F1: Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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

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.

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.

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    "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.

    "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."

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    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.

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    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.