkey years do not call RBR and its single

seater that Vettel drivers in to question.

To win the race by more than 1/2 minutes + from

his team mate who run second,and amagst some

very notable drivers who are on any given day

unbeatable given an eaqual equipment, which is

a FIA current directive.

Thus,is it posible that that the might of Mercedes Group and the briliance and know how

of Ferrari,and to some extend Renault an engine supplyer to Red Bull, being a 1/2 minute + outside ball park?,Logic says it’s

not posible: Unless a blantant cheating is being used, be it traction control, overriding

of its electronics during the race or what ever

The result calls for the immidiate impounding

of the RBR single seater and the an apointment

of the independent scrutiners / engineers

outside of FIA to investigate, WHY IS IT SO.

Mr Allen your coments if any please.

33

Winning by half a minute has been done before. It is nothing new and spectacular to imply a team is cheating. Kimi did it with an Adrian Newey designed McLaren 2 times in a row almost. Correct me if I am wrong. If not 2 times, at least once for sure.

If McLaren and Kimi can do it without cheating, why not Redbull and Vettel?

34

Autosport has an article up about it. A snippet:

Winning by such a margin in a dry race is already a major achievement. Doing it twice in a season is very rare, and hasn’t happened since Michael Schumacher achieved it three times in 1995, in Spain, Monaco and France. His Benetton team-mate Johnny Herbert was runner-up in the first of those, with title rival Damon Hill the defeated man in the other two events.

Hard to believe that the ’96 or ’97 Williams didn’t manage it. Or Schumacher from 2000-04. Then again, the current RBR model is most like that 1995 Benetton team: a great car geared primarily around one driver.

35

Oops sorry.. My bad.

Kimi won in Spain 2005 with a 27.6 sec lead. My bad 🙂

36

Yes.. I thought Kimi did it in Spain and Monaco in 2005 (back to back). But checking the stats once again (by watching the Monaco race) he had a 30 second lead which then went down as he was taking it easy at the front. Trying to bring the car back home in one piece. But he did it in Spain. He started from pole.

37

Ah yes! The old ‘the might of Mercedes and Ferrari cannot be brought low by a soft drink company’ ploy. And they vaudeville is dead.

38

Not sure if serious

39

Drafting in ‘Notepad’ will always insert unnecessary carriage returns . . .

40

Dont be daft

41
The Spanish Inquisitor

If there is a pilot massacred by FIA’S decisions this is Alonso. The FIA invented new rules to punish Alonso. Remember Hungary.

42

Certainly they have invented rules to punish Hamilton in the past (Spa 2008)- i.e. giving the place back for three corners if you gain an advantage by going off track.

43

Another surreal drive from Vettel, with a solid drives by Rosberg and Di Resta and a decent recovery from Webber. But infairness its hard to imagine other drivers being so far behind Vettel driving the same car. Right now Mark is being totally outclassed by Sebastian.

Overtake of the weekend – Massa when he passed Hamilton and Sutil in one corner, very impressive.

44

One of the Saubers, I believe Hulkenberg, passing both Torro Rossos going straight between them on lap 53, overtake of the decade.

45

Those Torro Rossos were on “SHOT TYRES”!!!

46

Still ;twas funny as hell

47

Rosberg owning Hamilton today made my day which was pretty down after seeing Kimi bumped into that Caterham.

48

Totally saw that coming. Hamilton started on tyres that had already done 6 laps, he was always going to have to stop early and from that point his race was going to be compromised. Getting passed by grosjean didn’t help matters. If Hamilton wants to up his game he really needs to drive smarter on these tyres. As frustrating as it is to hear ‘pass quickly or drop back two seconds’ that’s the name of the game at the minute. Hamilton did neither and spent a lot of time under someone else’s rear wing today – it really compromised his race.

49

Hams tyres at start of race had 4 laps, he did an out lap in Q2 and 1 timed lap in Q3 – so actually only one more than everyone else, ham only pitted early to try and jump grosjean / webber another lap and he would have done

50

Even so, only one or two more laps on these tyres is more than enough to compromise your race. I’m no physicist but I’m sure that putting heat cycles through these tyres is not going to help them. I don’t want tyres that last forever, but it would be nice for them to be durable enough to push for more than two laps before they need ‘managing’.

51

5 laps…out lap and in lap in Q2 plus out lap, flying lap and in lap in Q3. That’s 2 laps extra. Disappointing race from Hamilton but given Webber passed Rosberg when Rosberg also got stuck behind a Force India indicates it’s more of a problem with the Merc setup…qualify well and hope not to get stuck behind a slower car that’s much faster on the straights.

