What did we learn from the Abu Dhabi GP?


Well, the fastest man of 2010 ended up winning the championship, and probably deservedly so with 10 pole positions, even though for many, his immaturity was a negative factor.  But then again, we were all immature once (and some of us are still grasping it like a life buoy) but ‘age’ generally fixes it.  Congratulations Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull.

Team mate Mark Webber was magnanimous in defeat, saying, “You’ve got to take your hat off to Sebastian, he’s done a great job all year and to lead the Championship at the last race, he’s got the timing right and I fully congratulate him on the World Championship.”  Webber blew his own chances in Korea and committed hara-kiri in Abu Dhabi with a woeful qualifying.

With challengers Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes McLaren) and Alonso (Ferrari) bottled up behind two Renaults, this allowed Vettel in the (Renault) Red Bull some breathing room and put an end to Alonso’s title hopes.  A conspiracy perhaps?

Alonso showed a fine sporting gesture by waving the fingers at Petrov on the slowing down lap, to which Petrov responded by moving over.  Perhaps it was a Spanish idiom for “well done” or something similar, with a subsequent Russian response.  But then again…

The only interest during the race was whether Alonso and Webber could move up the order, and neither could.  The race was processional and another bore-fest.  If it hadn’t been for Kobayashi (Sauber) and Kubica (Renault) there would have been no action at all.  Kobayashi certainly wins the ‘Tryer of the Year’ (TOTY) award.  “I don’t care what your name is, I’ll have a go,” being his motto.

Keke Rosberg (Mercedes) came fourth, according to Bangkok Post’s AFP item in the sports pages.  Great that Nico’s father was able to fit into his son’s race suit and do so well after his retirement in 1986.  Makes Michael Schumacher’s return after only three years a non-event by comparison.

Jenson Button (McLaren) drove smoothly and deserved his podium, and although playing second fiddle to Hamilton this season has been a good team player.

Michael Schumacher out-qualified both the Rosbergs, but the spin on the opening lap and the mounting of his car by Liuzzi’s Force India was a poor ending to his comeback year.  But never write off Michael Schumacher.  We probably had unreal expectations for this season, but if Ross Brawn can produce a winning car for 2011, Schumacher will be challenging again.

Once again, the fastest race laps told a story, with both McLarens being the quickest followed by “Keke” Rosberg and then Vettel.  Where the Red Bull won was in consistency.

Finally, I believe there were some other teams running at the event, but they featured nowhere.  Senna’s Hispania was on the grass so much he would have done better with a motor mower.

So that was the end of the 2010 season.  Exciting in the fact that any one of four drivers could be champion at the end, but in reality, far too many boring circuits, with cars that are unable to pass each other (unless driven by Kamui Kobayashi).  Get rid of the electronic aids, carbon brakes, wings, automatic gearboxes and get back to pitting man and machines against each other.  The historic racing from Goodwood is just so much more exciting, I’m afraid, with cars sliding through the corners.

Finally, we watched the BBC’s telecast (thank you Kim Fletcher and Jameson’s) and it was so much better than the inane rubbish we have had to endure this year on the other commercial channels.  Thank you Beeb (and Kim), though the Legard commentator is a prat.