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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Sunday, 13 November 2011

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as it happened


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By David Ornstein

1545: The F1 Forum continues on the Red Button but that's us done and dusted. Jake, EJ and DC chatting to Vettel as we speak. And talking of Vettel, who would've predicted a opening-lap retirement for the pole-sitter and world champion at the start of the day? That's exactly what happened and it helped Lewis Hamilton to secure one of the finest and most-timely victories of his career. Take a peek at Sarah Holt's race report to relive the drama and keep across for all the reaction and follow-up stories. That was the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Just one more stop on the Formula 1 calendar: Brazil. We'll see you on 25 November.

Michael Schumacher, seventh place: "We had a puncture towards the end of the race and the team asked us to stop [after crossing the line]. I had a reasonable start, a nice battle with Nico, but I did not want to give him too much of a hard time. I knew he was on the better tyres so I just tried to focus forward. We had a new set that helped us get close to Sutil in the second stint. There were something happening that meant the balance wasn't what it should be so I am pleased we kept it together through to the chequered flag and got the points we did."

Jenson Button's girlfriend Jessica Michibata on Twitter: "Great drive by @JensonButton considering his KERS wasn't working!! Congrats to Lewis & the team! :)"

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery on Twitter: "No news re Seb's tyre yet. Will look at what we have left with RBR and let you know what we find."

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal: "I am thrilled for the team, for Lewis, for everyone. We knew we could win the race, Fernando is a phenomenal competitor but Lewis controlled the race and controlled the gap. It was a great job for Jenson as well. He was battling with a car that lacked the Kers power system for half the race and that affects the brakes as well. Lewis had the right approach he knew he was going under pressure all race. Sebastian wanted to put in a flying lap, but when you do that you run a risk."

LEWIS HAMILTON, WINNER: "It's my mum's birthday this weekend. It's great to be able to win while she is here. I feel fantastic. It's one of my best races. I said that to myself as I slowed down. Being able to hold one of best drivers in the world [Fernando Alonso] is something that is tough to do. I was looking after tyres and managing the gap. The team did a great job with the stops."

FERNANDO ALONSO, SECOND PLACE:"It was fantastic for me. I had a very good start and the first lap fighting with Jenson. Then we found ourselves second and we were three to five seconds behind Lewis. In the last stop we were two seconds later than the McLarens. But there was a bit of traffic and I'm not sure that even with the faster stop we could have overtaken."

JENSON BUTTON, THIRD PLACE: "I'm not sure my pace was entirely there on the soft tyres. I think lap 13 or 14 I didn't have any Kers basically so I had to fend off Webber and Massa, which was quite interesting without Kers. In the next stint they said what I could do to get it back but it lasted for two laps at a time so I had to keep re-setting it. When you don't have it you don't have any braking performance. Every time I arrived at a corner I didn't know what to expect. I'm relatively happy."

SEBASTIAN VETTEL, FIRST-LAP RETIREMENT: "At the exit of the first corner everything seemed fine but when I turned in I tried to catch the car but I couldn't do it any more and I spun off. On the way back I damaged the suspension so badly. I don't know what happened. We lost pressure all of a sudden out of the exit of Turn One. I don't why. There is nothing that I did differently to any of the others laps. We need to find out why, maybe I cut the kerb at a funny angle. It is tough, but I used the opportunity to learn a bit on the pit wall."

MARK WEBBER, FOURTH PLACE: "On the second stop, we fitted the option tyre again to cut the race into something different. It was worth a bit of a punt. The two DRS [moveable rear wing overtaking aid] zones were tricky. The first one was easy but the second wasn't so easy. The DRS was a bit of a gimme today. We had pretty good pace and I was close to Jenson Button at the end of the first stint. Then we had a bad first pit stop. We lost a lot of time. It put us on the back foot. We lost track position. That's where we lost the podium."

1505: Now, who said the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would be boring? A procession for Sebastian Vettel? Get outta town! Little bit of time left to get your thoughts in - tweet me @bbcsport_david using the Twitter hashtag #BBCF1 or text us on 81111 (UK).

Williams F1 on Twitter: "A more positive result for the team - 29 places made up in total to finish 12th (Rubens) & 14th (Pastor) from Ps23 & 24."

