Hamilton makes mother's birthday special with victory
By Agencies | Posted 14-Nov-2011
Lewis Hamilton makes mother's birthday special with victory at Yas Marina circuit; Vettel retires early
Lewis Hamilton produced a near-flawless performance yesterday when he took full advantage of the early retirement of double world champion Sebastian Vettel to win a sizzling 'day-night' Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
For Mum: Lewis Hamilton celebrates his Abu Dhabi GP win with mother Carmen Lockhart (right). Pic/Getty Images
Driving his McLaren with measured assurance and great speed, the 26-year-old Englishman dominated from the second corner of the opening lap to the finish as he claimed his third win of a troubled season and 17th of his career.
Vettel retires He started second, but took the lead within a few hundred metres when 24-year-old German Vettel's Red Bull suffered a puncture to his right-rear tyre and forced him to swerve off the Yas Marina circuit.
Hamilton streaked by and took a lead he relinquished only twice briefly during the pit-stops as he delivered one of the most accomplished performances of his 89 races in Formula One.
Two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso came home second for Ferrari. Briton Jenson Button in the second McLaren fought through to finish third ahead of Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber and fifth-placed Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari.
German Nico Rosberg led compatriot and Mercedes teammate seven-time champion Michael Schumacher home in sixth and seventh places. Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber finished 10th just beating his team-mate Mexican Serigo Perez into the final points-scoring position.
"A mega-job, mega, as always," said Hamilton on team radio at the end. "I want to dedicate this one to my mum on her birthday and it is great having her here this weekend."
Force India shines Force India's Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta, who started ninth and tenth on the grid, gained a place each from Vettel's retirement and managed to hold on to it till the end of the 55-lap race. Team principal Vijay Mallya would have taken an eighth and ninth place finish before the start of the race but it did not come easy.