Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race

Following Qualifying yesterday, the provisional grid was: WEB, VET, ROS, HAM, RAI, HUL, GRO, MAS, PER, RIC; ALO, DIR, BUT, VER, MAL, BOT; GUT, SUT, VDG, BIA*, PIC, CHI.
*BIA’s penalty will drop him to P22

However, RAI qualified fifth but dropped to back of grid after car failed floor deflection test. [source: FIA]

WEB leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone is starting on options (soft compound) except BUT, BOT, GUT, SUT & RAI
BBC report HAM had a last-minute change of brake material, in addition to the fixing the rear-end failure that caused him to spin in Q3
WEB quite aggressive as he stops on his grid position; long wait for everyone to take up their spots

01/55: VET takes the lead into Turn 1 – WEB down to P3 behind ROS too
RAI is off – contact in Turn 1 with PIC – broken front suspension
Radio from BUT – damaged front wing

02: VET, ROS, WEB, GRO, HAM, HUL, MAS, ALO, PER, DIR

03: VET fastest lap 1:47.189
BUT pits to have the front wing replaced

04: VET f/lap 1:46.998

05/55: VET, ROS, WEB, GRO, HAM, HUL, MAS, ALO, PER, DIR; retirements: RAI
VET f/lap 1:46.407
Radio from WEB – “what’s wrong with the KERS?” – team says “It’s a bit low”

06: MAL and BIA pit

07: PER pits; clean stop as he switches to primes
CHI pits too

08: HAM pits, as do RIC and VDG

09: VET leads ROS by 7.5secs
WEB and GRO (P3 + P4) pit nose to tail; slower stop by the Lotus team
Radio for ROS telling him to “kill the tyres” but stay out
WEB down the inside of GUT to take P9

10/55: HUL pits
Radio from ROS saying rear tyres have gone away; gets the instruction to box

11: ROS pits from P2; clean stop
Radio for HAM – “front left still above target”, warning him it’s a bit too warm; pass GUT and cool the tyres

12: order is VET, MAS, ALO, DIR, VER, ROS, SUT, WEB, GRO, GUT
BUT in the pits for a 2nd stop
HAM still struggling to find a way past GUT – he’s going to have to back off for a bit

13: HAM still harrying GUT – hopefully not damaging his tyres

14: Front 5 are all on options; rest of the field on primes
WEB squeezes inside SUT for P7

15/55: VET pits from P1; good stop; rejoins still P1
Order is VET, MAS, ALO, DIR, VER, ROS, WEB, SUT, GRO, GUT but MAS, ALO, DIR, VER, SUT & GUT have yet to pit

16: GRO makes an easy pass on SUT for P8 but overshoots the apex; SUT retakes the position
GUT weaving in front of HAM – expect the stewards to look at that

17: VET f/lap 1:46.037
ALO pits from P3; rejoins P14

18: Radio for DIR telling him to “reduce pedal crossover”
GUT tries to repeat his overtake on GRO
HAM still stuck behind GUT

19: MAS pits from P2, as does GUT

20/55: VET, DIR, ROS, WEB, GRO, SUT, HAM, MAS, HUL, BOT
WEB makes a smart move round ROS to take P2

21: DIR pits from P2 – long first stint
Radio for HAM – “you can afford to push”
ALO looking for a way around PER

22: ALO around the outside of PER to take P10

23: ALO pulls out quite late and sweeps around BOT for P9

24: VET’s lead over his teammate almost 28secs

25/55: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, SUT, HAM, MAS, HUL, ALO, BOT
Caterham swap their drivers – VDG takes P18 from PIC

26: BOT pits; only SUT has yet to make a stop
MAS looking to pass SUT but instead MAS passes HAM

27: MAS takes P5 from SUT
ALO takes P8 from HUL
HAM inside SUT for P6

28: Radio for HAM telling him to cool the right side of the car
HUL pits, followed by PER; good stop by McLaren; was HUL released too close to PER?

