Raikkonen shines brightest in incident packed Abu Dhabi GP thriller 4 November, 2012 Race winner Kimi Raikkonen celebrates in the Yas Marina podium Nov.4 (GP247) The seven star Yas Marina Circuit was the venue for one of the most dramatic and thrilling races of the season, as Kimi Raikkonen returned to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2009, while championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel followed him across the line in a nail biting final few laps. It was a big night for the Lotus team (the Enstone version) who have not tasted victory since 2009, and a milestone for Raikkonen who has enjoyed a fairy tale comeback with remarkable consistency and victory making his return to F1 ever so much sweeter. Ironically, despite the victory, he is now mathematically out of the running for this year’s title. The Iceman lived up to his reputation on the podium, cracking a rare smile but acknowledging, “I was really hoping to win before. I’m happy but there’s nothing to jump around about. We’ll try to do the same again. We’ll have a good party and tomorrow when we’re feeling bad after a long night we’ll remember why we feel like that but I’m just happy for everyone in the team.” He added when asked about the downbeat celebration on the podium, “Last time you guys were giving me grief because I didn’t smile enough but I’m happy for the team. It’s been a hard season and not easy times lately. Hopefully this will give everyone belief and turn the tables so we can win more races, if not this year then next year.” Behind the winner, Alonso again muscled his way to second place and his 11th podium of the season after starting sixth on the grid, and kept his title ambitions very much alive. He told David Coulthard on the podium, “I’m very happy as I think we were not super competitive this weekend. We had to fight throughout the race but we had a very good strategy and wanted victory. But we think it was a perfect Sunday as we kept fighting right until the end.” What might have been a handsome difference in the haul of points, for the Spaniard – at the expense of his championship rival Vettel, was not to be as the German delivered one of his greatest drives, from the pit lane to third place and in doing so limited the damage. Vettel, in making up 21 places after starting 24th, gave F1 fans a display of the biggest improvement since Christian Danner who in 1989 started 26th finished 4th in USA, according to sports statistics service Infostrada. The world champion heads to the final two rounds with a 10 points championship lead, as opposed to the 13 point lead he held when he arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Vettel summed up his evening, “I believed I could get the podium. After a couple of laps that changed a little and I had a messy start to the race but I damaged my front wing and I [made] a big mistake with Daniel [Ricciardo] who was stopping his car on the straight and I was surprised.” “If it was 50m earlier or later I wouldn’t have damaged my wing. It was full attack or nothing and that’s what we did. It was a fantastic race and in the end it was a nice fight with Jenson who was very fair, and I just squeezed my way past. It was a thrilling race – up and down all the time,” added the championship leader. The incidents started on the first corner of the first lap, as Nico Hulkenberg triggered mayhem when trying to squeeze his Force India into a gap which did not exist. He caused a chain reaction involving teammate Paul di Resta, Bruno Senna in the Williams, the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus. Hulkenberg’s race ended on the spot, the others made their way to the pits for repairs. At the front pole sitter Lewis Hamilton made a great start, while Mark Webber stumbled off the line. Raikkonen took the opportunity to slot in behind the McLaren, followed by Pastor Maldonado in the Williams and Alonso, with Webber down in fifth. Vettel meanwhile was in the wars as he stormed from the back of the field through the pack. In his haste he clipped Senna’s Williams which snapped off bits of the Red Bull‘s front wing but he was able to continue with no major side effects. Big drama struck on lap nine as Rosberg crashed into the back of Narain Karthikeyan’s ailing HRT in the fast right handers leading to the hotel complex. Rosberg came onto the slowing backmarker too fast, the Mercedes struck the back of the HRT and was launched over it before slamming into the wall. Both drivers hopped out of what remained of their cars and walked away, but debris was strewn across the track which forced out the safety car as the marshals cleared the mess. Rosberg explained, “[Karthikeyan’s] steering broke and so he wasn’t able to steer and went right on the brakes. I didn’t expect him to get on the brakes there so didn’t see it coming and there was no way for me to react in time.” During this period more drama ensued, as Vettel nearly clipped the weaving Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo as the drivers weaved behind the Safety Car trying to retain heat in their tyres at the low speed forced by the Safety Car. To avoid a collision Vettel had to swerve wildly demolishing a polystyrene brake marker board and missing the wall