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Vettel's Record Hopes Go Bang

Puncture puts champion out of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted Nov 17, 2011 by Chris White

Sebastian Vettel cannot equal the record after his puncture in Abu Dhabi

Double world champion Sebastian Vettel saw his hopes of the record of race victories in a season go bang – quite literally – in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as his rear right wheel suffered a puncture on just the second corner of the race.

The puncture caused sufficient enough damage to force the Red Bull driver to retire from the Grand Prix, his first non-finish in over a year, the last coming at the 2010 Korean Grand Prix.

Having qualified on pole position, the scene was set for Vettel to rack up his 12th victory of the season, and he got off the line fastest, beating Lewis Hamilton into the first turn, only for all his hard work to go up in smoke by the time he entered the second.

The German admitted he felt “hurt” after having to pull out of the race, with “nothing we could have done better all weekend. We just need to look at what caused the puncture,” he said. “I had a good start and was happy up until that point. To lose the race that early on hurts a lot.”

Vettel was in pursuit of compatriot Michael Schumacher and his record of 13 race victories in a single season, with just one race left, the Brazilian Grand Prix in ten days time.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that he didn’t know what had caused the puncture that brought an end to Vettel’s ambitions, other than “an instantaneous loss of pressure in turn two.”

On board footage of Vettel's puncture from Abu Dhabi:

 

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