Kimi Raikkonen pulled off a surprise win in Abu Dhabi, beating title protagonists Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel...
Kimi Raikkonen: "I'm very happy for the team, and for myself also. You never know what's going to happen during the race; the safety cars made it quite tricky, but I've had similar races many, many times this year. Today we had a clear circuit to be able to use our speed. Perhaps we were not the fastest at the end, but we were quick enough and consistent enough to win so it's great for the team. We've had some difficult races in the second half of the season so it's fantastic to come back with a win."
Romain Grosjean: "I am very happy for Kimi as it's the win we were waiting for and it's an unbelievable result for the whole team. For myself I'm disappointed as I was running pretty well. It was a tight battle with three of us in a row at turn eleven, then Sergio [Perez] went off track at turn thirteen and came back on the inside at turn fourteen leaving me with no room to go anywhere else. Mark [Webber] then came from behind and we touched; it was a big shame. A great day for the team, but an unlucky one for me."
Fernando Alonso: "I'm happy with the way this weekend turned out. It's true that with Sebastian last, there was an opportunity to reduce the gap more significantly but it's equally true that our performance and our grid position could have seen us lose points in this Grand Prix. I repeat, they have the quicker car, we have the better team. Everyone fights with the weapons they have at their disposal: we will not manage to turn our car into the quickest of the pack with a wave of a magic wand, but we will counter their performance with the perfection of our team. The simulation put us somewhere between fourth and sixth and we finished second, therefore once again this was a more than perfect race, running at the maximum from start to finish. Sure, there were a number of unexpected retirements and two neutralisation periods that did not really come at the right time or suit us, but these are things beyond our control. We just had to stay focused on our race and that's what we did. Now we go to Austin, a new circuit for everyone: we have just had a taste of it on the simulator, but the track is something else. Let's hope we can get a good result and put on a good show in an important country like the United States. Tonight I will go to sleep thinking the glass is half full rather than half empty. We must be proud of what we have done, the work of the mechanics at the track and the engineers who tried to fine tune the car. I fought from start to finish: first with Maldonado, then Jenson and, in the end I tried to go and catch Kimi. I could not relax for a single lap. The best race of the year? It's still to come..."
Felipe Massa: "It was a difficult race for me. In particular, I suffered on the Softs because of more degradation than we had expected. On Friday, the long run seemed much better: we must understand what changed compared to two days ago. I had problems with the balance: understeer in the fast corners and oversteer in the slow ones. The duel with Webber was the vital moment, as it meant I lost a lot of places at a crucial point in the race. He tried to go round the outside of me and we touched. Then he cut the chicane and came back across the track, forcing me to spin to avoid hitting him. A shame, because I could at least have finished ahead of Kobayashi. In any case, I managed to bring home some points which are important for the Constructors' championship, as we have increased our lead over McLaren. At the next race, I too will have the technical updates that Fernando had here and we hope there will also be other ones to improve the car's performance. However, it's true that the track characteristics can alter the balance of power: here we saw that McLaren and Lotus were very strong, apart from Red Bull of course, but it's not certain that elsewhere it will be the same."
Sebastian Vettel: "It was a good race for us today, a big chance for Ferrari and Fernando, but we didn't allow it. I enjoyed it a lot today, more than anything. I damaged the front wing pretty early with Bruno, which was not ideal, but we were able to carry on and not lose too much. Then, during the safety car, maybe I didn't pay enough attention. Daniel was slowing down, just as I was warming the tyres and I got surprised. I had to move to the right and hit the DRS board, which damaged the front wing. It was the worst time to have to pit from P13 and start again at the back of the field, then I had to do it all over again, passing everyone from the back. In the end, to finish third on the podium is just fantastic."
Mark Webber: "Nothing really worked out for us today. I think we were strong, but we never got free air and it's difficult here with traffic; we saw quite a few incidents where people were trying to pass. Ultimately, in the incident that ended my race, I tried to go down the inside when the cars ahead made contact, I thought there was an opportunity, but then Grosjean made contact with my car and that was the end for us. Whatever we tried today, it just wasn't working out."
Jenson Button: "Congratulations to Kimi [Raikkonen] - he's a man of few words, but he's all about racing. He deserved this victory today. For me, it was quite a fun race. I had a few good battles out there - with Mark [Webber], Sebastian [Vettel] and Pastor [Maldonado] - and they were particularly good fun. But, unfortunately, I didn't have the pace in the car to take the fight to the leaders today. The car felt very different from how it had on Friday - I just couldn't find the grip, which was strange. And, at the end, I couldn't have kept Sebastian back - he was on newer Options [tyres], so it was impossible to get the same amount of traction from my older Primes as he was getting from his newer Options. Lewis's retirement meant we dropped more points to Ferrari in the constructors' world championship. That was a great pity, but we have two big races remaining in which to make up the balance."
Lewis Hamilton: "I'm gutted; I'd had really good pace all weekend and I feel certain we could have won today. I had a fuel pressure problem - it was very sudden, I was just entering a corner and the car just died on me. The only mistake I made all weekend was having a brief moment on lap two, when my brakes weren't fully up to temperature and I locked up into Turn Eight. After that, however, everything was going really well. The car was a dream to drive - I was cruising and still pulling away when I had my problem. Nonetheless, we'll have more opportunities in Austin and Sao Paulo. I hope we can get back to the front - I'd love to take a win or two more for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes before the end of the season."
Kimi Is Back On Top With Abu Dhabi Win
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