by a hair’s breadth. With his wing now unquestionably damaged he pitted to sort it out, emerging 21st on track. When the lights went green, Hamilton charged off at the front – he had been untouchable on the night – but on lap 21 the McLaren coasted to a halt without any power just as it did while he led in Singapore. He reflected afterwards, “I hadn’t been faultless in this race because I did have a very wide moment at one stage but after that it was going really well and the car was a dream to drive. I was cruising and pulling away so it was a shame the engine just died. It was some kind of fuel problem but it was an incredible race, good to watch.” Drama and incidents continued. On lap 23 Webber tried to get by Maldonado, the two touched and Red Bull spun and dropped several places. The stewards had a look at the incident but took no action. Maldonado provided insight from his perspective, “I think Mark Webber was unlucky because he tried to get a place on me on the outside and he touched my front right wheel and he spun. It was disappointing for him but it was a risky manoeuvre. They’re good points. We saved the day. I hope to be competitive in the next two races.” On lap 39 Perez tried an ambitious move on Di Resta, cut him off, went off track and then swerved back in front of the Force India driver. What followed was a chain reaction which ended the race for both Webber and Grosjean who were innocent victims. Perez was given a ten second drive through penalty for causing the incident. Di Resta gave his version of the incident, “I don’t know what [Perez] was trying to do. He was trying to make a mad move around the outside and I had to bail out.” Grosjean was clearly disappointed, “It was a tight battle and I had no room to go anywhere else and there was a big shunt. There was contact with Nico [Rosberg] at the start. I kept my line and [made] a safe start but there was no room for me to go. It was an unlucky day.” Again the Safety Car was deployed to clean up the debris. When the lights turned green again, Raikkonen led and was never seriously challenged until the final half dozen laps when Alonso gave it a thorough bash to reel in the Lotus, but to no avail. The Iceman did not melt, and notched up his 19th F1 win. Alonso managed to get by Button around mid-distance, and hung in there despite a late race challenge from Vettel who had a touch of good fortune on the night to make up for his disappointment 24 hours earlier. Jenson Button was always there or there abouts during the race, mostly staying out of trouble. He defended third place tremendously from Vettel’s attack, but had to capitulate as the Red Bull on fresher, softer rubber was simply too quick in the late stages of the race. Fourth place was the reward for Button and McLaren after a race they had expected to win. “It was a fun race, but we struggled. The car was very different to my runs on Friday – I couldn’t get any grip. It was fun and there were some good battles out there. Hopefully I’ll find more pace [for Austin], my race pace is something that’s normally very good, so we’ll go and find out why that it wasn’t here,” said Button. Maldonado survived the ‘war zone’ to finish fifth ahead of Kamui Kobayashi who kept out of trouble, unlike his Sauber teammate, to take sixth place. Felipe Massa went wheel to wheel with Webber early in the race, but came off second best when he spun and lost time and several places. Seventh his reward for a tough night of hard graft. After his first lap mishap, Bruno Senna did well to finish eighth in a strong drive through the field, ahead of fellow first lap victim Di Resta who was ninth. The final point went to Ricciardo. Despite his poker face and contrived – ‘I would rather be drinking with my mates than winning a grand prix‘ – demeanour, it was good to see Raikkonen back on the top step of the podium. Yes, he could have given his crew a hug after he stepped out of the car. Yes, he could have cracked a smile on the podium, but then that wouldn’t be the Iceman. Instead he left us with a couple of classic in race quotes: When informed of the gap between him and Alonso he retorted, “Leave me alone I know what I’m doing!” Then when reminded to keep heat in his tyres during the second safety car period he piped up, “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I’m doing all of that. You don’t have to remind me every single time.” Classic stuff. Absolut Kimi! Subbed by AJN. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Sunday, 4 November 2012 Pos No Driver Team Laps Time Grid Pts 1 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 55 Winner 4 25 2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 55 +0.8 secs 6 18 3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 55 +4.1 secs 24 15 4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 55 +7.7 secs 5 12 5 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 55 +13.0 secs 3 10 6 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 55 +20.0 secs 15 8 7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 55 +22.8 secs 8 6 8 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 55 +23.5 secs 14 4 9 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 55 +24.1 secs 12 2 10 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 