Tweet from @virtualstatman: Don't wanna jinx @AussieGrit even more than normal but the pole winner has retired from 3 of the 4 previous @ymcofficial #F1 races
Medium and soft compounds are on offer this weekend, the white and yellow sidewalls respectively.
These are the same tyres as on offer in India, but we're expecting fewer pit stops and less strategy influence in Abu Dhabi.
|1||M Webber||Red Bull|
|2||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|9||D Ricciardo||Toro Rosso|
Tweet from @F1onNBCSports: It's slowly getting darker in Abu Dhabi. The race will start at dusk and will finish under the floodlights
As Red Bull and Vettel have the championships already sorted, there are two other distinct battles we are interested in.
Mercedes versus Ferrari: Rosberg and Hamilton start on the second row, which is a great position compared to Massa's seventh and Alonso's tenth. Disappointing start to the weekend for Ferrari.
Sauber versus Force India: Nico Hülkenberg has a great grid slot in fifth, with Paul di Resta just outside the top ten. Esteban Gutiérrez dropped out in Q1, but so did Adrian Sutil, so that is close.
Interview with Nico Hülkenberg: "A great day again for us yesterday, I was quite surprised myself. Today's going to be a tough race for us, but I don't think we have to hide from these guys. We've got a good chance of racing the Ferraris and the McLarens."
|(data from Williams F1)|
|Fuel lap time penalty||0.4s/10kg|
|Pit lane loss||21.6s|
|Pit lane length||357m|
Interview with Felipe Massa: "It's a difficult track for our car, but qualifying was a little bit better than I expected. I hope the race can be even better. I hope we can take care of the rear."
The mechanics are scrambling around the rear of Lewis Hamilton's car, with an apparent problem with the brakes. Ted Kravitz says they've had the callipers off to check something.
The National Anthem plays out across the track. Bernie Ecclestone stands to attention, next to various dignitaries and VIPs.
Interview with Jenson Button: "It's going to be a bit like India, I think, in terms of strategies playing out, so it should be interesting."
The sun is starting to lower, sunset is due in about an hour, so the drivers will have to work through that annoying moment where the sun is in their eyes.
The setting sun will dominate the first half of the race, via @BradSpurgeon.
Hamilton makes sure to thank his team for getting the car ready to go, and generally being all round good guys.
Genuine lens flare from @OfficialSF1Team.
Webber down to Di Resta in 11th are all starting on the soft tyres. Button has mediums, along with Bottas, Gutiérrez, Sutil and Räïkkönen all the way at the rear also on the medium compounds.
The formation lap begins, cars pulling away from the grid slowly and starting their way round the five kilometres of warming tyres and brakes.
Webber leads them round the final corner and back onto the home straight - a final weave before stopping on his first place grid slot.
The rest of the pack are miles behind, Kimi just rounds the final corner now.
Webber gets passed by Vettel and one of the Mercedes as well, down to third into the first corner.
Yellow flags in the first sector. Only briefly, track is green once more.
Kimi Räikkönen is out already, he's off track and climbing from the car.
Team radio to Button: "Damaged front wing, damaged front wing."
Hamilton dropped back at the start behind Hülkenberg but has passed him for fifth. Grosjean has swept up into fourth place as well now.
Vettel has scampered away at the front again, a great first lap so the gap is almost two seconds already.
Yellow flags again, presumably for the clearing of Kimi's stricken Lotus.
|10||1||P Di Resta|
Jenson Button is called in to the pit lane straight away, he's all the way down in 15th now.
Replays show Grosjean just went round the outside at the first corner, moving forward to fourth place.
Jenson Button made contact with the rear of Paul di Resta, which is likely where his front wing damage came from.
More replays, it looks like Giedo van der Garde turned in on Kimi, who probably wasn't expecting the backmarkers to behave the way they do. Collision inevitable.
Tweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Contact between #Kimi and one of the Caterhams at T1 the cause; looks like damaged front right suspension for the Iceman
Button's long pit stop sees him all the way down in last place, but he's stopped once already, where no one else has. There could be progress yet.
Track is clear.
The two Ferrari drivers are following each other on track, Felipe Massa ahead with Fernando Alonso directly behind.
Romain Grosjean is less than a second behind Mark Webber in third place. DRS has been enabled so he'll get to use it.
Nose change for Jenson Button, via @McLarenF1.
Webber asks his team what's wrong with the KERS, they suggest it's a bit empty and they'll charge it up.
Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi both come in for their first stops of the day. Bianchi swaps from soft tyres to the mediums.
Max Chilton comes in for a stop, and Sergio Pérez follows in. A three second stop for the McLaren team there.
Adrian Sutil is up to 11th already, and crucially has gotten ahead of Esteban Gutiérrez too.
|M Webber||vs.||R Grosjean|
Lewis Hamilton pits, Daniel Ricciardo and Giedo van der Garde also follow in.
Looks like the tyres are degrading quicker than expected, with eight drivers having stopped already.
Mark Webber pits, with Romain Grosjean following him in to the pit lane directly. You wouldn't want to battle Red Bull in the pit stops, and it's Webber that gets out first. 2.5 seconds against 2.9.
Nico Hülkenberg pits and rejoins the track in 12th place.
Grosjean makes a late braking move on Esteban Gutiérrez and takes ninth place.At the front, Nico Rosberg comes in from third place.
Rosberg rejoins in sixth place, ahead of Webber, with Adrian Sutil between the two.
Vettel now leads Massa and Alonso, with all of them having yet to stop.
Jenson Button comes back into the pit lane for a second time, medium tyres back on the McLaren.
Hamilton is struggling to get past Esteban Gutiérrez, losing time to Grosjean all the while.
Webber closes up behind Sutil, but even with DRS can't even pull alongside the Force India, let alone go for a pass.
Vettel's gap is up to 26 seconds over Felipe Massa. Webber's pit stop was calculated at about 22 seconds, so he should be in and out without losing the lead.
Pic has been told that he's braking aggressively, his exit is poor, and essentially to be more like Giedo.
Tweet from @clubforce: The top 5, including Paul, are still on the soft tyres used from the start of the race
Webber finally dives down the inside of Sutil and gets ahead of the Force India, taking seventh place.
Vettel pits from the lead of the race and rejoins, well, you know where.
Kimi gets into a courtesy car, he's off. Late in, early out, that sounds about right!
Fernando Alonso has been instructed to come in for his first stop of the afternoon. Meanwhile, Mark Webber sweeps past Jean-Éric Vergne.
Romain Grosjean gets past Adrian Sutil in the first DRS zone, but the Force India takes the place right back in the second.
Gutiérrez is defending from Lewis Hamilton who is desperate to get past. The Mercedes is stuck between two Saubers, as the team call it "a HAM sandwich."
Massa and Di Resta in second and third have both yet to stop. Sutil also in sixth hasn't stopped, Gutiérrez ahead of Hamilton and Bottas in 11th also have yet to visit the pit lane.
Grosjean makes the same move on Sutil, and although the Force India closes up in the second DRS zone, he can't get back past. Romain up to fifth.
Felipe Massa pits, and Esteban Gutiérrez follows - he was holding up Hamilton, but also Nico Hülkenberg so Sauber presumably wanted him out of the way.
Massa rejoins just behind Hamilton and ahead of Hülkenberg.
Di Resta is sitting second, still yet to stop. Behind him, Rosberg, Webber and Grosjean. Still a massive gap to Vettel though.
Rocky instructs Vettel that his target lap time is a 1:47.0. His last lap was a 46.4.
Mark Webber sneaks past Nico Rosberg, moving himself up into third place. And then Di Resta finally stops, releasing them back into the podium positions.
Sutil and Bottas are the only drivers who have yet to stop then, Sutil up in 5th, Bottas in 9th.
Di Resta returns to the track in 13th place, behind Maldonado - and two places down on where he started.
Fernando Alonso keeps his foot down to ease past Sergio Pérez, moving up into tenth place, back where he started.
Team orders at Caterham, as Giedo gets on the radio demanding to be let by, and Pic is instructed to move out the way. That's 18th and 19th they're squabbling for.
Alonso continues his charge, moving past Bottas to take ninth place.
Team radio to Pic, arguing the team orders: "Giedo is faster than you, if he doesn't pull away now, we'll swap you back."
The position has only just changed, with Van der Garde ahead, so Pic clearly argued his case for a few laps!
Tweet from @F1onNBCSports: "Rocky to Vettel: "You're quicker than Mark in sector one. Save your tires there." Vettel can afford to ease off in all three sectors really."
Valtteri Bottas comes in for his first stop of the afternoon, 25 laps in.
The floodlights are starting to take precedence now as the remaining daylight slips away.
Adrian Sutil jinks to the right of Lewis Hamilton and speeds past, with Felipe Massa taking the opportunity to dive to the left and get past on the inside as well.
