Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel of Germany crosses the finish line to win the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel of Germany crosses the finish line to win the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.   | Photo Credit: LUCA BRUNO

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, and teammate Mark Webber hung on for second to give the team a one-two finish in the final Formula One race of the season.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton led up to the first set of pit stops, but retired soon after due to a right rear brake failure on his McLaren.

Brawn GP driver Jenson Button was third after pushing Webber to the line, finishing ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello and BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld at the new Yas Marina circuit.

Vettel’s win secured second place in the drivers’ championship, 11 points behind Button.

“(Hamilton) had to retire and up to then it was a great race,” Vettel said. “After that I had a cushion to Mark and Jenson behind and was able to pace myself. The car was fantastic.

“It’s a perfect day, to finish the season on a high.”

Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi, filling in for the injured Timo Glock, was sixth and earned his first F1 points, finishing ahead of teammate Jarno Trulli and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi. BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica was eighth.

Hamilton was expected to dominate the race after a strong qualifying performance, but soon began to struggle with malfunctioning brakes and could not break away from the pursuing Red Bulls. Soon after the first pit stop, he was forced to retire.

“I was locking and locking and locking - it was harder than ever to drive the car,” Hamilton said. “It’s a shame as the car felt so good this last couple of days, but we haven’t had many brake problems this year, so there you go.”

Hamilton was one of only two cars not to finish the race, along with Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari after an embarrassing pit stop mishap. His crew was not out for his stop, and he mistakenly stopped at the waiting Red Bull pit crew {mdash} which has very similar colors. They waved him on and he was forced to retire soon after.

Neither McLaren nor Ferrari scored a point, meaning McLaren held on to third place in the constructors’ championship, one point ahead of the Italian team.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:28:01 AM |

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