Sunday, 13 November 2011

Brilliant Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi as Vettel spins out

Lewis Hamilton beat Fernando Alonso to victory in Abu Dhabi, after retirement for Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton drove a fantastic race in the twilight of Abu Dhabi to claim his third race win of 2011. Hamilton led after world champion Sebastian Vettel spun out on the first lap, getting a puncture, making it the German’s first DNF of 2011. Fernando Alonso drove an excellent race for Ferrari to come home in second place, while Jenson Button was third.
Pole sitter Vettel would have fancied his chances after leading from pole position, but they went out of the window when Vettel took too much kerb at Turn Two, which may have contributed to the puncture he then got. He tried to continue, but by the time he got round to the pits, he had too much damage, and was forced to retire in a devastating blow for the world champion. Fernando Alonso had already made a great start, passing Mark Webber for 4th off the line, which became third when Vettel lost it. Then Alonso put a daring move on Jenson Button on the main straight to take second, completing the first lap three places higher than he started, and just behind Hamilton, who had taken full advantage of Vettel’s retirement to lead.
Button then began to come under pressure from Mark Webber and Felipe Massa. Then a KERS issue hampered Button, and Webber was all over the back of him. Webber mounted an attack in the first DRS Zone, and got through, but Button used the double DRS Zone to his advantage and re-took the place. Shortly afterward, Felipe Massa pitted. The leaders then followed him in. Jenson Button had a slightly slow stop, but it was nothing compared to Mark Webber, who’s stop was nine seconds after the right-rear tyre wouldn’t go on.

The moment on Lap One that Vettel lost it

In the second stint, Hamilton maintained his three second gap to Alonso, while Massa and Webber, who was now fifth, began to catch Button. There was a time when both drivers were very close to him, but Massa soon became pre-occupied with defending from Webber, who got past him. This meant they dropped back from Button.
Pretty much every driver was going on a two-stop strategy, but Red Bull put Mark Webber on a three-stop. Late in the race, Massa had a spin at Turn One, but it had little effect, as Webber got past him anyway. However, he couldn’t pass Button for third with his stop on the last lap, as halfway through the race, Button’s KERS button began to work again.

Hamilton and Alonso were brilliant

One of the major battles throughout the Grand Prix was Sebastien Buemi and Paul di Resta. They constantly traded places at the start of the race, with the simultaneous DRS Zones making it a regular event that one passed the other, only to be re-passed. Di Resta ran wide at Turn 11, giving Buemi the place. However, it didn’t last, because Buemi suffered his second straight mechanical retirement.
Alonso chased Hamilton hard, and when the McLaren man made his final stop, Alonso drove qualifying laps to try to get ahead of him when he did his later pit stop. Any chance of Alonso winning went out of the picture when he got stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo as he entered the pits, and Ferrari did a slow stop.
Hamilton won from Alonso and Button, who were followed by Webber and Massa. Both Mercedes' scored points, as did Force India. Kamui Kobayashi was in the points after a long absence, which meant that Sauber have a one point advantage over Toro Rosso in the Constructor's championship.
Hamilton drove a great race in the desert, as him and Alonso were in a class of their own. It was Hamilton’s first win since Germany, Kobayashi’s first point since Germany, and Vettel’s first absence from the podium since Germany, in a race which was much better than previous Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

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