1500: The 'rocket red' t-shirts are coming out of their packaging in the McLaren garage. The Woking-based team ban music from Thursday to Sunday, but you can rest assured that the tunes are about to start pumping.

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "For the 1st time since the Korean GP from 2010, a driver from Red Bull is not on the podium of a #F1 race (streak of 19 races)."

1455: Worth pointing out that Jenson Button's third-place finish means he will finish 2011 ahead of McLaren team-mate Hamilton.

Stuart, Swindon, via text on 81111: "Redemption for Hamilton, he's back! Looked supreme all weekend, even better than Vettel."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Mark, Coventry, via text on 81111: "Nice to see the top 3 drivers on the podium at last. Hopefully McLaren and Ferrari will give Hamilton and Alonso the cars they deserve to challenge the Red Bull next year. Here's hoping at least!"

1450: Lovely rendition of the British national anthem. Lewis smiling away, his diamond earrings glistening under the floodlights, his mum wearing the biggest smile in Abu Dhabi. Trophies presented. Champagne corks popping. Smiles all-round from Hamilton, Alonso and Button. Tremendous.

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle: "You can sense the relief can't you?"

1445: Hamilton leaps out of his cockpit, opens his arms to the world, claps his hands, shuffles his fists and blows a kiss to his team. He then jumps off the car, leaps into the crowd and laps up the adulation. What a way to bounce back from his recent troubles. He's in a dark place no longer. Lewis Hamilton, take a bow.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "Will this be what Lewis Hamilton needs? It has been eight grands prix since he won the German Grand Prix. Will this help him get back into that happy place?"

Lewis Hamilton on the McLaren team radio: "Mega job - mega job guys - as usual. I want to dedicate this win to my mum. Happy birthday and thanks for coming out here."

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle: "Hamilton is back with a tremendous victory here under the lights in Abu Dhabi. Wonderful, wonderful race for Hamilton. McLaren so urgently needed that victory. It's Jenson Button who will make it two McLaren drivers on the podium in third."

It's good news for a Brit
Chequered flag

LAP 54: In comes Webber for his mandatory stop. Why? You must use both available tyre compounds every race. Until then, he had only been on softs. Now he's on to the hards. Button up to third.

LAP 54: If things stay as they are, the last 48 podium places would have been taken by five drivers. Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Button and Alonso. #Domination.

Team Lotus on Twitter: "Four laps left and Heikki's just taken 1 second out of Senna ahead.... PUSH PUSH HEIKKI!!!"

LAP 52: Ricciardo bites the dust. Not sure why. Shame.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard on Jenson Button: "All weekend he has looked like he has been struggling for pace compared to Lewis. That said, I think his qualifying lap on Saturday to almost match Lewis was fantastic."

LAP 51: "McLaren are nervous about Webber," says BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz. The Aussie is tearing round Yas Marina on his soft tyres, setting fastest laps left, right and centre. But he still has to stop, so that will promote Button into third behind Alonso and leader Hamilton. Lewis's gap up to six seconds. Victory is his. Almost.

LAP 49: Massa spins at Turn One. Where did that come from? Same place that Vettel and Alonso crashed in Friday practice. He's flat-spotted his tyres. Down in sixth and that's the best he'll do today.

LAP 48: Alonso picking away at Hamilton's lead but it's still 5.4 seconds and, barring a late blip, the Briton is going to become the first man other than Sebastian Vettel to win the Abu Dhabi GP.

A celeb has been spotted
LAP 46: British golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis player girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki watching on intently from the pit wall. They look gripped. So are we. Webber takes Rosberg for third but, remember, he still needs to stop. The problem for Webber, according to 5 live analyst Karun Chandhok, is that even if Red Bull do keep him out until the final lap for that compulsory tyre change, he won't have the time gap to hold off Button and might slip behind Massa as well.

LAP 45: Ten laps to go and Lewis Hamilton is 4.4 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso. Rosberg third and Webber fourth but both men will need to stop again. Then comes Button, who will slip into third when those two pit.

LAP 43: Alonso in... TRAFFIC! He gets delayed behind the HRT of Ricciardo. Into the pit box he goes... there's trouble with his right rear and front left... not good... Lewis about to pass the pit lane... out comes Fernando... Hamilton long gone!

