Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: as it happened

14.41 ‘Superbly controlled race, start to finish’ says Lewis’ engineer and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. He dedicates his win to his mum, who’ll surely have a tear in her eye. And if we’re being honest – we’re welling up a little bit ourselves. Tremendous drive in what the man himself has called his worst season in the sport – here’s hoping the momentum carries on into the final race in Brazil in two weeks’ time, and indeed into next season. Admittedly not the most action-packed race of the year, but a great result all the same. Here’s how they finished in Abu Dhabi:

1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Fernando Alonso
3. Jenson Button
4. Mark Webber
5. Felipe Massa
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Michael Schumacher
8. Adrian Sutil
9. Paul Di Resta
10. Kamui Kobayashi
11. Sergio Perez
12. Rubens Barrichello
13. Vitaly Petrov
14. Pastor Maldonado
15. Jaime Alguersuari
16. Bruno Senna
17. Heikki Kovalainen
18. Jarno Trulli
19. Timo Glock
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi
21. Daniel Ricciardo (DNF)
22. Sebastien Buemi (DNF)
23. Jerome d’Ambrosio (DNF)
24. Sebastian Vettel (DNF)

14.39 Hang about, Button will be on the podium – Webber had to pit to fullfil his obligation to use both tyre compounds. Two Brits in the top three then – not a bad afternoon at all for McLaren.

14.37 Is Lewis going to go for a Vettel-style fastest lap right at the death? If so, let’s hope he doesn’t overdo it and end up facing the wrong way.

14.33 Last chance now to get involved with the game the world is calling ‘quite good’ – our Formula One Bingo. How many did you spot?

14.28 Five laps to go now. Incredible drive from Lewis but a few decent runs further down the field. Rosberg deserves praise for once again out-finishing seven time world champion Michael Schumacher and Alonso’s been strong too. Shame that JB won’t be on the podium, but remember the man with the ‘tache was without KERS for the best part of the race.

14.20 Alonso stops for fresh boots, handing the lead back to Lewis who’s now ten laps away from his third win of the season. That’ll be one more first place finish than Jenson’s managed this year, stat fans.

14.17 Looks like Marko’s finally nabbed that place from Jenson. But was there contact as he went through? JB still intact after another half a lap, so seems he’s okay. Now, dig in and take that place back.

14.14 Lewis comes into the pits, leaving Alonso to take the lead. Don’t panic though – the Spaniard ought to be in for fresh tyres next lap.

14.09 Maldonado and Senna pick up drive-through penalties for ignoring blue flags. Basics boys, basics.

14.03 Lewis’ McLaren looks ruddy amazing under those floodlights. Can we hold all races at night next year please Bernie?

13.59 Looks like Jenson’s managed to sort his KERS out – he’s left Massa behind, who’s now got Mark Webber all over his gearbox. Fourth would be a season’s best for Felipe, so he’ll not be giving up that place without a scrap.

13.54 Rosewater, rather. Champagne not too popular in Islamic countries.

13.53 Third place Button under pressure from Massa now. JB needs a flawless second half if he’s going to be pouring champagne over Lewis’ head in 25 laps time.

13.46 So, nearly half distance now and here’s how they stand: Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa, Webber, Rosberg, Sutil, Schumacher, Di Resta, Kobayashi. Any one-stoppers will be filing into the pits any second, so hopefully we’re not far from some drama…

13.42 Everyone still awake? If so, remember to check out our Formula One Bingo. There’s absolutely no prizes up for grabs, but it’s more entertaining than this race at the moment.

13.40 Paul McCartney’s playing this year’s post-race gig on Yas Island. Anyone got any good Macca/F1 puns? We’ll start you off: ‘Liuzzi in the Sky with Diamonds.’

13.37 Barely seen Lewis on our screens, which can only be a good thing. Let’s hope we see him smiling on the podium in an hour or so.

13.35 Sloppy stop for Webber, so providing Jenson has no issues when he goes in for new boots, he should have some breathing space.

13.29 Bugger – JB’s got no KERS. Marko’s through, but Button takes him back. Only a matter of time before he loses the position for good though, surely.

13.23 Sun going down now in the desert, although it’s already gone down on Vettel’s chance of victory. Sorry, that was terrible. Not even Coulthard would have said that.

13.21 Schumacher looking good for some points in seventh. His race here ended fairly violently last year, so he’ll be looking to right a few wrongs today.

13.18 Beautiful track, that. Bit boring but still – looks nice.

13.15 Lots of pressure on Webber now. He snuck past Button a few laps back but the owner of the creepiest moustache in F1 since Nigel Mansell managed to nick third place back.

13.12 So that’s what Sebastian Vettel looks like when he’s sad. Yeah, a hug from Bernie. That’ll sort him out.

13.10 Anyone ticked anything off on their Formula One bingo cards? We’ve spotted at least a couple already…

13.08 So, three laps in and it’s Lewis leading from Alonso, then Button, Webber, Massa, Rosberg, Schumacher, Sutil, Perez and Di Resta. Maybe we’re in for some drama after all…

13.06 Vettel pulls into the pits but three quarters of a lap on three wheels has taken its toll on his Red Bull. That’s his afternoon over. Shocker for the double champion.

13.05 Alonso’s slipped past Button but he’s hanging onto his rear wing. Can he hold on until DRS is enabled?

13.04 Vettel’s off! He’s out! First retirement of the season for the world champion! Unbelievable! The two McLarens lead! Exclamation marks!