Hamilton is now down to seventh place, with Fernando Alonso moving to catch Hülkenberg who in turn is behind the Mercedes.
Team radio from Hamilton: "I don't know what's wrong with the car, I've just got no grip."
Alonso closes up behind the Sauber (familiar!) and hustles his way past Nico Hülkenberg. Felipe Massa also sweeps past Sutil, so it's forward progress Ferrari!
Sutil isn't massively fast, despite getting past Hamilton. He's bunching up the Mercedes and the Ferrari, with Hülkenberg on the rear of that train.
Sutil's old tyres are troubling him now, as Lewis retakes the position, down the inside. Alonso also eyeing a move.
Nico Hülkenberg pits, with Sergio Pérez alongside, they were side by side at the pit exit, but Hülkenberg stays ahead.
Alonso has found his way past Adrian Sutil. It can't be long before the Force India driver comes in.
Team radio from Pérez: "I nearly crashed with the Sauber."
Replays show it was a potential unsafe release for the Sauber and the stewards get involved.
Incident involving Nico Hülkenberg under investigation - unsafe release.
Vettel is warned to look out for Van der Garde, who he's about to pass, and Giedo in turn is instructed to let the race leader past on the straight.
Lewis Hamilton pits from sixth place for his second stop of the afternoon.
Esteban Gutiérrez is also in for a second stop.
Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race so far, a 1:45.968. That's not a 1:47, is it?
|7||4||P di Resta||1|
Hamilton is getting very detailed instructions about where Massa is compared to him, they're trying to cover him in their strategy. Massa is currently 5th, Hamilton 9th. One second between them on pace.
Jules Bianchi looks to have had a change of strategy, as he comes in for a second pit stop. They may have been trying for a one-stop, but the tyres weren't playing along.
Incident involving Adrian Sutil and Pastor Maldonado under investigation - track limits.
Also a drive through penalty for Nico Hülkenberg.
Webber and Rosberg both pit at the same time, a slower stop for the Red Bull crew this time, but Webber still remains ahead.
Grosjean moves up to second, with Webber and Rosberg behind him. Massa sits fifth with just one stop, Vettel also one stop under his belt, but a near 40 second gap.
Hülkenberg takes his drive through penalty. Giedo van der Garde also comes in for his stop, keeping ahead of his teammate.
Fernando Alonso has closed up to sit behind teammate Felipe Massa. There's not much point in team orders any more this season, so they'll likely have to fight it legitimately.
Hamilton is instructed he needs to pass Di Resta and Vergne on track, which would suggest they aren't thought to be stopping again.
A quick replay of Pastor Maldonado running wide off track, as the stewards say no further action on the track limits issue with Pastor and Sutil.
Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead of the race. With a 40 second lead, he should comfortably keep P1.
Vettel's 2.7 second stop keeps him out in front, as Romain Grosjean comes in for his second stop of the afternoon.
Webber and Rosberg move ahead of the Lotus, with Grosjean exiting in fourth place - ahead of two Ferrari drivers but only just.
Side by side with Massa, Grosjean keeps ahead. Into the next corner, Alonso moves to the inside of a distracted Massa, and they narrowly avoid contact. The Brazilian remains ahead.
Felipe Massa comes in to the pit lane for his second visit, a 3.8 second stop is a slow one comparatively speaking.
Massa rejoins the race behind Lewis Hamilton, currently the Ferrari sits ninth.
Tweet from @adamcooperf1: Re Vettel's fastest laps C Horner tells Sky "I wish he wouldn't keep doing that..."
The top four drivers have all stopped twice, then, Fernando Alonso is the first of the one-stops so far, sitting fifth. Di Resta and Vergne behind him. Bottas and Sutil are the only other two with just one stop, they are 10th and 11th.
Tweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Track temp has now fallen to 33C
Giedo van der Garde previous stop, he's in 18th place, the best of the back markers at the moment. Picture via @MyCaterhamF1.
Lewis Hamilton has closed up on Jean-Éric Vergne, he was told before he'd have to pass him on track, and it's only a matter of time now.
Hamilton pulls out to the side of the Toro Rosso, down the first DRS zone, and easily makes the move. Vergne can't do anything in the second zone, and crucially Massa has got stuck behind the Toro Rosso for another lap.
Fernando Alonso pits for his second stop, he passes through the pit exit tunnel and rejoins the track side by side with Jean-Éric Vergne.
Alonso runs massively wide off track and stays ahead of the Toro Rosso, but that's definitely outside track limits!
At the following chicane, Massa run totally wide and cut the corner. All the drivers scrapping for position and desperate not to lose anything.
