Kimi Raikkonen shone in twilight of the Yas Marina circuit to clinch victory at 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is the Iceman’s first victory after his return to F1 earlier this year and also the first for Lotus brand since its return to active racing.
Kimi was followed in second place by the hard charging Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. A resurgent Sebastian Vettel took third place after starting the race from the pit lane. He was demoted to the back of the grid, post qualifying, for a fuel related technical infringement. His flight to the final place on the podium was aided by multiple safety car periods due to various collisions.
Jenson Button clinched fourth place. Team mate Lewis Hamilton who took pole retired from the race after a technical problem. The Williams of Pastor Maldonado came fifth. He went as high as second place but eventually faded away.
Kamuyi Kobayashi took sixth place in front of Felipe Massa who initially put up a strong show but lost out after spinning on a kerb. Bruno Senna in the second Williams and Paul di Resta in the Force India took eighth and ninth respectively.
His team mate Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India crashed out in the initial stage of the race. Daniel Ricciardo was challenged by Michael Schumacher in the final stages of the race but was able retain his 10th place.
The safety car came out twice once on Lap 9 when Nico Rosberg and Narain Karthikeyan had a massive crash. Nico misjudged the speed at which Karthikeyan was entering the corner and ploughed into the back of him, taking both of them out of the race. Both men walked away unhurt from the incident.
The second safety car period happened after Perez tried a move on Paul di Resta, ran wide and then pulled back onto the track but straight into the path of Romain Grosjean. The French man then took out Mark Webber in the ensuing melee.
In the drivers’ championship, Sebastian Vettel (255 points) is ahead of Fernando Alonso by just 10 points (245). Kimi Raikkonnen is in third place with 198. Both McLaren drivers are now out of contention for the title. In the constructors’ championship, it is almost certain Red Bull will retain the title as they lead Ferrari by 82 points with two races to go.
Next up, is the American Grand Prix which take place at the brand new circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas, on November 18. It will be the first race in the USA after the event at the Indianapolis circuit was cancelled in 2007.
Image courtesy: Kimi Raikonnen Facebook page