29: Radio for ROS – “push hard now”
SUT finally makes his first stop; RIC in for 2nd stop
Incident involving car 11 (HUL) under investigation – unsafe release

30/55: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, MAS, HAM, ALO, DIR, VER, GUT
PER and SUT scrapping over P13; both cut corners
HAM pits from P6; rejoins P10

31: GUT pits

32: VET f/lap 1:45.968
Radio for VET – don’t abuse the tyres

33: VET over 30secs ahead of WEB
Drive through penalty for car 11 (HUL) – unsafe release

34: Incident involving cars 15 and 16 (SUT & MAL) under investigation – track limits
WEB and ROS both pit
VET warned again about his tyre wear

35/55: VET, GRO, WEB, ROS, MAS, ALO, DIR, VER, HAM, BOT; retirements: RAI
HUL serves his drive-through penalty; rejoins P17

36: ALO closing on MAS; will Ferrari tell MAS to let his teammate pass? (I suspect not)

37: MAL runs very wide
ROS f/lap 1:45.663

38: VET pits from P1; rejoins still P1 ahead of GRO
GRO pits – couldn’t make a 1-stop strategy work; rejoins P4, inches in front of MAS

39: MAS pits; presumably ALO will have to pit too; bit slow on the front-left; rejoins P9 behind HAM

40/55: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, ALO, DIR, VER, HAM, MAS, BOT
VET f/lap 1:44.829
BBC report no further action on SUT/MAL off track incident

42: Radio for VET reminding about his tyres again

43: Big front-left lockup from HAM as he tries to catch VER
ROS pushing hard as he closes on WEB

44: HAM all over the rear of VER, but now MAS is right on the tail of HAM

45/55: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, ALO, DIR, VER, HAM, MAS, BOT
HAM finally finds a way past VER for P7
MAS lines up VER now
ALO pits from P5; rejoins P7 alongside VER; runs wide

46: BOT pits – slow rear-right wheel change

47: MAS inside VER for P8
Incident involving car 3 (ALO) under investigation – track limits
SUT next to look at passing VER

48: SUT takes P9 from VER
GRO f/lap 1:44.677
Now PER lines up VER
ALO f/lap 1:44.660 – he’s on options
PER has to move off line because VER’s car throwing up sparks from the ride-height plank

49: PER past VER for P10
Radio for VET – “be patient” as he catches tail-enders

50/55: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, DIR, HAM, ALO, MAS, SUT, PER
DIR, HAM and ALO covered by less than 1.5secs
MAL past VER for P11

51: ALO filling HAM’s mirrors; HAM tries to defend but ALO has new tyres; takes P6

52: VET f/lap 1:43.893
ALO sweeps up behind DIR and takes P5
Incident involving car 3 (ALO) will be investigated after the race – track limits

53: VER admits defeat and pits – he should have stopped earlier
ALO f/lap 1:43.609

54: HAM lining up to pass DIR; only 1.5 laps left so he’ll need to make a move soon
DIR’s tyres are 8 laps older than HAM’s

55/55 = final lap: VET 31.5sec ahead of his teammate
PER looking for a way round SUT
ALO f/lap 1:43.577 – that’ll annoy VET 🙂

VET takes the chequered flag – his 11th win of the season
WEB over the line for P2
ROS P3
GRO P4
ALO P5 and f/lap 1:43.434
DIR holds off HAM

Provisional result: VET, WEB, ROS, GRO, ALO*, DIR, HAM, MAS, PER, SUT; MAL, BUT, GUT, HUL, BOT, RIC, VER, VDG, PIC, BIA, CHI; DNF: RAI.
*Remember: Incident involving car 3 (ALO) will be investigated after the race – track limits

VET does doughnuts on the cool-down lap; he was reprimanded for doing that in India so expect a bigger penalty this time

Next race = Austin, USA, November 15-17.

4 Replies to “Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race”

  1. My GridBids picks were: VET=P1, ALO=P5*, BUT=P12 & HAM=P7.

    “You scored 41 points for this race and have a total of 863 points this season. You ranked 92 for this race and 25 overall.”

  2. “Kimi Raikkonen says he may not take part in the final two races of the season if his Lotus team do not fulfil a promise to solve a financial dispute.” [source: BBC]

    “Raikkonen’s Lotus salary is eight million euros (£6.7m) plus a bonus of 50,000 euros (£42,000) a point. That means Lotus so far owe him 17.15m euros (£14.5m) this year.”

  3. “Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has escaped any post-race sanctions after race stewards in Abu Dhabi decided that no further action was necessary over his off-track pass of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.” [source: FIA]

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