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Abu Dhabi GP: Double points for Williams

Pastor Maldonado

By Andrew Hooper
November 4 2012

The Williams F1 team would come away from the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP with a double points scoring result. Team drivers Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna would finish in fifth and eighth. A great change in fortunes for the Williams team.

 Abu Dhabi GP Race Review

The grid for the fifty five lap 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would see Williams F1 drivers Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna line up in third and fourteenth grid positions. Both drivers had moved up one spot as a result of the penalty that had been handed out to Vettel that saw him excluded from the qualifying results after it was found that the FIA could not get the necessary fuel sample from his car. Vettel would start from the pit lane with it being confirmed by the FIA that he had a gearbox and gear ratio change. This third place grid position for Pastor was one that both he and the team knew must be converted into a good points scoring finish. Williams chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan was confident that Pastor has the pace to run at the front as they had good pace in longer runs.

On pole was Hamilton with Webber second followed by Pastor, Raikkonen, Button, Alonso, Rosberg, Massa, Grosjean, and in tenth Hulkenberg. The top ten would all start the race on the soft tyre as the grid moved away on their parade lap with Vettel sitting at the end of the pit lane. For Williams Bruno would start on the medium tyre while those around him were on the soft while Vettel was also on the medium tyre. De la Rosa would not get away and was pushed off the grid as the field completed their lap. De La Rosa would start from the pit lane behind Vettel. Hamilton would take up his pole position and the field would form up and the lights would come on and go off and we would have Hamilton leading but Webber would make a slow start and was passed by both Raikkonen and Pastor. Bruno would make contact with a Force India at Turn one.


Webber was now fourth followed by Alonso. Alonso would pass Webber for fourth at Turn eleven. Grosjean would run slowly with a flat right front tyre as Rosberg pitted. The car that Bruno had made contact with was Hulkenberg. Grosjean would also pit as Di Resta pitted. Raikkonen was attacking Hamilton with Pastor running in third. Bruno was down in nineteenth as Vettel reported that he had damage to his front wing. DRS was now enabled as the cars completed lap two. Button was in sixth followed by Massa, Kobayashi, Perez, and Schumacher in tenth. Vettel was down in sixteenth and Bruno now seventeenth. Pastor was running close behind Raikkonen while replays showed that Bruno had simply been involved in someone else's accident and was pushed wide by Hulkenberg. Hamilton was now leading by 2.3 seconds after lap four with Pastor 1.2 seconds behind Raikkonen.

Replays had shown that Grosjean had made contact with Rosberg's front wing seeing him get the puncture. Vettel was now up to fourteenth and closing the gap to thirteenth placed Kovalainen. Lap seven and Hamilton was leading by 3.5 seconds while for Pastor Alonso was dropping away slightly. Bruno was now fifteenth while Vettel would pass Kovalainen for thirteenth. But on lap nine there would be a major contact between Rosberg and Karthikeyan. This would see the Safety Car come out. Karthikeyan would slow at Turn sixteen seeing Rosberg hit the HRT at great speed with the Mercedes car flying over the HRT and into the barriers. Both drivers were able to get out of their cars and walk away. Vergne would pit under the Safety Car taking on the medium tyre. Grosjean would also come in taking on soft tyres and he would be joined by Di Resta who would take on medium tyres. Vettel was now twelfth while at the front Hamilton would complain of debris at the crash site.


Despite the Safety Car it was too early for the front runners to pit as the sun started to set. Replays had shown Vettel's front wing making contact with Bruno's rear tyre and for Vettel his troubles would continue as he would be pushed off the track by a weaving Ricciardo. Vettel would hit one of the advertising signs on the side of the track doing more damage to his front wing. Vettel was told to pit which he would do lap fourteen. Vettel would take the soft tyre at this stop. The Safety Car would come in on lap fifteen and Alonso would make a small mistake seeing Webber alongside going down the start-finish straight. Hamilton continued to lead while Pastor had opened a small gap to Alonso, 1.7 seconds. Webber was attacking Alonso while Vettel was trying to pass Grosjean and into seventeenth. But Vettel would give the place back after having gone off the track in his passing move.

But Vettel would finally pass Grosjean for seventeenth while at the front Hamilton was leading by 2.6 seconds with Pastor 2.3 seconds behind Raikkonen. Bruno was now thirteenth running close behind Kovalainen. lap eighteen and Alonso, Webber, and Button were running close together with seventh placed Massa 2.1 seconds behind Button. Vettel continued to move forward and was now fifteenth. Pastor continued to drop away from Raikkonen but Alonso was also closing in onto Pastor. Bruno had passed Kovalainen for twelfth but for Hamilton his race would end on lap twenty as he coasted to a halt on the side of the track. This would see Raikkonen leading with Pastor now second and Alonso third. Raikkonen was leading Pastor by 4.6 seconds but Pastor would be passed by Alonso using his DRS on lap twenty two. Webber was also running close behind Pastor as Hamilton walked back to his pit.


