Vettel wins first Abu Dhabi GP in Red Bull one-two
Germany's Sebastian Vettel won Formula One's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the first race to start in daylight and end at night, in a Red Bull one-two finish on Sunday.india Updated: Nov 01, 2009 23:10 IST
Germany's Sebastian Vettel won Formula One's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the first race to start in daylight and end at night, in a Red Bull one-two finish on Sunday.
The 22-year-old German beat Australian Mark Webber by a comfortable 17.8 seconds under the floodlights for his fourth win of the season to make sure of second place overall in the championship.
Britain's Jenson Button, who clinched the title in the previous Brazilian Grand Prix for his championship-winning Brawn GP team, rounded out his season with third place after hunting down Webber and chasing him nose-to-tail in the closing laps.
A mere 0.6 of a second separated the two cars at the chequered flag.
It was Button's first appearance on the podium since Italy last month after a season that started with him winning six of the first seven races.
McLaren's outgoing world champion Lewis Hamilton had led from pole position but the Briton's hopes of becoming the first winner in Abu Dhabi vanished after 20 laps when he retired with a brake problem.
"There was a problem with the brakes, I couldn't stop the car," Hamilton told the BBC. "I was locking and locking and locking and it was harder than ever to drive the car.
"It's a shame as the car felt so good these last couple of days but we haven't had many brake problems this year so there you go."
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, likely to move from Brawn to Williams for next year, finished fourth with Germany's Nick Heidfeld fifth in BMW-Sauber's last race before the German manufacturer leaves the sport.
Japanese stand-in Kamui Kobayashi, replacing the injured German Timo Glock, scored his first points in Formula One with sixth place for Toyota ahead of veteran Italian team mate Jarno Trulli in seventh.
After just two races, Kobayashi could also claim to be his country's top driver with Williams' Toyota-backed driver Kazuki Nakajima ending the season with a dismal tally of no points from 17 starts.
Swiss rookie Sebastien Buemi, a Bahrain resident for much of the year, took the final point for Toro Rosso in eighth place.
The race, against the stunning backdrop of the most lavish circuit in Formula One, was low on thrills or incidents other than Button's determined chase of Webber and Hamilton's unexpected retirement after threatening to run away with victory.