Race 17: Abu Dhabi

Well, that’s it. It’s all over except for the celebrating…for some anyway. This past weekend was the final race of the 2009 Formula One season, and it went out in grand, albeit boring, style in Abu Dhabi. The Yas Marina Circuit is the latest in a line of “new world” grand prix circuits in Bernie Ecclestone’s desire to go to new, and increasing more expensive, countries. This was the first time that a Formula One race had gone from day to night, in that they started the race at dusk and crossed the finish line under artificial lighting. The track itself is impressive to be sure, but I still think that the thing is just too big. When I say that, I mean that the track is too wide and has too many good runoff points. While it may seem like a wider track will allow for better passing, that would entail that there are still places to pass. And this track does have them, but they are few and far between. With a wider track, the cars are also allowed to move a bit more under braking and can weave over the track more. This allows for more blocking maneuvers and less passing. In the race itself, it turned out to be very much like Monaco, in that, the passing that was done was mostly in the pits. If it wasn’t for Hamilton breaking down like he did, I still contend that he would have won that race. But, as it was, the podium was Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Jenson Button. The rest of the points scorers were Barrichello, Heidfeld, Kobayashi, Trulli and Buemi. As far as my predictions went, I did have Button in third with Vettel second, so pretty good there. But I only got Webber and Kobayashi right on the other people to score points. Kimi couldn’t come through and neither could Kovalainen, while Rosberg was no where to be seen. Oh well. In the end, the overall results of Jenson Button being World Champion and Brawn GP being Constructor’s Champions still ring true. So now the winter months begin, and there is no testing until sometime in February I believe. However, there will certainly be more stories coming up, with drivers moving all over the place, including Barrichello and Raikkonen.ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX F1/2009  © FOTO ERCOLE COLOMBO

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