Rate the race: 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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What did you think of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Share your verdict on today’s race.

F1 Fanatic holds polls on each race to find out which fans thought were the best and worst races during a season.

Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 (35%)
  • 9 (35%)
  • 8 (21%)
  • 7 (4%)
  • 6 (1%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 3 (1%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (1%)

Total Voters: 787

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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See the results for past seasons here:

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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321 comments on “Rate the race: 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”

  1. 9 for the race. but not good for the championship…

    1. I voted 10, I would have preferred that Vettel didn’t score that many points, but it does show his brilliance. Yes, I’m a Vettel admirer/Alonso supporter.

    2. Why do you say it wasn’t good for the championship? The top three contenders for the championship finished the race in reverse order, tightening up the points gaps and making it more exciting.

  2. nail bitting 9 ……….. cant ask 4 more……..!

  3. Why isn’t there an 11 option, may I ask?!


    1. That’s called the Spinal Tap rating

      1. “Well, I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.”

  4. Great win by Kimi, but for me, man of the race had to be Vettel, so much for people saying he doesn’t know how to overtake!!!

    1. Well he did knock his front wing off ;-)

      1. twice.

        He made one great overtaking move. which was on button. he deserves credit for that as it was awesome. but he was again not great in traffic. He did very very well. but he got his fair share of good fortune today that is for sure. but you got to be in it to win it.

    2. What a race we had!
      The best race of the season.
      10 out of 10.

    3. Vettel was awesome specially when drenching fancy coulthard on champagne at the podium, never give up dudes are getting into me, great race !

    4. Vettel was extremly lucky in the race because of the 2 SC periods which played well in his hands. An unfair advantage in his favour.
      With the fastest car on the track and a working DRS, plus 7 drivers that did not finish (majoity of them in competitive cars: Ham, Web, Ros and Gro) he got on the podium.
      Man of the race? I think not.

      1. Safety cars aren’t unfair. Unless you consider it “unfair” that 6 of them kept cutting Vettel’s lead to zero at Montreal last year.

      2. He was in front of all of those cars except for Hamilton when they retired. Also, since when is a working DRS considered lucky? I guess every driver was lucky that day.
        And look where the ‘fastest car on the track’ got Webber.
        You can try to deny it all you want and kick up a fuss that a driver you don’t like had a fantastic race but that’s simply what it was. Vettel did a great job, and fully deserved to be the first ever driver to stand on the podium after starting 24th

        1. @hxcas
          “be the first ever driver to stand on the podium after starting 24th”
          Not really Jarno Trulli did it in Australia 2009 if I’m not wrong, starting from the pitlane aswell, awesome drive by Vettel even though I’m not a fan, there is too many people saying he’s lucky and I don’t think he was, those people are unobjective haters

          1. @Jayfreese
            He started from the pitlane and last (or was Glock lined up behind him?) but there weren’t 24 cars on the grid in 2009 I don’t think

          2. @hxcas; right there were only 20 cars that year and Trulli finished the race 4th in fact (Hamilton got disqualified as we know) and so Trulli had not been on the podium, but in stats he was the last to make a “podium” starting from the pitlane, can’t remember if Glock was ahead or behind! So Vettel did an outstanding job making up twice the places. Thanks for that HxCas

  5. 8 for me. Drama all the way, weird incidents, a massive drive by Vettel, helped by other’s misfortunes but still.

    And best… BEST of all… Kimi’s radio messages. Where were those at India? we need them.

    1. 8 as well … great race but to scrappy for a 10. The entertainement came mainly from the incidents and Vettel. Remove that and you have nothing left, just cars following one another at that artificial track.

      Still enjoyed it quite a lot, but that’s not the best race we could have

      1. I agree 100% with your opinion.8 also for me.

      2. @jeanrien @ionutf1fanatic yeah, same here. Compare this race with Valencia and the difference is enormous.

        Good race, mainly because of Vettel and the championship, but quite far from 10.

    2. i gave it a 9 just for Kimi’s team radio messages :))…8 sounds fair though

  6. nail biting 9 ……….. cant ask 4 more……..!

    1. If you cant ask for more, then its kind of a 10..??

      1. lol. I thought this :P

    2. You can’t ask 4 more because that’s 13.

  7. Amazing race! Great to see VET make the podium!

  8. 9/10 – So much entertainment, many incidents and Kimi wins! Outstanding drive though, by Vettel.

    1. That was one of the greatest races I’ve ever seen. Fanatstic race by Vettel (I think he has well and truly silenced the critics now saying he can’t race from the back), some fantastic battles throughout the field and a very tense finish. Easily a 10.

      1. I do think that he was VERY lucky this time around (given the pitlane start). But still even without all the retirements he probably would finnish in the top 8. But as I’m aware- he is driving the best car around there. Right? So I will give an 9 points for RAI , 8 for ALO and 6,5 for VET in imy private driver rankings.

        1. Vettel’s critics will never be silenced – they refuse to look at facts. Vettel just finished on the podium despite not only starting last, but then going back to last place again 1/4 of the way into the race after damaging his front wing. He is also verging on being a 3 times world champion.

          It’s like Schumacher’s detractors who claim the 7 times world champ cheated and lucked his way to almost as many wins as Prost and Senna combined.

          Some of these same people go on about how Vettel’s win in a Torro Rosso was in a top car because it was a clone of the Red Bull, but conveniently forget it was a clone of a midfield-at-best Red Bull with the team operation run on a considerably smaller budget.

          If the facts don’t speak to these guys what’s the point of trying, let’s just get on and enjoy watching a driver who may turn out to be one of the greatest of the modern era.

          1. I’m not a Vettel fan but also not a Vettel critic. I always admit that he is one of top lets say 5 drivers of the current grid. The fact I don’t support him dosen’t make me his critic. And the fact I don’t support VET is determined probably by the fact that for the last 4 years out of 5 year long carrer he has the best car (ok maybe 3,5 cause RBR was behind Brawn GP at the start of 2009). It’s somehow in my nature to support the “underdogs” or drivers who face more difficulties in their championship race. Oh! And I do think that its amazing from RBR to be so consistant in building top car lately- my bows to Newey in this matter.
            I’m just saying my opinion that his podium was a impresive result but for me it wasn’t a impresive drive by Vettel. I personaly rate it as one of the worst by him dis season (the whole weekend was poor by his standards. Maybe it was stress getting to him) as I said by driving not result.. Maybe he can buy my sympathy with time? But this time around I truly believe that both Hamilton and Alonso were better this season. In driving not results of course;)

      2. Don’t believe so. To start with he still has the best car out there by quite a margin and on top of that he had it setup for the race vs cars that were setup for quali/race, plus he was on softer tyres and had safety cars falling in his lap. Two incidents fixed on one stop that also gave him a strategic advantage. Great drive yes but he continues to have all the luck in the world

        1. @alelanza – Best car? You mean the Mclaren, that was on pole and leading the race despite Hamilton’s early off.

          1. Its nice to see how mclaren ****** up this year for Hamilton, he has been driving exceptional. He said that 2011 was a year to forget, someone should ask which one he wants to forget the most 2011 or 2012

          2. @david-a, unreliable car is not the best. Surely, Mclaren has proved this season their car at least in the hand of Hamilton, is not reliable.

          3. @suka @hamfanatic – Then RBR didn’t have the best car in Valencia this year, or the various times in 2010 when Vettel’s car was unreliable.

            Fine, an unreliable car isn’t the “best”, but the Mclaren was the “fastest” car, and RB have in turn, had more unreliability this year with both drivers than Ferrari.

          4. The macca on LH’s hands is very good in qualifying, but even in Australia you could tell the RB had better race pace. Had Vettel kept his grid position he would have won this even w/o Lewis retiring, so yeap, the best car.
            Add to that the fact his car was setup for the race and you can see why the fastest car today was Vettel’s

          5. @alelanze – lol, Red Bull have had the fastest car in India or Japan when they lock out the front row and Vettel pulls away from the field, but when Mclaren do the same, Red Bull still have the faster car?

            Astonishing level of double standards there, how when Hamilton takes pole, it’s the driver, when Vettel does it, it’s the car.

          6. Yeap, as seen by Vettel’s race pace today, the RB was the fastest car in the race and would have probably also been the quickest in quali if it weren for the brake issues.
            And yeah you need a good car and a good driver to take pole, that goes without saying, but on Vettel’s case in F1 he has yet to be tested against a top driver that would tell us much comes from the driver and how much comes from the car.
            I’m not saying he doesn’t have merit, i’m just replying to someone who said this would ‘silence’ his critics. Not at all ;)

          7. @alelanza – Nope, because as I said, people don’t turn around and say someone else has the fastest car when Vettel is leading like Hamilton did. That’s why your comment was a double standard- you’re just assuming RB have the fastest car no matter what actually transpires.

            And really, while Webber isn’t as good as Vettel, he is still a reasonable benchmark, and not much different to Jenson Button over the course of his career.

          8. They don’t because overall, for the past 3.5 years he’s had the fastest car

            Webber was marginally better than an old Coulthard who by his own recognition wasn’t very good at the end of his career

          9. They don’t because overall, for the past 3.5 years he’s had the fastest car

            Yet, for the 10 or so years before 2009, Ferrari and Mclaren were usually the most competitive teams. Maybe we should assume that they have the fastest car? Things change in F1. Just because Red Bull had the fastest car in 2011, doesn’t mean they automatically have it for every race in 2012, as your skewed logic is showing.

          10. @alelanza

            Yet, for the 10 or so years before 2009, Ferrari and Mclaren were usually the most competitive teams. Maybe we should assume that they have the fastest car? Things change in F1. Just because Red Bull had the fastest car in 2011, doesn’t mean they automatically have it for every race in 2012, as your skewed logic is showing.

          11. @david-a it’s probably not double standards just a result of him analising some of the data.

            Let’s get this straight: Mclaren have a very fast car but unreliable car. They can match RBR race pace more often. With some exeptions like last race or few first GPs of the season they lack little quali to RBR.
            RBR had very strong race pace from the start of the season and have a dominant quali pace in the second half. At the moment as shown in Abu their race pace is also probably the strongest (although we can say for sure cause of Hamiltons retirement).
            Ferrari had a poor quali and better race pace at the start but the car seemed hard to drive. Now they are matching Mclarens race pace but still lack speed in quali. Probably they started near the front row their pace would be similar to RBR.

            On that base I’m saying with full confidence that RBR are the fastest car overall.
            They are faster than Ferrari both quali and race. But lest reliable (alternator problems which seems fixed). They match Mclarens in race pace are faster in quali. Also more reliable than Macca.
            The fact that Mclaren was fast (probably fastest overall: dominant quali and matched race pace) in last race doesn’t make it a faster car than RBR and as we all know Vet car had brake problems so we can’t be sure how much faster Mclaren was.
            I am probably only missing the fact of clutch and kers problems on Mark’s car in judging RBR reliability…

          12. @arrang – But then there’s the claim about RBR having “dominant” pace vs. simply having frontrunning pace. Mclaren had 3 straight wins (and four poles) between Hungary and Singapore. That’s just as “dominant” as Red Bull were between Japan-India.