LAP 43: "Now it's all about how quickly Hamilton can 'switch on' the hard tyre," says BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard. Nervy times. Alonso's still out there but that pit stop must coming...

LAP 41: Magnificent pit stop by McLaren. Lewis in, on to hards and out in a flash. Ferrari react by getting ready to bring Alonso in.

LAP 40: Alonso shaving tenths off Hamilton's lead all the time. "This is a great drive from Fernando," says BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard. In comes Lewis...

LAP 38: Perez takes Petrov for 10th and that would mean a point for the Mexican if he can hold firm.

stuwheadon on Twitter: "Going for a Hamilton win. Has shown far more consistency in race pace all weekend. Come on the Brits! #bbcf1"

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "This is the Lewis Hamilton of old. He sniffed out his chance at the start and we've not seen him make a mistake in the race."

LAP 36: Button in too....... hards. That's his last scheduled pit stop. Now we'll see what he's got. Looking like Hamilton - Alonso - Button. But still plenty of time for thrills and spills.

LAP 36: Maldonado under investigation for the second time for ignoring blue flags. Did you not learn, boy? Webber comes in for his second set of fresh tyres and it is....... softs. That means he must be on a three-stop strategy. Not a good day for Aussie Grit or his team.

Anon via text on 81111: "Maldonado, what's he doing?! Very odd behaviour from him today."

LAP 33: Maldonado serves a drive-through penalty for ignoring a blue flag, i.e. not letting a front runner overtake him. Hamilton, meanwhile, is loving it up front. His gap to Alonso now stands at 5.1 seconds, with Button 16.4 seconds further back. Button fans will be delighted to see their man 6.1 seconds in front of Massa now as the Ferrari continues to squabble with Webber.

LAP 31: Button has his Kers back and it helps him set his quickest lap of the day. It's all going right for McLaren. It's all going wrong for Red Bull. Not often we've said that this season.

LAP 30: We're hearing it was a brake disc problem for D'Ambrosio and hydraulics for Buemi. More interestingly, Massa and Webber are going at it hammer and tongs. The Aussie shows majestic wheel-to-wheel skills to slip past his Brazilian rival for fourth place, only for Massa to produce a top-class move of his own to reclaim the position. Their battle, though, is playing into the hands of Jenson Button.

Anon via text on 81111: "It's such a shame that Vettel went out - I was really looking forward to seeing how he raced up through the ranks for a change."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anon via text on 81111: "Double DRS working a treat! Great to see battles all over the field. Button's Kers situation will be interesting."

LAP 25: Is Lewis holding something back? Is he on the defensive? Alonso's chasing him hard and the Ferrari is looking every inch as quick as the McLaren. Button 17.5 seconds off the lead and Massa's closing in. Just 1.8 seconds the gap there. Webber in close attendance too. Sutil giving it a right go for Force India in seventh and team-mate Di Resta on the one-stop strategy in ninth.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz on Jenson Button whose Kers is still broken: "Massa is closing on Jenson. McLaren's Kers system is worth more to them than other teams at between three tenths and half a second. It means Jenson is having to play around with the brake balance. He needs to put it forward as much as he can and then bring it back. McLaren tell me they are hoping to get the problem sorted as soon as possible."

LAP 23: It's been clear all weekend that McLaren have pace and many of you were hoping for a Hamilton victory. But did you really see it coming? The medium-downforce Yas Marina track, which features few high-speed direction changes, suits McLaren and Lewis is taking advantage. He leads Alonso by 3.3 seconds, with team-mate Jenson Button in third. By the way, we've also lost Sebastien Buemi and Jerome d'Ambrosio.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz on Paul di Resta: "They are trying to do just one stop. If they can, they need to go a little longer than this. At a push, the soft tyre will be able to do 30 laps, but that's pushing it. They may be better to pit him now and then get another set of softs on near the end."

LAP22: Fair to say the Vettel retirement is causing social media hysteria... and long may it continue. Keep your thoughts coming by tweeting me @bbcsport_david using the Twitter hashtag #BBCF1 or text in on 81111 (UK). Hamilton a dead cert to win?

