Live Commentary: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - as it happened

Live Commentary: Abu Dhabi GP - as it happened
© AFP
Read how world champion Sebastian Vettel won a record-equalling seventh consecutive Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

After being crowned as F1 world champion for a fourth consecutive season last week in India, Sebastian Vettel took his Red Bull to Abu Dhabi looking for a seventh consecutive victory.

It was another easy afternoon for the German as he managed to get ahead of teammate Mark Webber at the start before coasting to a record-equalling seventh straight success.

Read how it all unfolded at the Yas Marina circuit in our lap-by-lap updates below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
12.31pmHello racing fans! There's just three more Grands Prix left in 2013 and today the glitz and glamour of motor racing's richest sport is in the equally decadent UAE capital of Abu Dhabi.

12.33pmVettel may have crowned a fourth world title in style last week but he was pipped by teammate Mark Webber to pole position in yesterday's qualifying as Red Bull continued their dominance. Find the full grid for today's race here.

12.36pmThis Grand Prix is one of the most spectacular visually and this picture shows Vettel last year driving near the Yas Marina complex, which changes colour.

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel drives around the Yas Marina circuit during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 4, 2012© AFP

12.38pmIt would be wonderful if Webber could win today as his F1 career draws to a close. He has just three more races in the sport and it would take his total wins up to 10 with victory today.

12.41pmOne name seemingly out of position on the grid is Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. He failed to reach the top 10 shootout for the first time this season and has plenty of work to do.


12.44pmRed Bull team principal Christian Horner is asked by Sky Sports F1 if Grosjean is the biggest threat to his boys at the front. He thinks that the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg will be dangerous, naming Hamilton especially who loves this track.

12.47pmOne of the reasons that this race is so special is because it is hosted in the evening and as the race goes on, darkness descends. Weather-wise, it's around 30 degrees in the UAE capital.

12.50pmClick here to see the driver standings ahead of today's race. As you can see, Vettel is miles clear at the front but there's still a battle for second, with Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Webber all in contention for the runner-up spot.

12.53pmThere's so much money at races like this that they fly Etihad jets over the circuit just for the spectacle!

12.55pm

12.57pmPREDICTION! Just a few minutes until lights out so I best make my prediction. Vettel is the odds-on favourite with the bookies but I'm going to back Webber to notch his 10th F1 win.

12.59pmI mentioned below that Raikkonen is in contention for second place but he starts from the back of the grid today because of disqualification from qualifying after after his car failed a front-floor detection test.

1pmFORMATION LAP! The cars head off for a single circuit of the track to warm up their brakes and tyres.

1.01pmEveryone in the top 11 is on the softer compound of tyres so the man to look out for is Button on the medium tyres in 12th. Will his performance indicate to others that that tyre is better in the race.

1.03pmOK, the cars are just coming round the final bend and we're moments away from the start!

LIGHTS OUTGO GO GO! Five red lights illuminate and then go out and we're underway in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lap 1Vettel takes the lead and Webber has dropped behind Rosberg. Hamilton started well but is now behind Grosjean in fifth.

Lap 1RAIKKONEN IS OUT! Nightmare for the Finn who started from the back. Button also reports that he has front wing damage.

Lap 2Vettel has already opened up a lead of two seconds. That retirement is Raikkonen's first on the opening lap since the US Grand Prix in 2006!

Lap 3Replays show that Raikkonen was too keen to start moving up the field and drove into trouble where his right front got smashed into by a Caterham.

Lap 5TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Rosber 3 Webber 4 Grosjean 5 Hamilton 6 Hulkenburg 7 Massa 8 Alonso 9 Perez 10 Di Resta

Lap 5So Alonso got a good start but now he's staying around a second or so behind teammate Massa.

Lap 6Perhaps those medium tyres aren't the way to go as Button switches to the softs when coming into the pits to sort out that front wing. The Englishman is now down at the back of the field in 21st.

Lap 7Vettel's lead is over five seconds now and it sounds like Webber is having KERS problems. 'What's wrong?' asks the Aussie and the team reply: "We're recharging it now." Vettel never seems to have problems like that, hmmmmm.