            I can understand that a car isn’t the best if its unreliable. But when people (elsewhere) claim that it is bad luck that has prevented Hamilton from running away with the title this year, it doesn’t follow that Mclaren haven’t also had the fastest car over this season, albeit, one held back by errors and bad luck, but still the fastest.

            Alelanza didn’t analyse the data, either. He/she basically said “because RBR had the fastest car in past seasons, they’ve had it for all of this season”, even when others win and take pole position.

          13. Oops, @arrrang , not “Arrang” :P

          14. @david-a Sure. I agree. Heads should fall at Mclaren, they did an incredible job lossing this year championship! I believe that their car did maintain his form through all the seasson in terms of speed of course. It was top from the start and still shows that in can deliever. I also think that at the moment RBR has the best car. Dominant? Not sure but probably not.
            I also do hope that Ferrari can do something with their quali pace so we can all have a great fight till the very end!
            RBR has construtors in the bag though..

          15. * so we can all enjoy a gret title fight till the very end! ;)

        2. It almost looked looked like Alonso’s win in singapore 2008. Just wow at that luck. O.o First safety car pushes him to 12 and by his fault pushed back to 19th. Then second safety car right after his stop following the elimination of 3 cars ahead of him pushes to 4rd with fresh soft tyres ahead of his opponents. He drove well but luck was on his side this race by a huge margin.

          1. First safety car pushes him to 12?!? In what universe?

          2. He was already in 12th position when first safety car came out. He was ahead of the 3 cars involved in the second crash.

        3. And yesterday he didn’t have any luck at all. Get over it.

          1. The luck on Sundays is the one that counts if you insist.

        4. Michael Brown (@)
          4th November 2012, 16:57

          If you look at all the other drives from the back, like Senna in the 1988 Japanese Grand Prix, he had the best car as well (the one that won 15/16 races).

          People can’t give credit to Vettel when it’s due. I’m sure those same people gave it to Raikkonen for this win, Alonso for Valencia, Button for Canada last year, and so on.

          1. Button and Alonso have had worthy team mates and never have had the best car for 3.5 years in a row. So yeah, Vettel is making the most of the situation as a great driver should, but so far when it comes down to F1 we only know he’s better than Bourdais and Webber, which basically puts him above average. Maybe one day we’ll find out how good he really is :)

          2. @alelanza

            I have a feeling that we will never really know how good Vettel is as he seems to be better than almost all the drivers on the grid except for Alonso and Hamilton. Unfortunately he’s never going to be paired up against Alonso or Hamilton… as these 3 drivers belong as #1 drivers in the top 3 teams on the grid.

      3. @alelanza Going to go out on a limb here and say I thought the only really “great driving” I saw from Vettel was when he overtook Button, that actually made me laugh in admiration. But he clumsily hit Senna by not giving him room and he nearly rammed another Australian driver under a safety car.. (remember Fuji..?) Ricciardo wasn’t braking that hard, it’s lucky Vettel didn’t hit him but there were two very, very clumsy incidents before he lucked it with the safety cars and pit stops.

    2. Alonso has been incredibly lucky in the past also (Valencia is the immediate example that springs to mind). If Vettel hadn’t been sent to the back of the grid I think he would have had a great chance to win this.

      1. Agree with that, but you feel Vettel must have just used all his luck for this season and next. Amazing how everything except his own mistakes (at least three) went his way.
        Still to a large degree you make your own luck and he made the most of this race without question.

        1. @bbt – he’s cashed in his lost luck from Valencia!

        2. if anything his own mistakes made his race. forcing him into what turned out to be the ideal strategy.

          its not knocking him. its a fact that he made 2 errors. The change in strategy meant he never really had to overtake anyone of note except for button and romain.

          Great recovery. but thats what it was recovery. the errors cant be ignored. That is all part of the game tho.

          1. @Q85: Which 2 errors? What “ideal strategy”. Its not very ideal to almost crash because RIC totally unprovoked brakes on the middle of a strait during SC period and VET had to pit and change the front wing, comming out 19th. At least he didn’t hit RIC or the wall. But as I stated yesterday today wouldn’t change anything for the most stubborn Vettel haters. Another forum member stated that even if Vettel raced up through the field on a Unicycle they would still claim that he can’t overtake. The first frontwing contact is just those things that can happen in a tight race.

          2. I agree with you, it was a solid drive, but he foolishly clunked Senna and nearly hit Ricciardo under a safety car (can I say Fuji??) which was more Vettel’s fault than anyone.

  9. Cheese and rice that was good!

  10. Race? What race? More like a comedy of errors. I suppose the Vettel fans will be out in force now telling us that this proves he’s a great racer… I’m still not convinced. It was a good effort no doubt, but RBR spent hours tailoring his car for the conditions & even then he only managed to get as high as he did thanks to the misfortune of others, & a great strategy by his team (as usual). Again, good performance from Vettel & team RBR making the most of the situation, but it did little to change my opinion of him to be honest. Now… where did I put that flak jacket………..

    1. Hmmm. An overtake on Button to you seems transparent.

      1. Nobody is saying his race was not good. But not that impressive. He was on fresher tyres when he overtake Button.

        1. Fresher soft(faster) tyres that is. Nevertheless, I ranked the Vettel’s pass on Button second best after Alonso’s move on Webber in the opening laps.

    2. great racer? – did he make more than 10 overtakes to gain 21 positions?

      1. How is it possible to make 10 overtakes and gain 21 positions? To do that, he must have passed 2 cars on average for each overtake! Yes, pedantic, i know!

        1. Erm, because at least 4 or 5 drivers retired when he was behind them, and then he moved up to second when 3 or 4 cars in front of him pitted. So he got past them, but didn’t overtake. Not difficult to understand.

          Vettel drove well, but Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton before he retired were more impressive to me. Vettel was incredibly fortunate at how the two safety car periods fell.

          1. @debaser91 Four or five cars? Which ones? If you’re refering to the Grosjean / Perez / di Resta / Webber incident, Vettel was already in front of them all. The only incident he benefited from (on track mean, I know he had ridiculous luck with the safety car timing) was the Massa / Webber tangle.

          2. @Guilherme actually, he benefitted from hulkenburg/senna on the first lap, then rosberg and di resta pitted for a puncture. As well as de la Rosa starting behind him. That’s P19 after the first lap by doing nothing.

          3. Not to mention the fat that Hamilton dropping away in front of him gained another spot and Maldonado’s KERS issues meant he wasn’t as hard to get past either @guilherme, @minnis.

            But I certainly wouldn’t say he had it easy or did not deserve it, its how sometimes things just somehow fall into place. Feels a bit like how Alonso suddenly drifted to the lead and took the win in Malaysia, somehow it was meant to be (could say the same for Kimi winning here.

          4. @bascb Ah, yes indeed, I knew he benefited from Hamilton, somehow I just forgot to write it down there. About Maldonado, the fact that he lost his KERS also helped Alonso, let’s not forget that :P

            @minnis Hm, you’re right, but we have to remember that Vettel dropped back to 21st after his first stop, so he had to overtake Senna and di Resta again.

      2. And he did it twice in the same race!

    3. Sour grapes eh?

    4. To be honest, I agree to a point – things couldn’t have fallen much better for VET on Sunday (given the circumstances from the previous day). It was certainly a very good drive, but a lot of good luck was involved.

    5. Like I said… and it is just my opinion, after all… when your team has had hours to tailor your car specifically for overtaking (while everyone else is stuck in parc fermere), and most of the people capable of putting up a fight get crashed out or retire, and you benefit from two safety car periods AS WELL AS SACRIFICING MARK WEBBER, it doesn’t prove much of anything. Vettel admitted in the interview that it was easy passing the slower cars. He only mentioned his pass on Button to be difficult. This race did absolutely nothing to change my opinion of him relative to the three drivers I consider better (Alonso, Hamilton & Kimi). It took more than one stroll in the park to rate them as highly as I do, so naturally it’s going to take quite a bit more than this to change my mind. I never said he’s a bad driver… I admitted that it was a good drive, but you must’ve missed that part. In the grand scheme of things though, nope… I’m still not convinced he’s a good as the other three.


        I don’t have anything against you’re opinion, after all it’s yours, but what are you on about here?

        1. Obviously you missed the part where they pit Mark to get him out of Seb’s way.

          1. It was time for Mark to pit anyway. Perhaps they brought it forward by 1 lap – if so, it’s a common-sense decision and I’d have done it too.

            The only difference is, instead of telling Mark “if he overtakes, don’t fight him” – I’d have told them both “just focus on going quickly; Mark’s in at the end of the lap anyway.”

          2. They were in different strategies, Vettel was closing in and it was about time Webber pitted anyway. I find it funny that you accuse Red Bull of sacrificing his race, when Webber himself screwed it over within the first 9 corners.

          3. Felipe, you’re a bit to close to Fernando

          4. It wasn’t a criticism, it was an observation. You all are expecting me to give credit to Sebastian for overtaking half the field… I’m contending that he had a rather easy time of it in the end, not criticizing Red Bull for making an obvious call.

          5. No it wasn’t time for Webber to pit anyway (that was in another 2 – 3 laps when clear of the cars he ended up behind), he was pitted to get out the way Absolutely no doubt, I’ve agree with Aldoid on this one. I also noticed Webber went quicker when told not to fight Vettel if he got a run, it was only then the ‘box box box’ message came. Don’t blame them, but lets not pretend that is wasn’t the case.
            Still an extremely good drive by Vettel, made the most of it.
            Again the likes of Kimi, Vettel, Button, Alonso, Hamilton showed they are streets ahead of the rest. So many silly incidents among the rest, and Webber did the same mistake twice, so much for leaving a car width, how that wasn’t penalised is beyond me.

          6. they pit Mark to get him out of Seb’s way.

            They pitted Webber to get him in front of Maldonado, and it worked:

            2012 Abu Dhabi GP tyre strategies and pit stops

        2. Looks like mark was true to his words when he said in india that he wont be giving the position to vettel.But this time vettel was faster then webber ,the last thing for webber is to take some championship contender out,let alone his team mate.I guess the RBR team panicked and called webber in just bit early so that vettel will not have to pass him.Webber has to negotiate the traffic as soon as comes outta pits but he already had a rough race…I dont mind him being scarified for vettel ,Webber is just lucky to get away without penalties to nite

      2. every car on the track is tailored to their respective drivers,and that so called tailoring is done according to the inputs given by the driver,you have to agree vettels doing an awesome job.

