Raikkonen wins Abu Dhabi thriller

Reuters and AFP, ABU DHABI

Mon, Nov 05, 2012 - Page 20

Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen won an accident-strewn and thrilling Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix for Lotus yesterday.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished second, just 0.8 seconds behind, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel a close third to retain the overall championship lead after a race with two safety-car interludes.

Vettel, who started from the pit lane, now leads Alonso by 10 points with two races remaining. They are the only drivers still in contention for the title.

The victory was the first of Raikkonen’s comeback season and first since the 2007 world champion won in Belgium with Ferrari in 2009. It was also the first win since 1987 by a car racing under the Lotus name.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton retired with his Formula One title chances now mathematically over, while leading from pole position yesterday after his car suddenly slowed.

The Briton, who won in Abu Dhabi last year, parked up on the grass after 20 of the 55 laps of the day-to-night race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

McLaren told the 27-year-old the car had lost all power.

Meanwhile, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was fortunate to walk away unscathed after a massive crash with Navain Karthikeyan’s Hispania.