The most prestigious (and dangerous!) race on the F1 calendar rolls around once again. Victory for Monaco resident Lewis Hamilton would certainly be the final nail in the proverbial coffins of his would-be competitors....
By Tamhas Woods at Motorsport24.com Any complacency that Mercedes might have felt at the close of the Melbourne event one month ago has now been expunged with considerable force. Sebastian Vettel’s victory – his...
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took a dominant victory at the 2009 season finale in Abu Dhabi this evening, beating team-mate Mark Webber home by 17 seconds to secure the team’s fourth 1-2 finish in impressive style. After a largely processional race, Webber and champion-elect Jenson Button brought the race to life in the closing laps with a nail-biting duel, with Webber somehow managing to hold off the faster Brawn.
At the start, Lewis Hamilton kept the lead from pole position, with the rest of the field slotting behind in grid order. Despite expectations of Hamilton cruising into the distance, the Briton was unable to shake off the challenge of Vettel in the opening stint, and duly lost the lead after the first round of pitstops, before retiring with brake problems soon after.
Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this evening in the Middle East, after going over two thirds of a second quicker than his nearest rival in qualifying. Despite leading Q1 and Q2 earlier in the qualifying hour, strong competition from Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber forced the Briton to go for broke, and ultimately eased ahead of the Red Bulls to take his fourth pole position of the season.
With the tyres proving difficult to warm up for a single-lap run, all drivers opted for one multi-lap stint on the harder tyre in Q3, with Hamilton emerging from the pitlane in time for just four flying laps compared to his rivals’ five. After scuffing his first flyer by running wide at turn 17, Hamilton bolted to the top of the timesheets with a 1m41.773s on the second time of asking.
Jenson Button secured his first drivers’ world champion with his drive of the season at Interlagos this afternoon, finishing a hugely deserving fifth to put the title beyond the reach of his nearest rivals. A number of first-lap crashes promoted Button to ninth on the first lap, and from there a catalogue of daring overtaking manoeuvres ensured he would take the crown, even before closest rival Rubens Barrichello dropped down the field with a puncture.
Out in front, Mark Webber won the race comfortably from BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took an unlikely third after overtaking Barrichello ten laps from the end. Barrichello, after looking on-course for a deserved win in the opening stint, got caught in traffic after his first pitstop, and faded to a probable third place before losing the place to Hamilton, with a seemingly harmless tap with the Briton causing a left-rear puncture, dropping him to eighth and putting his world championship charge to bed for another year.
After getting final practice compressed into 13 minutes of running this morning, heavy rain caused chaos once again this afternoon with a hugely disrupted qualifying session taking almost two and three quarter hours to be completed. In the end though, it was a wait well worth it for the Brazilian fans as Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello kept his championship fight alive with a superb pole position, made all the sweeter by team-mate and championship leader Jenson Button doing no better than 14th.
Despite continual heavy rain and generally poor track conditions, qualifying got underway as planned at 14.00 local time, before the red flags predictably emerged after four minutes when Giancarlo Fisichella spun to a halt at turn 2. After a 14-minute delay, the action resumed to the finish of Q1, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton being one of the notable victims of the poor conditions, aqua planing off the track at turn 5.
Lewis Hamilton cruised to a comfortable Grand Prix victory in Singapore tonight, claiming the ten points on offer after a faultless drive from pole position. Starting at the front of the grid, with KERS and a considerable fuel load on-board meant Hamilton was always going to be the firm favourite for victory, but the Briton had to work hard for his reward at the toughest race on the F1 calendar.
At the start, Hamilton got away cleanly and led by the first corner while behind, Nico Rosberg benefitted from starting on the clean side of the track to jump Sebastian Vettel. Further behind Webber was able to hold off the stern challenge of Fernando Alonso on the opening lap, but only by running off the circuit. Ninth-place Barrichello made a super getaway to gain two places by the end of the first lap, while team-mate Button crucially got past Nakajima to climb to 10th.