Kimi Raikkonen won for the first time since his F1 comeback in 2012 after celebrating his victory at the Abu Dhabi GP. The Finn withstood late pressure from the double world champion Fernando Alonso who desperately wanted to close the gap to championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
Race will be remembered for his usually cool display in tense closing laps and his famous team radio responses to his team.
“Just leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!”
…was Kimi’s response to his team warning him that the car behind is Fernando Alonso who is closing the gap.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes, I’m doing it all the time. You don’t have to remind me every 10 seconds.”
…was Kimi’s response to his team instructing him to warm up all of his tyres behind the safety car.
Sebastian Vettel arrived in Abu Dhabi as the championship leader, 13 points ahead of Fernando Alonso. Abu Dhabi GP was the 18th of 20 races in 2012. (the other two were the US Grand Prix in Austin and the Brazilian GP), which was then the longest season in F1 history (previously up to 19 races, 2005.).
Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position, repeating the success from 2009. – Briton was fastest in all three qualifying session in his McLaren MP4-27.
The second fastest was Mark Webber and third was Sebastian Vettel who was excluded from wualifying for not having enough fuel.
Red Bull decided to withdraw his car from Parc Ferme to make changes to the settings of the car (among other things they choose to reduce downforce and extend gear ratios to enhance his overtaking cances) and Vettel started the race from the pit lane.
Pastor Maldonado started third in Williams, Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in Lotus, fifth was Jenson Button in McLaren and the sixth was Fernando Alonso in Ferrari.
Hamilton led for 20 laps when he had to retire because of the fuel pump malfunction. Raikkonen takes the lead in his Lotus while Sebastian Vettel was second in lap 31, 20 seconds behind the leading Raikkonen. After his pitstop, Vettel dropped to fourth.
After the collision between Perez and Grosjean safety car came out for the second timer which enables Vettel to close on Button and overtake him in lap 51, four laps to go.
Alonso was really close to leading Raikkonen but the Finn managed to preserve the lead and win for the first time after the Belgian Grand Prix in 2009. and the first time since his return to Formula 1 in 2012. Alonso finished second and Vettel third after starting from the pit lane.
Vettel’s lead over Alonso before the last two races of the championship was reduced to ten points.