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "That stop cost Webber massively. He stopped a lap too late and now he's lost a position to Massa."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anon via text on 81111: "You have no idea how excited we are now that Vettel the Unbeatable has retired! Not through his own fault but that gives the British guys a fighting chance! BUZZING!"

LAP 17: Fresh set of softs for Lewis and he comes out in second behind Webber. In comes Webber for his stop. TERRIBLE STOP! Problem with the right rear. What is it with Red Bull's right rear today?! "Webber had a slow stop," Hamilton is told on the McLaren team radio. "He's out of the picture". Don't speak too soon...

LAP 16: Webber looks to capitalise on Button's Kers failure with an overtake going into Turn One. He gets through. There's contact! Button defends for his life. Grabs the place back. Brilliant work from the 2009 world champ. In comes Hamilton for fresh tyres. Alonso pits too. It's all happening.

LAP 15: Kers failure for Jenson Button. Very bad news. McLaren telling him to reboot the system - easier said than done when you're travelling at a couple of hundred miles per hour! Meanwhile, battle royale between Sutil and Buemi for eighth place. Pass, re-pass, pass, re-pass. Exciting stuff.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Bruno Senna was gambling on a safety car so that's why he pitted on lap one. He has at least got the hard tyre out of the way."

LAP 13: "Still a problem, still a problem," Button reports on the McLaren team radio. What could that problem be... Kers? DRS? One thing's for sure - he's having to nurse those tyres already so a pit stop may not be too far away.

LAP 12: Hamilton's lead over Alonso comes down by a tenth to 2.6 seconds, with Button 4.9 seconds further back and Webber 9.6 seconds off the pace. Massa, Rosberg, Schumacher, Sutil, Di Resta and Buemi complete the top 10. Vettel the only retirement so far. Williams pair Barrichello and Maldonado have made their way up from 23rd and 24th to 14th and 15th.

LAP 10: Before this race, Vettel had led over 70% of laps in the 2011 F1 season. Extraordinary to see him bite the dust. Fortunately for the German and his Red Bull team, the drivers' and constructors' championships are already in the bag.

More from BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Vettel is bemused. He doesn't know why the puncture happened. There is little Pirelli can learn because there wasn't much rubber left for them to analyse so they have to rely on the data. That's why Sebastian is sitting there looking at the data to understand why it happened. That's the mark of the man."

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz on Sebastian Vettel's puncture: "I've just spoken to Red Bull and they were explaining how much damage is. There was nothing on the right rear corner of the car that was not damaged. The team did not see anything on the telemetry to suggest he had a puncture on the formation lap."

InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to have finished all previous 17 races in the 2011 Formula 1 season."

LAP FIVE: Unbelievable start as Vettel retires for the first time since Korea 2010, when his engine failed. What an opportunity for Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Webber now. Lewis leads Fernando by 2.6 seconds, with Button passed by Webber by taking him back. Vettel back in the Red Bull garage. Safe to say he looks rather disgruntled.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "He's made a real mess of it with that flailing tyre. He has damage to the floor and the exhaust. He's also damaged part of wishbone. That's it. It's his first race retirement since Korea last year."

LAP TWO: Alonso comes through to pass Button for second place but Hamilton holds on to the lead. Vettel arrives at the pits for a new right rear... but he's damaged the wheel... and part of the wishbone... ***SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS OUT OF THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX***

LAP ONE: A clean start for all but SEBASTIAN VETTEL SUFFERS A PUNCTURE as he comes out of Turn One and heads into Turn Two. Incredible scenes! Hamilton and Button earn a McLaren one-two.

1302: Formation laps complete. It's time to go racing. Nervous? Me too. Love these moments. Here we go...

1259: Pirelli... "The first corner is the start of a flowing sequence of bends. The car is subjected to sideways accelerations of 4G, with the outside tyres guaranteeing grip along with the best possible roadholding at speeds of 250kph. Throughout the longest straight of the lap, the structure of the tyre is challenged due to the high speeds reached with full throttle maintained for around 15 seconds. The aerodynamic downforce generates a loading of 800kgs, entirely absorbed by the tyre structure, which at the same time has to soak up any bumps and imperfections in the track surface. For Turn 11, the cars go from 300kph to 90kph in 110m. This is a 5G deceleration, taking the drivers into a slow series of Ss that have to be driven with maximum precision. The final section of the lap requires an optimal balance from the car. A sequence of curves progressively heats up the tread pattern. The tyre temperature can reach 130C while still ensuring the highest possible levels of grip, durability and car control that are vital for Abu Dhabi's asphalt.

