Performance Podium: Abu Dhabi

After an action packed race in Abu Dhabi, here is the latest installment of the performance podium.

1) Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)

There have long been doubts over the ability of Sebastian Vettel to race through the field, but on Sunday he went some way towards silencing his critics with a storming drive.

Starting from the pits after his disqualification from qualifying, Vettel produced arguably the best drive of his career, twice having to fight through the field after damaging his front wing behind the safety car, and he capped off a storming recovery by overtaking Jenson Button in the closing stages to take third.

There was no doubting Vettel had some luck during the race, in particular benefitting from the timing of the safety cars, but he took full advantage of every opportunity to finish on the podium and ensure he takes a 10 point lead in the championship to Austin in two weeks time.

2) Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus-Renault)

It had looked before this weekend that Kimi Raikkonen’s best chances of winning a race this year had gone, but the Finn upset the form book in style to take his first win since Spa 2009.

Starting fourth, Raikkonen made a great start to move up to second by the first corner, and when Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead on lap 20, the Iceman was on hand to take full advantage, driving faultlessly all race, and a series of consistent laps after the second safety car put him out of reach of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

With this win, Raikkonen has made himself the firm favourite to secure third place in the championship, with his nearest rival Mark Webber now 31 points behind him with just two races remaining.

3) Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

Starting from sixth, and with his Ferrari struggling for pace, it looked like Fernando Alonso only had an outside shot of the podium before the race.

However, a good first lap in which he made up two places saw him up to fourth, and his move on Pastor Maldonado the lap after Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire saw him up into second place. After withstanding pressure from Jenson Button he set about catching Kimi Raikkonen, reeling off a series of fastest laps towards the end of the race, but he just ran out of time to seriously threaten the Finn for victory.

This was an impressive drive from Alonso, who now trails Sebastian Vettel by just ten points with only two races to go.

Stephen D’Albiac

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One thought on “Performance Podium: Abu Dhabi

  1. Incredible display of driving talent from the top three plus poor Hamilton, who I really felt for. Have to hand to Seb, who did earn his stripes today. Thrilled to see Kimi win again, and Fernando delivered another brave, stunning performance. Webber drove like an idiot LOL. I like Mark but sometimes marvel at his choices and methods.

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