52

Totally saw that coming. Hamilton started on tyres that had already done 6 laps, he was always going to have to stop early and from that point his race was going to be compromised. Getting passed by grosjean didn’t help matters. If Hamilton wants to up his game he really needs to drive smarter on these tyres. As frustrating as it is to hear ‘pass quickly or drop back two seconds’ that’s the name of the game at the minute. Hamilton did neither and spent a lot of time under someone else’s rear wing today – it really compromised his race.

53

That’s funny, I felt almost the exact opposite! I was really pleased when Kimi was demoted and then when he crashed at the first corner I was laughing out loud.

54

Vettel by himself now has more points than any of the other teams. Seb = 347, Merc = 334. Amazing.

55

Can somebody explain how is even possible that all KERS problems go to Webber exclusively? It is extremely hard to believe that this is a mere coincidence.

56

Ask yourself what RB would gain to give Webber the KERS issues in this race?

With both championships already in their pocket!

57

So he did have the problem. Why did I question myself?

58

May be he uses it too often so it overheats. Vettel is known for being strategic and gentle on the car while maintaining a gap.

Mark probably uses the KERS too much because he is unable to maintain a good pace without KERS help. gets pressure from behind.

Only the engineers know who is more aggressive on the equipment. Before coming to red bull, Webber is known to be very harsh on the car and many DNF due to equipment failure. Of course, one can be polite saying he is very Unlucky. LOL

59

You can’t overuse KERS, you only get a few seconds of it a lap.

60

Yes, i know that. You can still overheat it under normal usage. Especially following another car in front. Anyway, thats my speculation, so dont take it in too much.

61

Vettel had KERS failure in the last race if I’m not mistaken. It just didn’t finish his race. KERS isn’t exclusively Mark, just happens to be worse when they do effect him.

62

Why not? Take a look at season 1985:

Lauda:

DNF DNF 4 DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF 5 DNF 1 DNF DNS INJ DNF DNF

Prost: 1 DNF DSQ 1 3 DNF 3 1 2 1 2 1 3 (4) 3 DNF

What an incredible difference:

Lauda 16 races 12 DNF!

63

All KERS problems do not go to Webber exclusively.

Ad he had no KERS problems in this race. Unless using up all your KERS is now considered a “problem”.

64

Like in Japan?

65

Vettel was exceptional today. And I’m glad to see more doughnuts, and some emotion on the podium. I didn’t like his stunt in Malaysia earlier this year at all, but I’m starting to warm to him again (even if his domination is boring).

Unfortunately though, the race was a total snooze-fest. Massa’s move on Hamilton was great, and Hulkenberg overtaking both TRs in one go was entertaining, but that’s as far as it went.

The lack of penalties for Sutil and Alonso is surprising.

66

James

do you think Sutil should have given the 2places back he gained by leaving the track, he should have yielded the corner when he new he couldn’t make it in my view. Do you think this adds to the argument for permanent stewards that attend every race?

Thanks

Vettel was just a class above the rest again. I liked to doughnuts on the cool down lap, shame for the fine as he bought the car back to parc ferme.

I thought Lotus should have had a pit lane start as it exits on turn 3 and would miss the chaos and have a car optimised for racing, we shall never know…..

I don’t think I was a particularly memorable race all in all.

Looking forward to Austin as I thought it was the best race of 2012 for excitement and battles.

67

“Do you think this adds to the argument for permanent stewards that attend every race?”

No, I can’t even imagine this would be an argument, it’s such a bad idea.

68

Thinking about the race today. It was not dull, nor it was exciting. There was no fight for top 4 spots with Vettel, as expected, dominating the race.

Alonso did surprise in a negative way in the very beginning. I really thought that he is not fighting anymore. Still do not understand what happened that he came back with a very strong drive to really close on Massa and go past Hamilton and Sutil to finish 5th. Still….what a shame it is for a team that was supposed to fight with the Red Bull.

Massa did surprise me in a positive and then negative way. Where did he lose his speed later in the race? Strange….cannot explain it.

More and more I start thinking that Hamilton is more like a pop star rather than a great F1 driver. He is not like Vettel. He can drive very fast, but his mind is not 100% on racing and his lifestyle is not the one of a F1 legend. Vettel is solely into racing, he removed everything from his life that is not helping him win and will not add anything that can distract him.

Kimi….I think he could avoid the accident. It did not look deliberate, but it looks avoidable. The situation between Kimi and Lotus got out of control and they will lose together, their opponents will benefit. Compare it to Red Bull…they stand united.

I guess there is nothing else we can expect from this season. I only want to understand whether other teams can win next year….this is my only hope and I really do not care who it will be as long as it is not Red Bull. Ideally….it is Ferrari, but I think they might explode if they will not have the fastest car.

69

To be fair I wouldn’t mind Ricciardo winning in a red bull, just a break form Vettel dominance would be nice but his really is a very vert skilled pilot who exploits his car in way that is a cut above the rest.

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