Abu Dhabi GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi GP

Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team, Abu Dhabi GP 2011

Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team, Abu Dhabi GP 2011 

 © Active Pictures

Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in commanding style in the McLaren-Mercedes, after pole sitter Sebastian Vettel fell out on the first lap with a punctured tyre. He wins by 8.4 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in second place in the Ferrari. Jenson Button finished third in the other McLaren, 25.8 seconds behind.

The win is Hamilton's third of the season and 17th of his career, and McLaren's sixth this year. It is the first race in 20 races that Red Bull did not score a podium finish.

Mark Webber (35.7s) finished fourth in his Red Bull-Renault, followed by Felipe Massa (50.5s) in the Ferrari in fifth place, Nico Rosberg (52.3s) in the Mercedes GP in sixth, his team mate Michael Schumacher (75.9s) in seventh, Adrian Sutil (77.1s) in the Force India-Mercedes in eighth, his team mate Paul di Resta (101.0s) in ninth, and Kamui Kobayashi (1 lap) in the final points position in tenth.

Vettel started from pole position for the 14th time this season - equaling Nigel Mansell's 1992 record. Pirelli bringing soft and medium tyres to this night-time event. The front nine starters on soft tyres for the start, Di Resta starting on medium compound tyres in tenth place.

At the start, Vettel takes the lead into turn one, with the McLaren's behind. Alonso passes Webber on the outside. Vettel spins with a punctured right rear tyre in turn two - Hamilton takes the lead. Alonso passes Button for second place in a breaking zone. Button fights back, but remains in third.

Vettel not hitting anything in his spin, limps back to the pitlane. The world champion retires with damage from returning to the pits - his first retirement since the Korean GP 2010.

On lap 2 Bruno Senna pits for new tyres.

On lap 3 Sergio Perez pits from 10th place, and changes his front wing.

On lap 3 Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m47.1 seconds.

On lap 4 Webber passes Button for third, but Button retakes the position in the DRS zone. Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m47.7s.

At lap 5 Hamilton leads Alonso by 2.7 seconds, followed by Button (5.7s), Webber (6.9s), Massa (8.2), Rosberg (10.6s),Schumacher (12.5s), Sutil (14.2s), Di Resta (18.9s) and Sebastien Buemi (19.4s) in tenth place - Rubens Barrichello up to 14th place after starting last.

On lap 6 Alonso resets fastest lap at 1m46.4s. Button sets it the next lap at 1m46.3s. Kobayashi pits.

On lap 8 Alonso set fastest lap at 1m46.0s and brings the gap to Hamilton down to 2.4 seconds.

On lap 9 Buemi passes Di Resta for ninth place - Di Resta repasses in the DRS zone. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m45.9s.

On lap 10 Senna passes Vitantonio Liuzzi to take 18th place. Perez and Kobayashi get past the HRT's as well. Schumacher under pressure from Sutil.

On lap 12 Senna passes Timo Glock for 17th. Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m45.9s. Button talks to his team, hinting that he has a problem with his McLaren's KERS system.

On lap 14 Buemi passes Di Resta for 9th, and Di Resta again repasses. The next lap the pattern repeats, but Di Resta lock up the brakes and Buemi takes the place.

On lap 15 Webber closes on Button in the DRS zone - the two battle side-by-side but Button holds the position.

At lap 15 Hamilton leads Alonso by 1.9 seconds, followed by Button (12.3s), Webber (13.1s), Massa (16.7s), Rosberg (22.4s), Schumacher (30.6s), Sutil (31.5s), Buemi (45.6s) and Di Resta (48.1s) in tenth place.

On lap 16 Massa is the first to pit and stays on another set of the softer Pirelli tyres. Alguersuari pits as well.

On lap 17 Hamilton, Alonso and Button all pit for soft tyres. Sutil and Schumacher pit as well. Webber takes the lead.

On lap 18 Webber pits from the lead, and has a slow 9.4 seconds stop. Rosberg pits from fourth. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m44.9s.

