Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2013: Vettel seals seventh straight victory
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2013: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dominates to seal his seventh consecutive victory
World champion Sebastian Vettel further underlined his total dominance of the Formula 1 season with another victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver equalled the achievement of fellow German Michael Schumacher by winning his seventh straight race – and his 11th of the campaign.
It was his 37th career victory and team-mate Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes completed the podium.
Fernando Alonso increased his advantage in second place on the overall drivers’ standings with a fifth place in his Ferrari, while nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen retired as his frustrating end to the season continued.
Vettel dominated the race, snatching the advantage at the start from Webber, whose second place continued the hoodoo of the pole sitter in Abu Dhabi rarely enjoying race day.
In five Grands Prix at the venue, only one in five races has seen the top qualifier take the chequered flag.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quick to hail the performance as a “champion’s drive” – and promised to pay any fine levied by race officials for what is becoming Vettel’s victory trademark – doughnut spins right in front of the pit lane.
“It’s not often you get to drive a car like this. I love you guys, thanks you,” Vettel told his crew via team radio.
Elsewhere, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean continued his strong end to the season with a fourth place while Force India’s Paul Di Resta, batting for his F1 future, held off Lewis Hamilton to be the first British finisher in sixth.
In addition, Alonso’s fifth and Felipe Massa’s eighth meant Ferrari have now broken McLaren’s record of consecutive points finishes, a run that stretches back to the German Grand Prix in 2010.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2013: Race result
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 55 laps 1hr 38m 06.106s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 30.8s
3. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 33.6s
4. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault +00m 34.8s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 07.1s
6. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes +01m 18.1s
7. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +01m 19.2s
8. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 22.8s
9. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes +01m 31.1s
10. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +01m 33.2s
11. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault +01m 35.9s
12. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +01m 43.6s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Spain Sauber-Ferrari +01m 44.1s
14. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
15. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault +1 lap
16. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
17. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
18. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault +1 lap
19. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault +1 lap
20. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
21. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth +2 lap
Rtd. Kimi Raikkonen Finand Lotus-Renault 0 laps completed