1258: As the sun goes down and the floodlights switch on, let's find out a bit about the track from tyre supplier Pirelli...

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "So what can I tell you? McLaren reckon their race pace is more of a match for the Red Bulls than it was at the last race. BUT overtaking is notoriously tricky at Abu Dhabi so Hamilton & Button know they need to make a good start. F1 experts reckon a one-stop race could be a possibility but two-stoppers could begin around lap 20. We shall see. Stat/weather fans! Here's an interesting snippet. Track temperatures will drop by 8 degrees in the race which will impact on tyres. #bbcf1"

McLaren's Jenson Button, who starts third: "I think in the last few races, we've been pretty strong - not quite strong enough to beat Sebastian and Red Bull but very close. It has been difficult but I think this race is one where we've been closer than we have been. In practice, the long runs have been good. It's amazing how cool it is already in the shade. The drop in temperature does make it difficult because most people will be running the medium tyre towards the end of the race when the temperature will have dropped off."

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who starts seventh: "The feeling is very good and I'm quite confident for today. My aim today is to try and beat one of the Ferraris. I think it's very possible. Maybe I can beat Felipe Massa at the start as it's very possible around the outside of Turn One."

Ronaldo: "I come just to support Bruno [Senna] because he's a good friend. I really love Formula 1. For me it's the best. My first time at a race was in 1996 in Barcelona. It's nice to be here."

A celeb has been spotted
1248: Eddie ventures to the back of the grid and guess who he finds? Brazil football legend Ronaldo. WOW. What a catch, EJ! He's at the race supporting compatriot Bruno Senna.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton: "I've not put myself in the right position this season. Jenson [Button] has and that's the way it goes. He's in a much better place than me. If you look at him, he has his dad, who doesn't get involved in his racing business, there all the time. He's got his manager there, his best friends and his girlfriend. He's in a much happier place than me. You've got to enjoy it with your family - the people you love and the people who got you there. Sometimes it doesn't always work like that. I'm certain that in future, things will work out. And when they do I'll be in the same position mentally as Jenson. I know that when I get it sorted I'll be there fighting."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Abu Dhabi: "Lewis Hamilton revealed an interesting snippet of conversation he had with Sebastian Vettel this weekend after Red Bull's double world champion pipped him to pole. 'Last year I started second but braked early into Turn One and let Sebastian have the corner,' Hamilton said on Saturday. 'I've told him that's not going to happen tomorrow, though…' The start is all-important for the McLarens as they don't want Vettel to pull an unbridgeable gap in the opening laps as he had so many times this season. McLaren believe they have the pace to match Red Bull during the race. Overtaking is notoriously difficult at the Yas Marina circuit, especially because this year's controversial off-throttle blown diffusers are helping the cars stay stable through the corners. Jenson Button has already said he has no intention of finishing third - and John Button has told his son to put on an entertaining show this afternoon. Button's ability to look after his tyres could come into play during the race. By the way, Button, Hamilton and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso mean three world champions, along with Red Bull's Mark Webber, are still in the hunt for second in the championship. Yes, overtaking might be tricky but do not expect any easing up in the racing in Abu Dhabi."

Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who starts fourth: "It's always nice if you can go away from grid in the position you started. If you can grab some positions then great. The Ferraris always make decent start but I think the grid is pretty even. I'll be looking to get good runs on the first two straights. My long run pace was pretty good in practice so let's see how it unfolds."

1243: The Martin Brundle pit walk is well under way. Nice chat with Jenson Button, who says he'll keep his 'Movember' tache even if he wins today. Martin calls it a "flavour saver". Like that a lot.

