Friday, 2 November 2012

Button to keep Vettel on hold at Yas Marina

After the absorbing Indian GP in which Fernando Alonso's Ferrari almost achieved the impossible in catching the tray-sparking Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, the drivers' title comes to the boil this weekend at the plush Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Only two protaganists left now as Kimi Raikkonen's slim chance of a dream season return to F1 was foiled as he spent nearly all of last Sunday's race staring at the back of Felipe Massa's Ferrari.
You won't see him coming!
This is only the 4th year for the Abu Dhabi in the F1 race calendar. The track bears some comparison with Singapore and Valencia with some tight slow corners and a lot of braking. As in India, there are two DRS sections with two detection zones, one of these DRS sections has been extended which should help overtaking opportunities versus last year, when they were at a premium. 2nd practice today and the race itself on Sunday starts in the afternoon and runs on into the evening when the track temperatures are dropping but the grip levels are continuing to improve, so the drivers' management of tyre degradation will be once again to the fore; this plays to one of Jenson Button's strengths. This is yet another of Vettel's favourite tracks as he won from pole in 2010 and from 2nd place on the grid in 2009. Last year Lewis Hamilton won from 2nd on the grid after race leader Vettel's car suffered a puncture on the first lap. Everything points to another close contest in qualifying between the Red Bulls and the McLarens. Mark Webber's 2nd practice session was cut short with a mechanical problem, which may count against him in the race but his car certainly has the one lap pace to capture pole. In the race simulation sessions at the end of 2nd practice, the McLarens were competitive with Vettel; after the session Button declared that his car is better than it was in India and Vettel himself said that he is racing against the McLarens.
Ferrari and Lotus Renault have brought upgrades to Abu Dhabi although on Friday's evidence Romain Grosjean should be most happy with the outcome whereas the Ferrari team may be up all night again trying to find some fractions of a second for Fernando. Grosjean has recently been more circumspect at the start after throwing away numerous point scoring opportunities during the season and incurring the wrath of Webber and other drivers. On today's evidence Grosjean's Lotus Renault has the opportunity for a top six grid position and he needs another error-free start and a solid race to repay his team's faith in him.
Of the midfielders the last few races have seen Force India, Mercedes, Sauber and the Williams all closely matched. Of these the driver on the upturn seems to be Bruno Senna who, apart from in qualifying, was quick all through last weekend.

Selections :

Mark Webber fastest qualifier at 8/1
Jenson Button to win the race at 9/1
Romain Grosjean to finish on the podium at 11/1
Bruno Senna to finish in the points at 6/5

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