Vettel hails 'perfect' end to season

Sebastian Vettel hailed his victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the perfect way to finish the 2009 season

Vettel hails 'perfect' end to season

The Red Bull driver dominated the Yas Marina event once McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton retired, scoring his fourth win of the season to secure second place in the drivers' championship.

Vettel started from second position but took the lead once leader Hamilton hit trouble and was later forced to retire after a brake problem.

After that, the German was in control of the race, leading team-mate Mark Webber and world champion Jenson Button.

"It was a fantastic race," said Vettel. "We had a very good launch, a good start. It was not enough to out-accelerate Lewis but it was close, I was surprised.

"Then going on the long back straight he pushed the [KERS] button and that was it, he disappeared into the distance. I was able to stay close, we knew we were heavier but I was able to keep with him. There was a lot of pressure in the pitstops.

"After that he retired but it was a fantastic race. I had a gap to Jenson and Mark behind so I was able to pace myself, but the car was fantastic on both tyres. It was a pleasure to sit in the car tonight.

"To sum up the season, it is up and down. The second half we have been very strong, fourth 1-2 for Red Bull, so congratulation to the team. They have been pushing a lot, working a lot.

"It is a perfect way to finish the season on a high."

The German, who lost his chances of fighting for the title in the previous race in Brazil, admitted he was proud to have secured the runner-up spot.

"I am very proud," he said. "Obviously I think there was a misunderstanding in Brazil that I didn't have the chance, so congratulations to Brawn and Button.

"After Brazil, coming here we knew we had a very, very strong package and the priority number one was to secure second in the drivers' championship, and we succeeded. To do it with victory is the best possible result."

Vettel, whose team was the strongest in the second half of the season, is now hoping Red Bull can keep its momentum going and fight on top again in 2010.

"It would be very good to continue like that," he said. "Now we face a long winter, especially for all us drivers, there's long break with no testing. Back in England, back in the factory, the guys are pushing very hard. The cars do not change much until next year but you cannot refuel, so it is a bit unknown.

"This season was very special, I remember a couple of years back those two were driving and I was watching. Hopefully the next one will be as exciting as this one. I'm definitely looking forward.

"We had a very, very good season, some positive but some things we did wrong. It is not a shame, we just need to know and understand why that happened and come back next year."

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