4th November 2012
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
On 4th November 2012, Fernando Alonso finished second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The race was bittersweet for the Scuderia, because although Fernando came very close to winning, Vettel, who had to start from the back of the grid because of a transgression in qualifying, finished right behind the Spaniard, thus limiting the damage in the championship race.
After a disappointing qualifying and with the series leader penalised at the back, Fernando lined up sixth with Felipe eighth. For the umpteenth time, Sunday worked out well for the Maranello cars and Fernando found himself fighting for a podium finish, once Hamilton retired after around twenty laps. Further back, with a slight helping of luck, Vettel was back in the hunt for those important points and, thanks to a safety car period, seemed again to be in with a chance of winning. At this point, Fernando took the bit between his teeth and, lying second, chased down Raikkonen, coming up practically on his tail. Vettel made the most of a lack of concentration from Button to snatch third place: for the German it was a case of maximum damage limitation in a race that could herald another turnaround in the championship. Felipe did not shine as he had done in previous races, but still managed to finish seventh, which was useful in helping the Scuderia to consolidate its advantage over McLaren in the Constructors’.
“Yet another great race from Fernando in what has been an extraordinary season from him,” said Domenicali after the race. “Today’s second place was mainly down to his ability to squeeze the maximum and even more out of what we give him to work with. He is now only ten points down in the championship and there is still everything to play for: sure, we will have to do something extra and better than what we have managed so far, to give him a more competitive car. If you had told me yesterday afternoon, immediately after qualifying, that we could leave Abu Dhabi with this gap, I would probably have accepted it. But it’s also true that, this afternoon before the start, the prospects had changed. Definitely the way the race evolved and the incidents that occurred did not do us any favours in terms of the championship, but these were circumstances beyond our control. The important thing is that we have nevertheless reduced the gap in the Drivers’ championship in a Grand Prix that became particularly difficult because not only was our performance a match for that of our closest rivals, but it was also inferior to that of other teams.”