Former NASCAR driver Kimi Raikkonen won Sunday’s Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix and as a result the championship race between Sebastien Vettel and Fernando Alonso became even more thrilling.
Raikkonen’s win was his first since Belgium in 2009, the infamous race in which he told Lotus crew members to “leave me alone, I know what I am doing”, while Alonso came in second ahead of Vettel in third.
Alonso’s finish allowed him to make up a bit of ground on his German rival with just 10 points separating the two on the championship standings. Raikkonen may be out of contention in third position with 198 points and only two races remaining, but Vettel (255) and Alonso (245) are right there and neither can afford a slip up with the F1 season only weeks away from its conclusion.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton found himself leading the race, but his vehicle lost all power on the 20th lap, forcing the Englishman to retire. The disappointing result marked the second time in five races Hamilton has been forced to retire from a race and it may be no wonder that the 27-year-old is switching over to Mercedes next year.
Hamilton came into Abu Dhabi within reach of Vettel, but the result now sees him unable to catch the Red Bull leader. Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was also forced to retire after being involved in a four-car incident.
Vettel’s performance was almost as remarkable as Raikkonen’s win. He was thrown out of qualifying, stripped of his third place grid start when post-qualifying checks determined an insufficient quantity of fuel in the car for sampling purposes. The German had to twice work his way out of last place and escaped a couple of crashes. In the end it was enough to lessen the damage and stay in front on the overall leader board.
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