Abu Dhabi: Given his dominant form this season and an unblemished record at the Yas Marina Circuit, Sebastian Vettel would have never imagined that the dreaded letter ‘DNF' (Did Not Finish) would appear next to his name in the result sheet on Monday.
After the favourite spun out of contention after a punctured tire, Lewis Hamilton, who went on to win the race with a superb display, perhaps put Vettel's unfortunate exit in a different perspective when he said during the post-race press conference, "Every now and then, we need a bit of bad luck to notice the good times, I guess, and I don't remember the last time he [Vettel] had a bit of bad luck."
For Vettel, who has already retained the driver's championship and for Red Bull Renault, who have already won the Constructors' Championship it was the first DNF by one of their drivers and it also put a halt to Vettel's record-breaking spree.
"There wasn't anything we could have done better really this weekend; we just need to look at what had caused the puncture. I had a good start and I was very happy with the car up until that point. To lose the race there, so early on, it hurts for sure. There wasn't much we could do, so after that I took the opportunity to learn a little bit on the pit wall," said Vettel.
"Together with Red Bull, we're still examining the remains of Sebastian Vettel's tyre in order to try and piece together what happened," says Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director for Pirelli.
But none could grudge the 2008 world champion Hamilton's win on Sunday. The Briton, who dedicated his win to his mother, who was also present celebrating her birthday, was in great form since Friday and never allowed two-time champion Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari to pass him through the entire race.
"Just being able to hold off one of the best drivers in the world throughout the race is something that is very, very tough to do," said Hamilton, who will now hope to finish in similar fashion in the final race in Brazil.
"We've got another great race ahead of us in Brazil and I have just got to put my focus on that and try to keep the momentum, but you know how it goes. Anything can happen. I have just got to keep my mind on the game," said Hamilton, who has just not been able to convert his success on the track into race victories.
Alonso added: "Looking at Brazil, I think the race there will be interesting. The weather is normally a little bit unpredictable, so anything can happen there and hopefully with a possibility to fight on the podium again."
In Brazil the battle for second place in the Driver's Championship will be the focal point and Button now looks favourite to finish runner-up to Vettel.