Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Sun: Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus

Sunday 22nd July 2012

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Sun: Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus

Sun: Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus

Fernando Alonso held off Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button to take third third victory in the German GP...

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: "It was a very close race from start to finish. We did not have the quickest car. McLaren and Red Bull had a little bit extra but not enough to get past. The team took a few strategic decisions that were spot on, at the time of both stops and I knew that I had to concentrate, especially at Turn 6, defending my position by using the KERS. Then, in the third sector, there was no room for overtaking. I tried as much as possible to manage the tyres at all times. Clearly, I didn't have a moment to relax but I think I was calmer than the team in the garage and on the pit wall and our fans sitting in front of their televisions! If I think back to where we were in Jerez, or Australia at the first race, I have to thank everyone at Maranello for the fantastic way in which they reacted to the situation. After yesterday's pole, in the wet, the car seemed to be very strong, as we expected. We must keep focussed, avoid problems with reliability or with the pit stops and I know that when it comes to that, I can count on the best team, a team that is used to winning a lot. All I have to do is think about driving and helping the team. I always want to give 100% and work day and night towards this goal. I don't want anyone to come to Hungary better prepared than me, physically or mentally or more motivated than me and I always try and win this competition that runs alongside the one on the track. I expect to go well in Budapest and there is no reason to be pessimistic. However, I am not forgetting that Red Bull and McLaren were quicker. I said that the month of July would be crucial, with 75 points up for grabs in four weeks and so far we have brought home 43, so we will try and finish the job in Hungary."

Felipe Massa: "It was a very hard race for me, conditioned by the problem at the start. I got away well, but then a Toro Rosso slowed suddenly in front of me and, despite trying to avoid him, I touched him with the front wing. I lost so much time coming back to the pits and my race was practically over at that point. The tyres worked well, matching our expectations. A real shame, because again today the car was very competitive, as Fernando demonstrated, having a perfect race to take a well deserved and great win, which is extremely important for him and for the whole team. Obviously, I am not happy today, but the fact that I can count on a car that is getting better all the time in terms of performance, gives me confidence for the rest of the season. We must improve the situation in qualifying, trying to start further up the order: it's the easiest way to avoid problems at the start, like the one I was caught up in this afternoon. I think we should be on the pace in Hungary, as has been the case in the last few races."

Red Bull:
Sebastian Vettel: "We had a decent race today although there wasn't enough pace when we got close to Fernando and we also lost a position to Jenson who had a good pit stop and came in earlier. A couple of laps before that, I lost some time with Lewis as he un-lapped himself. At the end of the race, Jenson's tyres were gone and we were able to close the gap again. It was then a question of when, rather than where, and I tried to outbreak him. He opened the break again and then was up the inside; I wasn't sure where he was, I couldn't see him in that moment, so decided to give enough space and went off line on the slippery paint and I was able to stay ahead and get past him. The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room. I have respect for him and I didn't want to squeeze him. It was good to be on the podium at the home race, but I have to respect the steward's decision."

Mark Webber: "I had no pace today and wasn't quick. I couldn't stay with people that I normally can, so we'll look into it and come back in Budapest. I'm disappointed, as I expected to get more out of today's race. Normally Sundays have been ok for me, but not today. After the first lap it wasn't too bad, I got Lewis, but after that I was just hanging on. This is a completely different track (to Silverstone), but we have to be quick in all conditions and today we weren't for whatever reason."

McLaren:
Jenson Button: "I had a really good race and really enjoyed myself out there. I made a good start, pulled off some good moves on both Nico [Hukenberg] and Michael [Schumacher] and had strong pace all afternoon. Sebastian [Vettel]'s pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state that you can't go off the track to gain an advantage. The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. That's because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando [Alonso], which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer.

"There are two strong positives to take away from today: firstly, although it proved very difficult to overtake, we're right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of speed. Our upgrade package is working well: if we can sort out qualifying, we're in the mix, and we'll have a really good chance of winning races this season.

"Secondly, although there's previously been some negative talk about our pitstops, the boys did an unbelievable job today. My fastest stop was a 2.31s - the blink of an eye, and, I'm told, the fastest pitstop in history. They were phenomenal and gave it absolutely everything today - all our effort is really paying off now.

"I'm already looking forward to Hungary - it's a special place for me, and I feel really encouraged that we can have another great race next weekend."

Lewis Hamilton: "My second-lap puncture was incredibly unfortunate: there was debris scattered across the full width of the track and I didn't have any option other than to drive straight through it. What's more frustrating is that, at the time, I was the eighth car through - so to be the one to get the puncture is just cruel luck.

"It was immediately clear that my car didn't feel the same after the puncture. However, after a few laps, I was able to adapt my driving style, and the car had good pace during the middle stint. However, with the damage to the rear, I think we were lucky to get that far, to be honest.

"At least I was able to have some fun out on track - my pace was good enough to be able to match the leaders during the middle stint. And that's encouraging for me, because we know our car's been genuinely quick this weekend. A big thank-you to everyone back at the factory for all their efforts to get a lot of new parts onto the car this weekend - every little bit helps, and we know there's even more in the pipeline.

"We'll put that pace in our pockets and take it to Hungary next weekend. I'm back in the car in five days' time - and that's the best possible news for me after a day like today."

Lotus F1:
Kimi Raikkonen: "We did the best we could today from the position we started. My start was okay, but then I think Lewis [Hamilton] had a problem in front of me and I had to slow down to avoid hitting the back of his car. This let Paul [Di Resta] through in the DRS zone and from there we had a big hill to climb as it was tricky to get back past. Maybe if we had found a bit more pace in the wet yesterday we could have started higher and pushed the leaders, but it is what it is. For sure we were hoping for a bit better here, but the car worked well all through the race and we still brought home some good points for the team so there are some positives to take to the next race."

Romain Grosjean: "We were on the back foot from the outset after the grid penalty and nothing went right today. It's a shame as I had a good start and took a few places in the first corner. Then on the straight there was contact and that was the race pretty much ruined for me. I'm not sure exactly what happened - we'll have to look at the on-board footage to get a better idea - but my car was badly damaged with a broken front wing and a puncture. By the time I managed to get back to the pits the race was as good as over. You never want to have these kind of weekends, but it happens. It will make us enjoy the next good race even more."

Related Links
Alonso Wins Three-Way German Thriller
Sunday's Pics From Hockenheim

Vettel's Maiden Ferrari Run

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