Skip to main content

F1: Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

updated 12:49 PM EST, Sun November 3, 2013
World champion Sebastian Vettel celebrates in Abu Dhabi after winning his 11th race this season, matching his previous best from 2011. World champion Sebastian Vettel celebrates in Abu Dhabi after winning his 11th race this season, matching his previous best from 2011.
HIDE CAPTION
Vettel matches his most wins in a season
Vettel matches his most wins in a season
Vettel matches his most wins in a season
Vettel matches his most wins in a season
Vettel matches his most wins in a season
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World champion Sebastian Vettel equals his personal best of 11 wins in a season
  • Abu Dhabi victory means he can match Michael Schumacher's record of 13
  • German finishes 30 seconds clear of his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber
  • Webber second on podium ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg

(CNN) -- Whether you like him or not, or think that his dominance is bad for Formula One, there's no denying that Sebastian Vettel is simply unstoppable this season.

Even his teammate Mark Webber, with whom the German's relations have never been warm, admits that Vettel is "in another category."

The four-time world champion won by more than 30 seconds in Abu Dhabi, having started Sunday's race second on the grid behind his veteran Red Bull colleague.

While Webber bounced back from yet another poor start to ensure a 15th 1-2 for the team -- he has only won once from nine poles -- Vettel motored clear once again while his rivals scrapped for minor placings.

Read: Latest F1 standings

It was the 26-year-old's seventh successive win, matching his personal best of 11 victories in a season.

What's behind Vettel's winning streak?
A crash course in F1 fitness
Niki Lauda on F1's most dangerous years

With two races left on the calendar, he can match Alberto Ascari's record of nine in a row in 1952-53 and Michael Schumacher's 2004 feat of 13 in one season.

"The car was absolutely brilliant. There is not much more to say. I was flying at stages -- at least it felt like it -- and there were some massive gaps, which was a big surprise," Vettel said.

Vettel has been booed on the podium several times this year -- no doubt in part due to the Malaysia incident when he ignored team orders and passed Webber for victory -- but he celebrated at Yas Marina Sunday as he did in India last weekend on clinching a fourth straight title, with wheelspins.

Read: Is Vettel F1's greatest?

Red Bull paid the first fine, but Vettel -- who earns a reported $16 million yearly salary -- will have to take this one after the 37th victory of his young career.

"I think Sebastian can pay the fine this week," team principal Christian Horner said. "That was a champion's drive."

Webber, who is quitting F1 at the end of this season, could only pay tribute after being forced to settle for second -- as he did in Japan last month after starting on pole.

"The start wasn't great," said the 37-year-old, who held off Mercedes' third-placed Nico Rosberg and Lotus' Romain Grosjean in fourth.

"Nico got an unbelievable start and Seb's was a bit better than mine. On the first stint we were not strong enough on the soft tires.

Read: Webber beats Vettel to Abu Dhabi pole

"After that the race went pretty well for me but Seb was gone -- he was in another category up front. I had a nice little battle with Nico for second.

Paul di Resta's Italian ancestry
Watch adrenaline-filled tour of Spa track

"I think he (Vettel) is in a sweet spot, for sure. In the end, I did my best today and this was my overall personal best around here."

Mercedes stayed second ahead of Ferrari in the constructors' standings as 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton was seventh.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso remained second in the drivers' championship behind Vettel after coming home fifth, working his way up from 10th at the start, while teammate Felipe Massa was eighth.

Force India had both drivers in the points as Paul di Resta was sixth and Adrian Sutil 10th, while McLaren's Sergio Perez was ninth as teammate Jenson Button paid the price for another early scrape and ended up 12th.

Read: Kimi threatens walkout in pay row

Button's fellow former titleholder Kimi Raikkonen had even worse day. Excluded from qualifying --despite setting the fifth quickest time -- after his Lotus failed a technical test on Saturday, the Finn didn't make it past the first lap.

While Vettel began from the pit lane in similar circumstances last year to finish third, Raikkonen -- who is joining Ferrari next season after a pay dispute with Lotus -- started with the tailenders and a ding with a Caterham ended his hopes of repeating his 2012 success in the race.

"We didn't touch hard, but I think the angle was very unlucky and it broke the steering," Raikkonen said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 8:10 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT