Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, both Force Indias in top-10

November 13th, 2011 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Nov 13 (IANS) McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton won his first race since July after Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel retired in the opening lap of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix here Sunday. Force India ended up with a double-point finish only for the third time in the season.

Hamilton crossed the chequered flag ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alono and teammate Jenson Button for his third win of the year.

The day-night race started in a dramatic fashion with newly-crowned World Champion Vettel spinning his Red Bull at the second corner due to a rear tyre puncture which resulted in his first retirement of the season.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta, who started ninth and tenth on the grid, gained a place each from Vettel’s retirement and managed to hold on to it till the end of the 55-lap race.

Team principal Vijay Mallya would have taken an eighth and ninth place finish before the start of the race but it did not come easy.

Di Resta, on a one-stop strategy, was put under tremendous pressure by Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi before the Swiss was forced to retire with a suspension issue.

Toro Rosso have proved to be Force India’s stiffest rivals in the last few races and it was evident yet again at the beautiful Yas Marina Circuit.

Buemi overtook di Resta for ninth place on Lap 14 and repeated it in the next lap after the Scot briefly regained his position. Buemi hung onto the advantage until Lap 21 before retiring in the pits.

The more experienced Sutil delivered another strong performance in the VJM04 and gave seven-time champion Michael Schumacher a run for his money, eventually finishing just 1.1 seconds behind the racing legend in his Mercedes.

Force India earned six points from the race and are hanging on to their sixth place with 57 points, 15 clear of the seventh-placed Sauber team.

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