On lap 19 Vitaly Petrov makes a mistake and goes wide - Schumacher takes 10th place. Petrov and Barrichello pit. Hamilton opens his lead to 3.6 seconds over Alonso. Buemi runs slowly and then pits.

On lap 20 Schumacher passes Di Resta for 8th place - the Force India driver attempting to make a one-stop race.

One lap 21 Senna pits. Buemi has retired in the pitlane.

On lap 22 Kobayashi passes Pastor Maldonado for tenth place.

On lap 24 Senna passes Glock for 16th. Jaime Alguersuari passes Glock for 17th.

At lap 25 Hamilton leads Alonso by 3.4 seconds, followed by Button (17.5s), Massa (19.4s), Webber (21.4s), Rosberg (33.7s), Sutil (42.7s), Schumacher (45.9s), Di Resta (62.0s) and Kobayashi (72.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 27 Maldonado makes his first stop from 11th. Alonso set fastest lap at 1m44.7s.

On lap 28 Di Resta makes his first stop. Perez pits as well. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m44.7s. Massa and Webber start to close up on Button in third.

On lap 29 Hamilton goes faster at 1m44.6s.

On lap 30 Webber passes Massa in the DRS zone for fourth - Massa passes back in the second DRS zone. Hamilton sets another fastest lap at 1m44.5s, and then again at 1m44.4s.

On lap 32 Maldonado pits for a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags. Button has opened up a 5.9 second lead on Massa - reporting that his KERS is working once again.

On lap 33 Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m44.2s. Di Resta and Petrov pass and repass - Di Resta stays in 11th place.

On lap 35 Kobayashi pits for a second time. Barrichello pits from 10th place. Webber pits from 5th place for another set of soft tyres.

On lap 37 Button pits from third place, switching to the medium tyre.

On lap 38 Senna pits to seve a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags. Barrichello passes Heikki Kovalainen for 13th place. Webber sets fastest lap at 1m43.6s.

On lap 39 Perez passes Petrov for tenth place. Petrov then pits. Webber closing on Button in fifth. Alonso closing the gap on the leader Hamilton to 3.1 seconds.

On lap 40 Hamilton pits from the lead, taking on medium tyres. Massa pits as well.

At lap 41 Alonso, yet to pit, leads Hamilton by 19.9 seconds, followed by Rosberg (40.1s), Button (43.7s), Webber (44.3s), Massa (52.3s), Schumacher (56.9s), Sutil (80.3s), Di Resta (1 lap) and Perez in tenth place.

On lap 43 Webber passes Button for fourth place. Schumacher pits from seventh place, switching to the medium tyres.

On lap 44 Alonso pits from the lead rejoining behind Hamilton. Webber sets fastest lap at 1m43.3s. Hamilton leads Alonso by 4.4 seconds.

On lap 45 Massa collects a winglet that fell off another car.but continues. Webber closes and passes Rosberg for third place - but still needs to pit for medium tyres before the end.

On lap 46 Webber resets fastest lap at 1m43.0s. Alguersuari passes Senna for 15th place.

On lap 47 Kobayashi passes his team mate Perez for tenth place. Webber goes faster at 1m42.9s.

On lap 49 Rosberg makes his final stop, and rejoins in sixth place. Massa spins but continues. Webber sets another fastest lap at 1m42.8s - knowing he still needs to stop again, and then sets a 1m42.6s the next lap.

At lap 50 Hamilton leads Alonso by 6.0 seconds, followed by Webber (11.0s), Button (26.7s), Massa (46.6s), Rosberg (50.2s), Schumacher (70.1s), Sutil (71.8s), Di Resta (92.1s) and Kobayashi (99.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 52 Daniel Ricciardo pulls off the track and retires with an alternator problem.

At the start of the final lap, Webber pits for his mandatory stop to take on medium compound tyres, and rejoins in fourth place.

Hamilton crosses the finish line and wins ahead of Alonso and Button to take his third win of the season.


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