Räikkönen returns to winning ways in Abu Dhabi

Räikkönen returns to winning ways in Abu Dhabi

4 November 2012 – Kimi Räikkönen has won for the first time since returning to Formula 1, having made the most of a remarkable Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday evening. Fernando Alonso fought to second place as Sebastian Vettel achieved a podium finish from a pit lane start. Lewis Hamilton had dominated, but retired from the lead on Lap 20.

With just three races remaining in the 2012 season, Yas Marina always did promise to be the scene of tension. However, nobody could have predicted the drama of Saturday night; four and a half hours after qualifying finished, the FIA announced that Vettel had been disqualified for not providing a sufficient amount of fuel for a sample. He started from the pit lane as Hamilton led away from his sixth pole position of the campaign.

A clean start by Hamilton allowed the McLaren to pull away, with Räikkönen shooting up to second place behind him. Alonso grabbed one spot for fifth before storming past Mark Webber for fourth. Further back, Nico Hülkenberg was squeezed between team-mate Paul di Resta and the Williams of Bruno Senna, which spun the Brazilian. As Hülkenberg retired, di Resta pitted and was joined by Nico Rosberg who had made contact with Romain Grosjean. Things only got worse for Rosberg, who was launched into both the air and the barriers at Turn 16 when Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT suffered a problem. This brought out the Safety Car and bunched up the pack.

Hamilton’s drive had been faultless, but Singapore came back to haunt him as the McLaren broke down. This gifted the lead to Räikkönen, who led Pastor Maldonado’s Williams which was coming from third on the grid. By now, Vettel had sunk to the back after fighting up to 12th; already carrying a damaged front wing after a touch with Senna, the championship leader sustained even more damage when he was caught out by Daniel Ricciardo behind the Safety Car, swerved and smashed through a polystyrene marker. It looked as though Alonso, who had swept past Maldonado for second place at Turn 11, would retake the championship lead.

The race will be remembered for a number of incidents, not least at the Turn 11-12-13 complex. One came as Webber attacked Maldonado for third on the outside line, only to result in contact and a spin for the Australian. Felipe Massa then spun as he diced with Webber. On Lap 38, there was chaos as di Resta battled with Grosjean. Looking to take advantage, Sergio Pérez overhauled both but forced di Resta onto the grass – a move which resulted in a stop/go penalty for the Mexican. As Pérez rejoined at Turn 13, he was hit by Grosjean. The contact resulted in a spin for the Sauber as Grosjean retired from the race, clouting the rear end of Webber as the Frenchman attempted to avoid Pérez. Webber’s demise confirmed that Red Bull would not win the Constructors’ Championship this weekend.

As Räikkönen maintained a healthy advantage up front, Vettel’s saving grace was the second Safety Car. Having sliced his way through the order for the second time, he ran directly behind the race leader following Räikkönen’s sole pit-stop, but made a tactical second pit visit as his Soft compound tyres were unlikely to last. He had done enough and rejoined in front of the battle for fifth. Over the final handful of laps, Vettel hunted down Button and pulled off an impressive move around the outside of Turn 11 with just over three laps to go. This means that Alonso - who charged in the closing stages - reduces the championship-leading margin by the reduced gap of three points, to ten.

After seven of the 24 starters had failed to make the finish, Kimi Räikkönen collected his 19th F1 victory to move within one of Hamilton in the all-time records. The achievement is his first win since Belgium 2009 with Ferrari and the first for Enstone-based Lotus since Alonso won in the then-branded Renault car at Fuji in 2008. The Lotus name itself had not won a Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna did the honours in Detroit 25 years ago.

To his personal delight, Vettel claimed fastest lap. It is now official that the title fight is between he and Alonso, as Räikkönen is too far back despite tonight’s outcome.


The penultimate round of the 2012 Formula 1 season will be staged in a fortnight’s time, at the brand-new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 24 October 2014

  2. Caterham F1 set to miss next two races 18:01

    Caterham F1 set to miss next two races

    Caterham is set to miss the next two Formula 1 races after Bernie Ecclestone gave the squad special dispensation to skip...

    F1
  3. 16:44

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  4. Video: Behind the scenes at Force India 16:34

    Video: Behind the scenes at Force India

    Take a closer look at the inner workings of Force India's factory at Silverstone in this behind the scenes video, featuring...

    F1
  5. Grosjean 'very close' to new Lotus deal 15:57

    Grosjean 'very close' to new Lotus deal

    Lotus is just "a few details" away from signing a fresh agreement with Romain Grosjean, according to Deputy Team Principal...

    F1
  6. Caterham handed over to administrators 12:10

    Caterham handed over to administrators

    The Caterham Formula 1 team's management has decided to step back and hand over to administrators, in the wake of a public...

    F1
  7. Video: Mercedes duo in engineering race 09:41

    Video: Mercedes duo in engineering race

    Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take part in a different kind of battle.

    F1
  8. 09:39

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Sepang

    MotoGP
  9. Pedrosa tops first day at Sepang 09:38

    Pedrosa tops first day at Sepang

    Dani Pedrosa set the standard on the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. The Repsol Honda rider...

    MotoGP
  10. F3 champion Ocon completes Lotus test 07:28

    F3 champion Ocon completes Lotus test

    Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon has completed his maiden Formula 1 test with Lotus after receiving two days of running in...

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Pedrosa's Sepang highlight 05:03

    Video of the Day: Pedrosa's Sepang highlight

    Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa picks his fondest Malaysian Grand Prix memory ahead of this year's event.

    MotoGP
  12. Nissany hails 'amazing' F1 test debut 04:16

    Nissany hails 'amazing' F1 test debut

    Roy Nissany described his first experience of Formula 1 machinery as "amazing" after enjoying a day of testing with the...

    F1
  13. Thursday 23 October 2014

  14. Caterham buyer refutes Fernandes claims 19:39

    Caterham buyer refutes Fernandes claims

    Caterham buyer Engavest "strongly refutes allegations" made by Tony Fernandes and Caterham Group CEO Graham Macdonald,...

    F1
  15. Fernandes blames Caterham F1 buyer 15:58

    Fernandes blames Caterham F1 buyer

    Tony Fernandes says the Caterham F1 team's buyer is fully responsible for the ongoing problems at Leafield, claiming that it...

    F1
  16. Ramon Aurin to be Pedrosa's new crew chief 15:00

    Ramon Aurin to be Pedrosa's new crew chief

    Ramon Aurin will replace Mike Leitner as Dani Pedrosa's Race Engineer next season. The Repsol Honda rider confirmed...

    MotoGP
  17. Buyer says Fernandes still owns Caterham F1 13:21

    Buyer says Fernandes still owns Caterham F1

    The consortium that purchased Caterham F1 at the end of June has insisted that Tony Fernandes did not transfer the relevant...

    F1
  18. Caterham F1 staff locked out of factory 11:54

    Caterham F1 staff locked out of factory

    Further doubt has been cast over Caterham's ability to contest the remainder of the 2014 Formula 1 season after staff...

    F1
  19. MotoGP reveals 25-bike entry list for 2015 10:55

    MotoGP reveals 25-bike entry list for 2015

    The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) has published a provisional entry list for the 2015 MotoGP season, with the...

    MotoGP
  20. Fong completes first F1 test in Valencia 10:13

    Fong completes first F1 test in Valencia

    Adderly Fong completed his maiden Formula 1 test on Wednesday, getting behind the wheel of Sauber's two-year-old C31 in...

    F1
  21. Massa on Austin Fans' Forum line-up 09:43

    Massa on Austin Fans' Forum line-up

    Felipe Massa, Sergio Pérez and Esteban Gutiérrez have been confirmed on the line-up for the upcoming Austin Fans' F...

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: Racing without a driver 05:08

    Video of the Day: Racing without a driver

    A driverless Audi RS 7 was recently sent out to tackle the Hockenheim circuit. Find out how it fared.

