Quadruple Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel eased to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for his seventh successive victory and 11th of the season.
The 26-year-old German led home a Red Bull 1-2 – the 15th time in Formula One and giving them their 100th podium finish – with Australian Mark Webber second, taking him to over 1000 points in his Formula One career which comes to an end at the end of the season.
German Nico Rosberg was third in a Mercedes.
Vettel’s win drew him level with compatriot Michael Schumacher’s mark of seven successive wins (2004) and should he win the last two races of the season he will equal the overall record of nine held by Alberto Ascari (1952/53).
The German, who also equalled his personal record set in 2011 of 11 race wins in a season, can also match Schumacher’s overall record of 13 wins in a campaign if he lands the final two races of the season.
Vettel was ecstatic at his victory, especially as it came in front of his parents.
“I have spent most of my life racing in front of them (his parents) as a kid. The toys are a bit bigger now, but I am so pleased they are here to see me today,” he said.
“They taught me lots of good things and one day I want to pass that on to my children if I have them. So today I dedicate this victory to them.”
Webber said he was content with his end result.
“The start wasn’t great and Nico got an unbelievable start,” said the 37-year-old.
“I had to battle with Nico for second. I would have liked the win, but I matched my best result here.”
Rosberg said that Mercedes had achieved its objective for the weekend.
“I am happy, third place was good. The plan for the weekend was to be the best of the rest behind the Red Bull and we achieved that.”
Once again, as he did in India last Sunday when he sealed his fourth title, Vettel threw his Red Bull car into a series of ‘doughnut’ pirouettes on the circuit to delight the crowd. A week previously, he had been reprimanded and fined for his celebrations.
“I think Sebastian can pay the fine this week,” said team chief Christian Horner.
“That was a champion’s drive.”
Vettel, recording his 37th win of his career, started second alongside Webber but the Australian once again failed to benefit from starting from pole – he has won just once on the past nine occasions he has started there.
Sensing this Vettel took the lead at the first corner and went on to dominate the race, turning the contest into a master-class.
Webber, who had started from pole position, endured a typically incident-filled contest on his way to second ahead of Rosberg while Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus finished fourth.
Two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who had started 10th for Ferrari, came home in fifth position and recorded the fastest lap ahead of Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India.
Briton Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was seventh, Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari eighth, Mexican Sergio Perez of McLaren ninth and German Adrian Sutil of Force India 10th.