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. Wednesday 16 April 2014

  2. Ferrari: First priority to be second best 11:17

    Ferrari: First priority to be second best

    Ferrari is looking at every area and is trying to make as big a step as it can for each and every race, engineering...

    F1
  3. Video: Ferrari gets set for China 10:58

    Video: Ferrari gets set for China

    Ferrari engineering director Pat Fry looks ahead to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, round four in the 2014 Formula 1 W...

    F1
  4. Mosley backs Todt stance on noise 10:48

    Mosley backs Todt stance on noise

    Former FIA President Max Mosley has backed the way his successor Jean Todt is handling the noise 'issue' with the new V6...

    F1
  5. Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP  10:15

    Fernández to act as driver steward at Chinese GP

    Adrián Fernández will be the FIA's driver steward at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, it has been c...

    F1
  6. Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row 09:46

    Hamilton out to make it three wins in a row

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said it would be 'incredible' if he could make it three wins in a succession this weekend...

    F1
  7. Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Hamilton slides out

    Lewis Hamilton suffered this agonising retirement from the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. Driving for McLaren in his debut season,...

    F1
  8. Tuesday 15 April 2014

  9. Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix 15:48

    Video: Force India duo on Chinese Grand Prix

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  10. Renault edging closer to limit of new engine 13:53

    Renault edging closer to limit of new engine

    Renault has explained that it will be running its new turbocharged power unit "closer to the limits" at this weekend's...

    F1
  11. 'Russian drivers at risk over US, EU sanctions' 11:50

    'Russian drivers at risk over US, EU sanctions'

    Racing programmes of various Russian drivers are under threat following the sanctions that have been placed on their country...

    F1
  12. Gillette, McLaren enhance partnership 11:30

    Gillette, McLaren enhance partnership

    Gillette, the world's leading male grooming brand, has enhanced its collaboration with McLaren. The two brands, which...

    F1
  13. Video: Formula 1 pit-stops then and now 11:00

    Video: Formula 1 pit-stops then and now

    Enjoy a pit-stop comparison between the 1950 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.

    F1
  14. Red Bull 'accepts' outcome of appeal 10:38

    Red Bull 'accepts' outcome of appeal

    Red Bull says it "accepts" the decision of the International Court of Appeal to uphold Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the...

    F1
  15. Tweaks to Indy 500 practice, qualifying 10:17

    Tweaks to Indy 500 practice, qualifying

    IndyCar has added a practice session and tweaked qualifying for this year's Indianapolis 500. The fresh qualifying...

    Indy
  16. Court upholds decision to exclude Ricciardo 09:50

    Court upholds decision to exclude Ricciardo

    The FIA's International Court of Appeal has upheld the decision to exclude Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull from the results of...

    F1
  17. Haas wants blend of youth, experience 09:29

    Haas wants blend of youth, experience

    Haas Formula is hoping to blend youth and experience when it picks its first Formula 1 driver line-up. Team founder Gene...

    F1
  18. Singapore Airlines to sponsor Grand Prix 09:03

    Singapore Airlines to sponsor Grand Prix

    Singapore Airlines has signed a deal to become the title sponsor of the Singapore Grand Prix. The company replaces...

    F1
  19. Shanghai memories: Buemi loses front tyres 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Buemi loses front tyres

    Sébastien Buemi suffered this spectacular crash during practice for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  20. Monday 14 April 2014

  21. Haas unsure about joining grid in 2015 16:41

    Haas unsure about joining grid in 2015

    Gene Haas, whose American Formula 1 entry was accepted following the FIA's latest tender, says he ideally hopes to join the...

    F1
  22. Red Bull likely to learn fate on Tuesday 15:47

    Red Bull likely to learn fate on Tuesday

    Red Bull looks set to discover the outcome of its appeal over Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the season-opening...

    F1
  23. Technical Director Bell to depart Mercedes 14:08

    Technical Director Bell to depart Mercedes

    Bob Bell will depart his role as Technical Director of the Mercedes F1 team at the end of the season. Bell, who has held...

    F1
  24. Domenicali resigns as Ferrari team boss 11:28

    Domenicali resigns as Ferrari team boss

    Stefano Domenicali has stepped down as Team Principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 outfit. He will be replaced for the time...

    F1
  25. Kvyat aiming for return to points in China 11:21

    Kvyat aiming for return to points in China

    Daniil Kvyat says he hopes to return to the points-scoring positions at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. The Toro Rosso...

    F1
  26. Lorenzo distracted by mosquitoes at start 10:17

    Lorenzo distracted by mosquitoes at start

    Jorge Lorenzo says mosquitoes played a key role in his jump-start at the Grand Prix of the Americas. The Yamaha rider...

    MotoGP
  27. Red Bull hearing gets underway in Paris 09:56

    Red Bull hearing gets underway in Paris

    The FIA hearing of Red Bull's appeal over Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix began in Paris...

    F1
  28. Video: Leading cars pile-up at Long Beach 09:28

    Video: Leading cars pile-up at Long Beach

    Having exited the pits on cold tyres, Josef Newgarden comes out just in front of the race leaders and holds them up until...

    Indy
  29. 'Small signs of progress' for Schumacher 09:20

    'Small signs of progress' for Schumacher

    Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher is "showing small signs of progress" as he slowly recovers from a...

    F1
  30. Sainz Jr: We will keep pushing hard 09:00

    Sainz Jr: We will keep pushing hard

    Carlos Sainz Jr has vowed that he and DAMS will continue to push hard after emerging from the opening round of the Formula...

    FR 3.5
  31. Shanghai memories: Karthikeyan crashes 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Karthikeyan crashes

    Narain Karthikeyan retired from the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix as a result of this dramatic accident.

    F1
  32. 00:51

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Long Beach

    Indy
  33. Conway survives carnage to win again in Long Beach 00:50

    Conway survives carnage to win again in Long Beach

    The 40th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach proved to be a memorable one for the sport's premier road course...

    Indy
  34. Sunday 13 April 2014

  35. 23:17

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Austin

    MotoGP
  36. Márquez storms to second successive Austin win 20:52

    Márquez storms to second successive Austin win

    Marc Márquez controlled proceedings as he dominated the Grand Prix of Americas to lead home a Honda 1-2 as title rivals...

    MotoGP
  37. 19:24

    Latest FR3.5 Photos: Sunday at Monza

    FR 3.5
  38. Sainz Jr eases to maiden FR3.5 victory 12:18

    Sainz Jr eases to maiden FR3.5 victory

    Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr romped to victory in the second race of the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5...

    FR 3.5
  39. Dennis: Magnussen signing was my decision 08:00

    Dennis: Magnussen signing was my decision

    McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis says the promotion of Kevin Magnussen to a race seat was his decision. Magnussen, who...

    F1
  40. Video of the Day: Fuelling the Ferrari team 05:00

    Video of the Day: Fuelling the Ferrari team

    Ferrari's fuel partner, Shell, discusses the challenges of Formula 1's new technical regulations.

    F1
  41. Saturday 12 April 2014

  42. 23:03

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Long Beach

    Indy
  43. Hunter-Reay's final lap enough for Long Beach pole 23:02

    Hunter-Reay's final lap enough for Long Beach pole

    American Ryan Hunter-Reay has taken pole position for the 40th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, beating...

    Indy
  44. 22:20

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Austin

    MotoGP
  45. Márquez romps to pole position at Austin 20:58

    Márquez romps to pole position at Austin

    Reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Márquez continued his fine start to the 2014 season as he stormed to pole position for the...

    MotoGP