• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

Laurence Edmondson and Chris Medland November 13, 2011
Lewis Hamilton took his first win since the German Grand Prix in July © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton - 1st
He put all his problems to one side to prove that he has lost none of the raw talent that delivered him his title back in 2008. It's a shame he didn't get the opportunity to pitch his new-found form against the reigning double world champion, but he managed his race to perfection nonetheless. Fernando Alonso threatened at the final pit stop, but Hamilton had the answer and pumped in fast laps when he needed to. Hopefully Sunday's victory will be the start of an upward trend heading into 2012.

Fernando Alonso - 2nd
Up until the start of the race the Ferrari had looked nowhere, but Alonso still managed to take the fight to Hamilton's McLaren. Despite a lack of downforce - evident from his sector three times in qualifying - he played to the strengths of the Ferrari, looking after the tyres while keeping the McLaren's gearbox in sight. His big chance came at the final pit stop as he eked a couple more laps out of his second set of soft tyres, but the pit stop let him down and he was forced to settle for second.

Jenson Button - 3rd
A case of what might have been after he lost KERS on lap 12, forcing him to battle through half of the race with it working intermittently. He struggled to match the pace of team-mate Lewis Hamilton all weekend, but it would have been interesting to see if he could have extracted more performance for longer from the soft tyres and gained an advantage in the pit stops.

Mark Webber - 4th
His three-stop strategy meant he was always going to have to drive on the absolute limit, but it was his lengthily first pit stop that cost him a shot at a podium. It could have been worse, however, as Felipe Massa was in a position to challenge him for fourth before his spin. Another mediocre result in what has been a mediocre season.

Felipe Massa - 5th
At one stage a podium looked possible, but, true to form this season, Massa blew it and finished fifth. In his defence, he was using a Singapore-spec front wing, which cost him downforce compared to team-mate Fernando Alonso and meant he really struggled on the medium tyres. Nonetheless, it was another black mark on what has been a true annus horribilis for the Brazilian.

Nico Rosberg - 6th
Just as the scales looked as though they were starting to tip towards Michael Schumacher at Mercedes, Rosberg put in one of his best performances of the year. At the start of the race he held off his team-mate with some hard but fair driving and then never looked back. He closed on Massa towards the end of the race, but a lack of adhesion between the medium tyres and the cooling Abu Dhabi tarmac meant he lacked the confidence on turn-in to make a move stick.

Michael Schumacher - 7th
Probably the best result he could have hoped for, but a slightly disappointing performance nonetheless. His cause wasn't helped when he lost some bodywork early in the race, and a slow puncture towards the end dropped him 23.6s off his team-mate. It was also telling that his fastest lap was nearly a second slower than Rosberg.

Adrian Sutil - 8th
A fantastic drive that was worthy of more than just four points. He was on the pace all weekend and was would have finished ahead of Schumacher's Mercedes if the race had lasted just a couple of laps longer. Nevertheless, it was further proof that he deserves to be on the grid next season and he'll be hoping team principal Vijay Mallya was taking note.

Paul di Resta - 9th
He was always going to struggle on a one-stop strategy but it was worth a punt in case of a safety car. He struggled to match Sutil all weekend, so realistically ninth was the best he could have hoped for.

Kamui Kobayashi - 10th
A welcome return to the points after seven races outside the top ten, but the accomplishment was slightly tainted a bit by finishing a lap down. It was never going to be easy starting from 16th and he opted to use the medium tyres first before switching to softs after five laps. The strategy worked and he drove a strong race through the field.

Sergio Perez - 11th
Contact on the first lap meant he had to pit for a new nose and he also took the opportunity to switch to the medium tyres. That put him on the back foot and in the end he conceded the final points paying position to his team-mate. He also lost KERS with 12 laps to go.

Rubens Barrichello - 12th
A brilliant recovery drive from the back of the grid that should have boosted his chances of retaining his Williams seat next year. But, as has been the case for most of the season, the car didn't quite have the pace to challenge for points and he had to settle for 12th.

Sebastian Vettel's race came to a premature end on the first lap © Getty Images
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Vitaly Petrov - 13th Suffered from a DRS failure which left him helpless to the cars around him. Was involved in plenty of midfield battles but was never going to be able to make ground and even a soft-medium-soft strategy couldn't get him in the mix for points. Unfortunate because it was a solid drive with a car not suited to the track.

Pastor Maldonado - 14th Started on medium tyres at the back of the grid so suffered early on, but then didn't help himself when the car was quicker on soft tyres. All too often seemed to be acting as a moving chicane for the leaders, rightly given a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellow flags and could receive a further slap on the wrists after going wheel-to-wheel with Webber later in the race.

Jaime Alguersuari - 15th A really disappointing race as Toro Rosso's renaissance came to an end. It wasn't for a lack of pace - he ran competitively early on - but an error at the first pit stop saw him lose a number of positions and leave him well adrift of any chance of points.

Bruno Senna - 16th Gambled on a first lap safety car which never came, so was already well out of position after pitting at the end of the first lap. Although that got the medium tyres out of the way, the Renault does not have good rear traction and effectively one-stopping on soft tyres saw him lose pace at the end of stints, while a drive-through penalty left him dangerously close to Kovalainen by the end of the race.

Heikki Kovalainen - 17th The sort of solid performance we've come to expect from Kovalainen, maximising the potential of the car and staying out of trouble. Ran as high as 13th early on after a great start, and although he slipped back he still showed enough pace to finish on the same lap as Kobayashi in 10th and just one down on the leader. Almost caught Senna at the end too, but ran out of laps.

Jarno Trulli - 18th Almost the opposite to his team-mate as a poor start saw him lose places. Attributed that to a clutch slip, but managed to recover the positions without issue. Struggled to get heat in to the medium tyres at the end of the race but was well adrift of Kovalainen ahead of him anyway.

Timo Glock - 19th Another to make a strong start and managed to get ahead of some of the midfield runners early on. After dropping back he still comfortably kept away from the HRT's and was closer to Trulli ahead than he was Liuzzi behind.

Tonio Liuzzi - 20th Having struggled with balance all weekend it was the same story in the race, complaining of oversteer in right-handers and understeer in the left-hand corners. Still saw the chequered flag, but over half a minute behind Glock.

Daniel Ricciardo - DNF - Electrical Showed good pace to match Liuzzi, at one point having a good battle through turns 12 and 13. Was keeping Glock honest later in the race until an electrical problem forced him to park up with seven laps to go.

Sebastien Buemi - DNF - Hydraulic A real shame, with results crucial at this stage of the season Buemi appears to be getting no luck. After passing di Resta for ninth he was looking at Sutil and Schumacher ahead of him, but lost power steering and then gears as the hydraulic fluid leaked from the system.

Jerome d'Ambrosio - DNF - Brakes Was locked in a battle with the HRTs when a brake problem caused him to have to retire the car in the garage.

Sebastian Vettel - DNF - Puncture Usually at the opposite end of this rundown, Vettel had made a good start and was pulling clear of Hamilton out of turn one when his right rear suddenly deflated, causing him to spin off in the high-speed turn two. Limped back to the pits but the flailing rubber damaged his suspension as well as other components and he was left to watch the race from the pit wall.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010