F1: Sebastian Vettel brings record in sight with seventh straight win in Abu Dhabi

 

Winning is becoming more than just a habit for Sebastian Vettel. Having dominated the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the start to take a seventh consecutive victory by more than half a minute from his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, the German now has his sights set on the double world champion Alberto Ascari’s record of nine straight wins for Ferrari between the 1952 and 1953 seasons.

This time, the newly crowned champion got it all done at the start. Webber got away well from pole position, as did Lewis Hamilton from fourth, but the Englishman’s chances were doomed from the moment the Australian moved left to block his attempt to nose down the inside into the first corner. As Vettel ran round the outside of Webber to snatch the lead, Nico Rosberg was able to follow through in the second Mercedes to take second, as Romain Grosjean also got a slingshot on Hamilton to push him down to fifth. For a moment that became sixth when Nico Hulkenberg also squeezed ahead in the Sauber, before Hamilton retaliated. He had problems with the rear brakes on his Mercedes heading to the grid and would have an unhappy race.

By the 14th lap, TV cameras caught Kimi Raikkonen sneaking into a hire car and leaving the circuit like a guilty schoolboy bunking off school. He had been put to the back of the grid from fifth after a technical infringement, and the Finn’s race ended ignominiously on the opening lap after a brush with Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham. Last year’s winner clearly saw no point in hanging around.

Webber regained his momentum by the 20th lap as he overtook Rosberg, but by then Vettel was long gone. Fernando Alonso bullied through to a gritty fifth, but no action was taken against the Spaniard for exceeding track limits as he rejoined from the pits ahead of the battling Jean-Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa.

Where Alonso had been able to overtake Scotsman Paul di Resta, Hamilton was unable to do so and came home in seventh place. “Same old different day,” the Brit said. “It can’t be other people’s fault. Nico’s been getting great points for the team. I just need to work harder to try to do the same.”

Vettel beamed: “This was incredible! But there’s not much more to say, other than that the massive gaps were a big surprise. It was great to have my mum and dad here. That means a lot. I want to dedicate this win to them.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album