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2015 Abu Dhabi Race Review

  • Published on 29 Nov 2015 18:01
  • comments 0
  • By: Richard Fletcher

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg wins the Abu Dhabi grand Prix with a hat trick of pole position to race win conversions. Nico dominated his teammate Lewis Hamilton throughout the Grand Prix keeping him behind except for one stage when Lewis led while he ran long with his tyres, attempting to try a slightly different strategy but lost out after losing time as the tyres went off. Hamiltons 2nd place finish gave Mercedes a new record of achieving the highest percentage of available points won during a season. Their new record stands at 86%, 703 points out of 798.

Kimi Raikkonen drove to a well deserved 3rd place in his surprisingly competitive Ferrari and was noticeably absent from any of the on track battles as he tried to hang on to the back of the Mercedes. The 4th place for Sebastian Vettel was possibly even more deserved as he fought his Ferrari through to 4th place from 16th after a team error during qualifying.

Sergio Perez had another good race for Force India finishing 4th and enjoying a few  battles for position also finishing higher than his teammate, Nico Hulkenberg who managed 7th.

The ever smiling 6th placed Daniel Ricciardo finished 4 places in front of his Red Bull teammate Daniil Kvyat in 10th with both enjoying plenty of scraps for position.

Williams driver Felipe Massa managed to hold onto the position he started in with another solid performance . His Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas however had an awful race with an unsafe release from a pit stop causing him to collide with Jenson Button and taking the nose off his car in the process. With pit lane rules including no reversing, he had to do a whole lap with half a front wing missing and then he was penalised by the Race Stewards and suffered a 5 second penalty.

Romain Grosjean had a decent race getting his Lotus to a credible 9th. He will undoubtedly be pleased with achieving a points finish in his final race for the Enstone team. The late pit stop gave him a chance of a hard charge for the final few laps.

Carlos Sainz Jnr finished in 11th place in his Torro Rosso.  He has proved his abilities over the season and yet again was showing his talent with excellent displays of racecraft.

As usual 12th place finisher Jenson Button was able to enjoy his race for McLaren today. He was his usual light hearted self before, during and after the race, even joking that he would be on sabbatical for 2016, making reference to the Fernando Alonso rumours. He had a few interesting fights for position, successfully passing and also managing to keep faster cars behind him.

The Saubers managed 14th for Ericsson and 15th for Nasr as their year has taken steps backwards. The team started so promisingly but without the development budgets of the big teams have not been able to keep up the progression of their cars and at moments during the race today they were obviously outclassed.

Max Verstappen finished a disappointing 16th in his Torro Rosso after locking his brakes and flat spotting his tyres. He had been allowed to pass Sainz as he was showing better pace and had a chance of catching those in front. His error cost him dearly as without that forced pit stop he would have remained in contention for a points finish.

Fernando Alonso only managed to get his McLaren to 17th place after a scrappy start that saw him penalised with a drive through penalty for causing a collision that put Maldonado out of the race. Once again Fernando used the team radio to voice his frustration with the cars performance.

The last 2 finishers of the race were Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi for Manor in 18th and 19th position. Their races will forever be compromised by the blue flag waving marshalls. Their true race pace remains largely unseen as Manor have to spend a lot of time off throttle letting cars through.

Maldonado was the only DNF having suffered a suspension failure from his collision with Alonso. Maldonado was cleared of blame for the incident but it was yet another DNF for his season.

Richard Fletcher

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