1240: A reminder for any web users out there that on top of our TV, radio and online coverage, you can also follow Sunday's race via the BBC Sport driver tracker. If you haven't already sampled it, take a look once the action gets going.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Abu Dhabi: "Williams have admitted that this has just not been their weekend so far as Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello start the race from the back row. Maldonado was given a 10-place grid penalty for taking a ninth new engine - one more than is allotted to each driver for the season. Barrichello didn't even get out for qualifying because of two separate oil-pressure problems but ended up with a 10-place grid penalty anyway after the team had to break the official FIA seal on his engine to fix it last night. The team did at least manage to fox their rivals in the first phase of qualifying as Barrichello sat in the car to give the impression that he would go out for a timed lap, which forced the other teams to go out in order to guarantee they made it through Q1, and therefore use up a set of tyres. The team's next trick is to work their way up the field from the back."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Matt, Tonbridge, via text on 81111: "If Button can get his balance problems sorted for the race, I reckon he has the pace to win this race."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Abu Dhabi: "Mercedes want to put on a good show in front of their co-owners, Abu Dhabi's Aabar investment group. Nico Rosberg lines up in seventh with team-mate Michael Schumacher alongside him on the fourth row but there is no plan to give each other any extra space off the line. 'It doesn't matter who is next to you,' said Schumacher. 'You would just like to gain position. The expectation was set right from the beginning of the weekend knowing that we have a lot of guests coming. We want to get the max out of what we have available but luckily our bosses know a bit about our situation so they support us anyway.' Rosberg added: 'Of course I'll watch what Michael is doing but my aim is to get [Ferrari's Felipe] Massa [who starts sixth] at the start.'"

A celeb has been spotted
1232: Nice reference to Sir Paul McCartney there, Ted. The Beatles legend was trackside on Saturday and we think he'll be there again today. Penny [Lane] for his thoughts and predictions on the race... Sorry. Anyway, we've just seen another big name from the music world... Dannii Minogue. Looking delightful as ever. Presume she's here to cheer on her fellow Aussie, Mark Webber.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Saturday was a Hard Day's Night for the Williams team. It was the worst qualifying session in their history. Rubens Barrichello had an oil leak which meant he didn't get out in qualifying. Pastor Maldonado did qualify 17th but will start on the back row, alongside his team-mate, after taking a 10-place grid penalty for using one more engine than the quota allows this season."

A celeb has been spotted
1226: Any footy fans out there? QPR manager Neil Warnock and players Shaun Wright Phillips, Jay Bothroyd and Heidar Helguson are all at Yas Marina for the race.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Pete, Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "He may be dominant but you have to admire how Vettel treats every pole and win as if it was his first. You would have thought he had won the championship when he crossed the line yesterday. True passion."

Eddie Jordan
It's back! EJ's trend-setting sherwani. Fetching, no?
1215: Important news for fans of fashion and/or Eddie Jordan... we've just seen pictures of the great man in his red sherwani from the Indian Grand Prix. Covered in autographs, all set to be auctioned of for Children in Need. However, BBC One has just gone live and EJ has changed into a lime green and black number. Thoughts? Keep those tweets and texts coming as we up the ante ahead of race time.

Team Lotus on Twitter: "Looking forward to meeting the QPR boys today.... we'll be unveiling something pretty cool with them just before the race...."

Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock on Twitter: "Drivers parade done ready to race."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anon via text on 81111: "Vettel may have pulled it out on the last lap on Saturday, but that was just over one lap. Hamilton has had the consistency all weekend and I reckon it's his race today."

1205: Just under an hour until the lights go out on the penultimate grand prix of 2011. Five minutes 'til you hear The Chain on BBC One. Jake, EJ and DC are ready to rumble. Remember, UK users can also watch watch the TV coverage in the video console atop this page. Prefer the wireless? Then tune into BBC Radio 5 live at 1300.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Abu Dhabi: "More on those question marks about the quality of racing in Abu Dhabi. Many of the drivers have said this weekend that they think it will be difficult to move through the field during the race despite having two DRS zones - one of which has been extended - where they can deploy their moveable rear wing to aid passing. 'It's going to be tough to overtake,' said McLaren's Jenson Button. 'I don't want to finish third. I was DRS-ing out of Turn Seven all the way down to Turn Eight and I still couldn't overtake.' Button's boss Martin Whitmarsh summed it up, saying: 'Sadly this circuit wasn't designed to overtake.' The circuit's chief executive, Richard Cregan, has absorbed those comments but is confident that the DRS, Kers power-boost and Pirelli tyres will help liven up the race. And if they don't? 'Let's wait and see,' said Cregan 'We'll see how this year's races goes and then we'll sit with the FIA, [circuit designer] Hermann Tilke to see if we need to do anything. We want to make this the best race on the calendar.'"

