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Vettel grabs F1 title with Abu Dhabi win

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-10 12:57 PM
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Vettel grabs F1 title with Abu Dhabi win
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel is the new world champion, and the youngest in history, after a gripping Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel led from the start and only surrendered the lead after his tyre stop, but the outcome of the championship was effectively decided on the opening lap when Mercedes GPs Michael Schumacher spun and was mounted by an unsighted Tonio Liuzzi. As the safety car came out, Renault crucially pitted Vitaly Petrov, as did Mercedes Nico Rosberg. Both stops would later play key roles.

When the racing resumed, Vettel opened a lead over McLarens Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who had beaten Ferraris Fernando Alonso off the line. Red Bulls Mark Webber chased the Spaniard, but would be destined to spend a cheerless afternoon struggling in the Ferraris slipstream.

As Vettel controlled things, Webber pitted for Bridgestones harder rubber as early as the 11th lap, with Alonso following suit four laps later. But as they fell into the midfield behind Petrov, Hamilton did not stop until the 23rd lap, Vettel the 24th. That put Button into the lead, but as Vettel resumed behind the man he replaces as champion, Hamilton was crucially trapped behind the ever-quick Robert Kubica who was on a long opening stint for Renault on the harder tyres.

Alonso, meanwhile, was still trapped behind Kubicas team mate Petrov as BMW Saubers Kamui Kobayashi, Kubica, Force Indias Adrian Sutil, Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi, Rosberg and Williams' Nico Hulkenberg duked it out ahead of them. Kobayashi, Sutil, Buemi and Hulkenberg all fell way back when they finally changed tyres, but Button only dropped to fourth when he finally pitted on the 39th lap, and that became third when Kubica eventually did likewise on the 46th in the most crucial stop of the race.
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