Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race

The big news after Qualifying yesterday was that “Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has been excluded from Saturday’s qualifying results for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the stewards found his car did not have sufficient fuel onboard to comply with the rules on its return to parc ferme.”

So the revised grid: LH, MW, PM, KR, JB, FA, NR, FM, RG, NH, SP, PRe, MS, BS, KK, DR, JV, HK, CP, VP, TG, PRo, NK, SV.

Tyre compounds this weekend: prime = medium (white band); option = soft (yellow)

Looks like PRo and SV are both starting from the pit lane

[I missed the first few laps!]

08: LH f/lap 1:48.148
Turn 1 involving car 12 (NH) will be investigated after the race

09: NR off; NK spun & stopped; debris all over the track
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows NR plough through the rear of a struggling NK
NR & NK walking away – both seem to be OK

10/55[SC]: LH, KR, PM, FA, MW, JB, FM, SP, KK, MS; retirements: NK, NR, NH
JV pits, as does RG and PRe – it’s too early for the 1-stoppers

11[SC]: Turn 16 incident involving cars 8 and 23 (NR & NK) will be investigated after the race

12[SC]: Adrian Newey looking at a spare nose cone but they still haven’t brought SV in to replace his
Replay shows SV swerve and take out a polystyrene braking point marker because DR stamped on his brakes
Radio from SV furious that DR was warming his brakes on a straight
More damage to SV’s front wing

13[SC]: Radio from LH asking about the drivers involved in the accident; team confirm they’re both OK
Radio for SV telling him to pit this lap

14[SC]: SV pits; new nose cone; switches to options but will they last until the end of the race?
SC in at the end of this lap
SV rejoins P21
SC pulls off, making LH the temporary SC

15/55: LH, KR, PM, FA, MW, JB, FM, SP, KK, MS; retirements: NK, NR, NH
MW attacking FA as they approach the start line
SV already past PRe and looking at RG

16: LH f/lap 1:47.886
SV passes RG as RG is passing CP
RG fights back; reclaims the place; but SV squeezes past again
Did SV put all four wheels off-track to pass RG?

17: LH f/lap 1:47.384
DRS enabled
RG continues trying to reclaim P17 from SV

18: BBC say SV was told to let RG pass, in case his earlier move was declared off-track, but then SV passed him again
LH has a sensor failure – told brake light on dash will flicker – “nothing to worry about”

19: LH f/lap 1:47.333

20/55: LH, KR, PM, FA, MW, JB, FM, SP, KK, MS
LH f/lap 1:47.266
JV jumps out the way to let SV past
LH slowing – pulls off track – McLaren’s engine has died on him – parks on the grass on the outside of Turn 14

21: KR has a 5.0sec lead over PM
FA steals P2 from PM
SV takes P11 from BS

22: KR, FA, PM, MW, JB, FM, SP, KK, MS, DR
PM struggling; slides under braking; looks like his tyres are shot
MW lining PM up for a pass

23: Yellow flags continue to mark LH’s car but the marshals don’t seem to be trying to move it
MW touches PM as he tries to pass; spins; down to P7

24: KR f/lap 1:47.238
FM leaves the door open and SP steals P5
JB down the inside of PM to take P3
SV in the points as he passes DR for P10
Turn 11 incident involving cars 2 and 18 (MW & PM) under investigation

25/55: KR, FA, JB, PM, SP, FM, MW, KK, MS, SV; retirements: LH, NK, NR, NH
Radio for FM – stay out
KK pits

26: MW looking for a way past FM
MW round the outside of FM; contact; MW runs wide; FM spins as MW cuts across back onto the circuit

27: KR f/lap 1:47.199
FM & DR pit
Turn 12 incident involving cars 2 and 6 (MW & FM) under investigation
No further action on Turn 11 incident involving cars 2 and 18 (MW & PM)

Half-distance

28: MS pits, as did TG & VP
SV f/lap 1:47.053
No further action on Turn 12 incident involving cars 2 and 6 (MW & FM)

29: FA pits from P2; rejoins P7, behind SV
Mistake from PM; SP steals P3

30/55: JB pits from P2; PM pits too; both swap to primes
SV closes on his teammate
Radio for MW telling him not to fight SV
MW sets overall fastest Sector 1 – not “fighting” SV but is going to make him work for it
Radio for MW – “box, box, box” – that’ll make sure SV takes the position

