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GP Week : Issue 174
27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Sebastian Vettel hailed his third place in a dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a “fantastic” result after starting the race from the pit-lane. A disastrous Saturday well and truly put him on the back foot for the race. Not only was his running severely curtailed by a brake issue in FP3 but, in the most unlikely of twists, the championship leader was disqualified from qualifying for failing to provide the FIA with a sufficient fuel sample. Starting from the pit-lane, Vettel was uncharacteristically ragged during the opening laps of Sunday’s grand prix as light faded over the Yas Marina circuit. His front-wing was terminally damaged when he collected a marker board while behind the safety car, which had already been broken in an earlier collision with Bruno Senna’s Williams. But inspired strategic calls by the Red Bull Racing pit-wall and timely Safety Car inter ventions helped the young German surge to an unlikely third place and deny title rival Fernando Alonso the opportunity of taking a significant chunk out of his points lead. “It was a good race for us today, a big chance for Ferrari and Fernando, but we didn’t allow it,” said Vettel. “I enjoyed it a lot today – more than anything. I damaged the front wing pretty early on, which was not ideal, but we were able to carry on and not lose too much. “Then I had to do it all over again, passing everyone from the back. In the end, to finish third on the podium is just fantastic.” VETTEL SURGES TO UNLIKELY PODIUM F1 >>> U.A.E