Tweet from @ManipeF1: Rubens Barrichello has had to take a 9th engine overnight so he drops from 23rd to 24th. #F1
You might fancy some live timing as you follow along today, F1.com can help you out with that: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html
The BBC have live streams and live text available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9638433.stm and Autosport's fab updates will kick off soon: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/428
Tweet from @NobleF1: Team Lotus has added QPR branding to its cars for the final two races of the season
Interview with Mark Webber: "It's always nice if you can go away where you are, if you can grab something great. Ferrari always make decent starts, but I think the grid should be even today.
"DRS, yea, I think it's not the easiest venue. Let's see how it unfolds, it's always tricky to try and gestimate these days. In Korea, McLaren looked phenomenal and we gave them a really hard time in the race. See how it goes."
The pit lane is open, so the engines are firing up and cars are making their way to the grid.
Virgin Racing leave the garage and head towards their grid spots.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: The shadows are already covering most of the circuit.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull|
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull|
|9||Adrian Sutil||Force India|
|10||Paul di Resta||Force India|
Hamilton has already said that the distance between himself and Massa is probably a good thing. Can they avoid a coming together today?
Tweet from @WilliamsF1Team: Off to grid, stopping tweeting as when I do, I come v close to getting runover
Interview with Jenson Button: "I think the last few races, we've been pretty strong, not quite strong enough to beat Sebastian and Red Bull but very close. Every race we go into, we hope we can challenge him. It's been difficult but I think this race is a race we've been closer than we have been. I'm looking forward to it today."
More from JB about the twilight race: "It's amazing how cool it is already in the shade. Apart from that it's all good. The drop in temperature does make it difficult. most people will be running the harder tyre towards the end of the race, and that's when the temperature drops."
Interview with Nico Rosberg: "Feeling is very good, quite confident for today. My aim today is to try and beat one of the Ferraris, I think it's going to be Massa, and it's quite possible. Maybe I can beat Massa at the start, round the outside here to turn one, I'll give it a go."
|(forecast data from Brembo)|
|Maximum pedal load||116kg|
Interview with Sébastien Buemi: "We have a new exhaust that seems to give us a bit more downforce. We just need a few points to be in front of Sauber. Force India seems a bit far now, but anything is possible. We'll see."
The Sauber crew wait on the grid.
Tweet from @TheFifthDriver: The red lights go out in 9 minutes, who is going to join us on the McLaren.com Pitwall for live commentary? mclaren.com/formula1
Live timing has reset, we've got about five minutes until race time.
The poll is closed and 43% think there may be a better chance of overtaking, 38% say no chance, and only 19% think DRS will do the business.
The engines roar, and the cars pull away for their formation lap.
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: Both Torro Rosso on softs. SUT as well. We are on a split strategy. #Kamui on medium, #Perez on soft tyres.
Vettel backs up the pack as they come to the end of their formation lap.
The start, via @MauriceHamilton
Sebastian Vettel has a right rear puncture and ran off track. He's now at the back of the field.
It looked like a clean first corner, with just Nico Rosberg running wide off track.
Fernando Alonso passes Button to move up in to second place. Rosberg and Schumacher are scrabbling for position.
Lewis Hamilton leads for now.
Button looks to be faster than the Ferrari but can't get back past. Hamilton is pulling out a bit of a gap to the squabbling pair.
Replays show Vettel was out by himself in the lead, he ran over the kerbs, and then the puncture just happened. He's still circling trying to get back to the pits.
Bruno Senna has also pitted, not sure if that was planned or not.
Vettel finally makes it back to the pits, but the mechanics have a look and signal the race is over. The damage from a whole lap on three tyres is too much.
Hamilton's lead is up to 2.7, Alonso is now comfortably in front of Button.
Race Control: DRS enabled.
Sergio Pérez has pitted for a new front wing, he came in from tenth place.
Tweet from @clubforce: Action-packed opening lap. Adrian running P8 and @pauldirestaf1 holds P10.
We're seeing lots of replays. I'd like to know why Senna and Pérez have had to pit, but perhaps there was no incidents to see.
|Jenson Button||vs.||Mark Webber|
Vettel takes his helmet off in the garage, looking in need of some sympathy from his trainer.
Replays show Webber got past Button in the first DRS zone, but the McLaren took it right back in the second.
|9||1||Paul di Resta|
Kobayashi comes into the pits for his first stop of the day.
The Williams pair of Barrichello and Maldonado lined up on the back row of the grid, but have moved forward to 14th and 16th respectively.
Now Bernie Ecclestone has headed to the Red Bull garage to give Vettel some words of encouragement and a quick hug. Who knew he needed so much attention?
At the back, Senna is in recovery mode after an early stop, and he's just moved up to 20th place ahead of Ricciardo.
Team radio to Button: "Okay, Jenson, you are the fastest car on the circuit, and you have broken Webber's DRS. Good going, keep it up."
Broken, as in moved in front, not broken as in sabotage.
Buemi got past Di Resta for 9th place, but, as is the way, the Force India came back past in the second DRS zone.
When they said double DRS would help more overtaking, perhaps they were just counting the two moves even though the result doesn't change.
Adrian Sutil is closing up on Michael Schumacher for 7th place. It's just over a second between them, he'll be looking for the DRS zone soon.
Kovalainen is up in 13th place at the moment, partly due to the early pit stops from Sauber and Buemi.
Team radio from Paul di Resta: "I'm starting to lose traction."
Senna has dispatched the other Virgin car now, sliding past Glock to move into 17th place.
TedNews: Bruno Senna was gambling on a safety car and that's why he pitted early. He has got the harder tyre out the way.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: Time for the first pit-stop is coming close
Button reports something of a problem back to the team, although it's not clear what it is. His times are slow - the last lap half a second slower than Webber behind him.
Buemi and Di Resta put in a carbon copy of their DRS dance again. It's bizarre!
And again! But this time, Di Resta messes up the corner exit and Buemi gets the position - 9th place for the Toro Rosso driver for now.
The Button problem is suspected to be a KERS failure. Webber is hustling him for position, they trade 3rd and 4th, and Button keeps the place for now.
Ferrari mechanics gather in the pitlane and it's Massa that comes in first. Soft tyres again for Felipe.
Hamilton's pace is tailing off now, we're definitely into the pitstop window.
Alguersuari comes into the pits from 12th place.
Hamilton pits from the lead, with Fernando Alonso following him in. A battle of the pit crews.
Button also comes in, just as Hamilton returns to the track - a quick turnover for them.
Webber is now leading the race, pending a pit stop, and Hamilton returned to the track in front of Rosberg, so he's still leading.
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: The early pit stop of #Checo forced us to adjust the strategy. Let's see how it works out at the end. #Checo similar lap times as DIR.
Webber comes in for his stop and it's a really slow one. The Red Bull crew look to be scrambling around the right rear, and then he's held up waiting for cars to pass.
Webber returns to the track behind Massa, and Button gets a radio message to tell him: "He's out of the picture." Harsh.
Replays show Petrov running very wide off track, losing a couple of positions, but continuing onwards.
Tweet from @HRTF1Team: Cars running on softs are starting to come in for their first stops. We've still got a few laps to go before we come in
Petrov comes in for a stop, as does Barrichello.
Team radio to Paul di Resta: "Paul, if we can make this work, it will be good. Everybody around you has one stop to make and they will be on prime."
Di Resta is hoping to one stop the car then, he's currently running in 8th place, but isn't afraid to let cars past him - Michael Schumacher comes sailing through.
Maldonado is also running a very long first stint, he's currently up in 10th, just behind Di Resta.
Sébastien Buemi pits and is out of the car! I must have missed what happened there.
Bruno Senna pits for his second stop of the day.
Autosport Live have the details: "Buemi had moved up to seventh place in the pitstop phase, but he looks to have a suspension problem as he crabs his way back to the pits."
Live timing also shows D'Ambrosio as retired. It'd be amazing if the coverage actually told us any of this stuff. He retired on the lap before Buemi.
Lewis Hamilton is overtaking backmarkers now, and they aren't making it easy for him. Both Alguersuari and Glock lose him a tenth or two as he passes.
The rest, they have been lapped.
Maldonado comes in for his first stop of the day - is this his only stop?
I'm calling it officially nighttime now. Moon!
Tweet from @MarussiaVirgin: In case you didn't see last tweet due to loading issue, Jerome retired with a brake problem
Paul di Resta is the only driver out there who hasn't stopped yet, then, and he's currently running in 9th place.
Maldonado loses the track as he heads through the pit exit tunnel.
Webber is also close up behind Massa, less than a second between them at the moment.
Pérez has stopped for the second time, and Di Resta has also come in for his first stop of the day!
Race Control: Incident involving Maldonado under investigation - ignoring blue flags.
Race Control: Drive through penalty for Maldonado - ignoring blue flags.
That was a quick decision!
Webber sails past Webber, but runs wide at the corner, and they almost touch. Massa closes up for the second DRS zone and retakes his position.
Tweet from @clubforce: Paul pits on lap 28. Swaps his prime mediums for soft options.
Tweet from @easonF1: Now Webbo takes Massa and Massa takes Webbo back - and he doesn't hit him! Hurrah!