55 +27.4 secs 16 1 11 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 55 +28.0 secs 13 12 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 55 +34.9 secs 17 13 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 55 +47.7 secs 18 14 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 55 +56.4 secs 21 15 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 55 +56.7 secs 11 16 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 55 +64.5 secs 20 17 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 55 +71.7 secs 22 Ret 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 41 +14 Laps 19 Ret 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 37 Accident 9 Ret 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 37 Accident 2 Ret 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 19 +36 Laps 1 Ret 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 7 Accident 23 Ret 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 7 Accident 7 Ret 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 0 Accident 10 Tweet Related NewsBBC claim highest viewership for Abu Dhabi GPHamilton: I celebrated with a watermelon juiceBritish press go to town on Hamilton triumphRosberg: Hamilton was the best driver on the grid this yearMallya: Red Bull cheats on the regulationsLewis and Nico shake hands at end of epic seasonHamilton family spring surprise on champAlonso overcome by emotion on Ferrari farewellWilliams celebrate best finish for 11 yearsButton: I feel I’m at the top of my game fawxx great win from kimi. great result for alonso. too bad for hammy and button though. exciting race throughout. and imo, this race showed the superiority and speed of the redbull over the rest. and its the 2nd time the 2nd lotus affected the championship in the race of abu dhabi now. ( petrov in 2010 and now grosjean) jl Alonslow fans hail for climbing up 4 position. But, vettel fans laugh to see 18 places vettel got. Indeed the car of RB is great, but vettel is also a super driver. Disgusted with 2012 Weber showed the RBR was a touch off pace for the weekend. He was going backward steadily against Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams – he also completely botched the start. Vettel, on the other hand, drove the wheels off the car, took advantage of every opportunity that came to them, recovered from another stupid Renault Sport failure that cost him P3 on the grid, a damaged wing and 2 stop strategy against the 1 stoppers of the rest – then pulled off not only many solid passes (some twice), then finished with an expertly setup and executed move on Button to take the last step. To finish on the podium was a huge result. Alonso fought hard and did his normal expert job of pressing the Ferrari beyond its station. Kimi drove well and held his own, a pleasure to see him win his first at last. They all deserve kudos for the best race of the season! Butterfly That Red Bull has two diffusers: one under the floor, and another above it. The downforce generated must be huge. No wonder it makes the tires work and grips in the corners. Awesome drive by Alonso & Kimi, Vettel managed to overtake Button. As someone said on a forum, Lady Luck gave Vettel a lap-dance. @jl: Visz, you can cut that shit out. If you’re going to change the alias you might as well change the way you write as well, otherwise what’s the point. Dumbas*s! Obvious troll is obvious. fawxx both safety cars completely played right in to vettel’s hands (or lap in butterfly’s case). it would have been a way different race if hammy didnt retire and redbull didnt team order webber to box and leave him stuck behind the grosjean train. not to take anything away from vettel, he did drive a great race to 3rd from the pitlane. but seriously, thats more car than driver imo. he got lucky with his incidents with senna and ricardo. maybe grosjean as well if he didnt give that place back. jl I don’t know why there is so many blind man, they hate vettel because they close their eyes. If alonso did what vettel did they call it : “brilliant”, “the best drive in history”, “genius”. Then vettel drive fantastically, they call it : lucky. Haha,…a. @butter: what’s wrong with my alias? It’s still represent my last alias. You know it right? Butterfly Officially, the race is between Vettel and Alonso, as Kimi is too far back. Alonso might just win this one, despite the advantage Red Bull have. jl Lucky is about chance. If you are not good enough even 100 chance will have no effect on your destiny. On vettel case, I said it’s a luck. But what we saw is a few chance and vettel is good enough to maximize the opportunity. Same with kimi’s first come back win! Alonso_is_slow Butterfly-loser: jl is not me, against you may go on crying, and I will go on laughing at you. Ferrari-ordered penalty against Vettel just did not work – he is too strong to be killed that way. Alonso penalty and speech master, but cannot overtake Nr. 1. drivers on the track. Vettel can overtake anybody. jl Alonso 2nd from 6th he got more points. And vetel 3rd from pit to minimize the damage. I think we can clearly see who is the real winner! fawxx if ferrari dont win this one, it would be partly their fault, they showed a sense of urgency in developing their car