    6. Totally agree! Seb’s first stint certainly wasn’t good. The needless incident with Senna (& Daniel too later on) and the safety car periods. He was super lucky but he obviously drove well, no arguments there. But no I’m not convinced that he’s a “great” racer. He’s one of the best defensive drivers out there but not the best attacking.

      Anyway, very happy for Kimi & Lotus. The iceman has finally cometh…

      1. My opinion is it was a good drive from Seb…but i dont change my opinion that he isn’t great when he’s not at the front! Clumsy pass on Grosjean or senna damaged his wing. Then the incident with Ricciardo which was 100% sebs Fault and he loses the plot on the radio (similar to the Karthikeyan incident start of the season) he didnt have to overtake a lot of the midfield cars because of retirements etc and that would have been the real test for him! So yeah great drive but VERY lucky to get 3rd! Doesn’t change my opinion of him as an out and out racer

    7. I suppose the Vettel fans will be out in force now telling us that this proves he’s a great racer…

      And the Vettel haters will keep telling us that this proved nothing.
      Its always the same isn’t it?

    8. It’s a shame Seb is about to be three-time WDC, when there’s at least three better drivers than him in the grid.
      Guess it goes to show that F1 (unlike many other sports) is really multi-faceted.

      1. It is a multi-faceted sport, but in that case, how are you so sure that three others are better?

        1. They should all enter the Paris Bercy kart race to decide who’s better

    9. & a great strategy by his team (as usual)

      I agree, the decision to undefuel his car was pure brilliance. I wonder why they haven’t done this before.

    10. People are still trying to dismiss Vettel’s talent after he’s just gained 21 positions from his grid slot! If I’m right in saying, that is tied with the most positions gained from one’s grid slot in the history of F1! Even Alonso hasn’t done that.

      1. alonso tends not to start near the back often.

        and when he did. suzuka and hungary i think you will find he did quite all right thank you, and did it on the track.

        check out hungary 2006 first 5 laps onboard before making judgements on alonso overtaking.

        1. Same with Vettel. In fact, he gets criticised for start on the front row so often.

          But when he started near the back today, and in Belgium (2 out of just 3 times since Brazil 09 when he’s not been top 10 in quali), he did quite alright as well, performing overtakes along the way and setting FLAP today.

      2. He even admitted himself he had a relatively easy time of it in the podium interview, that is until he got to Button. He was so incredibly fortunate today with the timing of the safety cars today, without the 2 safety car periods he would have done incredibly well to get in the top 6. There are other examples of this happening, like with Button in Canada and Alonso in Valencia but it was not some outstanding skill from Vettel that got him to third.

        I’m not having a go, I think Vettel is a great driver and he drove well today, but he has had much better drives this season in my opinion. Bahrain where he was defending from Kimi and Grosjean in a slower car, Valencia until his alternator failed, Spa and take your pick from the last 4 races before today.

        I’m sorry but there were 8 cars on that track he did not have to work to get past, the normal backmarkers and the two Toro Rossos. Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Rosberg retired, Massa spun out of his way, Red Bull pulled Webber into the pits early, Schumacher and Senna had no pace so were basically sitting ducks, so that leaves Button, Grosjean and Di Resta as decent overtakes once you factor in the positions he gained when everyone pitted around lap 25. Also factor in he was on the quicker tyre for the vast majority of the race, and the circumstances certainly came together for him perfectly today.

        1. And the fact that his team spent hours setting his car up for overtaking when everyone else’s car was stuck in parc fermere… he definitely was lucky today. There’s no shame in being lucky, but I just don’t agree that it was as masterful a drive as the more ardent Vettel supporters do… not a criticism, just a difference of opinion.

        2. I completely agree with this. I think this race was actually one of Vettels’ weakest performances this season despite the end result but for some reason a lot of people seem desperate to lavish him with praise for it.

          It’s as if people are only observing the difference between starting position and finishing position and immediately jumping to the conclusion that such a surge through the field constitutes some gargantuan feat of sheer brilliance without actually paying attention to how the race unfolded.

          Frankly, Vettel was very fortunate in this race. Following his early incidents with Senna and Ricciardo I was antipating a flurry of derisive comments about how he is a one trick pony that can only race from the front with a dominant car but in the end it seems his podium finish convinced a lot of people that the opposite is true.

          I don’t think Vettels performance this weekend should be categorised in such polarising extremes, nor does a single race prove or disprove any doubts pertaining to his ability when racing amongst the pack.

          Overall, it was a decent race for Vettel and an exceptional result. His pace was extremely competitive as we have come to expect and his overtake on Button was also commendable but he blundered twice in the early stages of the race and had a great deal of fortune as debaser91 mentioned.

    11. If the car really was that good, why wasn’t Webber as fast as Vettel then? Surely if the car really was that good, the Aussie would have taken this one with ease. But instead, he was never on course for even a podium position. How do you explain that then?

      1. Well, as soon as someone explains to me why it’s difficult for team Red Bull to get to grips with Mark’s clutch issues, I might try to have a go at explaining why Mark doesn’t do as well as Seb.

    12. every car on the track is tailored to their respective drivers,and that so called tailoring is done according to the inputs given by the driver,you have to agree vettels doing an awesome job. …..

    13. @Aldoid: You must be hard to convince. 2 x World Champion and in last race gain 21 positions.

    14. A lot of luck and a team mate hell bent on driving for the black and white yellow flag(s)! Some might sat a real team player….like he said, “Gambling, in my house, my father didn’t tolerate it.”

  11. Interesting race that one. I enjoyed it. 8/10

  12. Absolutely brilliant race, constant excitement and tense finish. In terms of the title, it could have been better, but I’m not complaining about this race. One of the best this season, at the very least.

  13. Looks like Valencia and Abu Dhabi will be the 2 most exciting races this season.

    1. don’t count out Brazil! or even Austin tbh

    2. The irony!

    3. Had somebody said that at the beginning of the season he would’ve been lynched.

    4. Ssshhh.. before someone starts murmuring about some conspiracy theory!

  14. Easily the best race of the year. This was fantastic! Everyone who trashes Vettel as someone who just gets lucky with his cars needs to shut up now.

    1. Actually, Vettel was really, really freaking lucky. He started last, finished 3rd and yet the only impressive overtake throughout the entire race was the one on Button, and even then he was on fresher tires. Don’t get me wrong, he impressed me and certainly drove very well, but you can not deny the fact that almost everything seemed to fall into place perfectly for Vettel.

      1. You clearly fall in come when he was overtaking Grosjean Twice!

        1. Grosjean said he had fuel pressure problem during the race. Too bad, because I just wanted to compare the results of Grosjean and Vettel.(of course until Grosjean crash). At the battle moment they had same tyres(fresh) and they had same strategy. This would have been a good picture of Vettel result.

      2. As lucky as anyone else who has ever come through the field.

        1. The safety cars did help him a lot by closing up the field and putting on the tail of the guys in front…. twice.

          Not saying he didn’t drive brilliantly but the safety cars did help him to get in contention

    2. It was sheer luck and brilliant RBR strategy. Absolutely nothing special from Vettel. Fastest car (after all night tweaks), two perfectly timed safety cars and at least 5 drivers ahead of him out, even Nakajima could’ve landed a podium or at least 4th.

      1. The only drivers that Vettel benefitted from that he may have had trouble with were Hamilton (leading the race, he wouldn’t have caught him), and Massa (fighting with Webber). He was ahead of the Grosjean/Di Resta/Perez/Webber group, since he passed Grosjean, and was faster than the rest. I know luck played a part, but don’t insult Vettel by saying “Nakajima” could have got 3rd from 24th.

        1. He was ahead of the Grosjean/Di Resta/Perez/Webber group, since he passed Grosjean, and was faster than the rest.

          You’re forgetting that he got there after the 1st SC that fell into his lap.

          1. He passed Grosjean, and was faster than his teammate.

          2. You’re forgetting that he had to change his front wing during the first one, which put him at the back of the field again.

        2. with that amount of luck hamilton would have won in vettels car , probably alonso as well

          1. @lebesset – Get real. Luck played a part, but Red Bull were not the fastest car this weekend, and Hamiton/Alonso wouldn’t have won in the Red Bull this weekend, from 24th.

            We could even twist it and say Alonso couldn’t even pass Petrov here in 2010, and Hamilton was “only” 8th in Spain with a decent drive this year (in what was the fastest car in quali). Different circumstances, perhaps, but still nothing to support your insulting view.

        3. You have somehow discounted Pedro dl Rosa starting from the pit and the 3 4 guys out / having to pit after the hairpin who he did not have to fight his way around though @david-a

          1. @bascb – Ok then. But the luck that played a part in Vettel’s drive does not justify dumb comments like “even Nakajima could’ve landed a podium”.

          2. @david-a, I agree with that. It was lady luck shining lending her fickle hand to Vettel, but he did make it work with a gutsy pass on Senna and a hard job done passing Button some of the highlights of that drive.
            Maybe just about everything going wrong for Webber this race was the price Red Bull had to pay!

      2. @rits I understand you must be angry about Vettel’s luck, but get real. As I said up there, Vettel was already in front of the mess that caused the second safety car. Yeah, he got the position from Massa (which he would have had anyway) and Hamilton, but that was about it. He was fourth after his second stop and no one behind was going to catch him.

        And for the goodness’ sake, he didn’t have the fastest car. Second fastest maybe, but not the outright fastest. Why on earth when Vettel does well, it’s the car, but when Hamilton dominates on the clear fastest car, it’s his sheer skill? No one ever credits Hamilton’s performance to his car, a fact that is just baffling when you consider that when Vettel does well people say it’s always the car.

      3. On the same track where Alonso couldn’t pass Petrov for 6th for two year ago?
        And don’t tell me RBR with broken front wing is better car then one Alonso had back then.

        1. No DRS in 2010 maybe??

          1. @chemakal
            F duct doesn’t sound familiar. Of course you can make thousands excuses, but 6th place! Not that mighty impressive.

          2. F-Duct? Do me a favour. DRS prevents the car in front from stalling the wing, no? In 2010 if Petrov and Alonso both had the F-Duct they cancel each other out. Counseled.

  15. Action off the line. Hard and (usually) fair battles on track for position. Fast cars coming through from the back the field. Key contenders in a tight championship battle in the thick of it. Overtaking that didn’t depend too much on KERS or DRS. Contrasting tyre strategies. Incidents. Unpredictable. Surprise winner. Sensible stewarding. Little teams getting a chance to shine.
    This was everything a Formula 1 race should be. 10

  16. Absolutely fantastic race. Best of the season.

    It was a pleasure to watch World Champion drives from Kimi, Lewis, Fernando and Seb.

  17. Think this one is going to be one of the highest rated since this poll started. I think I could agree with it, as it was probably the tensest race I’ve witnessed. There were exciting incidents and on track racing, which were brilliant, and a fantastic drive from the entire podium. Plus, Kimi’s messages, and now on the podium, were also brilliant.