13.00 Formation lap underway. Textbook weaving from the front runners. Sad to see Barrichello starting from the back. Will he be racing next year?

12.50 Still, at least EJ opted against the traditional Arabian robes. Probably because it’d have gotten him immediately kicked out of the country.

12.46 Wow, fat Ronaldo is fat.

12.42 So, predictions for the race? Abu Dhabi’s dusty Yas Marina Circuit’s been called boring in the past, and without the motivation of a world championship and a fat paycheque, we could be in for a slightly dull afternoon. So, to keep you from nodding off while Vettel romps away to win number 12, check out Top Gear’s rather ingenious Formula One bingo. Simply tick off the scenarios as they pop up and give us a shout in the comments when you’ve seen them all (trust us, you will see them all). No prizes to play for, but imagine the pride. Seriously, just imagine it.

12.34 Here we are, round 18 of 19. Both the driver’s and constructor’s titles are in the bag, but there’s still plenty of pride to play for as F1 hits the swirling sands of Abu Dhabi. Vettel’s on pole (obviously) with misery guts Lewis Hamilton right next to him, just ahead of Webber and Button. Less than half an hour to the green light now, so charge your mug with your favourite beverage (yes, it is too early for a beer), take the phone off the hook and get set for a very, very noisy afternoon.

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It would be enjoyable to put all drivers in Cosworths.

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You’re forgetting one thing though NO TO SKY: in F1 they’re all established and fast drivers. Amazingly enough, Vergne would have been the fastest in most cars there because he is probably good enough for F1 anyway. The others probably aren’t.
The only way to test it properly would be a sterile track, preferably indoors, and give every current F1 driver time to acclimatise to each car and set their fastest time. The problem is that the teams wouldn’t let a rivals driver into their car. So in short, this unfortunately proves nothing.

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I feel really old now. Jean-Eric Vergne is actually three weeks younger than me!

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@mister safeway

I guess that you’re right but you would need to simulate different track temperatures and rain levels for your plan and test every driver, in every car, in every condition.

You would also need to have an endurance run to see how far a driver could get in a certain timeframe on one set of tyres. This would test the driver’s and car’s ability to manage tyres, a vital part for winning a race in F1.

God, I am thinking in to this way too much!

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It would be fun to watch though! I wasn’t having a go either: if I were in an F1 car I would be terrible because I have no experience and weigh more than an F1 driver. If you don’t have a good driver you are unlikely to win. It’s just that the car is more important. Remember Ayrton Senna’s last season? And yet, is he not one of, if not the best driver of all time?

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Maybe there should be a couple of non championship races during the season. There could be a random draw to match a driver to a car. Imagine seeing rookies in Red Bull’s and Mclaren’s and world champions in HRT’s! It would also be a good excuse to have classic tracks back. Maybe see them at non F1 tracks like Bathurst, Laguna Seca or Circuit de la Sarthe as well.

It’s nice to dream…

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loved vettel out after two corners… hah poor sad pup. thanks gp2 for putting the debris out there, vettel boy took full advantage of it!

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There is the race of the champions if you want to see F1 drivers in same cars under controlled indoor conditions. At least there you can compare some of the drivers in none F1 cars. And you can even compare them to Ralley and Touring Car drivers and some of the “old” aces. Just saying.

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I can’t watch it though, have any of the freeview channels expressed interest in showing it? Or is it like everything else? Sky are ****s.

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Why’s nobody arguing? “Vettel’s rubbish” “what are you talking about you nutjob?!”. It’s boring without such insightful and eloquent discussion. I hope there’s some controversy at Brazil!

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mister safeway, you were talking about Senna?
Be aware he managed to win 5 races with the McLaren Ford in his last full season, while Schumacher
only managed to win 1 race in the Benetton Ford (with the ‘works’engine!).
In his last season he did put the (at that time) tricky handling Williams (due to the sudden ban of active suspension)
on pole position in all the 3 races . You should watch the movie. A good/gifted driver can make a hell of a difference.

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I do intend to watch the film at some point, it looks great. The Williams that year can’t have been that bad. Second in the drivers championship and first in the constructors. I know that there were changes made but the car didn’t really gel with him. He could drive it fast but did he really have it under control?

As I’m sure you can guess though I’m not that sure about that season. I was four and stopped watching it after San Marino. I don’t remember it really because that race weekend was traumatic for obvious reasons.

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You should. Also ‘a season with McLaren 1993’ (BBC) on youtube is a ‘must’. Indeed it didn’t gel with him. The Benetton of that period didn’t seem to have that problem, some still wonder why ..
After a while the Williams car became much better and I still remember the emotion burst at Williams when Hill drove it to the first victory after
the Senna tragic. I was 24 at the time and Senna (and Mansell!) were very much my childhood heroes, still feel privileged that I have seen them driving on a few occasions on the beautiful circuit of Spa.

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Hell For Vettel

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the lewis fans are so full of hate.. crazy “hell for vettel” .. what did the guy ever do to you?

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apart from make my 11th year on this earth the most boring to date,not much

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how the hell did sauber/renault beat a mclaren and forceindia/williams come within 0.206 seconds?was paffet drunk?or was the mclaren dialled down

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*Get thousands of Youtube views for FREE

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