from australia to spain, and from india onwards. and this sense of urgency stopped in europe. allowing everyone else to catch up. and they took a hell long of a time to find out that its their wind tunnel that is screwing things up. things would have been different if they kept up their rate of development. jl Fawxxx, you’re quiet rigbt. And alonso choose ferrari over red bull. Butterfly @fawxx: That’s right. Good job on fixing the car from launch, but it may not be enough. We’ll see. The pressure is building on Red Bull. Horner is annoyed by Alonso’s result, as is the rest of the Red Bull team. One slip and they lose the WDC. Fernando is ready to take the title. Bring on Austin! fawxx hell yeah. today’s result will have a huge psycological impact on redbull with alonso finishing ahead of vettel in 4 races. the pressure is now on redbull. lets hope more stupid mistakes come from them again. FORZA FERRARI! Hawk I think there is friendly fire in McLaren. It seems they have not wanted Lewis to win right from Singapore. It would be embarrassing if Hamilton kept on winning his last races in the team. They forget that it is McLaren that would be winning.. and 2nd in WCC. Like Vettel in Singapore Lewis has given a 32 pt advantage to Kimi in their fight for 3rd. Butterfly @Hawk: Even while preparing to depart, Lewis is giving Jenson a very hard time. Actually, wiping the floor with him is the more appropriate expression here… fools damn, Alonso was so close onto catching Kimi. Good race indeed for Alonso well deserved. I think Alonso will win the 2012 WDC now. Considering no one has raced in Circuit of Americas it will be down to the best package and best driver who will prove who wins and brings on momentum to the WDC win in Brazil. This will be epic. Vettel lucky to have the safety car twice to get his podium. Alonso battled heavily and pushed massively to get the 1st place but was just a bit short. Great race Alonso for 2012 WDC! AlonsoFan What a drive from Kimi,Fernando again delivering his best from the car and finally well driven from Vettel aswell but Sebestian made a few mistakes eg A big LOL when he hit the DRS mark on the track,shows he isnt invincible..Redbull showed yesturday that they crack under pressure,its all playing into Fernando’s hands.thank God redbull’s construtors Championship t shirts didnt came out(which they were pretty sure of when christian horner smugly denied yesturday) FORZA FERRARI FORZA FERNANDO ALONSO..2012 champion. Alonso_is_slow Erratic drive from Webber. 2 crashes and the team had to call him into the box before he would crash Vettel as well. This guy is not good enough for Red Bull. They could cancel Webber’s contract for 2013 and announce the job for others. Alonso could apply for 2nd driver seat at red bull (given his skills, no more is reachable for him.) Ferrari could then hire a real driver with less crap speech and real driving and technical skills. A schumacher-type. Butterfly @AlonsoFan: Hitting the DRS sign like that makes you a total rookie. You’re not going to see the other champions doing that sort of thing. Not even Button, for God’s sake. Super drive from Kimi & Fernando. Shame for Lewis, though. Butterfly Kimi: “Just leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.” to his engineer. Awesome. AlonsoFan @ all sebestian fans the best Drive through the field was Jenson Button’s from P24 to “Victory” in canada 2011,just an opinion.. Butterfly @AlonsoFan: Yeah, that was quite nice, wasn’t it. Vettel cracked under pressure there, didn’t he? AlonsoFan @Butterfly it was.lets hope and pray Fernando keeps the upward momentum and win in USA and then hopefully a better position for Brazil. Fernando was pumped as hell like he had won the race -Christian Horner told to the reporters appears redbulls are aware of the Alonso factor!!! Forza Ferrari Forza Fernando joeperdepoep Sebastien Vettel is the bestest driver of the hole world! Butterfly @AlonsoFan: They’re scared. Joe Kinnear @ Alonso Fan JB started in 7th in that race WTF are you yammering about? AlonsoFan @Joe Kinnear no offense mate but he was stone dead last after his drive through penalty and 5 pitstops.And he recovered F1 Neutral With a name like Alonso_is_slow, we all know what we are going to get. The name in itself is ignorant and ridiculous. Everyone is bitching about luck, but Vettel didn’t have a great car to start with, but scored some good points to keep him thereabouts. His 2 alternator DNF’s too. Alonso was at his best in Hockenheim to make sure Lewis was never inside the 1 second DRS range. Taken out in Spa. A debatable DNF in Suzuka – I don’t think either Kimi or Fernando were to blame – racing incident. Lewis has been unfortunate with early season pitstop blunders, lost the pole in Barcelona and the car has let him down too. Kimi wasn’t lucky today. It’s swings and roundabouts. He should have won in Bahrain, had the team not kept him behind Grosjean for far too many laps. Butterfly @Joe Kinnear: He ended up last after a safety car, I think, then made his way up the field to take the win. I think he took Alonso out of the race, too. Butterfly @F1 Neutral: That one is the resident Yalla troll. He likes to trash-talk Alonso and has a soft-spot for Vettel. Oh, he’s also the