German Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel took home the chequered flag at the Abu Dhabi Formula Grand Prix last weekend to emerge as the new World Champion, taking the baton from last year’s winner Jenson Button. The Abu Dhabi GP was the last round of the season where Vettel was considered the least likely to take the driver’s championship as he was lying third in the points behind his team mate Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
But Vettel defied the odds and drove a perfect race where he started on pole to deny his teammate, Alonso and outside chance contender Lewis Hamilton any way past him. It would have all be futile if Alonso finished the race on fourth place but early pit stops by Alonso and Webber caused them to fall further down the race where they started on third and fifth respectively.
Another remarkable achievement by Vettel is that he has not led the driver’s standings throughout the season while Webber and Alonso had both their stints at the pinnacle. Discussions and speculations were rife on whether a possible ‘team order’ might be issued for Webber if he gets caught second behind Vettel but all that was put to rest when Webber found it hard to get past Alonso throughout the race.
Red Bull Racing, who won the Constructor’s title last week in Brazil now make it two out of two and Vettel also drove home the record as the youngest ever Formula 1 world champion . Alonso, who would have become the next triple world champion title holder needed to finished in fourth place but could not find any way past Renault’s Vitaly Petrov all through the race. Alonso won his first world championship when he was with Renault.
Finishing second in the race was Lewis Hamilton and third was his teammate from McLaren Jenson Button and on the podium were the 2008, 2009 and 2010 World Champions. 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher ended the season with a race he would like to forget when he crashed at the first lap forcing the Safety Car to be summoned. Lotus Racing won the race among the new boys ahead of Virgin Racing and Hispania respectively.