The Renault RS27 V8-powered Lotus F1 Team’s E20 to its first victory of the season in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen took the first win for the Enstone-Viry chassis-engine package in its current incarnation after a season that has so far yielded eight podium positions. Kimi drove a measured race to secure his first win since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, 0.8secs over Fernando Alonso.
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel secured the final podium step, four seconds from Alonso after starting from the back of the grid following yesterday’s post-qualifying Stewards’ decision. Vettel remains in the lead of the drivers’ championship by ten points over Alonso, with Raikkonen third.
Williams F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado finished the thrilling race in fifth, his highest finish in the second part of the year, with Bruno Senna eighth to give the team a double finish.
Caterham F1 Team also enjoyed a double finish, with Heikki Kovalainen 13th and Vitaly Petrov 16th. Unfortunately Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Lotus F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean failed to finish following a racing accident on lap 37 that put both out of the race.
Rémi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 head of track operations
A fantastic result for Lotus. The collaboration between Enstone and Viry has produced success in each of its incarnations and it’s a pleasure to get a win in this latest stage of our relationship. Both the track and the factory support on both sides have come together very well, particularly in this last part of the year, for example while working together on the new set of exhausts.
We are pleased for our partners Williams who achieve their first double points finish since the Chinese Grand Prix, and for Caterham who introduced some new parts this race that moved them closer to the crucial 12th position. Again, both sides of the equation are working well and we hope that both can carry this form forward until the end of the year.
As for Red Bull, it’s a fantastic result for Sebastian, although bad luck for Mark. We don’t have anything to add to the comments from yesterday; we’ve operated in exactly the same way as we did in previous events so will look at everything this weekend in detail calmly next week. All the same, it was a great team effort to come back strongly in the race and we can look forward to even better next time out in Austin.