biggest attention w*hore ever. Could be a girl, though. alonso_is_slow Bitterfly, learn something, it might help you later on in your life. It is not the number of comments that make you look credible, but what you say. Your list of comments today clearly show that you have nothing to say, you only use this forum to offload your emotional stack. Also, other commenters might be more interested in intellectual output than your feelings. Pay attention and learn. Anthony It really is amazing the length Vettel detractors will go in explaining away his success. It really is funny. jl After Yas Marina Alonso have no reason to keep saying Vettel is slow. Indeed, RB car is great and fast, but also need great driver to handle it well and Vettel is suitable. Why did Alonso choose Ferrari instead of RB a few years ago if he want WDC so much? He underestimate RB potential car. Sour grapes eh? I don’t like Alonso atittude to keep saying other car is faster, other driver is slow, even blame his engineer for his failure. Even his fans imitate his act. F1 is team competition. Great driver also great team builder. I am not suprise that Newey want to work with his this type of man, instead Newey choose Vettel. hillside Seb and Alonso got lucky Speedo Lady luck did smile on Vettel but sadly frowned on Lewis. Luck rode with Vettel throughout the race for the following reasons: . 1) Lewis had mechanical problems resulting in a DNF 2) Safety car twice played into Vettels hands because all the front runners Button included who had built up a lead lost out behind the safety car. 3) The accidents and incidents took out the front runners as well as made some drivers pit whereby Vettel did not have to fight them to get ahead. 4) Vette’sl incidents with Senna and Ricciardo damaged his front wing and he pitted for a change during the safety car period. If he had to pit normally he would have lost more time. Further more before the race he had an advantage – His car setup was changed with low down force and tweaked to optimise for the race (allowed by regulations due to his starting from the pits) and also had the option of a choice of tyres. As Butterfly would say “lady luck was giving him a lap dance” All the same it was good drive from Vettel @alonsofan Did Button start from P24 in that race in Montreal? I know he won as Vettel cracked under pressure from Button and went off track in the penultimate corner of the last lap. alonso_is_slow No. DNFs helped others to the same extent (they did not have to lap after tyre change) and many DNF’s came after Vettel went by. The safety car also helped Alonso catch up to Raikkonen and save his ass from Button, otherwise he would have no chance. The difference is that he could not the opportunity as he made errors in the last 2 laps. He also flawed the timing of he attack, he should have started it right after the safety car. So Vettel’s performance was the maximum possible, while Alonso did not exploit the opportunity. Obviously Few things: 1. This was an incredible Gran Prix (too many reasons to point out here, those who know, they just know) 2. It seems as though there are only 2 cats on this entire website who have any idea what they are talking about. 2a. Stewy 2b. Disgusted Understood, everybody has a hero, villain.. Or they are a fanboy, or a hater… Come on guys. Seriously, give credit when it is due, and no need to hate., Reminds of the Schumi Club of haters and lovers in which their beliefs are built upon a dynasty so one sided, it’s almost to the point of ridiculous (tires, budgets, testing, etc,). People, please wake up, even though I find the bickering between visvvssvvv (alonso hater) and the butterfly amusing.. Gets a bit old… Let us enjoy this sport for all the good and insanity it brings us. Entertainment by definition. Give respect to the pilots that deserve it.. We all have our own opinions on that, but certainly all of us that have any real sense, know whom the are, each and every race weekend.. Whether it be in practice, Q, or race… This was an amazing GP… Regarding Seb, are you kidding me? People want to give credit to Newey alone?? Idiots. Alonso haters… Well , hate on. You are the majority, unfortunately. Kimi, most people agree, he is a choice cat…. Good on ya. fools @JL your comment is about Alonso is incorrect. You need to correct yourself. Vettel was helped by 2 safety cars to catch up. Good drive sure. RB are scared right now…Vettel is cracking and faking his relief by barely passing the old J.Button. Alonso was was setting purple sector times and almost caught Kimi…1 more lap and DRS would have been enabled to pass by him. Good drive Kimi to hold his P1 Alonso…well Alonso is hailed the best…enough said. Vettel good drive…but would that of happened without 2 safety cars? who knows… Also, Hamilton was out and Rosberg. Vettel only fought 1 front runner…Button. Never passed Kimi nor Alonso. Why, because he wasnt fast enough. Alonso battled the front runners the whole race. Great race regardless. Leuteraar I think Sebastijan Vettel is most good driver around witch was demonstrated by the great way he kept his car under control whilst driving through the DRS board. No other driver on this grid would have stayed this cool under those circumstandings.