ABU DHABI F1 GRAND PRIX
After a good start, Vettel streaked away and took the win completely untroubled. Webber recovered from a poor start from pole to take a strong second ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Daniel Ricciardo had an uneventful but miserable race, finishing in seventeenth place.
PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
Romain Grosjean led first practice, but Red Bull quickly found their feet for FP2 and FP3. The Lotus challenge faded as the sessions progressed, with Mercedes looking like Red Bull's biggest threat.
The sunset qualifying session was dry and hot, with track temperature never dropping below 34 degrees.
Mark Webber seemed to struggle in Q1 and Q2, but with ever more downforce cranked on to his front wing, the Australian flew on his final run to secure pole position.
The Ferraris had a torrid time with Massa squeaking into tenth but Alonso eleventh, his first Q2 failure this year.
Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg put in a blinder to score sixth on the grid which became fifth when Raikkonen's Lotus was kicked out of qualifying and would start at the back.
In what is already a tense situation in the Lotus garage, the Finn's car failed a floor deflection test.
The team explained it had been damaged by kerb contact, but the stewards pointed to an incident earlier in the year with Grosjean's car and suggested Lotus beef up the floor's construction.
Lewis Hamilton had a wishbone failure on his last run, his car left stranded on the track, but he would start fourth. Daniel Ricciardo lined up in ninth.
Mark Webber got an okay initial start but fell behind both Rosberg and Vettel. Raikkonen went out at turn one after contact with van der Garde while Hamilton had a poor start, being passed by Grosjean.
Alonso got an excellent start, making it through to eighth by the end of the opening lap. Ricciardo's start was poor, falling a few places to thirteenth.
Webber battled with Rosberg during the first lap but Vettel pulled out 1.9 seconds by lap's end and built on that lead.
Button had front wing damage and pitted at the end of lap one, fitting soft tyres and a new wing.
Perez and Hamilton pitted on at the end of lap eight, Hamilton's lightning stop completed in 2.5 seconds.
Grosjean and Webber pitted on lap nine, line astern. Webber maintained his position in front of the Lotus, wrong-footing Mercedes' attempt to jump them both with Hamilton's earlier stop. Webber took Gutierrez at the first opportunity, leaving Grosjean to deal with the Sauber.
Nico Rosberg pitted at the end of lap eleven, coming out ahead of Webber who had Sutil in front of him.
With Vettel now 25 seconds ahead of Rosberg, it was a race for the second and third.
Vettel pitted after stretching the soft tyre longer than any of the frontrunners.
Sutil confounded Romain Grosjean after the Lotus driver passed him and then the Force India shot straight past again with the aid of DRS.
Alonso pitted on lap 17, dropping behind Perez. Hamilton was still stuck behind Gutierrez, losing a second a lap behind the Sauber and ruining the his tyres.
Grosjean passed Sutil again and the German tried to go around at the next DRS zone, but the Lotus driver successfully defended, staying ahead and then pulling away.
Hamilton was finally released on lap 19 by Gutierrez pitting, although it's likely the fact that Hulkenberg was now right behind Hamilton had something to do with it.
Further ahead, Rosberg was stuck behind the other Force India of di Resta which was yet to stop. This set up a short train of di Resta, Rosberg and Webber, the Australian now right on the German's gearbox.
Webber took Rosberg around the outside and took off after di Resta who was on very old soft tyres. di Resta stopped at the end of that lap, leaving Webber in second and slowly pulling away from Rosberg.
Hamilton was still trapped behind Sutil's Force India which brought the Briton's old foe, Massa, right behind him. Hamilton finally passed on lap 25 but Stul re-passed him. Felipe Massa then took advantage of the second DRS zone to pass Hamilton down the inside.
Alonso then passed Hulkenberg at the hairpin, but again the Sauber driver re-passed the Ferrari who in turn passed the German again. A couple of places ahead, Massa got by Sutil as Hamilton complained to his pit of no grip.
Hamilton again passed Sutil on lap 28 in the first DRS zone but this time made it stick.
Hulkenberg pitted for the second time at the end of lap 28 and was released from his pit in front of Perez. The Mexican had to brake to avoid contact.
The German then battled with Maldonado out on track, prevailing after a short battle with the Williams.
On lap 29 Sutil and Maldonado both went off the track, the Force India firing back on in front of Perez, with Maldonado behind the McLaren.
Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 29 for the second time, sending the his Mercedes out on track in tenth.
Vettel pitted on lap 38, with a forty second lead over second-placed Grosjean, who gained that place courtesy of Webber and Rosberg pitting. Grosjean pitted on the same lap, as Webber and Rosberg passed him.
Grosjean battled his way out of the pit exit, popping out in front of Massa's Ferrari by the slimmest of margins. Massa pitted the following lap, the Scuderia abandoning their one-stop strategy.
Alonso pitted at the start of lap 45 for a second stop and had to go off the track as he exited the pits, to avoid wiping out Jean Eric Vergne. Alonso escaped a penalty and Vergne agreed after the race that the Spaniard's avoiding action averted disaster.
Alonso's trip across the kerb caused a 25g impact to the Spaniard's back, sending him to hospital for a precuationary scan.
Massa who had been right behind the Toro Rosso, also speared off the track to avoid piling into the back of Vergne. The Brazilian passed Vergne two laps later and set off after his teammate.
Alonso took a gutsy sixth place after passing Hamilton on lap 51. Perez slipped into ninth in a last lap overtaking move on Sutil.
Vettel crossed the line and repeated his donut celebration from India, but brought the car into parc ferme, avoiding another €25,000 fine.
Webber crossed the line second and praised his teammate's performance.
"Seb was on another planet today and was very, very strong in the first stint. He was super quick and his tyres didn't wear out, which is a recipe for disaster for the rest of the opposition, me included," Webber said.
"It would have been good to win, but we got second and I'll go to Austin and try and do better."
Ricciardo finished seventeenth.
"The car didn't get off the line well and then, at Turn 1 there was a bit of chaos as I dropped back into the group behind me. I had to run wide to avoid some accidents and from then on, my race was pretty much over."
- Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault - 1h38m06.106s
- Mark Webber - Red Bull-Renault +30.829s
- Nico Rosberg - Mercedes +33.650s
- Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault +34.802s
- Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +1m07.181s
- Paul di Resta - Force India-Mercedes +1m18.174s
- Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes +1m19.267s
- Felipe Massa - Ferrari +1m22.886s
- Sergio Perez - McLaren-Mercedes +1m31.198s
- Adrian Sutil - Force India-Mercedes +1m33.257s
- Pastor Maldonado - Williams-Renault +1m35.989s
- Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes +1m43.767s
- Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari +1m44.295s
- Nico Hulkenberg - Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
- Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Renault +1 lap
- Daniel Ricciardo - Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
- Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
- Giedo van der Garde - Caterham-Renault +1 lap
- Charles Pic - Caterham-Renault +1 lap
- Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
- Max Chilton - Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
- Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus-Renault 0 laps
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