Despite starting from the pit-lane, Sebastian Vettel
managed to limit the damage Fernando Alonso
could do to his F1 world championship lead to just three points, joining the Spaniard on the podium, along with race winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Whilst Alonso ran in the top four all day, Vettel had to fight his was up from 23rd at the start - Pedro de la Rosa
joined him in pit-lane after failing to make the formation lap - before finally getting the best of Jenson Button
a couple of laps from home to secure third place.
The German now heads into the final two rounds, beginning with the first USGP in Austin, with a ten-point advantage over Alonso and 50 on the table.
Raikkonen's win tightened his grip on third in the standings, but ironically was not enough to stop the Finn from being ruled out of title contention. Lewis Hamilton, who looked the likely winner of the race in the opening 19 laps, was also eliminated from the championship battle, although his deficit to fourth-placed Mark Webber
remains at two points after the Australian also failed to finish.
McLaren team-mate Jenson Button
closed in on Hamilton after taking fourth place, and the pair head to Texas split by twelve points.
There were also additions to the tally for Pastor Maldonado, who extends his advantage over Williams
team-mate Bruno Senna despite both featuring in the top ten, Kamui Kobayashi, Felipe Massa
- who, along with Alonso, prevented Red Bull
from clinching the constructors' crown -, Paul di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo.
In the teams' championship, Red Bull
only needed to outscore Ferrari
by a single point but, while it managed to eliminate the latter with Vettel's pass on Button, the combined Ferrari
haul kept the Scuderia in the hunt with a maximum of 86 points on the table in America and Brazil. RBR leads by 82 points....Click here
for the full championship standings following the F1 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.