Valtteri Bottas dives into the pit lane for his second stop. We now have just Paul di Resta in fifth, plus Vergne and Sutil (9th and 10th) with just one stop.
Incident involving Fernando Alonso under investigation - track limits.
Bottas is down in 17th now, just behind Hülkenberg who has dropped eleven places from his grid spot. That was a costly drive through penalty.
Fastest lap of the race so far for Romain Grosjean, a 1:44.677.
Replays show Sergio Pérez moving out the wake of Vergne, as the Toro Rosso kicks up a heap of sparks. Pérez manages to get past Vergne very quickly.
Vergne loses another place to Pastor Maldonado. The one stop strategy isn't quite working out for Toro Rosso here.
Five laps to go as Fernando Alonso moves to the side of Hamilton. He can't go round the outside just yet, but he remains in the wing mirrors of the Mercedes, and makes the pass for sixth.
Rocky is going a bit mad on the Red Bull pit wall, advising Vettel to go easy through some backmarkers up ahead. You would think he could let Vettel get on with it, racing backmarkers is all he's ever done!
Fernando Alonso easily dispatches Paul di Resta for fifth place.
Incident involving Fernando Alonso will be investigated after the race - track limits.
Vergne pits, his tyres clearly giving up. He's dropped rapidly down the order, behind his teammate now.
The only one-stoppers left are the two Force India drivers.
Nico Hülkenberg is up to 14th, having passed a Toro Rosso or two. He gets blue flags waved, though, as Vettel scythes his way through the field.
The two Force Indias are coming under pressure. Di Resta has Lewis Hamilton behind him, whilst Adrian Sutil has the McLaren of Sergio Pérez looking to pass.
Sebastian Vettel wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
Fireworks burst across the night sky as Webber crosses for second place, and a dominant Red Bull 1-2.
Nico Rosberg takes the final podium position, with Grosjean just missing out in fourth place.
Fernando Alonso sets the fastest lap - 1:43.434.
Vettel does a few more donuts to celebrate his win, and thanks the team for giving him a really great car.
|6||5||P di Resta||1|
That's Vettel's seventh win in a row, no wonder he's celebrating. Christian Horner says: "He can pay the fine this time."
Hugs for Vettel from his parents and team before he heads in for the podium ceremony.
Nico Rosberg celebrates with Vettel as the champion enters the green room. Nico looks very hot, gulping down the provided water. Webber sits on the sofa, with just a brief acknowledgement of his teammate.
Rosberg waves as he heads out onto the podium. Big cheers for Webber as he takes the second place, and cheers again for race winner Vettel.
The national anthems play out, as the drivers stand on the shadowy podium.
The trophies are handed out, Webber looks happy enough with another trophy to add to his collection. Rosberg beams with his, and Vettel accepts his trophy before the champagne celebrations begin.
Podium quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "I did some donuts, but this time I brought the car back. As you can see it's in parc fermé. Thanks to all the fans, the atmosphere today... so many people, so many German flags, so nice to see. More and more for Red Bull, I hope that keeps up. The car was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, not much more to say. It was flying in some stages, at least it felt like it. Thanks to the team, to Renault as well. A lot of our success is down to them."
Podium quotes - Mark Webber: "The start wasn't great. Nico had an unbelievable start, Seb's was a bit better than mine. In the first stint, not strong enough on the soft tyres. Seb got a very good gap, I had to reposition on the primes. The race started well for me but Seb was gone, he was another category at the front. I had to battle Nico for second... it's on to Austin and two more to go."
Podium quotes - Nico Rosberg: "I'm happy, third place is good. The aim for the weekend was to be best of the rest behind the Red Bulls. That has worked out, even though second place would have been possible today... Mark just got me with Di Resta, little bit disappointed with that one but otherwise happy.
"I was very happy to hear that we took some more points off Ferrari again. That's the most important thing for us at the moment, to finish second in the constructor's. It's more money for next year, and also more motivation. If everyone in the factory can see that we built the second fastest car this year, that's a massive boost."
Sebastian Vettel has shown how untouchable he is more than ever this weekend. With just two races left to go, it's hard to see anyone matching him or snatching victory from his hands.
The two championship battles we were looking at earlier are still ongoing, but both Mercedes and Force India have managed to increase their leads.
The next round is in two week's time, at the still shiny and new track in Austin. It should be a better race than this weekend, so make sure you join me back here then!
All content in the series Abu Dhabi 2013
Filed under Lap by lap coverage
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