Sebastian Vettel was left understandably thrilled with a fourth win of the 2009 F1 season after snaring victory in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Victory at the new Yas Marina circuit secured second place in the drivers' standings behind Jenson Button and continued the strong end of season form for Red Bull Racing as the Milton Keynes-based outfit made it three wins from three to conclude the year.
From second on the grid, Vettel stayed in touch with leader Lewis Hamilton through the opening stages and then jumped to the lead following his first stop.
When Hamilton then retired from the race with brake issues, Vettel was left with a free run to the flag as he led home Mark Webber for a 1-2 finish.
“That was a fantastic race,” he said. “We had a very good start, it wasn't good enough to overtake Lewis, but I was surprised I was so close to him. Then, when Lewis was on the long straight, he pushed a button and disappeared ahead, but I was able to stay close. We knew we were a little bit heavier and we were always able to catch him up, especially in the last sector.
“The car was a dream today. There was a lot of pressure, I nearly went a bit wide in the pit lane entrance during my first stop and then there was the scary exit through the tunnel, but I was on the limit and it was enough to get past Lewis. Unfortunately he then had to retire, but up to that point it was a fantastic race with him. After that I had a little bit of a cushion to Mark and Jenson behind and I was able to pace myself, but the car was fantastic until the end. It worked brilliantly on both tyre compounds and it was a pleasure to sit in the car this evening.”
Vettel added that he was disappointed that the season is now at an end, with the German admitting that the Renault-powered team was on a roll.
“To sum up the season, what can I say?” he said. “I would say up and down, we are currently very strong and have just gained our fourth one-two finish, so congratulations to the team. They have been pushing a lot, working very hard back in the factory. It's a shame now that the season ends, as we are on a roll! It's just perfect to finish the season in this way on such a high.”