Pastor Maldonado was left to rue a KERS failure in Abu Dhabi after missing out on the chance to challenge for a podium finish in a dramatic evening encounter.

The Williams man had qualified third on the grid and held his place early on despite the best efforts of Fernando Alonso behind.

However, the Venezuelan then slipped back down the order after a KERS failure made it difficult for him to keep his rivals at bay, while there was also a clash with Mark Webber, which Maldonado was lucky to escape from unscathed.

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As others hit problems, Maldonado recovered to fifth at the finish but he admitted it should have been more.

"We missed the opportunity to finish on the podium today after we lost the use of KERS following the first safety car period," he said. "For sure there was more in the car. The pace was good and at the beginning I was closing the gap to Kimi but we still collected some good points today and it was a great race. I feel very motivated within the team. We now need to keep the car at the top and I am looking forward to the last two races."

Team-mate Bruno Senna meanwhile was also left to wonder what might have been despite joining Maldonado in the points, having been caught in a clash at turn one that dropped him to the rear of the field.

Despite that, the Brazilian rebounded well to take the flag in eighth spot.

"It was a very tough weekend but it had a sweet taste in the end," he said. "I had a good start getting myself into a good position for turn one but then a few cars tangled ahead and hit me. I had to start from zero again but I kept my cool.

"There was a lot going on but we had good pace when we needed it and scored some solid points for the team. It is what we are here for and we never give up. There is a good energy and feeling now going into the final two races in Austin and Brazil."

The 14 points scored at Yas Marina marked Williams' best score since Maldonado picked up 25 points for victory at Catalunya back in May, although chief operations engineer Mark Gillan agreed with his drivers that the race could have presented the Grove-based outfit with more.

"Whilst we are very pleased to have brought both cars home in the points we know we could have had an even better result," he said. "Pastor lost KERS in the race which left him open to attack from the chasing pack. He kept focused and pushed hard to keep the gap from Kobayashi finishing in a hard earned fifth.

"Bruno also did well, following heavy contact from Hulkenberg. He also fought his way through the pack to end in eighth, with both drivers collecting a total of 14 valuable points for the team. We now go to Austin looking to capitalise on our continuing improved performance."