    Gets a 9 from me as it was a great race, but -1 as my driver got robbed of a possible victory by a ridiculously unreliable car. Every race makes me more glad he’s leaving McLaren, as he seems to be becoming a better man for it, looking more relaxed, and I think this challenge will be so good for him. He may not be winning next year, but that’s not the biggest issue.

    Anyway, great race, and weirdly enough much like Valencia, on a track which doesn’t normally produce great racing.

  18. 10 – great race – not the result I wanted though

  19. 10/10 for Kimi’s radio messages and the awkward podium swearing by him and Seb
    the race was almost as entertaining

  20. I gave Valencia a 9, because there was no real charge for the lead. Based on that logic, I had to give this one a 10!

  21. That race was absolutely exhilarating!
    Quite simply the race of the season.


  22. What a race! Nail biting, my feet were sweating from the start. Finally, the so expected win from Kimi happens. I just can’t wait to see the race in COTA. Should be awesome.

  23. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    4th November 2012, 15:17

    What a stunning race.

    I can honestly say there was never a boring moment. We had chaos at the start, and following that, loads of nice battles near the top of the order. The horrific shunt between Rosberg and Karthikeyan paved the way for a bunched-up field, while Hamilton’s retirement and the many collisions made for a massive dose of unpredictability. There were innumerable tangles about the midfield – Vettel’s run-in with Ricciardo, and the chain accident of Perez and Webber. Not the best racing per se, but undoubtedly exciting.

    The closing stages of the race sealed the deal. You had four world champions duking it out – Alonso pushing to catch Raikkonen, Button and Vettel dueling professionally. The tension was unbearable before and after Vettel’s pass on the McLaren, while Alonso chasing down Raikkonen had me on the edge of my seat.

    And to cap it all, a feel-good victory – Raikkonen finally clinching that elusive comeback win with a very measured drive, and some hilarious team radio moments along the way. Never thought I would give a perfect 10 to an Abu Dhabi race, but the last 2 hours just proved me wrong.

    1. Sums it up very nicely, I think ^_^

  24. 9. Was going to be 8, but the podium made it better! :P

    World-class drives from all the top three!

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      4th November 2012, 16:38

      In the wrong order!

  25. this race will stir a lot of juicy controversy.


  26. one less safety car and it would be 10!

  27. Is there a poll for the best post race interview? Because, this was surely it!

    1. Drop Valencia!
      4th November 2012, 23:20

      Schumachers last interview where he waffled on in english instead of german actually made kimi smile, unbeliveable, but it was cut from most english speaking broadcasts, that was my favourite, i think Seb was just trying to out-Kimi Kimi here.

      1. HAHAHAHA….. Seb out-Kimi’ed Kimi for sure! Classic! Thanks man, best comment ever on here!

      2. Yeah, you could feel it wasn’t necessary and felt awkward. Just stick to being yourself next time, Seb.

  28. this race proved nothing about vet. he made one overtake against competetive car – button and also with fresher softer tyres. he made 3 quite big mistakes and only thanks to competarors crashing out and 2 sc he finished 3rd.

    1. Proved nothing because he’s already shown time and again that he can overtake and beat others.

  29. I think everyone is going to be baffled that Abu Dhabi of all places produced such an exciting race. But what would F1 be without Kimi and his epic replies. On another note, Seb just used the f – word in UAE which is an offense, enough to get you deported. Also I don’t think your’e allowed to swear on tv right? Reprimand for Seb?

    1. Oh but mainly, the race was fantastic. I think if a formula for a perfect F1 race were to be devised then , lead changing hands, battles for 1st 2nd and 3rd, few good overtakes, some silly mistakes thrown in with a safety car and some hilarious radio chatter should be it. That said all of the champions drove like champions. Lewis must be thinking that he can not get out of McLaren fast enough and McLaren must be looking at Perez and wondering what the signed up for. Looks like Maldonado dropped his bad driving skills and Sergio picked them up. And most important, The title fight is Still Alive.

    2. Raikkonen swore as well on the podium, think he said something like ‘you lot give me’ **** for not smiling enough’ haha. Raikkonen winning has just made my weekend, those radio comments just reinforced why I am such a fan of his.

      His race engineer is nervous and petrified, I imagine he’s not won too many races in the past; and then Kimi on is just so relaxed, like there’s nothing to worry about.

      1. as he was kimi’s race engineer at McLaren I imagine mark slade has seen a few victories in his time

      2. I caught that as well, Kimi saying that you give me a lot of ****. Funnily enough when Kimi says it, it feels appropriately placed :) ! But I just loved the radio exchanges between Kimi and his engineer. They should make it mandatory to transmit at least 2 exchanges per race.

    3. and the man should also keep it simple and short during interviews

  30. Suspicions confirmed by Abu Dhabi: Kimi does care about winning; Fernando’s car isn’t fast enough to win; Vettel and RBR deserve this championship; Button is a true racer; Lewis is right to try a new team… And these guys (+ few others) are in a league apart from the crash test dummies behind them!

    1. Mercedes still didn’t score any points, and the McLaren was (as usual) faster. So I don’t think you can say Lewis is right to move just because his car failed.

      …on the other hand, the way he skipped across the track and then shook Whitmarsh’s hand makes it look like he’s a whole lot happier than he has been lately. So from that point of view, it might be a good move. I wish him luck.

    2. COTD contender? IMO it is..

  31. A race that didn’t have it all and that panned out to be not so great for the championship fight (contrary to any expectation) but, it’s been a complete thrill from start to finish, a strategic challenge from lap 1 to lap 55, and a race that got the best and the worst out of almost all the drivers on the grid. It also delivered a surprise winner, a couple of runner-ups who fought till the very last lap and almost a straightforward fight between the two championship contenders. I can’t rate such an event lower than 9.

    Who would have thought Valencia and Abu Dhabi will host the most chaotic and intense races this season?

  32. Kimi’s got a bit of talent..gets the job done minus the ********…awesome

  33. Never thought to say this, but Abu Dhabi was EVEN BETTER than Valencia! I love Formula One when it’s upside down!

  34. 8 out of 8, as good as it gets around this rubbish track. Action packed race but I’m glad it finished when it did – the field was spreading out to the usual train 1 second apart round here.

  35. I Love the Pope
    4th November 2012, 15:45

    Great race – 10. DRive of the year by Vettel.

  36. safety car or not, if this race doesn’t prove (or close to prove for the fanboys) that Seb can drive, folks who doubt should rather watch something where all cars are matched. .YES the safety car helped, but that was just superb. No doubt that Alo / Kimi drove great as well.

    Also, i think JB and Alo should create “an idiots guide to overtaking” for those drivers who were involved in those accidents. .this race really separated the dumb ones from the upper class, in my opinion.

    1. I agree mixwell, but I think it should be Raikonnen creating the guide.. he is the perfect example of a driver who knows when to back off and when to engage!

      1. In terms of close wheel-to-wheel action involving overtakes and defensive driving I think Button, Raikonnen, Hamilton and Alonso are noticably better than the rest of the field in no particular order. I can’t objectively identify any single driver amongst these four as superior in this discipline.

        Button and Raikonnen are very comparable in terms of risk taking and consistency during close wheel-to-wheel action, always hard but fair with exceptional awareness of proximity to their rivals in situations that could easily end badly.

        Hamilton and Alonso are also comparable with each other in my opinion. They both tend to take slightly bigger calculated risks than Button or Raikonnen, meaning more frequent truly amazing overtakes but also a few more costly collisions in the long run.

        This is why we can experience epic racing without incident between these drivers such as the start of the Indian GP.

  37. This is a super drama. I have never expected such an interesting race. It feels like a nicely scripted race movie. Top three drivers of the 2012 get the podium at the end.

    Kimi’s radio talk was amazing!! He is a bully on the track and this gives him energy.
    I am so happy the no driver got hurt, I was so scared for Kartikayen. These stunts are only good in movies.

    At the end, it has been a nice end entertaining day.

  38. Yas Marina has treated us to an epic race (if not an epic battle for the championship). The track is actually quite good but the problem lies with the fact that the race is held towards the end of the season which means, teams have cracked the tires and also we still get some good battles.

    Remember, not all tracks in Europe considered, “historic” have had elevation changes! Even Silverstone doesn’t provide too many exciting races (barring tire wear and rain), yet it is liked due to it’s history.

    I think Abu Dhabi gives good races and certainly far better than Valencia.

  39. It seems as if they put all of India and Korea’s action, plus the leftovers from Japan and added it to the tension that Abu Dhabi brought! 10/10

  40. It’s been an exciting race, but not an enjoyable one as a Lewis supporter. This, just like Singapore, was an almost certain win for him, and he’s denied the spoils through no fault of his own. It’s been a painful season to be honest, and this is just one of many disasters that have seen his title hopes perish. I still believe he’d have been the victor come the end, had he not suffered so much at the hands of his team and machine. I suppose that’s just racing. I think he also hit the nail on the head in regards to Vettel’s drive in his interview with Sky Sports. He said Vettel has to be the luckiest guy in F1. His driving at the start was appalling, much like Webber’s later on, and he gained about 30s over the rest of the field thanks to the Safety Car and his own embarrassing stunts behind Daniel (has he forgotten his braking behind the SC in Singapore so soon?) which prompted him to pit and set in motion his gains towards a podium. Not a great drive if you look at the facts. He lucked out. That is all. Anyone who says otherwise is just a fanatical fool. I wouldn’t be proud of that drive from Lewis or Fernando. I also think it’s worth pointing out that Martin, Damon, Stefano and Lewis all referred to it as good fortune, as opposed to some display of extreme talent from Vettel. That says all you need to know. I also didn’t much care for his imitation of Kimi on the podium. Was there any reason either had to swear? Let alone Vettel, who doesn’t normally use that type of language and his use of which just came across as copying Kimi at that time.

    So, not happy in terms of the drivers I support (Alonso’s brilliant efforts masked by his failiure to reduce the gap to Vettel by the necessary amount, thanks to Vettel’s copious fortunes during the race), but it was one of the best events this year. I think it’s a nine out of ten from me. Happy for Kimi to finally get that win, I suppose.

    1. So as an Hamilton fan you only have 3 lines to talk about Lewis, but need about 20 lines to talk down Vettel’s performance in order to feel confident in your belief of Lewis’ superiority ?

    2. @goodyear92

      I wouldn’t be proud of that drive from Lewis or Fernando.

      I seriously doubt that. In fact I’m fairly confident commenters like you would be extatic if Hamilton (or Alonso) had done what Vettel did today. Just look at the reactions on Alonso’s drive in Valencia. Lucked his way to third, passed Grosjean with was the only impressive pass of Alonso that race and then got gifted the victory when Vettel retired.

