Lewis Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel out in the first lap with a rear puncture.
Fernando with a great pass on Button happy with second.
Lewis Hamilton: “We have another great race ahead of us in Brazil, so we will focus on that and try to keep the momentum. You know how it goes, anything can happen. I have to keep my focus on it.”
I think it’s very rare for us and me to get the opportunity to maintain a gap and control a race, But today I had the pace and was able to put in the laps when Fernando went quicker. And then I was able to pull out when he came in.
There was a stage where he would close the gap. It seemed as if he would start the stint slower than me but get quicker at the end, but I am very, very happy with how it went.
I think it was one of my best races, I said that as I slowed down: being able to hold off one of the best drivers in the world is tough to do. Looking after the tyres, managing the gap… I am ecstatic, really very happy to be back up here. This is great and I can get on the flight tonight and smile.”
Fernando Alonso: “I tried hard all race, It was an individual race against time. I was doing qualifying laps every lap trying to close the gap but it was one tenth up or down for the whole stint and we dominated.
About the people we were catching, when he had some problems I closed the gap to two seconds and when I had problems I lost two seconds – it depended on which parts of track you caught them.
I am looking forward, To be honest I want to have the last race and think of 2012 as soon as possible – not to forget this year because the year has been quite good for the team and in general we made good improvements from last year, but we were not able to fight for the championship.
Definitely next year is a good challenge for us – and a big motivation for next year is to do better than 2011.”
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h37:11.886 2. Alonso Ferrari + 8.457 3. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 25.881 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 35.784 5. Massa Ferrari + 50.578 6. Rosberg Mercedes + 52.317 7. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:15.900 8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:17.100 9. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:40.000 10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 13. Petrov Renault + 1 lap 14. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 16. Senna Renault + 1 lap 17. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 1 lap 18. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 20. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps Fastest lap: Webber, 1:42.612
James Calado wins on first GP2 Series weekend
GP3 graduate makes strong first impression after winning 2011 GP2 Final Sprint Race
James Calado proved Lotus ART was right to sign him for the 2012 season: on his GP2 Series debut at Yas Marina Circuit, the Brit scored his first win at the 2011 GP2 Final sprint race in Abu Dhabi. Calado kept the lead at the start from reverse pole and never surrendered despite huge pressure first from GP3 graduate Antonio Felix Da Costa and then from the experienced Marcus Ericsson. The Swede had to settle for second place ahead of teammate and GP3 graduate Tom Dillmann. Calado and Dillmann will both receive prize money from Pirelli for finishing as the two highest-placed GP3 graduates.
When the light went out, Calado kept his nearest rivals at bay and was still in the lead after the first corner. Ericsson was already up to third from P5 and all over Felix Da Costa, but the young Portuguese driver defended his position well. The Swede had to wait until Lap 8 before he could get past. The Ocean driver was then under the threat of a charging Luiz Razia whilst Ericsson set his sights on Calado.
The battle between Razia and Felix Da Costa intensified on the following lap, and the Brazilian eventually overtook the Portuguese. Felix Da Costa fought back but cut the corner and in doing so received a drive thru penalty which he observed immediately dropping him down to the middle of the field. Razia looked set for another podium finish this weekend but he was also handed a drive thru for ignoring yellow flags. This promoted Dillmann to third.
Behind the top three, Jolyon Palmer cruised to fourth place. But the battle for the remaining points-paying positions was a GP2 classic between Alexander Rossi, Stefano Coletti, Fabio Leimer, Kevin Ceccon and Esteban Gutierrez. The final laps saw a fierce fight with Coletti under constant attack from Leimer. Yesterday’s race winner was all over the Scuderia Coloni man and the battle ended in tears in the last lap after a contact between the two cars sent Coletti into the barriers. The fight continued with Rossi and Ceccon, but it was eventually Gutierrez who took fifth place – an impressive comeback from P21 on the grid. Ceccon took sixth.
At the chequered flag, Calado punched the air in celebration of his first GP2 success ahead of the iSport duo, Ericsson and Dillmann respectively. Although both drivers ended with seven points, it is Calado who is crowned best GP3 graduate thanks to his win and will receive 15,000 Euros from Pirelli while Dillmann will receive 10,000 Euros.