Abu Dhabi: German Sebastian Vettel etched his name as knight of the night at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the first-ever winner of a day-night race and as a potential world champion in the very near future.
Vettel displayed skill and speed at the Yas Marina Circuit. In the initial part of the race in day light, Vettel piled the pressure on former champion Lewis Hamilton who retired due to a brake problem. Vettel shone brightly at night and completed a memorable win.
The Red Bull driver's success never appeared in doubt once Hamilton retired in the 20th lap of the 55-lap race in one of the most spectacular racing venues in the world.
The win confirmed his second-place finish in the drivers' championship.
Teammate Mark Webber made it 1-2 for Red Bull after the Australian was equally brilliant in the closing laps to keep the newly-crowned world champion Jenson Button at bay and complete another fine finish for the team.
It was the fourth 1-2 of the year and sixth overall win for the Red Bull team.
Vettel said: "It is a perfect way to finish the season. To win here and to take the second place is fantastic".
"The car was fantastic, it worked brilliantly on both tyres. But it was a shocker when Hamilton pushed the [KERS] button and disappeared. But later, it was a good cushion and after that I could set the pace," said Vettel, who had also posted wins in Shanghai, Silverstone and Japan.
"Very proud to win here, starting in the day and finishing in the night. It was a pleasure to sit in the car. To sum up the season, it was up and down. The car is getting quicker — it's a shame the season is ending," said Vettel, who along with Webber ensured Red Bull finished second in the Constructors' Championship behind Brawn.
"I knew the two pit stops were the key and I think I did well with the braking points. In the end, second place was a good result. Vettel has had a measure of me in the last few races. I am happy too with this best performance from me," said Webber, who won the last race in Brazil.
Button said: "This race was a bonus to me. I got the championship in Brazil and the race was as good as we could have expected it to be.
"I'm only disappointed because I could not be second. Really happy with the way we have performed.
"We should be proud of what we have achieved. This is the moment and I want to relax and enjoy this."
Race result after 55 laps:
1 S.Vettel Red Bull 1:34:03.414
2 M.Webber Red Bull +17.857
3 J.Button Brawn GP +18.467
4 R.Barrichello Brawn GP +22.735
5 N.Heidfeld BMW Sauber +26.253
6 K. Kobayashi Toyota +28.343
7 J.Trulli Toyota +34.366
8 S.Buemi Toro Rosso +41.294
9 N.Rosberg Williams +45.941
10 R.Kubica BMW Sauber +48.180
11 H.Kovalainen McLaren +52.798
12 K.Raikkonen Ferrari +54.317
13 K.Nakajima Williams +59.839
14 F.Alonso Renault +69.687
15 V.Liuzzi Force India +94.450
16 G.Fisichella Ferrari +1 LAP
17 A.Sutil Force India +1 LAP
18 R. Grosjean Renault +1 LAP
J.Alguersuari Toro Rosso Retired
L.Hamilton McLaren Retired