Lap 8Hamilton pits from fifth and it's a brilliant stop by the Mercedes team. His tyres were already five laps old from yesterday's qualifying so it's no surprise to see him one of the first to come in. He's now on the medium tyre and on fresh rubber could undercut those ahead of him.

Lap 9Grosjean and Webber were battling hard and they both pit at the same time. Webber entered ahead and the Red Bull lads deliver a super-fast stop to ensure that the Aussie remains in front.

Lap 9Those two pitting just after Hamilton means that he was unable to jump them.

Lap 9Second-placed man Rosberg is asked if he can do two more laps on the tyres and he replies confidently that he can.

Lap 10Webber crosses the line to start his 10th lap with an 8.8s lead back to Rosberg. The German is simply irrepressible at the moment.

Lap 11Raikkonen tells Sky Sports F1 that he was unlucky to be hit but places no blame on the Caterham that smacked into his right-front tyre.

Lap 11Rosberg makes his pit stop so now Vettel has an almighty 22-second lead at the front ahead of the Ferraris. That gap is the same time that a pit stop takes at this track so he might be able to pit and still be in the lead even though the Ferraris haven't!

Lap 12Oddly, Hamilton (11th) can't get past the Sauber of Gutierrez at the moment as he keeps coming close but can't quite pick the right angle.

Lap 13The soft tyres clearly won't last around this track today as Button makes his second stop to get back on the mediums. That early contact that damaged his front wing has well and truly wrecked his race.

Lap 15Vettel pits from the lead and it's plain sailing for the German as his team deliver a swift stop to ensure that his sizeable lead at the front remains.

Lap 16TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Massa 3 Alonso 4 Di Resta 5 Rosberg 6 Vergne 7 Webber 8 Sutil 9 Grosjean 10 Gutierrez

Lap 16Webber has been the one man out of him, Grosjean and Hamilton who has been able to pass the cars around him since those pit stops.

Lap 17Alonso pits for the first time. Are Ferrari attempting a one-stop strategy? The Spaniard exits the pit in 14th place.

Lap 18The floodlights have come on at the Yas Marina circuit as the sun turns a deeper colour and begins to dip below the horizon.

Lap 18Hamilton comes on the radio to tell his time that Gutierrez is weaving around too much but the Mexican ducks into the pit and out of his way so he won't be penalised.

Lap 19Massa pits for his first stop and he comes out between Hamilton and Hulkenburg. Could be a great battle between that trio.

Lap 20WEBBER looks to be in the groove after that disappointing start and he's just gone past Rosberg to move up to third. The man between him and Vettel is Di Resta, who is yet to stop and has done ever so well to get where he has.

Lap 21The Scot's time in second doesn't last long as Di Resta now pits for the first time. Webber now has clean air between him and Vettel. The problem is that his pesky German teammate is a whopping 27 seconds ahead at the front.

Lap 22TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Webber 3 Rosberg 4 Grosjean 5 Sutil 6 Hamilton 7 Massa 8 Hulkenburg 9 Bottas 10 Alonso

Lap 23It's crazy to think Webber started this race ahead of Vettel and is now almost half a minute behind his teammate after just 23 laps.

Lap 25CELEB SPOT! Former F1 presenter Georgie Thompson, who now works in America, is said to be dating Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie and the pair are at the race today:


Lap 26"I don't know what's wrong with the car, I've just got no grip!" shouts Hamilton after he is passed by Massa.

Lap 27A couple of places back and there's a big scrap for position between Alonso and Sutil that the former wins to claim eighth place.

Lap 29The stewards are investigating a pit-lane incident that may penalise Hulkenburg for an unsafe release. He's currently 14th.

Lap 31It looks like the most intriguing storyline in the second half of this race will be the battle for third between Rosberg, Grosjean & Massa.

Lap 31Hamilton makes his second stop and he'll now hope to go to the end of the race on this set of medium tyres.

Lap 32Vettel's lead back to Webber has stayed around the 30-second mark for the last few laps. Only a technical error or driver fault (which never happens with Vettel) will deny the world champion a ridiculous seventh consecutive race.

