F1 »

Hamilton benefits in Abu Dhabi

Button, whose KERS 'failure' was intermittent and forced the Briton not only to reset the system, but also to play braking roulette without knowing whether he'd have the extra assistance that KERS usually provides. His second stop fitted the expected primes, but dropped the Briton behind Rosberg's Mercedes, while Massa ran ahead of the German as he searched for his first top four finish of the year.

At the same time, however, Alonso's refusal to give up on his chase of Hamilton added extra intrigue to the battle at the front as the gap between the top two closed to jut over a second as the leader pitted for the final time. Alonso now needed to push harder still if he was to move ahead and claim an unlikely victory but, despite relentless effort, his chances of emerging ahead of the McLaren was hampered by finding an HRT heading for the pits immediately ahead of him. A slightly slower than usual stop also added to Alonso's woe, and Hamilton was comfortably back in front by the time both were back on track.

Red Bull's tactical switch for Webber also required the Australian to bang in qualifying style laps, and he responded, racking up a series of fastest times as he homed in on Button. The difference in the tyre performance was evident as he caught and passed the McLaren for fourth, but time was running out for Webber to stop again and rejoin ahead of his rival.

While Hamilton continued to reign supreme out front, holding Alonso's continued challenge at arm's length, Massa's chances of recording his best finish of the season ended when the Brazilian lost his car with a handful of laps to run. Although Yas Marina's expansive run-off areas meant that he did not hit anything, the Ferrari dropped away from Webber, giving the Australian a cushion to at least hold on to fourth at the end.

Red Bull finally made the call with a lap to run, limiting the time the RB7 would have to run on the less favourable prime as much as possible but, as expected, there wasn't enough in hand to prevent Button from claiming the final podium position. That result was enough for the Briton to ensure he finished ahead of Hamilton in the championship, regardless of what his team-mate did on the day, but Button is not yet safe as runner-up to Vettel with one race to run.

Hamilton eventually crossed the line eight seconds ahead of Alonso, punching the air with delight and dedicating the victory - his first since dominating at the Nurburgring in July - to his mother, who was in the crowd of happy McLaren mechanics when he returned to the pit-lane. The Briton's demeanour was clearly different to that of the past couple of races, and it is to be hoped that he can now move on from the demons that have plagued his past few months.

Alonso and Webber remain in the hunt for second overall, despite none of those giving vain chase to Vettel admitting to wanting the position, going to Interlagos ten and 22 points behind Button respectively after finishing second and fourth in the race, while Massa came home ahead of Rosberg, the German having dropped back at his final stop.

Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher also added to his points tally despite suffering a puncture in the closing stages and having to park up immediately after taking the flag. The seven-time champion admitted that he had not forced the issue with Rosberg on the opening lap as the younger German was on the better tyre, but was unable to hang onto his tail thereafter.

Force India's decision to run different tyre strategies for Sutil and di Resta paid off with a double points finish, moving the team a little further ahead of both Sauber and Toro Rosso. Kamui Kobayashi's single point for tenth place also broke the tie that existed between the Swiss and Italian outfits before the race. STR's Sebastien Buemi was among the race's four retirements, joining Vettel, Virgin's Jerome d'Ambrosio and HRT's Daniel Ricciardo, while Jaime Alguersuari managed only 15th, coming home four places behind the second Sauber of Perez.

There were issues with drivers ignoring blue flags, which hampered both Hamilton and Alonso, as well as Webber, at different times, and Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna were both penalised, finishing 14th and 16th as a result. Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, climbed from 23rd to twelfth to end a frustrating weekend on something of a positive note.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 3rd position
13.11.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
20.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.07.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.07.2014- Race,  The Podium: winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36, 3rd Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.07.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014-  Team Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates the victory of Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and the 3rd place of Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.07.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


pizzaboy

November 13, 2011 5:40 PM

Good win from Lewis and great drive from Alonso as well. But to be fair it was Vettel's race had he not got a puncture that he did. Did you notice how far ahead he already was in just 3rd corner of first lap?!!! That RB7 is sure something special!!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.