McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a ‘lucky’ finish to the podium as he started from the pit lane, according to the BBC.
Vettel climbed through the field to finish third, one spot behind title rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
“[It was] incredible how he came up,” said Hamilton who retired from the lead before half distance. “He must be the luckiest driver in Formula One.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had the same claim as Lewis Hamilton, but Red Bull boss Christian Horner praised Vettel for his excellent performance.
“He drove a phenomenal race — you can see the number of cars he passed,” said Horner. “It was one of the best of his career. He really went for it.”
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali too had his own opinions to give.
“Vettel did a great race,” said Domenicali. “He had moments when he was lucky and moments when he was unlucky.
“He had a safety car at the right moment, which took his gap down from 22 seconds to 10. He was able to start last and finish third, so he maximised the situation and it was a perfect race for him.”
Alonso sees glass half full
Meanwhile, Alonso emphasised the positives after Vettel dashed the Spaniard’s hopes of seizing back the lead in the drivers’ championship.
“Tonight I will go to sleep thinking the glass is half full rather than half empty,” said Alonso after finishing runner-up to 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus at the Yas Marina circuit.
Alonso recognised Ferrari had no quick fix for their performance gap with the champions who look sure to wrap up the constructors’ title in Austin in two weeks’ time.
Domenicali agreed there would be a tough battle ahead.
“The important thing is we have reduced the gap in the drivers’ classification,” said Domenicali. “This was particularly difficult because not only did our performance level not match that of our closest rivals but it was actually worse than that of other teams.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.