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Abu GP - Race weekend recap - Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen won his first race in Formula One since his return to the sport after two years away in rallying in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The Lotus had threatened all season to take a race victory, but after many in the paddock had decided it just simply wasn't going to happen this season, the Finn finally stood back on the top step of the podium, this seasons eighth Grand Prix winner.

Unlike in previous races where the Lotus had been heavily fancied, for this race all the focus was on the title picture and the sheer speed of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.

Kimi qualified in fifth place, 0.6 seconds slower than Hamilton but ahead of both Ferrari's which pleased the 2007 Formula One World Champion.

“Qualifying was good. The car hasn’t felt fantastic all weekend but we decided we weren’t going to change the car’s set-up from where it was for the last race. It was the right choice because in the end the circuit came to us in qualifying where the car was the best it has been so far here. We’ll give tomorrow our best shot; Let’s see if we can make a good start to get right behind the Red Bulls, and then we’ll see what happens after that.” Kimi told after the qualifying session.

With the Brit significantly faster than anyone during practice and qualifying, it looked like everyone else would be battling for second place.

With Vettel starting from the pit-lane following a fuel infringement, Kimi started the race in fourth and he got a terrific start swooping past the slow starting Red Bull of Mark Webber and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado to take second place on the first corner.

Lewis Hamilton's pace in qualifying continued in the race and the only time Kimi could get near him was following one mistake when he had run wide one turn and following a safety car period.

But technical faults that have plagued Hamilton all season struck again, handing Kimi the lead.

From then on, his most entertaining parts of the race came over the team radio where he told his team to leave him alone.

It worked, taking his first win since August 2009 and providing the teams first win October 2008 and a first win for the Lotus name since 1987.

'I’m very happy for the team, and for myself also. You never know what’s going to happen during the race; the safety cars made it quite tricky, but I’ve had similar races many, many times this year. Today we had a clear circuit to be able to use our speed. Perhaps we were not the fastest at the end, but we were quick enough and consistent enough to win so it’s great for the team. We’ve had some difficult races in the second half of the season so it’s fantastic to come back with a win.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 6 2012

Time: 1:00PM


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