Thursday Thoughts – Three worst F1 circuits

TrackFlags

And the winner (looser?) is ...

Nice topic thrown into the air by the nice Sidepodcast people for the first off-season Thursday – Which are your worst three circuits, and what would you do to fix them?

It is not easy to pick only three worst circuits as there are quite a few not so good ones that come to mind – Bahrain, Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia, Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Abu Dhabi. Plus add Turkey that has a good track but no one in Turkey cares …

Anyway, here are my top three worst tracks:

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result – Sebastian Vettel – the new F1 champion

Sebastian Vettel Abu Dhabi champagne

Sebastian Vettel - 2010 F1 Champion

Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and became the youngest ever Formula One champion. Lewis Hamilton finished the race in second place ahead of Jenson Button.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber became victims of their strategies. Both dropped down to the midfield after their pitstops and spent better part of race behind Vitaly Petrov (who pitted on lap one during safety car period).

2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result

1. Vettel
2. Hamilton +10.1
3. Button +11.0
4. Rosberg +30.7
5. Kubica +39.0
6. Petrov +43.5
7. Alonso +43.7
8. Webber +44.2
9. Alguersuari +50.2
10. Massa +50.8
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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Qualifying – P1 for Vettel

Vettel Abu Dhabi Pole

10th pole of the season for Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel will start the title deciding race from the pole position after qualifying 3 hundreds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso secured P3 ahead of Button and more importantly ahead of Webber in P5.

1. Vettel – 1:39.394
2. Hamilton – 1:39.425
3. Alonso – 1:39.792
4. Button – 1:39.823
5. Webber – 1:39.925
6. Massa – 1:40.202
7. Barrichello – 1:40.203
8. Schumacher – 1:40.516
9. Rosberg – 1:40.589
10. Petrov – 1:40.901

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Saturday Practice

Vettel Saturday Practice Abu Dhabi

Sebastian Vettel - Saturday Practice 2010 Abu Dhabi GP

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were fastest in final practice session of 2010 season ahead of Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Petrov.

1. Vettel – 1:40.696
2. Webber +0.133
3. Hamilton +0.584
4. Alonso +0.794
5. Button +0.882
6. Petrov +0.993
7. Schumacher +0.994
8. Rosberg +1.033
9. Kubica +1.181
10. Heidfeld +1.197

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Friday Practice

Abu Dhabi Friday

2010 Abu Dhabi GP - Friday Practice

Fastest time of the first Abu Dhabi practice session belongs to Sebastian Vettel, six tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Button, Webber, Kubica and Alonso were all over a second slower than Vettel. The session started on the wet track following earlier rain. Yes, it can rain in Abu Dhabi…

Friday Practice 1 Times:

1. Vettel – 1:42.760
2. Hamilton + 0.609
3. Button + 1.025
4. Webber +1.080
5. Kubica +1.320
6. Alonso +1.361
7. Schumacher +1.439
8. Kobayashi +1.844
9. Rosberg +1.958
10. Heidfeld +1.977

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2010 Prediction Game – Round 19 – Abu Dhabi GP

2010 prediction game abu dhabi

And here it comes – the final race of the 2010 season, the title deciding Abu Dhabi GP. It is time for round 19 of our prediction game – the last round of 2010 Prediction Game.

I haven’t yet decided if the game will be back next year so enjoy, there is a chance this may be the last round for quite a while.

The half normal half night race starts on Sunday November 17 at 5pm local time.

The predictions have to be placed before the start of the qualifying session (Saturday November 13, 6pm local time). As usual predictions can be changed, amended, there is no limit on the number of changes as long as they are made before the start of the qualifying. Predictions that arrive after the start of qualifying will not count.

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Poll: What do you think about Red Bull’s “no team orders” policy ?

Red Bull 2010 Constructor Champions

Red Bull Racing - 2010 Constructor Champions

Red Bull Racing allowed Sebastian Vettel to win the Brazilian GP ahead of Mark Webber. As a result Mark Webber goes to the final race of the season 8 points behind Fernando Alonso instead of what could have been only 1 point gap. On the other hand this decision keeps Sebastian Vettel within 15 points – a gap that is definitely easier to close in one race than 22 points would be. The Red Bull story however did not end there. Dietrich Mateschitz came out on record ruling out team orders for Abu Dhabi and effectively leaving it to drivers to fight it out on track, even if that means loosing the drivers title to Alonso (or still remotely possible to Hamilton).