Once again, Kovalainen is up into 13th place. He's sitting between Di Resta and Maldonado at the moment.
Maldonado pits for his drive through, that will have ruined any chance of his one stop strategy working out.
TedNews: Button's KERS is back and immediately he sets his own personal best time of the race.
Massa and Webber caught up with the backmarkers. Alguersuari and Maldonado were fighting for position, losing the pair time.
Maldonado appears to have gone completely wonky. He's not letting anyone through, and runs wide off track, lacking control. Mark Webber has to fight to get past him.
Sutil passes Petrov for 11th place, as Fernando Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:44.270.
Kobayashi pits for the second time, from ninth place.
Race Control: Incident involving Maldonado and Alguersuari under investigation - ignoring blue flags.
Barrichello pits from 10th place, he returns to the track 14th.
Webber comes in for his second stop of the day, it was a much cleaner stop from the Red Bull crew this time.
The McLaren crew head to the pitlane and welcome Button in. It was a quick stop for him, and he heads back to the track.
Race Control: Incident involving Senna under investigation - ignoring blue flags.
Race Control: Drive through penalty for Senna - ignoring blue flags.
Replays show Michael Schumacher cutting the kerb and knocking off a tiny piece of front wing, which goes spinning off track and out of the way.
Tweet from @OfficialLRGP: Petrov and Alonso...memories
Over team radio, Button is informed he's racing Rosberg. He is behind Nico at the moment due to an extra stop, but I wouldn't have thought they were in direct battle.
Haven't heard anything about Maldonado getting a second drive through. He must be a special case.
Only the top eight cars remain on the first lap, everyone from Paul di Resta back has been lapped.
Alonso has passed the only remaining back marker between him and Hamilton, they now have half a clear track to do battle in.
Petrov pits from 12th place, as Webber puts in the fastest lap of the race - 1:43.671.
Race leader Lewis Hamilton pits from lap 41, puts on the medium tyres after a fabulous stop from McLaren.
Ferrari are waiting, and it's Massa that comes in. Kovalainen also stops for the second time this evening.
Massa ends up following Kovalainen out of the pit lane which is a little bit awkward, but the Ferrari finally gets past.
Webber is hounding Button for 5th place, there's half a second between them, and Webber needs to get past if he has to stop again.
Team radio from Hamilton: "Barrichello just overtook me in a straight line."
Webber finally made a pass down the main straight on Button, and they almost touched but Button wasn't going to take the risk and let him go.
Button asked for clarification over the team radio whether Webber definitely had to stop again. That probably had something to do with him letting the car go - they are not fighting for position in reality.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: Fernando has 20 secs but it will be hard to remain in front of Hamilton
Alonso pulls into the pitlane and finds himself following an HRT. It's a good stop, but it's not enough.
The Maldonado incident will be investigated after the race. Meanwhile, his front wing endplate is now sitting in the middle of the road.
Replays show that Massa picked up the front wing, and he carried it with him along the track.
Yellow flags. Brief yellow flags on and off. I wonder if the debris came off Massa's car and was collected.
Less than ten laps to go, Hamilton is keeping a strong lead, just under six seconds over Alonso at the moment.
Tyre usage during the middle stint:
Webber puts in the fastest lap of the race - 1:42.907. He hasn't stopped for the final time yet, he's leaving it late for a final dash on the harder compound.
Rosberg finally pits for his second stop of the day. He runs a tiny bit wide on the exit, and returns to the track sixth.
Replays show Massa having a spin, that means his fight with Webber is pretty much over. Rosberg moves up to fifth as well.
Comment from Stuart Taylor: so probably the best Abu Dhabi race so far. I know it's not a high benchmark, but... small steps
Rosberg didn't move up to fifth, my mistake. He is, however, just three seconds behind Massa now.
Four laps to go now.
The closest battle on track at the moment is Sutil on Schumacher, there's 1.7 seconds for the Force India to make up if they want 7th place.
Daniel Ricciardo has pulled off track, the HRT left to the hands of the marshals.
Barrichello's put in a solid performance, currently sitting in 12th place, having started last.
Webber comes in for his final stop, on the final lap. The mechanics didn't look ready at all, but they got into position in time. Odd strategy.
Webber returns to the track in fourth place, ahead of Massa.
Lewis Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
Schumacher comes to a halt out on track after crossing the line. Probably out of fuel.
|9||1||Paul di Resta|
Notable that the top ten hadn't changed since the last time I published the table - except for Buemi's retirement, to be replaced by Kobayashi.
Hamilton climbs from his car, jumps over the barrier and heads towards his crew. Cheers all round.
Tweet from @OfficialMGP: #F1 End of the race in Abu Dhabi. 6th and 7th places for Nico and Michael respectively. Good job guys.
