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. Monday 31 August 2015

  2. 18:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation 17:53

    Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation

    Pirelli has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sebastian Vettel's tyre failure in Belgium, and will…

    F1
  4. Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS 14:24

    Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS

    Nico Hülkenberg is hopeful that he can make up for his non-start in Belgium with a return to the points-paying positions at…

    F1
  5. Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win 13:34

    Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win

    Watch highlights as Scott Dixon wins the double-points Sonoma finale to snatch his fourth IndyCar title.

    Indy
  6. Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium 12:06

    Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium

    Sergio Pérez says Force India should continue to target podium finishes over the remainder of the 2015 season, after an…

    F1
  7. Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible' 10:41

    Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible'

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has been praised for making a "way more sensible" compound selection for this weekend's Italian…

    F1
  8. Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over 10:15

    Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez has admitted that his chances of defending his MotoGP title are all but over after he crashed…

    MotoGP
  9. Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win 09:32

    Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi described himself as "very proud" after mastering wet conditions to win the British Grand Prix and…

    MotoGP
  10. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat 05:11

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat

    F1 brakes reach extreme temperatures, as McLaren outlines in the final part of its technical video series.

    F1
  11. 01:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sonoma

    Indy
  12. Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown 01:12

    Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown

    For the fourth time in his storied career, Scott Dixon has won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, bettering Juan Pablo…

    Indy
  13. Sunday 30 August 2015

  14. Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund 21:43

    Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund

    All of the IndyCar drivers in today's season finale have decided to donate their helmets to a large online auction for the…

    Indy
  15. 14:32

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  16. Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama 14:26

    Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama

    Valentino Rossi won a wet and dramatic British Grand Prix to reclaim the title lead from Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, while…

    MotoGP
  17. Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016 11:17

    Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016

    Pramac Ducati has confirmed that it has signed British rider Scott Redding for the 2016 MotoGP campaign. Redding made his…

    MotoGP
  18. Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza 08:22

    Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza

    Kimi Räikkönen is hopeful that Ferrari will pose a greater challenge to Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix, despite Monza…

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap 05:24

    Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap

    Join Formula E presenter Nicki Shields for a closer look at the final pre-season test at Donington Park.

    FE
  20. 00:42

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Sonoma

    Indy
  21. Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record 00:36

    Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record

    A consistently fast Will Power stole P1 away from Josef Newgarden after time expired in the final IndyCar qualifying of the year…

    Indy
  22. Saturday 29 August 2015

  23. Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another 15:46

    Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another

    In 1988, after a lengthy stint as an engineer at Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team, Charlie Whiting joined the FIA's technical…

    F1
  24. 15:18

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  25. Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record 15:13

    Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record

    Marc Márquez twice broke the lap record during Saturday's qualifying session at Silverstone to secure pole position for the…

    MotoGP
  26. Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst 13:18

    Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst

    Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen says he "can understand" why Sebastian Vettel hit out at tyre supplier Pirelli…

    F1
  27. Lorenzo stays on top in third session 10:52

    Lorenzo stays on top in third session

    Jorge Lorenzo remained on top with a blistering late effort during Saturday's third practice session for the British Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
  28. GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon 08:20

    GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon

    Across 2015, GPUpdate.net has been profiling some of the most talented up-and-coming youngsters gracing the various junior…

    GP3
  29. Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact 07:46

    Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact

    Pastor Maldonado caused his own retirement from last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps with a sizeable 17G…

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine 05:14

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine

    McLaren showcases how many strokes per second are produced by Honda's engine.

    F1
  31. Friday 28 August 2015

  32. Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel 16:08

    Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is "convinced" that he would have passed Sebastian Vettel for third at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  33. 15:12

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  34. Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice 15:03

    Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice

    Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo edged out Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez during second practice for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  35. Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car 14:01

    Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he "expected more" from the Williams FW37 this season, but he is hopeful that progress will be…

    F1
  36. GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions 12:02

    GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions

    Earlier in the season, GPUpdate.net gave readers the chance to quiz Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus driver Romain…

    F1
  37. Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone 10:50

    Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez topped the times during Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  38. Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge 09:36

    Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge

    Ahead of this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, drivers completed a demonstration run across San Francisco's Golden…

    Indy
  39. Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson 09:22

    Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson

    As the IndyCar circus arrives in California for the resolution of a tense and complex championship battle, the sport also finds…

    Indy
  40. Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma 07:38

    Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma

    Oriol Servià will drive Justin Wilson's Andretti car at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Sonoma in tribute to the Briton, who…

    Indy
  41. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  42. Thursday 27 August 2015

  43. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  44. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  45. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
more news