      Nothing wrong with the comments on Alonso for Valencia. Something wrong with using a different yardstick to measure Vettel’s performances though.

      1. +1 the grapes are sour for James. However I also think it was a pity for Lewis, especially because I foresee that it was his third last chance of a victory for quite some time.

        1. +1.. but the grapes for many here it seems (not just James).

  41. I think it would have been an 8/10 race, but because it’s so close to the end of the season, it felt more exciting than that. I always think it’s a shame when a runaway leader retires, but I’m delighted with Kimi’s win, and what happened on the podium will live long in the memory. So I’ll give it a 9. Just about the best race of the season; Canada had been my favourite up to now because of the battle for the lead there.

  42. 10. It was awesome, everything worked perfectly.
    Retirements, accidents, great overtakings, underdog (more or less) victory. The DRS worked pretty well, I’m surprised. Sensible choices by the stewards.
    And all this on one stop.
    Who would’ve thought!

  43. 10/10 Great race and a great victory for master Kimmi! Everybody happy with him! Vettel also shows why he is the best driver to be world champion this year!

  44. HOLY MOTHER! What is it with 2012? The two absolute worst tracks on the calender has produced some of the greatest races of the year? How is that possible?
    The DRS here does go to show that this track is fundamentally flawed. Even with very long DRS zones it was still barely possible to overtake, but at least it was that. Barely possible. Every DRS pass felt real, the drivers had to fight, they had to take the duel right into the corner and try to gain control over the position. So maybe the tracks with the worst overtaking spots is the track that work the best with DRS?
    Anyway, the DRS worked, plenty of action, drama, Kimi winning, but he had to put up a fight to get there, Vettel carving him self through the grid after starting 24th. Am I right in saying that this has equalled Emmo’s record of 24th to 3rd? And then of cause a great qualifying session with lots of surprises and a great pole lap by Hamilton.
    Some pretty nasty accidents though. Luckily all drivers were fine.
    Just plenty of action all around.
    I am sorry, I hate to vote Abu Dhabi so well, because as a race track it stinks, but this race just has to be a 10. It was just had everything really. And all that, despite a VERY conservative tyre choice.

    1. Am I right in saying that this has equalled Emmo’s record of 24th to 3rd?

      Yes, Fittipaldi did the same thing at the 1980 USA West GP. Excluding Indy 500 results, this was the 7th biggest gain in position. The last time someone gained 21 places or more were Lauda and Watson at the 1983 USA West GP. The record is held by Roberto Mieres, who gained 26 places at the 1954 British GP to finish sixth.

  45. Well this will not shut the Vettel Haters, will it? just for the few who attribute the drive to safety car, here are the facts:
    After Safety Car 1: Vettel changed front Wing and was back to P21
    Before Safety Car 2: Vettel moves up to 4th even after pitting.
    If anything The Safety car only let him close up to Button.

    Happy to burst your Bubble :)

    1. A bit like Button in Canada 2010 really, with all sorts of things going wrong, then a streak of luck and pulling something out of the bag in the end.

      I don’t think Vettel proved he was one of the bet of the current crop today. He’s already done so in the past few years.

  46. 10/10 My grading is based on two things: the entire weekend was littered with excitement, which started right after Q3. And it simply never went away: every single lap of the race I was sitting at the edge of my seat, dying to know what was going to happen next! The second reason was the battle for the lead, that -in all fairness- should not have been there would Hamilton not have had that fuel/engine problem.

    But looking at the real racing: there was none. At one moment, I genuinely thought I was watching the local fancy fair bumber car competition, or worse nascar. It began at the start: I think that was Di Resta’s error, because he was on the middle of the track with three cars to his right – give some space, would you? Rosberg’s shunt was frightening to watch. Webber was making a mess of it, and I think I’ll just keep my mouth shut about the Perez/Grosjean mess.

    On the other side, Vettel was very, very determined to prove to all the Vettel critics (Hamilton for one) that he can race and is a worthy champion. And I think it’s fitting that with all the carnage around him, Raikkonen was the one that kept his head cool.

    So, no real racing, but a lot of excitement. And though I’m a bit disappointed as a racing fan, I couldn’t resist giving this one a 10.

  47. 10 for me and I rarely vote. 2 safety cars, super drive for Vettel, Kimi finally back on top of the podium, lots of wheel to wheel racing, contacts and crashes, change from day to night, etc. Quite pleasant change from a track that was expected to produce a boring race. Can’t wait until Austin!

  48. gave it a 3, epicly busy race but horrendous for the championship… and so glad lewis is going to be away from the garbage team that mclaren has been all year

    1. You’re basing the 3 on the fact it’s bad for the Championship…

      Except, it’s “Rate the Race”, not “Rate how good this Race is for the Championship.”

      Any excuse to give it a poor rating, aye?

  49. 9/10. It had it all! Mega race!

  50. Race = 10/10
    Result = 11/10

  51. Vettel has never performed so many overtakes in one race! He has definitely proven that he can race with not being at the front. Driver of the race.

    1. he gained 3 places before he even left the pit exit, he then crashed, and ran into a marker during SC, then when the race got under way he passed far slower cars (in a redbull that had been altered pre-race for straightline speed), then was gifted both places and time from everyone getting tangled up in each others wheels.

      Not sure what was great today, other than his move on Button, who was fair with his space.

      1. I Love the Pope
        4th November 2012, 18:30

        Face it, Vettel silenced his critics. He can drive and is deserving of his two (and soon to be three) world titles.

  52. 10/10 .. absolutly amazing race!

  53. A solid 8 to todays race, I was glued on TV all race long. So happy for Kimi, he trully deserves this one.
    Alonso also did a good race, he couldn´t have reached much more.
    I think that Vettel´s performance is being over rated, during the race we saw him only passing the slower cars with the exception of the move on Button, but with much fresher tyres. He got very lucky with all the crashes and safety cars being deployed. I would have given much more credit to his race if he had to pass the Saubers, Force India, Mercedes, etc.
    I was impressed with Perez race, he was having great pace but that reckless return to the track…

    1. I guess the vettel detractors will never be happy. When button, Hamilton or alonso come from the back of the field it’s a brilliant drive, but Vettel is lucky.

    2. 2 avoidable incidents and two free pit stops to help him? His overtake on Button was superb, I’ll give him that and he did have to work for it but without timely safety cars and other drivers taking each other out he’d be nowhere near the podium. But you have to give credit to vettel from pit lane to podium finish thats one great drive …well as they say ” fortune favours the brave” it was balls to the wall kinda driving

      1. The second of those “avoidable incidents” was actually a case of good reactions from Vettel. So often, it a driver slows down unexpectedly then the one behind will plow right into them (e.g. Rosberg today, Schumacher a few races ago). However Vettel managed to avoid a collision. It’s unfortunate that there was a flag there by the side of the road, but hitting a flag is much better than taking two drivers out of the race.

        The first was a little reckless, and I thought “what a fool” when I heard he’d lost a wing to a back-marker, but watching the replays it was a pretty tricky situation. With hindsight, perhaps he should have backed off and let the other two race, but I don’t think there are many drivers who would have made that decision in that particular circumstance.

        1. He lost it against Senna, who isn’t exactly a back maker (Maldonado was P3 and may have had much better finish w/o a Kers issue).

    3. @pnunocosta

      Maybe you should watch the race more closely next time. Vettel overtook Di Resta without DRS and Schumacher sometime later in the race. And I’m fairly certain he overtook a Sauber somewhere as well seeing as he passed about 2 dozen cars. Yes, most were DRS passes but with the track as it is, there’s really not much area for passing outside those zones.

      Your comment is not surprising though. Most people will never find Vettel impressive. Even if he starts from the back, in reverse, with 3 wheels and a blindfold and still takes good points.

      1. Depending on which wheel was missing, starting in reverse might actually make things easier. So you’d still hear people saying he was lucky.

        Today, he was lucky. He also had a really quick car – it’s hard to know just how good the qualifying laps were, but as Vettel’s was specifically set up for the race, it was quite possible in a better set-up then the McLaren.

        And despite all that? It was still a really good drive. Vettel went like a rocket, just like he’s been doing for the last two years now. That’s why he scores so many points… for pure speed, he’s the best racer on the track.

  54. I rated a 9. Would’ve been 10 if I wasn’t angry about Vettel’s annoyingly good luck.

    1. @rits

      I agree. If only he hadn’t been disqualified from qualifying. He would have won the race in normal boring fashion.

    2. I Love the Pope
      4th November 2012, 18:32

      Vettel didn’t need luck. He needed skill, and that he has in spades. Best drive of the day from the best driver on the grid.

  55. 10 on paper… But
    -0.5 for Hamilton retirement. ( HAM-RAI-ALO is a better podium in any order )
    -0.25 for championship disappointment , knowing Vettel is going to walk away with WDC for third time in a row
    -0.25 because race was two laps shorter ( Alonso – Raikonnen battle would have been nice)
    Therefore 9 .. Best race of the year, no doubt

  56. what went wrong with mclaren when they stop making pit stop blunders ,now the car had reliability issues…they just cant get it right.They need to produce a very fast car for next year to have any chance otherwise no grip button and brother chico will be nursing the Tyre and getting accolades from the commentators for smooth driving style but wont be getting any podium

  57. A race that does its name justice, a Grand Prix.


  58. 9, as a Hamilton fan, yet another squandered result. Mclaren obviously need a sponsor to replace tooned on their rear wing, maybe they should approach The RAC to see if they are interested. Great race though.

  59. I gave it a 10. Very rarely has a race had so much going on all the time. While Vettel stormed through the field twice, Alonso, Maldonado, Button and Webber were dicing with each other. Then there was the crashes, fighting throughout the field, drama, controversy, and final amazing last laps with Button and Alonso, Vettel and Button, and finally Alonso and Raikkonen. Breathtaking!

  60. From the Foreign & Commonwealth office on Abu Dhabi: “Swearing or making rude gestures is considered an obscene act and offenders can be prosecuted. Offenders have, in the past, received six-month jail sentences for such acts, and some have been deported.” So Seb & Kimi – 6 months in the Middle East for you then?

    1. and some have been deported

      Uh-oh. The worst case scenario. :)

    2. Alonso was technically swearing as well; it wasn’t meant as an explicit gesture, but he still technically did it.

    3. now that would be a twist – Seb thrown in jail waiting to be deported and Alonso wraps up his 3rd WDC … lol

      1. A REAL twist would be if BOTH of them went to jail and Raikonnen gets it haha..

  61. Was going to vote a 9, but then thought ‘what else would you ever want in a grand prix’?! Lots of action, big crashes and some top-class driving by world champion drivers! Perfect 10!!!

  62. It’s awfully subjective isn’t it? If this had been the first Grand Prix ever at Yas Marina, we would all be raving about the track; the overtaking possibilities, the brilliance of the design.
    As it is, it’s taken tweaking of the DRS zones and a Red Bull cock-up to give us probably the best race all season.