    Misc
  23. Félix da Costa to make FE debut in Malaysia 04:47

    Félix da Costa to make FE debut in Malaysia

    Amlin Aguri has confirmed that António Félix da Costa will partner Katherine Legge for the second round of the Formula E s...

    Formula E
  24. Wednesday 22 October 2014

  25. Caterham F1 bosses threaten to quit 19:37

    Caterham F1 bosses threaten to quit

    Caterham's new bosses have warned that they could be forced to step away from the F1 team, claiming that Tony Fernandes...

    F1
  26. Haas: First five years revolve around survival 17:06

    Haas: First five years revolve around survival

    Gene Haas is under no illusions about the task his Formula 1 team faces when it joins the grid, stating that he will be...

    F1
  27. Background: The Toro Rosso candidates 15:57

    Background: The Toro Rosso candidates

    New Toro Rosso recruit Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver in F1 history when he takes to the grid aged 17 next...

    F1
  28. Video: Hamilton's Stars & Cars invitation 15:12

    Video: Hamilton's Stars & Cars invitation

    Mercedes-Benz will stage the once annual 'Stars & Cars' event at its Stuttgart museum on November 29. Lewis Hamilton, who...

    F1
  29. Sam Michael set to leave McLaren 13:15

    Sam Michael set to leave McLaren

    McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael is to leave the team at the end of the season. A McLaren spokesperson has confirmed...

    F1
  30. Lotus expects to keep Grosjean for 2015 11:12

    Lotus expects to keep Grosjean for 2015

    Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez says he expects to retain Romain Grosjean for the 2015 season, despite admitting that the...

    F1
  31. 09:43

    Photos: Márquez, Pedrosa visit Indonesia

    MotoGP
  32. Pérez on brink of new Force India deal 09:34

    Pérez on brink of new Force India deal

    Sergio Pérez says he is likely to sign a fresh Force India deal "in the next week", a move that would complete the outfit's...

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Wolff on F1 title success 05:15

    Video of the Day: Wolff on F1 title success

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff discusses the brand's maiden Formula 1 Constructors' success.

    F1
  34. Tuesday 21 October 2014

  35. Silverstone senior executives suspended 13:55

    Silverstone senior executives suspended

    The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) has taken "a closer role" in the day-to-day running of Silverstone following the...

    F1
  36. Caterham insists team not threatened 12:25

    Caterham insists team not threatened

    Caterham has dismissed media reports suggesting that Caterham Sports Limited (CSL) being placed into administration will...

    F1
  37. Lotus mourns death of Total chief 11:08

    Lotus mourns death of Total chief

    Lotus says it has been left "shocked" and "deeply saddened" by the death of Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of team...

    F1
  38. Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name 09:50

    Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name

    The Spa-Francorchamps circuit says it will contest an application from car manufacturer Nissan to trademark "Eau...

    F1
  39. Video: Miami welcomes Formula E 09:30

    Video: Miami welcomes Formula E

    Watch as the track layout for the Miami ePrix, scheduled to take place on March 14 next year, is revealed.

    Formula E
  40. Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout 09:22

    Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout

    Miami has become the latest Formula E host to reveal its track layout for the electric championship. Produced by track...

    Formula E
  41. Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season 09:07

    Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season

    Pons Racing has confirmed that Óscar Tunjo will remain with the team in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year. The...

    FR 3.5
  42. Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C 05:11

    Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C

    Williams reserve Felipe Nasr sampled Keke Rosberg's 1983 FW08C at the team's Partner Day at Silverstone.

    F1
  43. Monday 20 October 2014

  44. Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel 17:54

    Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel

    Former Formula 1 team bosses Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali have joined the FIA's new Accident Panel, which has been put...

    F1
  45. Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races 17:14

    Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races

    Moscow Raceway has been granted an FIA Grade 1 licence, allowing it to stage Formula 1 races. The track, located some...

    Misc
more news