They down some water, and make their way to the podium. Hamilton looks happy, Alonso more resigned as the national anthem rings out.
Big smiles for Hamilton as he waves to his mum in the crowd - her birthday today, apparently.
Hamilton's big smile as the spray surrounds them.
Reports say that Vettel's puncture was an instantaneous failure, rather than him hitting something.
Interview with Sebastian Vettel: "To be honest, exit of the first corner everything seemed fine. As soon as I turned in for the second, something felt odd on the right. The second time I had to catch the car, I couldn't do it anymore. I lost too much air on the rear right, had a puncture, and spun off.
"I would like to swap with someone in the car, doesn't matter which car to be honest. There wasn't a lot to go through. Hard to say how quick we could have been. I think the car was in good shape. On the other hand, Lewis and Fernando drove a strong race at the front. It's difficult to stand here and tell you what could have been, in the end it didn't happen."
Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "I'm ecstatic, really very happy to be back up here. This is great, I can get on my flight tonight and smile."
Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "It was a fantastic race for me, with a very good start and then a good first lap fight with Jenson. We found ourselves second and we fight through the race with Lewis. In the last pitstop, we stayed two laps longer than the McLaren, we were close, I think. We had some traffic in the pit entry and I think we lost a little bit of ground. Extremely happy with second and enjoying this weekend."
Press Conference Quotes - Jenson Button: "I'm not sure my pace was entirely there on the soft tyre. I think it was about lap 13 or 14, I didn't have any KERS. I had to fend off Webber and Massa, which was quite interesting without KERS. In the next stint, they said what I could do to get it back. But it lasted about two laps at a time, then I had to keep resetting it. When you don't have KERS, you don't have any braking performance. Every time I arrived at a corner, I didn't know what I was going to get."
Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "This is early days yet, but this is definitely the start of something really good. We've got another great race in front of us in Brazil. I've just got to keep my mind on the game."
Tweet from @EliGP: FIA press conference, 80% shorter without Vettel
Interview with Mark Webber: "Obviously, on the second stop, we put on the option again to cut the race down to something different. It was worth a bit of a punt. The two DRS's are tricky, obviously, because the first one was easy to get the move done but the second one you couldn't, so if you pass JB there, he'd just get you back again. It was a bit of a gimmick today, the DRS. Difficult to make a move stick, and harder to get the move done.
"In the end, I had pretty good pace on JB anyway, at the end of the first stint. He went one lap shorter than us, no problem there with the strategy. Then we had a bad first pit stop, we lost a lot of time on that first stop. That put us on the back foot, and I got the car back onto the back of them, but we were out of track position by then. The pressure on the podium was probably lost around the first pit stop."
Interview with Martin Whitmarsh: "I am thrilled for the team, thrilled for Lewis, thrilled for everyone. This weekend he was really on it. Of course, yesterday if we're honest, we were second and third in qualifying, and we were disappointed and people said why. We knew we could win the race, and that's a distant memory now. Fernando's a phenomenal competitor, we had some pressure, but he just controlled the gap and really just looked after his tyres and did a great, great race. Didn't put a foot wrong.
"For Jenson, also a fantastic race. As you may or may not know, he had KERS missing for half the race. Apart from the power boost lack, your whole brake balance changes, and he was under pressure from Mark. He was fighting with a car that was impaired."
Interview with Paul di Resta: "It was always the plan [to one stop]. Unfortunately, what we thought didn't quite work out. We thought most cars would be like that. We chose to switch the cars in terms of tyre strategy ahead of the race. And I think we switched the other car quite quickly when we saw the performance of the primes on my car.
"It was a hard fight for the first thirty laps, running round, it's pretty slow but I suppose the reflecting thing is we've come away with a double points score. We were the only car on a one-stop strategy, so something tells you there. Really, it just secures us a bit more on sixth place in the constructor's championship when we go to Brazil, which we need to try and maintain when we go there."
|J D'Ambrosio||Brake problem||21|
|D Ricciardo||Broken alternator||52|
I don't think anyone was expecting great things from the racing in Abu Dhabi today, and although it was better than some of the previous events held at Yas Marina, it was still relatively tame by 2011 standards.
It's interesting to see a driver other than Sebastian Vettel win, but actually even more interesting to see the young German's reaction to being knocked out.
Both Hamilton and Alonso aren't giving up on second place in the championship, and the battle between the pair of them moves on to Brazil.
The final round of the 2011 season will be in a fortnight's time. I hope you will join me then, for all the fun at Interlagos.
Stay tuned to Sidepodcast and F1Minute for all the news and reaction between now and then, and as ever, be cool, fact fans.
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