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GP Week : Issue 234
felt the wrath of the stewards twice. It compounded his own mistake when he flat spotted his front tyres after a heavy lockup early in the race. With his strategy compromised but the car pace to be running far higher than he was, it was inevitable that the feisty Verstappen would end up wheel to wheel at least once. It was the duel with Jenson Button for which he was punished, when he was deemed to have driven off the circuit and gained an advantage. But the five seconds that was added to his time would have ultimately meant nothing in the final reckoning - it was the drive-through penalty time that was added that was the sucker punch after the Toro Rosso driver was adjudged to have ignored blue flags. As fine as many of his 2015 performances have been, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was not among his best. Nor was it for Williams, which was largely anonymous aside from when Valtteri Bottas tagged Jenson Button's car in pit lane. Bottas had been released too early, wiping his nose off on the rear of the McLaren before having to complete an entire lap with the damaged wing. With his race all but run, and Felipe Massa running towards the bottom end of the top ten, Williams failed to get as much out of the race as it would have hoped. That can't be said for Force India however, as Sergio Perez starred all weekend. He was fast on Friday and again on Saturday before racing his way to fifth place. In the face of the competition offered by Ferrari it was the best the team could have hoped for, and with Nico Hulkenberg only two spots further back it was a hugely impressive weekend for the team, which has ended the year in its highest ever championship position. Pastor Maldonado was an early casualty, an innocent victim of a rash Fernando Alonso while there were combative performances from Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz in the various Red Bull teams. 23 GPWEEK.com // 23 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> ABU DHABI PARTNERS: