Sebastian Vettel was in a class of his own on Sunday at Yas Marina Circuit as he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for his seventh consecutive Formula 1 win and 11th of the season. It was the 37th of his career.
Vettel dominated the competition and won by 30.8 seconds over his Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber. Vettel already had clinched his fourth straight World Championship last week. His seven consecutive wins have tied him with Michael Schumacher for second all-time. Only Alberto Ascari has had more with nine straight wins.
Mark Webber started from the pole for the 55 lap GP which is the only one which runs from daylight into darkness on the schedule. Webber did not get a good start and was surrounded by Vettel and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg down into Turn 1. Vettel came out with the lead with Rosberg second and Webber back in third.
Kimi Raikkonen had to start from the rear of the field after his qualifying was disallowed and he made contact into Giedo van der Garde in Turn 1. The contact broke Raikkonen's steering and he retired his Lotus before finishing a single lap. Jenson Button also made contact on lap 1 and pitted to change the nose on his McLaren on lap 2. Button ended up finishing in 12th.
Vettel had opened a large lead early and on lap 8 Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean pitted for their first stops from third and fourth. Rosberg pitted from second on lap 10 and Vettel pitted from the lead on lap 13. Vettel had such a gap built up that he did not lose the lead on the stop.
On lap 20 Webber was able to pass Rosberg on track for third place. Paul di Resta was second still after not having made a stop yet. Di Resta pitted for his only stop on lap 22 and his Force India teammate Adrian Sutil also went for a one stop only strategy.
On lap 23 Sebastian Vettel had a 27 second lead on Webber. Nico Hulkenberg had another solid race going for Sauber but on his second stop was penalized for an unsafe release. Hulkenberg had to endure a pass through penalty and finished 14th.
Webber and Rosberg pitted for their second stop on lap 34 with Webber holding the second spot. Vettel made his second stop on lap 38 and by lap 40 had a 32 second lead over Webber. The margin would stay large over the final run of the race and Vettel ended up winning by a 30.8 second margin.
Mark Webber finished second with Nico Rosberg joining him on the podium in third. Finishing fourth was Romin Grosjean for Lotus. Fernando Alonso finished fifth for Ferrari, Paul di Resta sixth for Force India, Lewis Hamilton seventh for Mercedes, Felipe Massa eighth for Ferrari, Sergio Perez ninth for McLaren, and Adrian Sutil tenth for Force India.
Sebastian Vettel now has 347 points on the season which is 130 ahead of Fernando Alonso with two races left in the season. Kimi Raikkonen is third but 34 points behind Alonso. Hamilton is fourth only eight points behind Raikkonen and Webber is fifth only nine more back. Rosberg is another seven behind Webber in sixth. Seventh is Grosjean with Massa in eighth.
Red Bull Racing has 513 total points as they have clinched the constructors title. Mercedes is 11 points ahead of Ferrari for second and Lotus is 26 behind Ferrari.
The next race up for Formula 1 is in two weeks for the second running of the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday, November 17th.
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