Vettel was now eleventh with Webber looking to pass Pastor. Webber would use his DRS and would get alongside and Pastor would not give up the fight and the pair would make slight contact. Webber had not totally got past Pastor at the apex of the corner and Pastor had little room to move. But the incident would come under investigation by the stewards. For Pastor he would be finally passed by Button using his DRS seeing Pastor now third while at the front Raikkonen was leading by 6.7 seconds over Alonso followed by Button, Pastor, Perez, Massa, Webber, and Vettel in eighth. Lap twenty six and Kobayashi would pit swapping to the medium tyres. Webber was challenging Massa but in a similar moved to that of passing Pastor Webber would make contact with Massa. Massa would spin and would pit joined by Ricciardo. Pastor was still fourth while Bruno was up to ninth. It was announced that no further action would be taken in the Webber and Pastor incident.

Schumacher would pit from eighth on lap twenty eight. Pastor now had Perez challenging him while on lap twenty nine Alonso would pit from second. Kovalainen would also come in from thirteenth. Button would pit on lap thirty and he would be joined by Pastor. Perez and Webber would pit on lap thirty one taking on the medium tyre. This would see Vettel move up to second place and on lap thirty two Raikkonen would pit. Raikkonen would come back out in front of Vettel with Alonso third followed by Button, Bruno, Vergne, Grosjean, Di Resta, Perez, and Webber tenth. Pastor was
down in eleventh while on lap thirty three Bruno would pit taking on soft tyres. Lap thirty three and Raikkonen was leading by 2.0 seconds over Vettel with Alonso third 5.8 seconds behind Vettel. Vergne would pit from sixth on lap thirty four taking on medium tyres.

Pastor was now ninth and Bruno thirteenth. So on lap thirty four the order was Raikkonen followed by Vettel, Alonso, Button, Grosjean, Di Resta, Perez, Webber, Pastor, and Kobayashi in tenth. Button was pressuring Alonso for third with twenty laps remaining. Vettel would pit again coming out in fourth. But team-mate Webber would see his race come to an end as he was involved in an accident involving Perez and Grosjean. Perez had come back onto the track after making contact with Di Resta. he would come back on making contact with Grosjean and Webber simply had nowhere to go and his car would make contact with Grosjean seeing the rear of his Red Bull badly damaged. The Safety Car would come out while Pastor was able to find his way past the wrecked cars. Bruno was now up to ninth and Pastor fifth. The cars would form up behind the Safety Car and on lap forty the order was Raikkonen followed by Alonso, Button, Vettel, Pastor, Kobayashi, Massa, Bruno, Vergne, and Di Resta tenth.


Schumacher had pitted for eighth taking on soft tyres as a result of a right rear puncture. Perez would be given a ten second stop go penalty for his part in the accident. The Safety Car would come in on lap forty three with Raikkonen leading while Bruno was pressuring Massa. Pastor had dropped away from Vettel while Vettel was running close behind Button. Lap forty three and Raikkonen was flying and would set a new fastest lap now 1.9 seconds ahead of Alonso. Perez would take his penalty on lap forty five. Bruno continued to attack Massa for seventh while Di Resta was up to ninth and Vergne tenth. Lap forty six and Raikkonen was now leading by 3.2 seconds over Alonso with Button 1.2 seconds behind the Ferrari. Lap forty nine and Alonso had closed the gap to Raikkonen with the gap 2.2 seconds. Pastor was 3.1 seconds behind Vettel in fifth with Bruno still eighth.

Five laps remaining and Raikkonen was now leading by 2.0 seconds with Pastor 5.2 seconds ahead of sixth placed Kobayashi. Vettel was again running right behind Button and Vettel would finally get past Button using DRS to take third. Lap fifty two and Raikkonen's lead was now 1.4 seconds but Raikkonen would set a new fastest first sector. Pastor continued to run in a comfortable fifth and Bruno still eighth. Lap fifty three and Alonso was now just 1.0 second behind Raikkonen with two laps remaining. Alonso could not get the use of his DRS as Raikkonen started his final lap. On his last lap Raikkonen was able to keep Alonso behind enough so that he could nt use his DRS. Raikkonen would complete his last lap and cross the line to take victory in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alonso was second from Vettel, Button, Pastor, Kobayashi, Massa, Bruno, Di Resta, and the final point would go to Ricciardo.

For the Williams F1 team the race would see a double points scoring finish with Pastor fifth and Bruno eighth. Both drivers shown good pace during the race with Pastor running at the front of the race while Bruno was able to push and move up from his fourteenth grid position. A great change in the Williams teams fortunes after such a long period without any decent results.


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Abu Dhabi GP: Double points for Williams
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04/11/2012 15:02
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