Date: 13th November 2011 at 3:30pm
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Lewis Hamilton won his third race of the 2011 season in Abu Dhabi beating Fernando Alonso to the chequered flag.

Hamilton had shown all weekend that he had the pace and form to win the race and once back-to-back World Champion Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire with a puncture, Hamilton commanded the race in style.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso did his best to match Hamilton’s pace, keeping the gap to around the three to five seconds mark, but it turned out that Hamilton was simply pacing himself to look after his tyres.

Once the final pit-stops were made and Alonso missed out on any chance of leapfrogging Hamilton to create an exciting finish, the game was up for Ferrari as they simply had nothing to offer Hamilton.

Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button unfortunately didn’t have such a comfortable run, starting from third on the grid he lost out to Alonso and was then forced into a battle with Red Bull’s Mark Webber after his KERS had failed on lap 12.

The two diced for the position with Webber taking the spot under the first DRS zone, only for Button to regain the position on the second DRS Zone.

At least it was an improvement on last season when overtaking in Abu Dhabi was virtually impossible, but it did all feel a bit forced and PlayStation like, which was one of the initial fears when introducing DRS to Formula One this season.

The action felt like it was manufactured rather than the racing being truly competitive. Something that Abu Dhabi will have to re-think as currently it is one of the dullest races on the calender despite its wonderful setting.

In the end Webber gave up on the hopes of overtaking him on the track and attempted to leapfrog Button by switching to three stops instead of two, but despite putting in some impressive lap times, he couldn’t make up the time needed and he eventually surrendered the position when he pitted on the final lap for the harder compound tyre which the regulations required to be used.

Massa had a race on his own to come fifth, he flirted for a while with Button and Webber and could have taken fourth from Webber, but in the end he made an unforced error by spinning off, which ended any hopes of improving his position.

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta all finished in the same order they started [in fact all the top nine did, moving up one place following Vettel’s retirement].

Kamui Kobayashi beat Sauber team-mate Sergio Perez to the final World Championship point, while Rubens Barrichello will have enjoyed his day battling from last on the grid to 12th.

Pastor Maldonado also had good pace for Williams, but he eventually finished 14th ahead of Jaime Alguersuari following a drive-thru penalty for ignoring blue flags. [Maldonado and Alguersuari are also under investigation for another incident which involved ignoring blue flags.]

 

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