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Sports

Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to equal Schumacher record

German driver Sebastian Vettel has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by a long stretch. His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber came in second, while Mercedes' Nico Rosberg clinched an important place on the podium for his team.

Vettel won the Grand Prix on Sunday by a massive gap of 30.8 seconds, equaling the longest run of first place finishes in the history of modern Formula One.

The German led every lap of the race at the Yas Marina circuit, with his Red Bull team also taking second place through Webber. It was the seventh consecutive race win for Vettel, equaling a record set in 2004 by his compatriot Michael Schumacher.

"It's not often you get to drive a car like this," said Vettel, who celebrated by performing several "doughnut" spins. "I love you guys, thank you."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner congratulated Vettel, albeit with a reprimand. "That was a champion's drive," said Horner, adding that the German would have to personally pay any fine incurred for the post race celebrations himself.

The team paid Vettel's fine for doing doughnuts after he won the Indian Grand Prix last week.

Battle of the builders

Vettel won his fourth consecutive title in India last week, with Red Bull wrapping up their fourth straight constructors' title in the same Grand Prix.

Webber - who started in pole - had faced a tough challenge from Rosberg at the start of the race, but was able to hold on for second. If Rosberg felt disappointed, he hid it.

"The most important thing is to finish second in the constructor's championship not only financially but also motivationally for the team to see that we have the second best car," Rosberg said in the podium interview.

Mercedes and Ferrari are best placed to take second place in the constructors' championship. Lotus' hopes of second were damaged when Kimi Raikkonen, had to bow out early because of broken suspension.

Fourth place was Raikkonen's teammate Romain Grosjean, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ended up fifth.

rc/dr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)