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Formula One
Abu Dhabi provides F1 cracker
Kimi Raikkonen wins first race since his return to F1 as Sebastian Vettel battles from back of grid onto the podium.
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2012 16:33
Kimi sandwich: Both Alonso (L) and Vettel (R) are battling to become the World Champion for the third time [AP]

The Abu Dhabi grand prix made up for the lacklustre Indian grand prix a week earlier by providing enough twists and turns to entertain the most avid Agatha Christie reader.

Even the author's creation, the elderly female investigator Miss Marple, would have struggled to predict the survivors of Abu Dhabi, let alone who would reign in the UAE. 

Everywhere you looked there was drama.

Drama at the front - saw Lewis Hamilton retire, drama in the middle - saw Mark Webber ran out of contention and drama, yes you've guessed it, at the end - saw world championship leader Sebastian Vettel start from the pit lane to finish on the podium.

With two safety car periods and after a large number of retirements, nobody was guessing the eventual winner as Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Pastor Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel vied for positions and points.    

And before the race, even fewer would have foreseen Finland's Kimi Raikkonen becoming the eighth winner of the season and claiming his first win for three years in F1.

Throughout the race, he was heard aggressively telling his engineers he knew what he was doing, and so it proved.

The 33-year-old, who returned to the sport this season after a two-year absence, grabbed his triumph after dominant early leader Hamilton was forced into retirement by a power failure on his McLaren car.

Vettel was just as happy with his day at the office as he battled to third place, behind Ferrari's Alonso in second, to cling on to the championship lead. 

It was an extraordinary 55-lap contest that included a rash of major accidents. Sergio Perez incited an incident on lap 39 that saw the retirements of both Webber and Romain Grosjean. Earlier Mercedes' Nico Rosberg had a lucky escape after he suffered a horrifying crash that saw his car leap over Narain Karthikeyan's HRT. 

Vettel's phenomenal drive, including clocking a fastest lap, kept him 10 points ahead of Alonso in the title race. 

The German leads on 255 points with Alonso on 245 and Raikkonen on 198. This was Raikkonen's first win since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix and his 19th career win.

He gave the Lotus name a victory for the first time since Ayrton Senna won for the original Lotus team in the United States in 1987.

But while the mystery of Abu Dhabi has been solved, a greater mystery lies in store.

With only two races left can Vettel hold on to his tender lead?

Over to you Miss Marple...


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Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
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