    From Hamilton’s point of view, today’s outcome probably explains exactly why he is leaving MacLaren.

  63. 9/10 – great race, not so great result. I would’ve given it a 10 if it wasn’t for some appalling driving from the likes of Webber, Perez and Grosjean. Expected better from Webber especially.

    1. What the **** did Grosjean do wrong?

      1. @infinitygc Didn’t give Rosberg enough space on the first lap. And then forgot to check his mirrors and turned back into Webber after the contact with Perez (which was Sergio’s fault).

    2. Yeah sadly I thought he was a bit disappointing as well… He just needs to get more reliable starts! Once he does that, he’ll be fine, but choosing the right time to pass people isn’t his strong suit…

      1. It’s funny when Webber is starting right in front of Vettel (Korea) or right behind (India) and has a Webber start and ends up or stays behind Vettel, it’s because of some conspiracy by the team against him. Today he had no excuse and I’m sure Webber, the Team and Vettel all wanted Webber to get a blazing fast start and be in the lead (doing that thing Vettel does – run away from the race from the front). In stead he ends up in the clutches of Alonso for an easy DRS overtake and also ruined Button’s start as well, causing Button to go wide into T1 and lose a spot to Alonso.

        It’s also funny that he doesn’t want to relinquish his spot to Vettel in the race when both of them are on entirely different strategies (it’s never a problem for other teams to have on driver let the other one go if they are on different strategies in the race).

        I guess another conspiracy theory could be that Webber doesn’t want Vettel to win, but is secretly helping his good friend Fernando. :)

        1. Interesting thoughts, but Webber seems to f… up almost half his starts for whatever reasons – clutch not warm enough or too cold or not enough revs when the lights goes out or whatever. I’m sure Keith will tell us again that it is highly unlikely that anyone would make a slow start on purpose.

  64. 8/10
    Exciting race, seriously annoyed with Mclaren for letting Lewis down AGAIN, it would have been his race, and he behaved impeccably,but still edge of the seat stuff.
    Brilliant drives from Kimi and Fernando, couldn’t quite decide who I wanted to win, Kimi because he deserves a win or Fernando because he would have gained more points toward the championship.
    Webber was awful and should have received a penalty for the Maldonado incident (great drive from Maldonado too), and would definitely get my vote for worst driver of the race. Perez? …. well all I can say is good luck next year Mclaren, well done Senna and Grosjean involved in incidents but not of their making, and as for Sebastian Vettel – not bothered about any comeback on this, my opinion and I’m entitled to it – what a spoilt, attention seeking little brat, clips Senna in his impatience not to be at the back with the underdogs, ignores the rules, to pass Grosjean off the track, spits his dummy out over Ricciardo stopping and starting in front of him behind the safety car, when he did exactly the same thing to Button in a previous race ( I wonder if Ricciardo received a similar telling off from Helmut as an earlier TR driver did, for upsetting his little Golden Boy).
    He didn’t deserve third, it was pure luck, Hamilton’s retirement, a fortunate pitstop to change a front wing, damaged by his mistakes and two safety cars, without those he may well have managed some points but not as many as he got, and as for the performance on the podium. 1. Kimi won, should he have not gone out first?
    2. Verbal diarrhoea …. in 3rd??
    3. Family viewing, yes maybe Kimi shouldn’t have sworn, but it’s Kimi and it wasn’t a really bad one, however, when have we ever heard Vettel swear on the podium, or in an interview …..hmmmmm smacks of trying to be cool (comes naturally to Kimi …sorry Vettel), and trying to impress/grab all the attention, as did the tipping the bottle over poor DC’s head (Fernando the professional as always on the podium), sad, sad, sad.
    Glad Rosberg and Karthekayan were Ok after that nasty crash!

    1. Drop Valencia!
      4th November 2012, 23:33

      Agree with 3, made a 10 a 9 for me, too try hard.

  65. Voted 8/10. After Hamilton’s retirement, there was a gap in the action, but fun race, even if I couldn’t fully enjoy Kimi’s win due to Seb in 3rd. Vettel is good, has a good car, but man, the prospect of him being a triple world champion was a dark shadow over the race.

    1. I Love the Pope
      4th November 2012, 18:35

      Coming from a guy with an icon of a 7-time world champion.

  66. Michael Brown (@)
    4th November 2012, 17:01

    We’re not rating it based on Vettel’s performance. The whole race was better than Valencia was.

  67. 10/10 for me. Strange that two of the worst circuits on the calender have produced arguably the best races of the season! Great to see Kimi on top of the podium again (great radio messages from him too!). Fantastic performance from Vettel, he was very lucky I’ll admit but it’s not easy to come from 23rd to 3rd, especially with that mishap during the first safety car period with Ricciardo. Plenty of drama with Grosjean, Perez etc. and Hamilton’s retirement. Those last few laps were absolutely nail-biting with Alonso going faster than Raikkonen and me praying that he’d get past (Yes I’m an Alonso supporter). It was really edge-of-the-seat stuff. The championship isn’t as close as I hoped it would be before the lights went out but Alonso is still hanging on and let’s hope for an exciting climax in Brazil if the title isn’t wrapped up in Austin.

  68. For all those people who are saying Vettel was lucky..

    -Qualifies P3, has a fuel cell problem due which he has to stop the car, which also did not allow FIA to pump the required fuel out of it. Hence sent back to the back of the grid
    -Car heavily modified for raceday implies he has not driven in that configuration at all before, plus cold tires in the beginning due to the wait in pitlane.
    -Loses bit of front wing but still climbs to 12th
    -More damage to the front wing during safety car period , to the back of the field again.
    -Moves upto 2nd due a combination of overtaking moves and people pitting around him
    -Pits again and comes out 4th after which SC bunches up the field
    -Overtakes Button and finishes 3rd.

    I think that sums up his weekend pretty much. Of this the only lucky gains in position are
    1)Hamilton due to retirement
    2)Massa due to his collision with Webber

    Looks like more bad than good luck to me.And also, all this was done at track which is not known for its overtaking possibilities with the car in a configuration that he has not driven at all before the race.

    1. I’d definitely agree. Sadly, Vettel could save humanity and drive the best race ever all in one race weekend and people would still complain.

      He did a good job today. Came through the field not once, but twice. Yes, he was a bit scrappy. He ended up on the podium. Not sure what else he could have done to be honest…

    2. Vettel could save humanity and drive the best race ever all in one race weekend and people would still complain

      Not complain but be unconvinced, because:
      He’s an illegitimate heir to the throne :D
      The only thing will ever save him is teaming up with either Kimi, Alonso or Lewis and beating those as teammates.

      1. Kimi was teammates with Alonso or Hamilton when?

      2. I Love the Pope
        4th November 2012, 18:37

        Kimi – one world title. Seb, two (soon to be three) world titles. Hammy – one world title. Alonso – two world titles.

        Seb is better than all three.

        1. Because world championships define how good a driver is.

          I guess Gilles Villeneuve is massively overrated and Hill and Button are massively underrated.

          1. I Love the Pope
            4th November 2012, 22:24

            Its a big part of it. As far as these guys go, I think Seb is clearly better.

          2. @davef1 – Indeed they don’t tell the whole story. But Vettel over his career has been an often dominant force, and has shown that he can drag midfield machinery to fight for positions it has no right being in.

  69. Awesome race. Gary Player said “the more I practice, the luckier I get”. Vettel kept on pushing and because he was pushing made some mistakes\ had some bad luck.

    This is the reason I watch F1.

  70. Fantastic race 9 outta 10!!!
    Yes Vettel had more luck than the proverbial irishman but still a great drive none the less…
    Well done to the Iceman and the Lotus team, about time too, one of the highlights of the season for me
    I’m a Mclaren fan and seriously worried for next season’s constructors challenge…Perez is a liability, i’m fed up with the man ruining races for other drivers…yet again he’s slap bang in the middle of it all…shocking

    1. I Love the Pope
      4th November 2012, 18:38

      Rarely do drivers win without some luck. Seriously, get over it. The kid can drive and he will soon have more titles than Alonso.

  71. A sidenote on Vettel’s performance.

    I thought about it a lot to be as clean and unbiased as possible.

    …a blend of great driving, superb strategic work and pure luck with safety-car interventions saw Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel retain his championship lead with a strong third place after starting on medium tyres from the pit lane.

    Formula1.com wrote. All three was important, as I’ll outline, so I see no point in debates like ‘he was just lucky’ – ‘no, he drove the best recovery drive ever’. Because all of this is only partially true.

    Great driving. Yep. Without doubt and sarcasm. He drove from 21th on lap 20-something to 3rd by lap 55 executing a number of good passes.

    Superb strategic work. I doubt it was intended to be as superb as it eventually became, but by doing an enormous undercut for fresh softs on lap 20-something made way for passing half of the remaining field indeed and secured 4th. I doubt it was intended, because I think it was scheduled later, only brought forward because of Vettel messing up one of his several good passes – the one on Senna – and damaging his front wing in the process. Had he stay out longer, he would not have benefitted from the second SC, see below.

    Pure luck. He had de la Rosa, Rosberg and Hulkenberg, the latter two strong midfield runners, voluntarily out of his way by the end of lap 1. (He had di Resta and Grosjean too, but his own messed up overtake on Senna and a subsequent early stop meant he had to tackle them anyway.) Hamilton by lap 20-something. The first SC had the field bunched up, making recovery easier. The Maldonado/Webber and Massa/Webber scraps ensured they would be behind Vettel after his second pit stop. The second SC secured 3rd by removing the need to recover the 25 secs, he was behind Button after his second pit stop. He was a bit unlucky with Ricciardo slamming the brakes in front of him, possibly damaging his wing even more.

    That’s what I think. All in all, I think he drove superbly, but almost everything played onto his hands. Putting it another way: almost everything played onto his hands, but he drove superbly. Depends on what one wants to emphasise.

    1. @atticus-2

      All in all, I think he drove superbly, but almost everything played onto his hands. Putting it another way: almost everything played onto his hands, but he drove superbly. Depends on what one wants to emphasise.


  72. I’ve been waiting 3yrs for this day! As a Kimi fan, the last 15 laps were nerve wrecking and lots of lots of on track action. Best race of the season.

    1. Kimmi deserved this one!

  73. I’ve seen fewer crashes in a 500 mile NASCAR race

  74. First time I have voted 10, it was really exciting and great that Kimi won.

    Such a shame for Lewis, he most likely would have won.

    For those that missed Kimi’s radio comments:

    1. I Love the Pope
      4th November 2012, 18:40

      Ham winning lights to flag would have made this a less-than-10 race.

    2. “Okay Kimi, next car behind you is Alonso. Alonso five seconds behind you. I’ll keep you updated on the gap. I’ll keep you updated on the pace.”
      “Just leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.”