McLaren's Jenson Button, who starts in third: "Our pace looked good but whether it's good enough in the race we'll have to wait and see. We are more competitive than in India but Red Bull will still have a competitive car. Being on pole isn't everything. It does make life easier but it doesn't mean you're going to win the race. I think DRS alone is not going to help us overtake. It's not all about the start. With the pit stops being tricky here they could make a bit of difference as well. Hopefully there will be possibilities. It's a long, long race - and I don't want to finish third."

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who starts in second: "This weekend I feel fresh, I feel clear in the mind. I spent time with my family, had a big Bonfire Night and those types of things make a big difference. I've stayed out of trouble and that helps with confidence. I'm ahead of Felipe [Massa] so that helps. I'm second on the grid now and we're in a good position to move forward. I feel strong. There's no reason why we can't compete for at least the position we're in, if not further. I think we've got the pace. If we can get a better start than Red Bull that will be even better but following here is still tough. It is quite easy to pull out a one-second gap here if you're at the front so we'll wait and see."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
1148: Vettel, of course, starts from the front of the grid for the 14th time this season. That equals the record set by Nigel Mansell in 1992. But, as Holty alludes to, McLaren have shown genuine pace this weekend and it could be a closer contest than many are expecting. We've got two DRS zones in which drivers can use their moveable rear wing to aid overtaking, while the Kers power-boost system is back after a one-year absence. There's also a story further back as Williams start a race in the bottom two positions for - I'm told - the first time in their history. It's going to be a belter and I demand you come along for the ride. Tweet me @bbcsport_david using the Twitter hashtag #BBCF1 or text us on 81111 (UK).

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Abu Dhabi: "After the colourful chaos of India, Formula 1 has arrived in the pristine glamour of Yas Island, cut out of the desert landscape of the United Arab Emirates, for the penultimate race of 2011. While Abu Dhabi was once a fishing port on the Arabian Sea, it is now an oil-rich, modern land and its spectacular F1 circuit befits the state's progress. The 3.5-mile track is straddled by a five-star hotel and runs alongside a man-made marina ringed with yachts. There has been a good dose of celebrity sparkle this weekend, too, including an appearance from legendary Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who usually pops up only in Monaco. As it happens, Abu Dhabi likes to call itself the 'Arabian Monaco' but unlike the historic Monte Carlo street race there are still question marks over whether the Yas Marina circuit can host a classic race. With Red Bull and McLaren more closely matched than in India, it could be a case of third time lucky for a thrilling twilight Abu Dhabi Grand Prix."

1135: Welcome to the Sebastian Vettel sho... sorry, race 18 of the Formula 1 season. Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso... show us what you've got.

1130: He won the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009. He qualified on pole and won the second Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2010. He has already won the world championship and starts on pole at the third Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2011. A foregone conclusion, nein?

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2016

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 385
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 380
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 256
4 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 212
5 M Verstappen Red Bull 204
6 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 186
7 Mexico S Perez Force India 101
8 Finland V Bottas Williams 85
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 72
10 Spain F Alonso McLaren 54
11 Brazil F Massa Williams 53
12 C Sainz Toro Rosso 46
13 France R Grosjean Haas F1 29
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 25
15 Great Britain J Button McLaren 21
16 Denmark K Magnussen Lotus 7
17 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 2
18 J Palmer Lotus 1
19 P Wehrlein Manor Marussia F1 1
21 Mexico E Gutierrez Haas F1 0
22 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 0
23 E Ocon Manor Marussia F1 0

Points projected from latest race positions

see also
Hamilton says win marks new start
14 Nov 11 |  Formula 1
Vettel grabs pole from Hamilton
12 Nov 11 |  Formula 1
Hamilton buoyed by Alonso praise
11 Nov 11 |  Formula One
Hamilton heads Button in practice
11 Nov 11 |  Formula One
Hamilton dismisses boss's theory
11 Nov 11 |  Formula One
Vettel beats Button in Indian GP
30 Oct 11 |  Formula 1
Vettel win seals maiden F1 title
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel wins as Hamilton drops out
01 Nov 09 |  Formula 1

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