Team-by-team look at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Newly crowned 2013 champion Sebastian Vettel took his 11th win of the season as he beat his teammate to the top spot of the podium. Nico Rosberg was the best of the rest with third place whilst Kimi Raikkonen started last after being disqualified from qualifying and was out on the first lap after a collision with Giedo van der Garde. There were impressive performances from Grosjean and Perez and Force India secured a double points finish for the second weekend running.

Red Bull
IMG_28752013 driver champion Sebastian Vettel passed pole sitter and teammate Mark Webber after the Australian made a slow getaway. From then on the German was challenged very little and finished the day with a thirty second gap over his teammate. He celebrated with some donuts but got his car back to parc ferme as he attempted to avoid a penalty. Team principal Christian Horner told Vettel he would be paying the fine for his celebrations. Webber had been passed by both Vettel and Nico Rosberg at the start but made it passed the Mercedes on the 20th lap to complete a 1-2 for Red Bull. A good day for the team who walked away with another 43 points.

Nico Rosberg was the best of the rest in his Mercedes as he finished third. He had passed a slow starting Mark Webber at the start to get up to second but this did not last. Webber managed to pass Rosberg on the 20th lap to demote the German to the bottom spot on the podium. However this was 15 well deserved points for the German. Lewis Hamilton ended the day seventh after a poor start and early pit stop, he then found himself stuck behind Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso and Adrian Sutil’s Force India as they were on different strategies. He had also had some brake problems on the grid but still managed to come away with six points. Altogether 21 points for the team as they battle with Ferrari for second in the constructors title.

Romain Grosjean missed out on a podium despite chasing Nico Rosberg to the line. The Frenchman had got a good start getting passed Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg at the start to be up to fourth at the end of the first lap. In the end that was where he stayed to pick up 12 points despite keeping Rosberg honest until the end of the race. Kimi Raikkonen had a bad day which added to his woes. Disqualified from qualifying after failing a floor test. Lotus chose to start him from the back of the grid rather than the pit lane. He hit the back of Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham on the opening lap and damaged his Lotus’s right-front suspension. Despite a mixed day for the team it has been reported their investment deal with Quantum is set to be finalised bring some stability for next year.

Qualifying on Saturday was less than impressive from Ferrari. Fernando Alonso failed to make Q3 for the first time this season qualifying 11th for it to become 10th after Raikkonen was disqualified while Massa was seventh. However in the race it was Alonso who shined. He had been behind his teammate for much of the race but after switching to the soft Pirellis on lap 44 he made his way through the field passing both Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta to end the day fifth. He had looked as if he had exceeded the track limits when passing Jean-Eric Vergne however the stewards investigated but did not take action. Massa ended the day in eighth.

Force India
Paul di Resta finished an impressive sixth for Force India as they completed another double points finish. The Scot completed a long first stint which saw him run as high as second before he pitted on lap 20. IMG_3069Alonso passed Di Resta late in the race but he managed to hold of Lewis Hamilton to claim the eight points. It will be a boost for his confidence amid worries he could be left without a drive next season. Adrian Sutil came from 17th on the grid to finish in tenth. The German tried a reverse strategy to many on the grid starting on the medium tyre. He had looked on course for ninth but was passed by Sergio Perez who had pursued the German for a number of laps.

Sergio Perez was awarded for his pursuit of the Force India of Adrian Sutil as he snatched ninth place from the German on the final lap. He had started eighth so would have hoped for better but will be happy with two points which were hard fought for. Jenson Button had a contrasting day with front wing damage forcing an early stop. He ended the day in 12th behind the Williams of Pastor Maldonado.

Pastor Maldonado was Williams highest finisher as the team once again failed to finish in the points. The Venezuelan was 11th despite a mixed race although he never looked in contention for points. His teammate Valtteri Bottas completed a long first stint pitting on the 24th lap. He ended the day in 15th.

Once again Sauber had looked on course for points before it all went wrong. Nico Hulkenberg had started fifth and had been running in the points before an unsafe release meant a drive through penalty. This put his right down the field and he ended the day behind his teammate in 14th. The German had overtaken both Toro Rosso as he tried to make his way back through the field. Esteban Gutierrez had some interesting battles and at one point was holding up Lewis Hamilton who could not find a way passed. In the end he finished the day in 13th just ahead of his teammate.

Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso were almost invisible in the race. Daniel Ricciardo finished 16th while teammate Jean-Eric Vergne finished 17th on a day to forget for the team. Vergne had attempted a one stop race but was losing lots of time in the final laps going from in the top ten to 17th. Both drivers were overtaken by Nico Hulkenberg in the closing laps. Toro Rosso haven’t scored points in the last two races.

Both Caterhams finished ahead of the Marussias in Abu Dhabi. Giedo van der Garde avoided damage when Kimi Raikkonen drove into the back of him at the start. Van der Garde and Charles Pic finished where they started in 18th and 19th.

Both Marussias lost out to the two Caterhams. Jules Bianchi finished ahead of teammate Max Chilton. Bianchi was 20th while Chilton was 21.


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