YAS MARINA – Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel dominated the track yet again to claim his seventh consecutive victory as he won the 2013 Etihad Airways AbuDhabi GP on Sunday evening. Starting from second place on the grid, Vettel zoomed past his teammate Mark Webber from the start and continued his dominance throughout a very lively race.
Mark Webber by qualifying on pole proved to be in a faster package than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. However, the typical Webber start s the lights went off in Yas Marina saw Webber drop back into 3rd place as his team mate went upto 1st place with Nico Rosberg slotting in between the two Redbulls. It was another great start by Alonso. He gained 3 places in the opening lap. However, the bad luck run continued for the Lotus driver Kimi Raikkenon. He had qualified 5th on Saturday but was excluded from qualifying after the FIA discovered a breach of technical regulation on his car.which meant he had to start plump last on the grid. To add to the misery of qualifying, before the 1st corner he made contact with the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde and lost steering input. Hence, he had to retire from the race.
Vettel might have won the race with the 30 seconds gap to the 2nd place man Webber his teammate but this race was classified as the best we ever had among all the 5 times Yas Marina has hosted Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Partly because there was a lot of overtaking and partly because team were confused about the tire choice. Most of the teams decided to 2 stop to avoid running on grip less tires towards the end. However, Sahara Force India decided to 1 stop both their cars which saw both drivers making as much as half a dozen places.
Drivers pushing very hard to overtake and others trying equally had to defend. Some of the tensed moments included when Di Resta, Maldonado and Perez were battling in the 2nd DRS zone and it ll turned chaotic when the missed their braking points and ran over the kerbs and very nearly took out Perez while rejoining the track. On the same corner, in another incident involving Eseban Gutierrez nearly ended Lewis Hammiltons race. Moreover, when Alonso came out after his 2nd pit stop he came very close to Ricciardo, who left him no space on the outside of the track. Alonso went off the track and completed the overtake. It was under investigation by race stewards for a longtime, they finally decided to take no furthers action, on the evidence suggesting Ricciardo should have left a car’s width for Alonso. However, none of the incidents were as close as one involving Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in the pit lane. The Sauber team released Hulkenberg in the path of Perez, luckily they did not made contact. The stewards thought it was very dangerous and gave a drive through penalty to Hulkenberg.
The Yas Marina circuit, despite being criticized by some as a circuit, which doesn’t make for a competitive race, proved its detractors wrong yet again with a very entertaining race, albeit there were no accidents. Here’s looking forward to a great 2014 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
2013 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Note – Bianchi qualified 20th, but penalised 5 grid places for an unscheduled gearbox change. Raikkonen qualified fifth, but dropped to back of grid after car failed floor deflection test.