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Abu Dhabi analysis - Vettel’s record run continues 04 Nov 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates with Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 and seond placed Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sebastian Vettel’s imperious triumph at Yas Marina on Sunday saw him match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven consecutive wins in a season, and kept him on target to match his compatriot’s record of 13 victories overall in a season. Behind the Red Bulls, Mercedes consolidated their claim to second place in the constructors’ championship as Nico Rosberg put his Lotus and Ferrari rivals in the shade. We take a team-by-team look at the Sunday formbook in Abu Dhabi…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P2

Vettel had zero problems after making a terrific start to go past Webber into the first corner, and won his seventh consecutive race by half a minute after making it all look so easy. That equalled Schumacher’s record of successive wins in a season, and puts him on target to match Alberto Ascari’s record of nine in a row from 1952 and ’53. Webber’s average start was compounded by a KERS overheating problem initially and he admitted both that his first stint was poor and that Vettel was in another league as he pulled up past Rosberg to take second.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, P3
Lewis Hamilton, P7

Rosberg was happy once again to take the ‘best of the rest’ honours behind Red Bull, but felt that a poor second stint with oversteer on the medium tyres cost him a chance of second place. Hamilton had a rear brake issue that required resolution on the grid formation laps, lost ground when Webber cut him off at the start, and struggled thereafter behind the likes of Gutierrez and the two Force Indias. At the end he couldn’t resist Alonso and was unable to pass Di Resta, and thus had to settle for seventh.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, P4
Kimi Raikkonen, retired lap 1, contact with Van der Garde

Grosjean made up places at the start and was closing on Rosberg by the finish, but believed that getting stuck behind Sutil in the middle stint cost him his chance of a podium. Raikkonen ran into Van der Garde on the opening lap, and retired with right-front suspension damage. The good news for Lotus is that investors Quantum Racing say their long overdue deal with the team has been signed, which in theory means they can pay Raikkonen and hire Hulkenberg for 2014.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P5
Felipe Massa, P8

Massa led Alonso for a long time, but the Spaniard’s decision to run a very long middle stint on mediums before a late switch to more softs paid out with a fighting fifth place. He was a little lucky to survive an incident when he had to run off track as he rejoined from his second stop on the 45th lap, and had little room while alongside Vergne. The option of lifting off never occurred to him - resulting in a heavy bump over the kerbs - and though they investigated the matter the stewards took no further action. The former champion was also given the all clear by medics after some back pain from the kerb impact. Massa looked good for a long time, but lost ground at the end as his tyres began to lose their edge.

McLaren
Sergio Perez, P9
Jenson Button, P12

Perez had a tough race but was very pleased to snatch ninth place from Sutil on the final lap. Button admitted that he ruined his own race this time by damaging his front wing on Di Resta’s car on the opening lap and having to make an unscheduled stop for a replacement.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P6
Adrian Sutil, P10

Di Resta put in another of his intelligent one-stop drives, pushing hard when he could but also easing off to preserve the tyres when necessary. He couldn’t hold Alonso back on his fresher rubber in the final laps, but managed to keep Hamilton at bay to take eight valuable points. Sutil did another long (28-lap) run on mediums which brought him up to eighth place from 17th, and then 27 laps on the softs. By the end they were past their best, however, and he was unable to resist Perez’s final attack. Overall, however, a nine-point haul for Force India was a major result.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, P11
Valtteri Bottas, P15

Both drivers felt their respective results did not reflect a step forward brought about by a new aero package, and Maldonado felt himself unlucky to miss out on a point after starting on softs. Bottas lost ground early on to the soft-shod Caterhams after starting on mediums, and felt that compromised his race.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, P13
Nico Hulkenberg, P14

Hulkenberg should have been a points contender even though he said his Sauber lost all its poise early in the race, but an unsafe release in front of Perez on the 27th lap ruined things as he had to serve a drive-through penalty. Gutierrez rued the strategy that the team chose, and struggled in the race.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, P16
Jean-Eric Vergne, P17

Ricciardo made a poor start from which he wasn’t really able to recover, but Vergne looked very strong for a while as he ran as high as eighth on a one-stop strategy. Ultimately he regretted stopping as soon as he did to switch from softs to mediums, and as the latter were finished well before the end he slumped out of the points with a late tyre stop.

Caterham
Giedo van der Garde, P18
Charles Pic, P19

Van der Garde survived being hit from behind by Raikkonen on the opening lap, and later passed team mate Pic who was told to move over as the Dutchman had greater pace. Both were pleased to outpace the Marussias.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, P20
Max Chilton, P21

Both drivers struggled with poor chassis balance and resultant lack of pace throughout.

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