Abu Dhabi GP 2012: Iceman back on the top step as Lewis Hamilton suffers breakdown
A chaotic race with the floodlights going to some of the drivers heads
Kimi Räikkönen won the Abu Dhabi GP ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who picked his way through from starting in the pit-lane to finishing on the podium. It was disappointment again for Lewis Hamilton who retired from a comfortable lead. Charles Pic, Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber, Narain Karthikeyan, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg also failed to finish. Vettel’s championship lead was cut by just three points, meaning he still has a ten point cushion over Alonso so if he wins in Austin and the Ferrari driver is outside the top five, then Vettel becomes champion.
There were a number of key moments in the race which led to it finishing the way it did. Vettel was disqualified from qualifying after his car did not have enough fuel for the required FIA sample. This meant he started from the pit-lane and so was able to make adjustments, such as gear ratio changes, to his car. He started on the medium compound tyres while most other drivers started on softs. Two safety cars during the race kept him with the pack, and allowed him to pit for a new nose after damaging his in the opening stages. Later in the race he overtook Grosjean with all four wheels but Red Bull were quick to react and told him to give the place back, meaning there would be no risk of a penalty. He was able to make a late pit-stop and slot back into fourth place. From there he chased down Jenson Button and took third place – a crucial podium position. At the front, despite cold tyres, Hamilton was able to break away from the DRS zone and keep ahead of Räikkönen in the opening stint of the race. However, another mechanical failure – this time to do with fuel pick-up – caused an early retirement from the race gifting the lead to Räikkönen. Despite pressure from Alonso in the closing stages of the race, Räikkönen was able to maintain the lead, making good use of the safety car restart to pull away – his first of the season! He also maintained his 100% finishing record – the only driver to have completed every lap of 2012. Pastor Maldonado had a KERS failure meaning he may have had more of a role to play in the fight for the podium had he had full power.
During the race Sergio Perez was given a ten second stop/go penalty for his part in the crash which ended Webber and Grosjean’s race. Paul di Resta overtook Grosjean and Perez was opportunistic in trying to follow through and pass both Grosjean and di Resta. He forced di Resta wide across the grass before running wide himself. As he moved back onto track he made contact with Grosjean, who Webber then hit as he came round the corner. Webber and Grosjean both retired but Perez was able to continue but was given a penalty. Other incidents in the race which avoided penalty included Webber and Maldonado making contact, which sent Webber into a spin, and Webber trying to pass Felipe Massa which resulted in a spin for the Ferrari driver. Both were deemed to be racing incidents and no further action was taken. Do you agree with the penalty given to Perez and the decisions made by the stewards during the race?
Comment with facebook
"Thanks for visiting our website, enterF1.com. Have you got a suggestion? A potential improvement? Or if you would just like to get in touch with us then please do!"