Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi victory

By on Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hamilton now has 17 F1 victories to his name

Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory for four months by winning the third Abu Dhabi Grand Prix around the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hamilton, 26, finished ahead of Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Jenson Button (McLaren) to win his 3rd race of the season. World champion Sebastian Vettel retired on the opening lap.

Vettel surged into the lead from pole position and opened up a sizeable lead exiting Turn 1. However, entering Turn 2 he suffered an instantaneous tyre failure and spun off onto the grass. The champion managed to return to the pits, but sustained too much damage to his RB7 and retired for the first time since Korea last year.

That left the door open for Hamilton to take the lead, but behind him Fernando Alonso swept past Jenson Button to take second. On a frantic opening lap, Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher diced down into Turn 8 with the younger German emerging on top.

For the rest of the race, the gap between Hamilton and Alonso hovered around the 5 second mark, but Ferrari’s strategy failed to elevate Alonso into the lead. Button slipped back early on as his KERS failed, although he had enough in hand to remain 3rd.

A slow first stop saw Webber’s hopes of a podium diminish, although an aggressive three stop strategy saw him pit on the final lap and finish in front of Felipe Massa. The Brazilian suffered a spin with six laps remaining, although held of Nico Rosberg for 5th.

Force India all but secured 6th place in the championship with 8th and 9th for Sutil and di Resta, the latter using a one stop strategy to beat Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, who came home line astern for Sauber.

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h37:11.886
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     8.457
3.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    25.881
4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    35.784
5.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    50.578
6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    52.317
7.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +  1:15.900
8.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +  1:17.100
9.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1:40.000
10.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
12.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
13.  Petrov        Renault                    +     1 lap
14.  Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
16.  Senna         Renault                    +     1 lap
17.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault              +     1 lap
18.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +    2 laps
19.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +    2 laps
20.  Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Ricciardo     HRT-Cosworth                 49
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           19
D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth              18
Vettel        Red Bull-Renault             1

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