2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|Race 18 of 20 in the 2012 Formula One season|
|Date||4 November 2012|
|Official name||2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix|
|Location||Yas Marina Circuit
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.554 km (3.451 mi)
|Distance||55 laps, 305.355 km (189.739 mi)|
|Driver||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault|
|Time||1:43.964 on lap 54|
|Third||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault|
The 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (formally known as the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race that was held at the Yas Marina Circuit on 4 November 2012. The race was the eighteenth round of the 2012 championship, the fourth running of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the final race in Asia before the teams returned to the Americas for the Grands Prix in the United States and Brazil.
The race was won by Kimi Räikkönen, driving for Lotus, after Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead. It was Räikkönen's first win since his Formula One comeback. Fernando Alonso finished second, ahead of current championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who started from the pit lane.
Like the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, tyre supplier Pirelli brought its white-banded medium compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the yellow-banded soft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre.
At the start of the parade lap, Pedro de la Rosa stalled on the grid in his HRT which caused him to have to start from the pits behind Sebastian Vettel. When the race began, Hamilton led into the first corner, while Kimi Räikkönen passed Mark Webber and Pastor Maldonado to take 2nd. Contact between Bruno Senna and Nico Hülkenberg caused the Force India driver to retire from the race. During the first lap, Fernando Alonso overtook both Button and Webber. Briefly, Hamilton allowed Räikkönen to challenge him for the lead on the straight between turns 10 and 11 as he went off the track, but Hamilton stayed ahead. While this was happening, Vettel took some slight damage to his front wing as he had made contact with Senna while attempting to overtake.
On Lap 5, Romain Grosjean made a move on Nico Rosberg at Turns 8 and 9, but ended up with a puncture on the right front which made contact with Rosberg's front wing. Both drivers had to pit – Grosjean for a set of tyres and Rosberg for a new nosecone.
Four laps later, on Lap 9, Rosberg and Narain Karthikeyan were involved in a collision. Karthikeyan braked due to a steering problem, causing Rosberg who was right behind him to crash into him, bringing both out of the race but unharmed, and sending out the safety car. During the safety car period, when Daniel Ricciardo was weaving and braking, Sebastian Vettel was unaware, and he swerved to avoid the Toro Rosso and hit the DRS board at the side of the track, causing more damage to his front wing. Red Bull soon gave the instruction to fit a new front wing on Vettel's car, along with a set of soft tyres.
On Lap 20, the race leader Lewis Hamilton slowed to a halt as a technical issue with his McLaren put him out of the race. Kimi Räikkönen inherited the lead as a result. No safety car was required as he had parked his car in a safe position. On the next lap, Fernando Alonso managed to overtake Pastor Maldonado with the assistance of DRS. On lap 23, while attempting the same move on Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber made contact with the Williams, causing him to spin and lose places to Button, Felipe Massa and Sergio Pérez, dropping from fourth to seventh. By this time, Sebastian Vettel had fought his way up to tenth place. Lap 24 saw Jenson Button pass Pastor Maldonado for third. By lap 31, Vettel was up into second, about twenty seconds behind Kimi Räikkönen, and his subsequent pit stop on lap 37 put him down to fourth.
Drama continued on lap 38 as Paul di Resta and Sergio Pérez tried to overtake Romain Grosjean. Pérez ran wide, and when entering the track again, he collided with Grosjean who then collected Mark Webber, taking the Lotus and Red Bull out of the race and earning Pérez a ten-second stop and go penalty. This sent out the safety car once more.
In the closing laps, Fernando Alonso put in quick laps to catch Kimi Räikkönen, as Vettel took advantage of the safety car to close up to Jenson Button and get past on lap 51. Räikkönen, however, managed to do just enough to hold off the Ferrari to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his only win of 2012, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.
|Pos.||No.||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:41.933||1:41.277||1:40.987||2|
|10||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:42.579||1:42.019||10|
|12||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:42.572||1:42.218||12|
|16||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:43.280||1:42.765||16|
|17||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:44.058||17|
|22||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:45.766||22|
|EX||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:42.160||1:41.511||1:41.073||PL1|
|107% time: 1:48.601|
- ^1 – Sebastian Vettel, who set a 1:41.073 qualifying time in Q3 and subsequently would have started from third position, was excluded from the qualifying results for violating the rules by not having enough fuel to return to the pits. However, the stewards allowed him to start the race from the last grid position. Red Bull opted to make set-up changes before the race, which meant that Sebastian Vettel had to start from the pit lane.
- ^1 – Pedro de la Rosa failed to start the formation lap when a cord from one of his tyre blankets became caught up in the wheel, and he therefore started in the pit lane behind Sebastian Vettel.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Formula One Management. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "2012 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (Race)". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 4 November 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (7 December 2011). "United States Grand Prix remains on unchanged 2012 F1 calendar". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012: live". Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Kimi Raikkonen wins classic ahead of Fernando Alonso". BBC Sport. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Kimi Raikkonen hopes Abu Dhabi win will boost self-belief of Lotus". Guardian UK. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Pirelli reveal tyre choices for final three rounds". Formula One. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Beer, Matt (3 November 2012). "Lewis Hamilton beats Mark Webber to pole position". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Red Bull take tactical option of starting from pitlane". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Raikkonen wins for Lotus as Vettel finishes third". Autosport.com (Haymaket Publications). 4 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
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|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Next race:
2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix