V or dem In the race it was clear that Sebastian Vettel would only get one chance for the title in Abu Dhabi if he wins the final race. The point level from rank one to rank two is seven points higher than any other. In the most important race of his career, Vettel withstood the pressure. He got off to a perfect start from pole position and drove flawlessly to victory. He had done his part with it.
It was logical that the McLaren strategists at Lewis Hamilton were initially a bit more conservative, given the Englishman's chances of the World Cup. But why Jenson Button did not switch to hard tires in the early safety car phase, as did Nico Rosberg or Vitaly Petrov, is incomprehensible. If Rosberg was able to move up from ninth on the grid to fourth with the aggressive tactics, then Button would have been a serious threat to Vettel with the same strategy.
But Button was also on for another reason important helper for Vettel. At the start, the dethroned world champion beat Fernando Alonso, who was standing in front of him. As a result, the Ferrari driver got into a direct duel with Mark Webber, which increased the pressure in the cockpit and at the command post.
Robert Kubica showed in the early stages that it is not impossible to overtake in Abu Dhabi. On lap six he passed Adrian Sutil, on lap 23 he also grabbed Kamui Kobayashi. This made it possible for the Pole to later block Lewis Hamilton when he was planning the big attack on Vettel after his tire change.
At first glance, Vitaly was Petrov the royal helper for Vettel. The Russian held Alonso in check for 34 laps. Nico Hülkenberg also slowed down the Spaniard further when he drove Petrov and Alonso around in front of their noses.
Nico Rosberg, like Kubica and Petrov, represents the drivers who were able to overtake Alonso in the race and thereby stole important points from the Spaniard. Hamilton and Button also played their part in the fact that Alonso could not achieve the necessary fourth place.
With his spin and subsequent crash, Michael Schumacher ensured in the first lap a safety car phase. That brought Rosberg and PetrovIn the first place, the possibility of using the risk strategy with an early switch to hard tires. Without Schumi, the title would have been much more difficult for Vettel.
Red Bull actually wanted to avoid one driver helping the other. In Abu Dhabi, however, Mark Webber involuntarily got into the situation. With his early pit stop, the Australian tempted Ferrari into a direct counterattack, which later turned out to be fatal. Red Bull denied that Webber was called to the pits as Alonso bait. The Australian's rear wheels showed significant signs of wear. In addition, a rim was damaged after it came into contact with the guardrail.
Ferrari itself played the largest part in its own defeat. The strategists at the command post stayed with Mark Webber for too long concentrated. The early pit stop was the most expensive mistake of the year. Team boss Stefano Domenicali later had to admit that they underestimated how difficult it was to overtake on the track. In contrast, tire wear was overestimated.