Sunday, November 1, 2009

2009 F1 : Vettel wins first Abu Dhabi GP

2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner - Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing - RBR-Renault

ABU DHABI : November 1, 2009 - Sebastian Vettel led team mate Mark Webber to a 1-2 win for Red Bull-Renault in the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the brand-new Yas Marina circuit.

Vettel was unchallenged over the final 40 laps of the race, but Webber had to fight off a determined charge by newly-crowned world champion Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes) who finished third by a slim margin. Button's team mate, Rubens Barrichello was fourth.

Fifth-placed Nick Heidfeld scored the final points for outgoing team BMW Sauber while rookie Kamui Kobayashi (Toyota), in only his second race, scored three championship points for his sixth place. The final points went to his team mate Jarno Trulli and Toro-Rosso's Sébastien Buemi.

Former world champion Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) lead the race for the first 15 laps after starting from pole position.

As the race got under way, the first four cars made it through the first corner without incident but Rubens Barrichello (Brawn-Mercedes) went into Turn 1 a little hot and ran into the left rear of Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault), with the end plate from the front wing going flying off the Brazilian's car.

At the end of the first lap, Hamilton was leading from Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault), Webber, Barrichello, Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes), Trulli, Kubica, Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) and Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota).

Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) and Jarno Trulli (Toyota) had a wheel-to-wheel battle on the second lap, running side-by-side for a couple of corners while Trulli defended strongly, but Kubica finally got past.

Barrichello's pace was not optimum and team mate and newly-crowned world champion Button got past on the second lap into fourth place. Barrichello continued to drop back into the clutches of Kubica, who started challenging for the fifth place held by the Brazilian.

Hamilton set a fastest lap and new lap record of 1'43.788 which stood for seven laps before Webber improved it to 1'41.025. Hamilton responded with a 1'40.769 on lap 10, maintaining a 1.7 sec gap over Vettel, with Webber a further 2.4 sec behind.

On lap 12, Hamilton ran wide and over the kerbs as a result of a rear braking problem, losing 0.8 sec and allowing Vettel to creep closer. Meanwhile Webber set the fastest time of all in the first sector of the lap and completed the tour in a new quickest time of 1'40.571.

On lap 16, Barrichello was the first to pit for fuel and tyres, while Hamilton set a new fastest lap of 1'40.367. For 2011, refuelling will be banned, so this was the last race where the pit refuelling rigs were used.

Button and Barrichello also pitted as Vettel became the new race leader. With a clear track in front of him, and emptying tanks, the young German set a new fastest lap of 1'40.328.

Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) was touring slowly around the track and he pitted and stopped in error in the Red Bull pit instead of the Toro Rosso one. He was rapidly sent on his way without fuel or tyres as Vettel made his pit stop in the recently-vacated pit box and merged back into the race with his lead intact.

On Lap 20, the man who had dominated the entire weekend at Abu Dhabi so far, Lewis Hamilton, was instructed by his team to pit due to safety reasons, believed to be a right rear braking system problem.

Alguersuari reported that he had gearbox failure but he then ran out of fuel after having earlier wasted his time stopping in the wrong pit.

With the two Red Bulls lying first and second, Kamui Kobayashi (Toyota) was lapping faster than Webber ahead of him and chipping away at the 4.2 sec gap between them, reducing it by about 0.2 sec a lap.

On lap 29, Kimi Räikkönen made his first pit stop in what may be his last race for Ferrari, after the Italian team signed former world champion Fernando Alonso for 2011. Räikkönen was in sixth place with Alonso down in 15th. Kobayashi pitted a lap later, elevating Button into third place.

On lap 32, Giancarlo Fisichella, who was embarrassing Ferrari once again with a mediocre drive, was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, making him the fastest man at Abu Dhabi on at least one part of the track.

On lap 43, Kubica was trying to get past Buemi but there was contact between the two and Kubica spun and lost a place to Rosberg, dropping to 10th. Meanwhile, Button and Trulli both made their second pit stops, with Button retaining his third place, but the world champion was now just five seconds behind second-placed Webber.

Button continued to take time off Webber over the next five laps, setting a personal best time on lap 49, and reducing the gap between them to 2.2 sec with seven laps left. With five laps left, Button had closed for battle as Webber was battling with the rear-end braking of his Red Bull.

Although Button got to within a few car lengths of Webber, the turbulent air off the back of the Red Bull made it impossible for him to get close enough to get a run down the 1.5km straight and try to get past in the braking zone at the end of it.

Vettel set the fastest lap of the race (and a new lap record) of 1'40.279 on the penultimate lap as Webber held off Button to the line to give Red Bull a 1-2 finish.

Race Result : Formula 1 - 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

1 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:34:03.414
2 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault +17.8 secs
3 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes +18.4 secs
4 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes +22.7 secs
5 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber +26.2 secs
6 10 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota +28.3 secs
7 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota +34.3 secs
8 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari +41.2 secs
9 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota +45.9 secs
10 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber +48.1 secs
11 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes +52.7 secs
12 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari +54.3 secs
13 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota +59.8 secs
14 7 Fernando Alonso Renault +69.6 secs
15 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes +94.4 secs
16 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari +1 Lap
17 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1 Lap
18 8 Romain Grosjean Renault +1 Lap
Ret 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +35 Laps
Ret 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari Gearbox

Driver Championship Standings :

1 Jenson Button British Brawn-Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel German RBR-Renault
3 Rubens Barrichello Brazilian Brawn-Mercedes
4 Mark Webber Australian RBR-Renault
5 Lewis Hamilton British McLaren-Mercedes
6 Kimi Räikkönen Finnish Ferrari
7 Nico Rosberg German Williams-Toyota
8 Jarno Trulli Italian Toyota
9 Fernando Alonso Spanish Renault
10 Timo Glock German Toyota
11 Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari
12 Heikki Kovalainen Finnish McLaren-Mercedes
13 Nick Heidfeld German BMW Sauber
14 Robert Kubica Polish BMW Sauber
15 Giancarlo Fisichella Italian Ferrari
16 Sebastien Buemi Swiss STR-Ferrari
17 Adrian Sutil German Force India-Mercedes
18 Kamui Kobayashi Japanese Toyota
19 Sebastien Bourdais French STR-Ferrari
20 Kazuki Nakajima Japanese Williams-Toyota
21 Nelsinho Piquet Brazilian Renault
22 Vitantonio Liuzzi Italian Force India-Mercedes
23 Romain Grosjean French Renault
24 Jaime Alguersuari Spanish STR-Ferrari
25 Luca Badoer Italian Ferrari

Constructor Championship Standings :

1 Brawn-Mercedes
2 RBR-Renault
3 McLaren-Mercedes
4 Ferrari
5 Toyota
6 BMW Sauber
7 Williams-Toyota
8 Renault
9 Force India-Mercedes
10 STR-Ferrari

[Source : Supersport, Red Bull Racing, F1 Official]


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