Abu Dhabi GP - Sunday - Race Notes
Vettel wins seventh in a row at Abu Dhabi GP
Sebastian Vettel crushed the field to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Renault today 30.8 seconds ahead of his team mate Mark Webber and 33.6 seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP in third.
The win is Vettel's eleventh of the 2013 season and 38th career win.
Romain Grosjean (34.8s) in the Lotus-Renault finished in fourth, followed by Fernando Alonso (1m07.1s) in the Ferrari in fifth, Paul Di Resta (1m18.1s) in the Force India-Mercedes was sixth, Lewis Hamilton (1m19.2s) in the second Mercedes GP was seventh, Felipe Massa (1m22.8s) in the second Ferrari was eighth, Sergio Perez in the McLaren-Mercedes was ninth, and Adrian Sutil (1m33.2s) in the Force India was in the final points position in tenth.
Before the start, Kimi Raikkonen who qualified fifth, failed the post qualifying floor deflection test, and will start from the back of the field.
Pirelli comes to Abu Dhabi with the white marked medium tyre compound and the yellow-marked soft tyre, with a 1.5 to 2 second difference between the two, optimally looking for a one-stop strategy. The top nine qualifiers and Raikkonen starting on the soft tyre.
Hamilton reported a vibration on the way to the grid.
At the start, Vettel takes the lead over Rosberg and pole-sitter Webber, Grosjean and Hamilton.
Raikkonen makes contact with Charles Pic at the first corner, breaks his steering and is out on the spot and retires.
Webber challenges Rosberg. Alonso passes his team mate Massa, but the Brazilian comes back and repasses for seventh.
Jenson Button reports damage to his front wing.
On lap 2 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m47.1 seconds.
On lap 3 Button pit for a new front wing and switches to soft tyres.
At lap 5 Vettel has 4.7 second lead over Rosberg, followed by Webber (6.6s), Grosjean (7.5s), Hamilton (8.9s), Nico Hulkenberg (11.2s), Massa (12.7s), Alonso (14.1s), Perez (15.3s) and Di Resta (16.2s) in tenth.
Vettel sets fast lap at 1m46.4s. Alonso looking for a way past Massa.
On lap 6 Webber asks if there is a problem with his KERS and the team replies "it's a bit empty at the moment , we'll charge it up". Pastor Maldonado pits for medium tyres.
On lap 7 Perez pits and switches to medium tyres. Max Chilton pits as well.
On lap 8 Hamilton pits from fifth place and switches to medium tyres. Daniel Ricciardo pits as well for medium tyres.
On lap 9 Webber and Grosjean pits from third and fourth place switching to medium tyres rejoining in 10th and 11th ahead of Hamilton. Pic pits as well. Webber passes Gutierrez for ninth place. Vettel's lead is up to 8.2 seconds over Rosberg. Vettel is lapping in the 1m46s range, the others in 1m47 and 1m48s.
On lap 10 Hulkenberg pits from fourth place switching to medium tyres. Rosberg reports his rear tyres are finished. Grosjean passes Esteban Gutierrez for ninth.
On lap 11 Rosberg pits from second place switching to medium tyres.
On lap 12 Button pits for the second time and switches to medium tyres. Vettel, yet to stop has a 24 second lead over Massa, Alonso, Di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne. Vettel should be able to pit and still come out in the lead.
On lap 13 Hamilton closes on Gutierrez in tenth place. Webber is closing on Sutil for seventh.
Obn lap 15 Vettel pits from the lead and switches to medium compound tyres, and comes back out in the lead. Rosberg passes Vergne for fifth place.
At lap 15 Vettel leads Massa by 6.6 seconds, followed by Alonso (10.6s), Di Resta (13.5s), Rosberg (16.6s), Vergne (17.6s), Webber (18.3s), Sutil (20.3s), Grosjean (20.8s) and Gutierrez (26.5s) in tenth place. Hamilton runs 11th, Hulkenberg 12th.
On lap 16 Webber passes Vergne for sixth. Grosjean passes Sutil for eighth, but the German comes back in the DRS zone and passes back.
On lap 17 Alonso pits from third place, switching to medium tyres. Hamilton is still stuck behind Gutierrez in ninth place. Vettel fast lap at 1m46.0s.
On lap 19 Grosjean passes Sutil for sixth place. Hulkenberg closes on the Gutierrez/Hamilton fight.
On lap 20 Massa makes his first stop from second place switching to medium tyres. Gutierrez pits as well for soft tyres. Webber passes Rosberg for third place in the DRS zone.
At lap 20 Vettel leads Webber by 26.5 seconds ahead of Rosberg (27.4s), Di Resta (27.7s), Grosjean (30.9s), Sutil (36.2s), Hamilton (39.9s), Massa (40.9s), Hulkenberg (42.0s) and Valtteri Bottas (43.8s) in tenth place.
