Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 20, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 20 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Andrew Van de Burgt
Editor in Chief
Find out more about our subscriptions

Abu Dhabi GP: Sebastian Vettel not surprised to reach podium

Sebastian Vettel on the Abu Dhabi podiumFinishing third in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix came as no surprise to Sebastian Vettel, despite the world champion starting the race from the pitlane.

After being excluded from qualifying over a fuel issue, the Red Bull driver was forced to drive through the pack in a bid to prevent Fernando Alonso reducing his Formula 1 championship lead.

With Alonso finishing second - only one place ahead of Vettel - the Spaniard reduced his advantage by only three points.

Vettel now leads the standings by 10 points with 50 available from the final two races.

Red Bull pitted Vettel under safety car conditions on lap 13, by which time he had made it onto the verge of the top 10.

That allowed a front wing, which had been damaged in contact with Bruno Senna on the first lap and with a marker board during a safety car near-miss, to be changed and also enabled Vettel to switch from medium to soft tyres.

He climbed to second before stopping again and dropping to fourth, but reaped the benefit of another safety car period to close onto the tail of the lead trio.

When asked if he thought a podium was achievable at the start of the race, Vettel said: "Yes I did to be honest with you.

"After the first couple of laps that target was drifting a little bit away.

"I had a messy start, wanted to get through cars quickly and damaged the front wing, and under the safety car had a bit of a mistake with Daniel Ricciardo, because he was braking on the straight and we nearly touched."

Vettel said that the highlight of his afternoon was the late-race battle with Jenson Button for the final podium position.

The German stole the place from the McLaren driver after tucking into his slipstream in the second DRS zone and then driving around the outside of him into the following left-hander.

"I had a fantastic race, the safety car helping here and there, and in the end there was a nice fight with Jenson, who was difficult to pass," said Vettel.

"I expected to have a little easier time passing slower cars before, but I squeezed my way past.

"It was a thrilling grand prix, up and down all the time and it's very nice to stand here and pick up trophy."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Red Bull lauds Vettel's 'best ever drive'