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12-15 MARCH 2015

Webber qualifies fifth

Mark Webber's title hopes have been dealt a blow after the Australian qualified fifth for Monday morning's season deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set a scorching pace to take pole.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso came in third, considerably denting Webber's chances of snatching the title.

Vettel's time of one minute 39.394 seconds was followed closely by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who kept his slim title hopes alive with 1:39.425 to come in second.

Williams keep Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello has re-signed with Williams, but team-mate Nico Hulkenberg is on his way out of the British Formula One team.

Barrichello, 38, has signed on for a second year with the UK constructor, meaning he will line-up for his 19th consecutive F1 season in 2011.

The Brazilian veteran became the first man to make 300 race starts at the Belgian GP in August and helped Williams to sixth place in constructors' championship.

The most experienced man in F1 joined Williams after one season with the now defunct Brawn GP in 2009.

Webber will take any win

Red Bull's Mark Webber admits he is prepared to win the Formula One championship with the assistance of team orders on Sunday.

The F1 season concludes at Abu Dhabi this weekend with an unprecedented four drivers vying to become world champion.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso holds a slim eight-point lead over Webber on the drivers' table with Webber's team-mate Sebastian Vettel a further seven points adrift.

No excuses from Alonso

Fernando Alonso refused to point the finger of blame at his Ferrari team after conceding the Formula One title to Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso was eight points ahead in the F1 drivers' standings going into Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he could only manage a seventh-place finish at the Yas Marina circuit.

Ferrari's initial strategy appeared centred around holding off Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who was second behind Alonso in the overall standings before the race.

Horner braced for tense finish

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is preparing for frayed nerves as he fears this season's battle for the Formula One world title will boil down to the last lap.

Earlier this season Horner suggested the fight would go to the final race, and has obviously been proven right as the showdown takes place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

A degree of tension has eased given Red Bull won the constructors' championship last Sunday, remarkably doing so in six short years after the team was built from the wreckage of Jaguar's failure.

Vettel rapt with pole

Sebastian Vettel believes the title is within his reach after clinching pole at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Vettel headed McLaren's Lewis Hamilton with the quickest time of one minute 39.394 seconds, but more importantly topped championship leader Fernando Alonso who qualified in third (1:39.425), while Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber (1:39.925) was a disappointing fifth.

The 23-year-old German trails Alonso in the drivers' standings by 15 points while Webber is in second, eight points behind.

Domenicali rues painful defeat

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has spoken of his disappointment after watching Fernando Alonso lose the drivers' world title on Sunday.

In light of Sebastian Vettel winning the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, Alonso needed only a fourth-placed finish in the race, but a poor strategy resulted in the Spaniard finishing seventh and handing the title to Vettel.

After extending his congratulations to Vettel, who at 23 became the youngest ever Formula One champion, Domenicali lamented the painful defeat and bungled strategy.

Red Bull taunt rivals

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has taunted McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh by telling him to resolve his own team's problems before commenting on those of others.

Marko, right-hand man to owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was naturally in an ebullient mood after witnessing Sebastian Vettel become the youngest world champion in Formula One history on Sunday.

Marko has made no secret of his favouritism towards Vettel over the course of the season, notably siding with the 23-year-old following his collision with team-mate Mark Webber in Turkey.

Hamilton not giving up

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has not given up on winning the Formula One world championship this weekend.

Hamilton sits 24 points behind title leader Fernando Alonso and needs a remarkable final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to claim his second world championship.

"Although I'm still mathematically in with a shout, I'm fully aware that, being 24 points behind, I'll not only need to win the race on Sunday but see the championship leader finish outside the points," Hamilton said.


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