Early report: Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
1 November, 2009
Sebastian Vettel won the final race of the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship when he powered to a comfortable victory in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit. Also the first ever day/night or sunset Grand Prix.
Vettel led home his Red Bull Racing team mate Mark Webber who finished second after managing to fend of a concerted attack by Jenson Button (Brawn GP) in the last dozen laps of the race. The newly crowned World Champion gave it his best shot as taking Webber on the final lap of the race but had to settle for third.
Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP) finished fourth despite a first corner incident which saw him lose bits of his nosecone. Nick Heidfeld salvaged some pride with fifth place for the BMW Sauber team in their final Grand Prix.
In only his second Formula 1 race Kamui Kobayashi (Panasonic Toyota) gave an impressive performance, less ragged than his string debut two weeks earlier in Brazil, to finish sixth ahead of his vastly more experienced team mate Jarno Trulli.
The final point went to Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) whose eighth place was a just reward for a good weekend for his CV.
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) started from pole position after dominating qualifying and was expected to run away with the race. However the dominance did not carry over into the race and although he led the early stages, he was never able to shake off Vettel. Shortly after the first round of pit stops rear brake problems started to hamper the McLaren and by lap 20 the team decided to retire the outgoing World Champion.
Vettel’s win in the season finale makes it a hat trick of wins for the Red Bull racing outfit who have owned the top of the podium since Japan.