      “Okay Kimi. We need to keep working all four tyres, please. Keep working all four–”
      “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I’m doing all of that. So you don’t have to remind every second minute.”

  75. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    4th November 2012, 17:43

    Absolutely fantastic race to watch – so much stuff happening! Unfortunately the driver who deserved to win the race is Hamilton but McLaren worked their magic again. Congratulations to Renault and Kimi! A fantastic drive from Alonso taking the fight to Kimi in the last 2 laps and an absolute shocker P3 from Vettel who gained 21 positions through an equal measure of car pace and sheer luck. The crash between Rosberg and Karthikeyan with neither sustaining any serious injury – that was a lucky one!

    Questionable Moments:
    1. The umpteenth technical issue with Hamilton’s McLaren since announcing his departure.
    2. Webber’s tackle on Massa was very much out of form and it did end up netting 2 points for Vettel along with 2 points from him.
    3. Toro Rossos making way for Vettel while fighting for position.
    4. Perez making another big mistake.

    1. @freelittlebirds

      2. Webber’s tackle on Massa was very much out of form and it did end up netting 2 points for Vettel along with 2 points from him.

      I disagree. With Maldonado Webber was totally at fault cutting across as if Maldonado wasn’t there.
      With Massa however Webber left plenty of room and Massa clearly understeered into Webber.
      Button and Vettel showed how it should be done. Fair and square.

    2. @freelittlebirds

      Webber’s tackle on Massa was very much out of form

      I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Massa had said to Ferrari he wanted to pit, presumably his rear tyres were going off, but on more than one occasion he was told to stay out. If they hadn’t perhaps he wouldn’t have spun the car so easily.

      Clearly the stewards saw nothing wrong with Webber’s driving either.

  76. 9/10 for me.

    Best race in a long time. Had a bit of everything. It was nice that the tyre or DRS were not mentioned every lap but still important…. nice balance.

  77. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    4th November 2012, 17:48

    The race proved Alonso and Vettel, any of them, deserve the championship. And as a bonus Kimi WON!!! a 10 in Abu Dhabi Wow unbelievable!!!!

  78. billbranch (@)
    4th November 2012, 17:49

    Unfortunately, the safety car played a big role in the outcome of the race. Without the safety car, Vettel might have broken into the points but definitely would not have podiumed. As he showed after the race, he’s a boorish lout and not fit to represent F1 as champion.

    1. That is a bit harsh. But I agree that VET podium was a result of multiple other driver flukes that came in his hand at the end (or should I say RBR tactics in the end).
      It is a impresive result from back to 3rd but was it a impresive drive by Vettel? I say no. I saw a frustrated boy for half of the race who behavied as he should get in front- where he belongs. It was like 2012 for Alonso when he couldn’t overtake Petrov. The difference is Vettel has a great (not to say domminant) RB8 set up for the race and this year we had two DRS zones. He almost took Senna out (high chance of puncture), almost crashed into Toro Roso behind SC, overtook GRO outrack (he seems to never giveup). That makes me feel like: great result for him but not quite sure he deserved with his driving today.
      I’m far from VET fan but I do consider him as in the same ligue as RAI, HAM, ALO, MSC.
      Am I the only one that thinks WEB was driving like a nutcase today? (I am a WEB fan though)

    2. God forbid we get another James Hunt winning the championship then

  79. watching Formula 1 since 1995 and I am giving this 10 out of 10. It is definetely in my top 5 races since then. It had everything. A surprise winner,safety cars, crashes, overtaking, drama,Vettel had an incident under the safety car and even Raikkonen and Button made people laugh with the team radio. pure quality and superb drives from the top 5 drivers. Senna did well after the 1st corner incident too. Delighted for the Iceman. Superb driving this from him after missing out the last 2 years

  80. The best Abu Dhabi GP so far. It was both exciting and eventful, and frankly, I can’t imagine how it could’ve been much better. So 10/10.

    Strange how Valencia and Yas Marina, two of the worst circuits in the calendar, made the two best races this year.

  81. It seems the worst tracks now produce the best racing… too bad COTA seems like a decent circuit!

  82. Great race and great finish. 9/10. Would have been nice if Alonso could have challenged Kimi a bit more strongly.

  83. 10. It really did have everything! Drama, talkning points, incidents, some good overtakes and a fantastic conclusion. Kimi winning, those radio messages and that podium interview was simply the icing on the cake. Race of the year.

    Who would have thought the two best races of 2012 would be at Valencia and Abu Dhabi? I think Bernie divided by zero somewhere along the line.

  84. 9,interesting that I voted Abu Dhabi & Valencia 9,who would have thought that at the start of the season?????????

  85. One of the best races I’ve ever seen.

  86. An epic race that reminded me – after the last couple of dull races – why I love F1. An easy 10

  87. Trenthamfolk (@)
    4th November 2012, 19:15

    Safety cars gave Vettel is position… after many mistakes and a team FAIL… he is lucky he has a fast car underneath him…

    He looks a bit unwashed, and rumors about his excessive partying aside, rough around the edges. If he wins the championship, the trophy belongs to Adrian Newey…

    And these Europeans have fowl mouths!!!

  88. Driver of the day was Kimi for me, brilliant start and managed to keep position even with 3 faster cars behind him after the second safety car restart. Also good job by Vettel who did some brilliant overtaking to get a podium finish
    never thought i would say this but Abu Dhabi is the best race this season

  89. After the race, as I’ve become used to doing, I was thinking of the vote I was going to give here. I’ll keep my planned rating for later.
    I was very let down by the many crashes during the race, whether the drivers were actually at fault or not (only Perez was penalised, and I didn’t agree entirely with the decision). Hamilton was leading the race comfortably with Raikkonen easily 2nd and Alonso who could do nothing to pass Maldonado. Nothing happened, while Vettel passed the backmarkes with his DRS.
    Then Rosberg crashed with Karthikeyan: very scary, luckily there were no consequences for the drivers, but the safety car helped Vettel quite a lot.
    Then Hamilton retired: I felt incredibly sorry for him despite him not being one of my favourite drivers. His luck while leading races has been missing in a while. On the other hand, I was lucky Raikkonen was finally leading a race.
    Then Maldonado caused Webber to spin, but the stewards decided not to hand the Venezuelan any penalty. I can see the reasoning, but I felt he was at fault.
    Then Massa spun after hitting Webber: a moment of confusion, spiced things up a bit.
    Then there was that bizarre crash between Perez and Grosjean, with Webber unlucky to be hit. And again, the safety car came at a perfect moment for Vettel to take advantage of the situation. He deserved every single position he had earned, but things went too easily for him.
    Alonso completed one nice overtake, on Maldonado; Vettel did so on Button who also did so on Maldonado. The rest of the finishers had some good and some bad races, but nothing particularly entertaining.
    I was very excited all race long: however, I believed it was more due to the championship situation than the race’s thrill, and I planned to write: “my heart says 7, my head says 5”. Perhaps 5 is too harsh, after all there were plenty of good overtakes and a some crashes, who caused the result to be curious, although today I was particularly unhappy with the incidents. Vettel had the opportunity to make for a great show in recovering 21 positions but it didn’t happen. There were a few turnarounds, but only Hamilton’s was shocking enough to cause the ratings to increase; and even then, the race result looked fake.
    I’m happy for Raikkonen’s result and for Alonso’s; not happy for Alonso’s result in comparison to Vettel’s; happy for Vettel’s result. I don’t think I’ve been deceived by my personal preferences, but I’ll give this race a rating of 7 out of 10, which is more than I though initially, because perhaps I’ve been blind. Perhaps I should’ve been convinced to give it more by the percentage of people who did so, but I decided to follow my own ideas to a certain extent.

  90. As for the race, too many dumb mistakes by too many drivers (or even by Wrecking-Crew Webber alone) and no scrap for first (plus the retirement of the guy who should have won) make it impossible to give this a 10. That said, it was an edge-of-your seat contest, so I give it 9.
    As for Vettel, it was a great drive. But we can’t know how good he is until we see him in a car that is NOT faster than all of the others. Period.

    1. @troutcor: But we saw that already in his first F1 race, in the US, as a stand in for Kubica in the BMW Williams: Vettel ended 7th, and took the car at least 3-4 places higher than was expected. I clearly remember that I was very impressed with him, and I hoped BMW Williams could keep him. As it turned out Red Bull saw the same as I did, and he went the right way, BMW did not.

  91. Normally I spend this race oohing and aahing at the beautiful facilities, the marina, the boats, the lights, the hotel, the pretty colours on the track lol . . . . this afternoon I don’t remember seeing any of these things, it was such an exciting race, great drive from Seb with luck on his side, I gave the race a 9.

  92. 8/10. Very exciting, but
    -1 No dice for the lead by WDC contenders
    -1 Alonso let Kimi get away at the restart
    -1 Webber goes off track then makes Massa spin, no penalty
    +1 Kimi’s radio messages

  93. Great race. 9/10 Glad to see Kimi win a race & loved his radio messages. He’s a real character, the sport could be doing with more like him. I remember him yellling at his race engineer at Ferrari over the radio ‘don’t talk to me when i’m in the corners!’ Classic

  94. WOW. an 8 for me. great race. really shows what makes an F1 race exciting these days (without various tyre strategies)- LOTS of crashes. Retirements. Overtaking. Memorable Radio transmissions. Battles near the front. Close finish. Championship TENSION.

  95. 9 for the race… it was TOO BAD that Hamilton has to have AGAIN a fistfull of bad luck, for the race to be rated good… Maybe if he DNF and won.. it won by a boring race… Some guys have all the luck… other none… Happy for Kimmi and Lotus – it was time for the first one!

  96. DelendaEstAmbulando
    5th November 2012, 0:31

    Just 5.Exciting race full of incidents, but precious little real, solid racing: Sebastián vs. Jenson near the end, Fernando’s first lap, and that’s about it. A gallimaufry of poor, amateurish driving (including Seb’s two collisions) . And we were denied of a furious scrap for the lead: Kimi needed the win, and Fernando the points. But the race finished a couple of laps too early.
    I don’t quite understand how could Kimi pull away from Fernando so easily after the last SC, when a few laps later Fernando was steadily gaining on him. Possibilities:
    -Kimi’s tyres were going off by then (unlikely, everybody else’s seemed all right) or maybe Kimi felt he already had enough of an advantage and relaxed a bit.
    -Fernando’s tyres were too cold after the SC (but it took several laps until they recovered- seems way too long)
    -maybe Fernando was deliberately holding back so that Jenson could use DRS to defend from Sebastian? I know it sounds quite contrived but an intriguing radio message did point in that direction (we heard Stella’s answer but not Fernando’s question). If it was so, Fernando must be regretting it now: Sebastian finally overtook Button anyway, and Fernando squandered his chance to overtake Kimi and win the race.
    Maybe Fernando was too clever for his own good, but I guess we’ll never know. But if anybody has a better explanation about the sudden reverse of the relative speeds of Fernando and Kimi in the last few laps, I’d love to hear it.