Lap 33You have to say that this F1 season has been one of the least exciting in recent memory. Let's hope that next year things become more competitive.

Lap 34PENALTY! Hulkenburg is handed a drive-through penalty for that unsafe release in the pits a few laps ago. His race was looking promising at the start but now he'll struggle to score any points.

Lap 34Webber and Rosberg pit from second and third and both teams make no mistakes changing the tyres. Webber is about four seconds ahead of the German.

Lap 35TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Grosjean 3 Webber 4 Rosberg 5 Massa 6 Alonso 7 Di Resta 8 Vergne 9 Hamilton 10 Bottas

Lap 38Vettel pits from the lead and, as always, it's a sublime stop from the Red Bull boys. Such serene progress for the world champion.

Lap 38GROSJEAN pits and he comes out inches ahead of the Ferraris, bravely going around Massa, who almost forgets that Alonso is just behind him.

Lap 39Massa then pits and the front-left tyre doesn't go on quite as planned so he loses about a second. Will Alonso be able to jump past his teammate when he pits?

Lap 40In fact, Alonso is expected to go to the end of the race on that set of tyres. A shame that Massa couldn't do the same, as he had driven well all afternoon.

Lap 43Unnecessary lock-up of the left front from Hamilton and that isn't going to make his push for a better position any easier. He's currently eighth.

Lap 45Perhaps one of the most entertaining things today has been Mercedes's Middle Eastern hashtag on their in-race tweets today:


Lap 46TOP 10 UPDATE Just 10 laps to go a the Yas Marina circuit. Here's the latest: 1 Vettel 2 Webber 3 Rosberg 4 Grosjean 5 Di Resta 6 Hamilton 7 Alonso 8 Vergne 9 Massa 10 Sutil

Lap 47As you can see from that Mercedes tweet, Alonso failed to make it to the end on a one-stopper and there's an incident under investigation after his pit exit. The Spaniard came out right next to Vergne and took all four wheels off the track, bouncing his car along the kerb to get past the Frenchman. I would be surprised if he's not punished for that.

Lap 51ALONSO uses DRS to sweep past Hamilton for sixth place. Next man down the road is Di Resta. What a finish it would be for the Scot if he can remain fifth when the chequered flag is waved in five laps' time.

Lap 52Alonso's on a fresh set of soft tyres and he uses them to duck down the inside of Di Resta at the end of the straight.

Lap 53TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Webber 3 Rosberg 4 Grosjean 5 Alonso 6 Di Resta 7 Hamilton 8 Masssa 9 Sutil 10 Perez

Lap 53Massa is catching Hamilton, who is catching Di Resta. Could be the place to look for action at the end.

FINAL LAPVettel crosses the start-finish line to begin his last lap. It's been plain sailing ever since the German got ahead on the first corner.

CHEQUERED FLAGSEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX FOR HIS SEVENTH STRAIGHT VICTORY IN F1!

2.42pmIn extravagant style there's a fireworks show at the end of the pit lane as Vettel wins yet another race. Some spectacle. He equals Michael Schumacher's all-time record of consecutive victories from back in 2004.

2.43pm"That was a world champion's drive, well done!" Horner tells Vettel on the team radio.

2.45pmFINAL TOP 10: 1 Vettel 2 Webber 3 Rosberg 4 Grosjean 5 Alonso 6 Di Resta 7 Hamilton 8 Massa 9 Perez 10 Sutil

2.46pmAfter winning the world title last week Vettel showed off by doing some donuts down the pit straight. He's just done them again off the track to delight the fans in Abu Dhabi.

2.48pmRed Bull's lead at the top of the constructors' standings is almost up to an outrageous 200 points. Mercedes have leapfrogged Ferrari for second place.

2.50pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for here on Sports Mole. Thanks for joining us. The next F1 race takes place in two weeks' time in Austin, Texas as the United States Grand Prix has its second race since its return. Good afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton gives the thumbs up after securing pole postion in qualifying for the Belgium GP on August 24, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Hamilton goes fastest in Japan first practice
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand