Thursday, October 29, 2009

F1 gears up for season finale in Abu Dhabi

The F1 world is gathering on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season at the brand spanking new Yas Marina Circuit. At this point, I get a bit squeamish and start wringing my hands a bit because I'm not terribly keen on the idea of building huge, opulent, unsustainable facilities like this in a part of the world where water is so scarce. To add insult to injury, there even having the race at dusk so there will be lots of unnecessary lighting, too.

It's been amusing seeing the tweets from all the media folk and teams and tyre people who are out there. To say that they sound like children who have been given the key to Santa's grotto would be markedly understating the case. The pictures are incredible. My favourite is this from the Official Brawn Twitter account. Some terrace to have!

The place has a marina (you can watch the race from your yacht, apparently), a massive Ferrari World theme park with the fastest rollercoaster in the World, a shopping mall and a luxurious hotel which sits on top of the track.

For the drivers, there are numerous challenges. They are all going to have to learn this circuit in just 4 hours of practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. It'll be interesting to see them all tackling a new circuit together. At least we can expect that the weather will not give us the deluges of recent sessions in Brazil and Japan.

The Drivers' and Constructors' Championship have been decided but I will still need the Official Hiding Behind Pillow for the race. Second place in the Drivers' Championship has yet to be decided and my favourite driver, Rubens Barrichello, slipped down to third after Lewis Hamilton's car punctured his rear tyre in Brazil. He's just two points behind Sebastian Vettel so can easily regain that second place. Let's hope that the precedent set the last time F1 hit the Middle East (Bahrain earlier this year), of a Brawn 1-2, is repeated. It would be a fitting end to the season.

On a bittersweet note, this may be the last chance we have to hear the fabulous commentary of Anthony Davidson on 5 Live. He's so good at explaining all the technical stuff and bringing the race to life. He really wants to be out there driving, though - and I do hope he gets his wish, even though we fans will really miss him.

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