Kimi Raikkonen takes his first victory for the Lotus F1 Team at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as future teammates – and title rivals – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have races to forget.
Heading into the title decider in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be hoping for a clean run to the chequered flag and – hopefully – the 2014 Formula 1 Driver’s Championship. Neither will be looking for a replica of their race at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2012.
Having secured pole position ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber and – amazingly – Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, Hamilton (then a McLaren driver) maintained position through the first corner, with only the fast-starting Kimi Raikkonen able to mount a challenge in the Lotus E20 heading to the turn 10/11 chicane. The Brit’s charge was brought to a premature end on lap 20 when his MP4-27 suffered fuel pressure issues, leaving the way clear for Raikkonen to secure the first win for a Lotus Grand Prix car since Detroit 1987.
Rosberg’s race meanwhile was already over, in slightly more dramatic fashion to the now departed race leader. Closing in on Narain Kartikheyan’s HRT through the high-speed turn 16, Rosberg – unsighted by the Indian braking for the corner – launched his Mercedes F1 W03 right over the top of a startled Kartikheyan. Uninjured, both drivers’ races were over after just nine laps.
The chances of Kimi Raikkonen repeating his popular 2012 win at Yas seem unlikely. Certainly Rosberg and Hamilton will be hoping lighting doesn’t strike twice.
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