31: SP pits, as does MW
Only KR (P1) and BS (P5) yet to pit
JB sets overall fastest Sector 1 and S2

32: KR pits; rejoins still P1 but with SV close behind … although SV is on very used tyres
JB f/lap 1:46.495
BBC ask Pirelli tech if SV’s tyres will last; says it’ll be an interesting end to the race 🙂

33: BS pits
JB chasing down FA for P3

34: KR f/lap 1:46.055
Personal f/lap for SV
JV pits from P6

35/55: KR, SV, FA, JB, RG, PRe, SP, MW, PM, KK; retirements: LH, NK, NR, NH
JB continues to harry FA
RG on old tyres holding up PRe, SP, MW

36: JB can’t find a place to try a pass

37: Radio for SV telling him to pit

38: KR f/lap 1:45.870
SV pits from P2; slow right-rear change; rejoins P4 ahead of RG
PRe attacking RG – easily past to take P5
SP passes RG too and attacks PRe
PRe pushed onto the grass; rejoins and pushes RG wide
RG cuts back; collides with MW; MW off on to grass

Safety Car deployed

40/55[SC]: KR, FA, JB, SV, PM, KK, MS, FM, BS, JV; retirements: RG, MW, LH, NK, NR, NH
Radio for JB – should be quicker than FA on the restart
SC is allowing SV to catch up to the front runners

41[SC]: Radio for KR reminding him to work all four tyres; KR replies “yes, yes, yes, I’m doing that” 🙂

42[SC]: Turn 14 incident involving cars 15, 2, 11 and 10 (SP, MW, PRe & RG) under investigation
MS pits
CP pits; pushed into garage
10sec stop-go penalty for car 15 (SP) for causing a collision and forcing another driver off-track
SC in at the end of this lap
Radio for MS confirming he had a right-rear puncture
SC pulls off; KR assumes SC role

43: KR bolts away from FA

44: KR f/lap 1:45.403 – he’s already opened a 2.4sec gap over FA
SV lining up JB; the McLaren goes defensive

45/55: KR, FA, JB, SV, PM, KK, FM, BS, JV, PRe; retirements: CP, RG, MW, LH, NK, NR, NH
DRS enabled
SP serves his stop-go penalty; 10 second pause in his pit box; that’s dropped him to dead last, P17
PRe takes P9 from JV

46: FA 3.0secs behind KR
SV using DRS to attack JB – the Englishman stays ahead
DR takes P10 from JV

47: KR f/lap 1:44.963 – adds another 0.2s to his lead

48: FA f/lap 1:44.816
JB still holding off SV – JB has finished 3rd in all the previous GP of Abu Dhabi
SV attacks again but JB defends P3
Radio for FA telling him he got fastest lap; trying to keep him positive

49: JV deep into the hairpin, leaving the door wide open and letting MS take P11
SV still all over the rear of JB

50/55: KR, FA, JB, SV, PM, KK, FM, BS, PRe, DR; retirements: CP, RG, MW, LH, NK, NR, NH
FA f/lap 1:44.357 – he’s closed the gap to 2.2sec behind KR

51: FA f/lap 1:44.270 – gap down to 2.0sec
JB falling back from FA as he continues to defend from SV

52: FA just a fraction faster than KR again – gap 1.7sec
SV squeezes around the outside of JB, taking P3; remember SV started from the pit lane

53: FA closes to 1.4s behind KR – he might be able to use DRS soon, but there’s less than 3 laps left

54: FA f/lap 1:44.090 – 1.0s gap = DRS enabled if he can stay that close at the detection point

55/55 = final lap: KR opened his lead to 1.3s
SV f/lap 1:43.964
FA still trying to get within DRS range

KR takes the chequered flag
Typically understated “excitement” as KR thanks the team over the radio
KR’s first victory since Belgium 2009; this is his 19th win

KR and SV chat before going onto the podium; FA looks exhausted
At last, someone who knows how to interview people – David Coulthard gets to try to dig some emotion out of KR – good luck DC!
On the other hand, lots of emotion (and a few expletives) from SV

Provisional result: KR, FA, SV, JB, PM, KK, FM, BS, PRe, DR; MS, JV, HK, TG, SP, VP, PRo.
DNF: CP, RG, MW, LH, NK, NR, NH.

Next race: Austin, Texas, in 2 weeks.

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