Abu Dhabi: Double Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel suffered his first retirement of the season on Sunday after his Red Bull spun off at the second corner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old German, who has already clinched this year's title, had made a clean start from a record-equalling 14th pole position of the season but appeared to suffer a sudden puncture to his rear-right tyre.

Vettel nursed the car back to the pits but it was too badly damaged to continue.

The retirement ended Vettel's hopes of matching Michael Schumacher's record of 13 wins in a single season as well as a hat-trick of Abu Dhabi wins. He currently has 11 wins from 2011 with only the Brazilian Grand Prix remaining.

It also ended a run of seven podiums and 19 successive points finishes stretching back to last season.

Vettel's last retirement was in South Korea in October last year.