On lap 21 Di Resta makes his first stop for medium tyres from second place. Sutil and Bottas yet to pit.
On lap 22 Alonso passes Perez for tenth place. Alonso then passes Bottas at the chicane for ninth place the next lap.
On lap 24 Hamilton is challenging Sutil, yet to stop, in fifth place.
On lap 25 Guido Van der Garde passes his team mate Pic for 18th place. Hamilton passes Sutil, then Sutil comes back and takes back the place. Massa takes advantage and slips down the inside of Hamilton for sixth place.
On lap 26 Alonso passes Hulkenberg, but the German takes back eighth place. Massa passes Sutil for fifth. Alonso finally passes Hulkenberg for eighth.
On lap 28 Hamilton passes Sutil for sixth. Hulkenberg and Perez both pit - the two battling in the pitlane.
On lap 29 Alonso passes Sutil, still yet to stop after half distance, for seventh. Perez is challenging Maldonado for 15th place.
Hulkenberg is under investigation for an unsafe release ahead of Perez.
On lap 30 Sutil finally makes his first pit stop. Hamilton pits for a second time.
At lap 30 Vettel continues to dominate, and leads his Red Bull team mate Webber by 29.5 seconds, followed by Rosberg (32.6s), Grosjean (36.9s), Massa (56.4s), Alonso (59.7s), Di Resta (65.5s), Vergne (68.5s), Gutierrez (74.1s) and Hamilton (79.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 31 Vettel sets another fast lap at 1m45.9s. Gutierrez makes his second stop for medium tyres.
On lap 33 Jules Bianchi pits.
On lap 34 Webber and Rosberg pit from second and third places, taking another set of medium compound tyres.
On lap 35 Hulkenberg pits from 11th place to serve a drive-through penalty for his earlier unsafe release in front of Perez. Alonso is closing on his Ferrari team mate Massa. Vettel increases his lead over Grosjean to 40 seconds.
On lap 37 Rosberg sets fast lap at 1m45.6s.
On lap 38 Vettel makes his final pitstop from the lead for another set of medium tyres and rejoins still in the lead. Grosjean pits from second place for medium tyres as well rejoining just in front of Massa in fifth.
On lap 39 Massa pits from fifth place for his second stop for more medium tyres, a problem with the left front wheel for a slow stop. Vettel sets fast lap at 1m44.8s.
At lap 40 Vettel continues out front of his team mate Webber by 32.5 seconds, followed by Rosberg (36.7), Grosjean (42.9s), Alonso (46.3s), Di Resta (58.8s), Vergne (62.4s), Hamilton (65.2s), Massa (67.2s) and Bottas (69.3s) in tenth place.
On lap 42 Hamilton closes on Vergne in seventh place.
On lap 45 Hamilton passes Vergne for seventh. Alonso pits from fifth place and switches to soft tyres. Alonso passes Vergne for seventh as he rejoins the track and is pushed off the track by the French driver - Massa just behind. The incident will be looked at by the stewards.
On lap 46 Bottas makes his second stop and switches to soft tyres.
On lap 47 Massa passes Vergne in DRS zone for eighth place. Alonso sets fast lap at 1m44.6s. Sutil passes Vergne on old tyres for ninth place.
On lap 48 Alonso sets another fast lap at 1m44.4s. Alonso closing on Hamilton in sixth place.
On lap 49 Perez passes Vergne for tenth, the Toro Rosso driver continuing to fail down the order.
On lap 50 Maldonado passes Vergne as well for 11th place.
On lap 51 Alonso passes Hamilton for sixth place and he now chases Di Resta in fifth. Grosjean sets fast lap at 1m44.3s.
On lap 52 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m43.8 seconds. Alonso passes Di Resta for fifth place. Alonso's earlier pass on Vergne will be investigated after the race.
At lap 52 Vettel leads Webber by 30.0 seconds, followed by Rosberg (34.7s), Grosjean (37.3s), Alonso (74.3s), Di Resta (76.5s), Hamilton (77.2s), Massa (80.7s), Sutil (86.3s) and Perez (87.8s) in tenth place.
On lap 53 Vergne makes his second pitstop. Alonso sets fast lap at 1m43.6s. Hamilton is closing on Di Resta in sixth place.
Vettel crosses the line and wins his 11th race of the 2013 season, and his seventh in a row since the Belgian GP in August.
On the final lap Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race at 1m43.434 seconds.
Vettel performs a series of donuts on the cool down lap, but continues around. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner tells Vettel, "by the way, you can pay that one", after the team was fined in Indian for the champion's post race celebrations.