  97. Lots of action. But too much of the action was a result of poor driving or poor reliability. 8

  98. Wow. I rated a 9.

    There’s a lot of vitriol coming from a lot of other sites regarding Fernando Alonso, but I’m glad this F1 site has much cooler customers.

    In a lot of ways, this race in my opinion didn’t prove anything about Vettel’s ability to race. If anything, it showed me just how dominant his car really is. He made more than a couple of mistakes from his charge from the back of the field, but still wound up on the podium due to a little luck and the massive speed of his RBR (and his fantastic engineers’ ability to tweak the car once out of out of parc ferme).

    No disrespect to him, but to those who said this race proved he really can race, I submit that Vettel has already done that in past races. This race, for me, really showed what a great car he has, and the team’s and his ability to fight back. I have massive respect for Vettel, and he did a great job today. But in my opinion, and to borrow a quote from another poster on this site, Alonso is this year’s “People’s Champion”. I honestly believe Red Bull and McLaren still have the faster machines. This race showed me that the Ferrari is just a cut above the Lotus, in the right hands.

    Great race for Kimi. I’m not as much as fan as I was before he shoved that track marshal way back in his McLaren days, but seeing him win was good for the sport and his supporters.

    1. @f1americana

      I’m glad this F1 site has much cooler customers.

      Hear, hear.

  99. I know I’m going to be in the extreme minority here, but the lack of respect between drivers ruined the race for me. I want to see hard driving, but I want to see fair driving. This looked more like amateur hour than the best in the world. I gave it a 3.

    1. I agree. Even some I hold in high regard as racers seemed to make contact; generally when they seemingly didn’t have much respect for the guy they were overtaking (or being overtaken by).

    2. Well pointed out. Half the guys were driving like absolute cowboys. I mean just look at Vettel’s overtake on Button – you couldn’t place a finger between their tyres (it took me a while to realize that I was in fact holding my breath), yet they both came out clean, positions exchanged. Champion stuff. Massa and Webber at the same corner – noobs. Perez, Grosjean and Webber at the next corner – well the less said the better. Rosberg and Karthikeyan – well I don’t really understand what on earth either driver was thinking, so I’ll leave it alone.
      Drivers nowadays seriously lack respect for one another. And I think the astronomical safety of these vehicles has given them a sense of immortality, freedom to toss their car into a gap smaller than their talent. I’m not saying that these guys should face physical injury – but a few black flags could certainly do the trick. This is the highest class of motorsport, and these guys seriously need to tidy up.

      1. Rosberg and Karthikeyan – well I don’t really understand what on earth either driver was thinking, so I’ll leave it alone.

        Karthikeyan had hydraulic failure and his steering seized, as explained in the race review:

        Raikkonen wins as Vettel races from pits to podium

        1. Appreciate the immediate clarification Keith.

          But that still doesn’t explain why Rosberg bundled up into and over him – did Karthikeyan suddenly slow down?

          1. It says in the article…

  100. So the question is, do I recant my COTD rant from Friday?


  101. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    5th November 2012, 3:23

    As David Croft said,
    “If that race didn’t make you happy, then nothing will.”

    If only Vettel hadn’t had so much luck.
    Alonso could have been 1st in the WDC going into Austin, and Lewis should have (shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’) won that race, just reliability issues for the Mclaren, so unfortunate.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      5th November 2012, 3:24

      But so glad that Kimi finally got a Win!

      Loved his radio messages ahah!

  102. someone has rated a 1 for the race!

  103. Very intense race. The 2 safety cars messed-up (or *****-up as VET said) the real race, but that is racing.
    Kimmi was impressive, ALO was excellent as well but I would like to see BUT at 3rd instead of VET. so the point differential could be less….
    Cross my fingers to have a close last two races in Austin and Interlagos !

  104. It was pretty much everything you wanted a Grand Prix to be – plenty of action, high drama, some great performances and that constant feeling that race was far from over, even as the cars entered the final corner. It probably won’t change opinions about the circuit in Abu Dhabi, but I think that even the strongest detractors of the event would be hard-pressed to criticise this particular race too much.

    However, there were two a few niggles that meant I couldn’t give it a perect score: firstly, Hamilton’s retirement. The Raikkonen-Alonso-Button-Vettel fight at the end was great, but with Hamilton in the mix it would have been even better, and probably would make the final race for the championship better still. Two, Red Bull deliberately calling Webber in early to get Vettel out of his way. As great as his race was, I think it’s really overshadowed by the way there are three other cars out there that will always move aside from him, sometimes against their will. And finally, Raikkonen’s attitude on the radio irritated me. I know he can be short and blunt at times, but he just came across as being rude when he cut Mark Slade off. As Martin Brundle rightly pointed out, the team was telling him to watch the tyres because the tyres weren’t all in perfect condition for racing to resume.

  105. My two cents on the issue?

    I’m not a Vettel fanboy by any means but I think this was a very good drive. Why? Because of his pace relative to Webber. He managed to keep up a VERY strong pace while coming through the field. He caught the back of Webber at a point where they both had one more stop to complete (and then pulled away when let through). His performace was good insofar as he was pushing for the whole race and as a result beat Webber in the sister RBR.

    All of this with the pressure of the WDC on his back. He was obviously flustered behind that first SC when he yelled to the Pit Wall, but it never really showed in his driving. He made one or two admittedly risky passes, but took his time with Button and executed it flawlessly. Great race.

  106. 6/10. The second half got better, but the first half was dire and really bought the score down for me.

  107. Solid 10 for me!
    I enjoyed this race so much
    Hamilton driving a ’05 McLaren, Vettel full attack on a ’04 Ferrari with all the luck from Micheal’s 1st part career and Raikonnen doing his “James Hunt” on Radio and podium!

  108. 10. superb race, made all the better by kimi’s win and classic radio messages – “just leave me alone. i know what i’m doing” & the “yes yes yes yes. i’m doing it all the time. you don’t have to remind me every second”. no doubt there were a few others that weren’t broadcast-able ;)
    add in his podium “not much really” & “you guys gave me ???? for not smiling” absolute star!!!

  109. 8/10. Plenty of excitement and great stuff from Kimi. A great Grand Prix.

  110. I gave this race a 9. The only reason I didn’t give it a 10 was because the lead was inherited through car failure.

    This race had everything and was so exciting to see what Vettel could do. Yes there was some luck in that but I think he well and truly made his critics quiet with the “he can’t overtake” line.

    Shame that Alonso couldn’t make more of Vettel’s qualifying problems though.

  111. 8/10 very entertaining. So im loving the fact seb its starting in the pit lane then he gets the contact from senna for being way to ambitious and im thinking yes that will slow him down. Then during SC period he seams to think other drivers should realise hes warming his tyres up and get out the way so nearly plows into the back of ricciardo and a clumsy manouver sees him destroy the rest of his wing on a marker board now im thinking surely he has to pit and ruin his race. After all this the dude still finishes 3rd? come on Karma why you take hamilton out the race and give vettel an easy time? No this doesn’t silence the critics and button made it way to easy for him. good race though shame the circuit is still pap. Bring on USA!

  112. I rated the race 8/10.

    The race war really interesting, with plenty of surprises, but I cannot rated it higher than that. It’s a pity that Raikkonen got his win because of Hamilton’s retirement and Vettel’s penalty. It’s also a shame we have seen so many incidents and too much cars which made contact. I think it’s because the track doesn’t leave a lot of space because it has only one racing line (despite being really wide). And having youngsters trained in GP2 doesn’t improve things : we have seen contacts from Maldonado, Perez, Grosjean and Senna : drivers graduated from GP2.
    But anyway, we have also seen many nice things, like the supreme drive from Vettel, and also some nice overtakings (when done without contact)

  113. 10/10 for me. This race had pretty much everything; close wheel to wheel racing, spectacular crashes, a brilliant recovery drive from the back of the grid (which I think will be looked back upon as the moment that Vettel effectively won himself the championship in 2012), heartbreak in the form of Hamilton walking dejectedly away from yet another broken car, nailbiting tension as the leader was being reeled in by Alonso, plenty of Kimi-isms both on the track and the podium, and best of all, DC looking like he was about to lay a Crazy Dave smackdown on Vettel for pouring fizzy rosewater over his head.

    Literally brilliant.

    Only thing which I did think could have been better was the direction of the coverage. During the opening few laps, Vettel managed to make his way up to 14th, and we saw pretty much none of it. All because of this unnecessary trend of showing us 50,000 replays of the start. I really don’t understand why they do this while there’s racing going on on-track, especially when we know we’ll get to see a bazillion replays of the start in the post-race analysis. At most, I think it’s something they could play as filler when the safety car is out, but to deny us the spectacle of Vettel cutting through the field in favour of showing us people driving away from the grid for half an hour is just unforgivable.

    But that doesn’t take away from the fact this was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever seen.

    1. @mazdachris

      Only thing which I did think could have been better was the direction of the coverage. During the opening few laps, Vettel managed to make his way up to 14th, and we saw pretty much none of it.

      As far as I could tell none of the onboard feeds were showing the race from Vettel’s view at the start. In the opening laps there seemed to be one just showing Hamilton’s perspective, which was fine though not half as interesting as being able to keep an eye on Vettel’s progress.

      1. Admittedly, I didn’t get to see the onboard feeds or the driver tracker because I watched the race on Sky+ in the evening (I was out looking at kittens..) but I do struggle to understand why we didn’t see any of it. We didn’t see him leaving the pits, we didn’t see him making his way through the pack, we didn’t really see anything. Considering his drive through the pack was THE story of the race during the buildup, you’d have thought that his car would have a camera jammed into every orifice and we’d be able to enjoy his overtaking from every angle in high definition digital crikey-vision.

        Instead all we got to see was Webber failing to operate his clutch properly for the 95th time this season.

  114. I gave the race an 8, but I was surprised that the most popular ratings at the moment are a 10 (36%) and 9 (34%).

    I was disappointed that Hamilton lost out on what seemed a certain victory due to another reliability problem, but I was glad that Raikkonen got the win.

    Early on I thought it would be another dull race the only difference to recent races being that it would be Hamilton dominating and taking a commanding win rather than Vettel.

    However as the race went on and we had various coming togethers, safety cars, Vettel charging through the field to get a podium and then Raikkonen holding on to win when it looked like Alonso may chase him down, so my personal rating steadily went up as the race went on.

    What stopped me from giving it a higher rating was a real battle for the lead, and for most of the overtakes didn’t really excite me as they were too one sided.

    As for the championship I think only a no score for Vettel or Ferrari somehow having the fastest car for the final races will stop Vettel making it three in a row.

  115. Definitely 10.

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