A Short Preview of the Amazing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

marina_circuitIt is the dream of every Formula One racing enthusiast; every big shot troops to the sandy coast at Yas Marina to get a feel of the thrilling and surreal experience that is Abdu Dhabi Grand Prix. Well, if you have not yet had the chance to watch your favorite driver zooming past the grandstands, it is time to make a date for the Abu Dhabi GP 2015 on November 27th to 29th.

But before the race weekend comes towards the end of the year, you need to get some insight on the history of this fantastic circuit. As a sporting enthusiast, you must appreciate that nothing is more exciting than having your facts right.  Here are some tidbits about the track.

  1. Yas Marina viewYas Marina

The circuit at Yas Marina is simply a work of genius. It was carved out of 2,550 hectares on Yas Island and runs for 5.554 kilometers. It has 55 laps with drivers having to tackle 21 turns. Sebastian Vettel holds the track record of 1:40.279, which he set in 2009 during the first race.

  1. Formula one Festival

Abu Dhabi GP is part of the new generation of circuits designed by the inedible genius Hermann Tilke. It was opened in 2007 and welcomed the largest gathering of F1 cars and drivers in a non-racing event. The free event marked the birth of F1 in UAE and the glamour has not dissipated since then.

  1. Racing Proper Starts, 2009

With FIA finally giving leeway for real racing, it was all systems go come the year 2009.  Indeed, the circuit was a milestone becoming the 1st day-night racing event.  Such a feat would have been unimaginable a few years earlier, but the organizers pulled it off amazingly. The race was arranged as the season finale and it proved to be a success.

  1. Hamilton-winThe Winners

As the last race, Abu Dhabi has always been one of the most anticipated sporting events. The first GP was won by Sebastian Vettel, who went on to win in 2010 before Hamilton won in 2011. Kimi Räikkönen won in 2012 before Vettel won it again in 2013. Hamilton won again in 2014 in one of the most tense GP finishes in recent times.

November 27th to 29th will prove decisive if anything that has gone down over the last 4 races of the season is anything to go by. There might be no double points awarded at this year’s Abu Dhabi GP, but you can bet Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams will all be pushing to close the season on a high. Talk of thrill and tension!

2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix Pre-Season Testing

jerezTraditionally, fans miss F1 pre-season testing which is a big shame. This is a chance for you to get insight on your team’s chances and at least enjoy its livery for the first time. Well, thank God for cable and the internet because you can still get tidbits from Jerez and Barcelona to form an opinion before Australian GP sets things rolling.

The 2015 preseason testing has again lived to its billing as another silly season where gossip flies in and about. So, what did you learn from this year’s preseason testing? Here are some thoughts:

1.       Williams FW37 is a Revelation

Say what you will but you will have to give credit to Massa and Bottas for pushing the Mercedes-powered engine to the top of preseason testing. Yes, pundits will say that preseason testing doesn’t count for much, but you have to concur that the consistency of this car is impressive. If there is a team you can bet on to chase after Mercedes, Williams has to be top on your list.

2.       McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Stuttering and Alonso’s Hazy Crash

The partnership between the two teams in making the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 was being hailed as a precursor to glory days. No lesser person than Ron Dennis the boss said this, but even before preseason testing the Hybrid engine was already developing complications.MP4-30

In pretesting, things got from bad to worse when Alonso was involved in an accident which no one seems to have details about. Picture this; Vettel was behind Alonso and commented that the accident looked strange as the car was still facing forward. The speed at which Alonso was rushed to hospital is also baffling and the contradictory updates from the team add more fire to speculation.

W063.       Untouchable Mercedes W06

2014 was Mercedes PETRONAS’s year, but if testing is anything to go by, you can bet this is still the car to beat. Hamilton and Rosberg are competitive drivers and they pushed the new car to the limit to gain the most laps. The drivers were able to overcome illness to give impressive mileage and this is one team going to Albert Park oozing confidence.

4.       Ferrari SF-15T Amazing Package

When a 4 time championship title winner praises a car then you know there is something good in it. Vettel was all smiles, despite minor hiccups, and with decent testing times, you can bet Scuderias will be up there with Williams behind Mercedes.

5.       Carmen Jorda a Lotus Development Driver, Really?

carmenYou might not have heard about Carmen and you are right because there is nothing to know about her really. So, why did Lotus sign her up? It is all about the check which in turn gives F1 a bad reputation. Gone are the days when raw talent was valued. Simple statistics; in 3 years of GP3 racing, Carmen never made it to the points even once.

6.       Marussia is Back for Australia GP

Well, the team might not have tested their car, but the news is just good for F1. Their interim car built to comply with FIA rules will be used initially and a new design will be introduced later.

STR107.       Toro Rosso’s STR10 Impresses

Whether it is the new long, pointy nose or the confidence of Verstappen and Carlo Sainz Jr. in the new car, there is no denying Toro Rosso is a delight to watch. Well, the car made for an impressive show in Jerez and Barcelona, and you can only hope these rookie drivers can prove the old geezers that talent can also deliver some points.

So much happens in preseason testing period that you can’t just afford to miss it. As you wait for the Australian GP, why not take a glimpse of more intrigues from this exciting pre-season period?