“To interfere with the drivers was never a possibility for us. The whole world condemned Ferrari after what they did in Hockenheim, but we have turned out as idiots because we did not act in this way. We never even thought about it as long as both our drivers remain in the hunt for the championship. It is not assured that Alonso will always be the lucky one. Abu Dhabi will be incredibly exciting and provide highest tension.

Sunday night we will know if we clinched the other 50 percent and have been successful or not. A second place under correct circumstances might be better than a win on grounds of orders and confirmations.”

What are the reactions ? Red Bull are either branded as insane fools or this position is taken as a proof that they simply only want the drivers title if it is won by Sebastian Vettel, better Alonso than Webber …

There do not seem to be too many people out there who actually accept the idea of a team owner not keen on winning the title if that means manipulating the outcome of the race.

So, what do you think about Red Bull and the way they are approaching the season finale ? Here is a little poll (RSS readers may have to visit the website to see the poll):

What do you think about Red Bull's "no team orders" policy ?

  • The team wants Vettel not Webber to win the title (51%, 59 Votes)
  • They are doing the right thing leaving it to drivers to fight it out on track (26%, 30 Votes)
  • They are insane fools (21%, 24 Votes)
  • I have no idea (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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If the poll options are not enough, you can always leave a comment.

How will similar photo taken in Abu Dhabi look ?

F1 class of 2010

Teams and drivers at the start of 2010 season

The drives line up for the traditional start of the season photo (click on the photo to enlarge) yesterday in Bahrain. This year also took their cars with them. Nice picture, but how long will the cast remain unchanged ?

There were no driver changes at all in 2008 (except of course Davidson and Sato loosing ther drives when Super Aguri folded). The 2009 season was much more eventful with many changes happening in the second half of the season – here are the pictures from Melbourne and Abu Dhabi last year:

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2009 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result – Win for Vettel

Vettel, Webber and 4th 1-2 Red Bull finish of the season

Fourth 1-2 finish of the season for Red Bull courtesy of Vettel and Webber

Sebastian Vettel won the rather dull inaugural Abu Dhabi GP and claimed second place in the drivers championship. One of few exciting parts of this GP was the final laps fight between Webber and Button for 2nd place. Webber prevailed and helped to secured fourth 1-2 finish of the season for Red Bull Racing. Rubens Barrichello finished 4th, Nick Heidfeld 5th in BMW Sauber’s final F1 race. Kamui Kobayashi scored 3 points for 6th place in only his second F1 race. The final 2 point scoring positions belong to Jarno Trulli and Sebastien Buemi.

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2009 Abu Dhabi GP – Post qualifying weights

Top three in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Top three in Abu Dhabi qualifying

The FIA has released the Abu Dhabi GP post qualifying weights. Lewis Hamilton is lighter than the 2 Red Bull cars behind him on the grid but will probably stop on the same lap as Mark Webber and perhaps only a lap earlier than Vettel. The lightest car on the grid is Robert Kubica. The heaviest among the top ten is Nico Rosberg but he still only has about 2 laps worth of fuel more than Hamilton.

There are some very heavy cars at the back of the grid, especially Kazuki Nakajima and both Renaults.

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2009 Abu Dhabi GP – Qualifying – Hamilton on pole

Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamitlon at Abu Dhabi track

Lewis Hamilton will start the final race of 2009 from pole position after dominating the Abu Dhabi qualifying. Sebastian Vettel will line up next to Hamilton on the front row. Webber and Barrichello will form row 2, Button and Trulli row 3.

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Abu Dhabi GP will be the last F1 race for …

Kimi, Fisi and Heikki

Kimi, Fisi and Heikki

The Abu Dhabi GP is the last race of 2009 Formula One season. It is also the last race we will see in F1 … Here is the list:

1) Refueling

The ban on refueling will come to effect in 2010 season and so the Abu Dhabi is the last chance (for a while at least) to watch the refueling pit stops, strategies based on fuel loads as well as race fuel qualifying (in Q3). Well, and this will be the last time waiting for FIA to publish the post qualifying weights.

2) KERS

KERS only arrived this season but it will not return in 2010. The technology is likely to make comeback in not too distant future but for a time being Abu Dhabi GP is the last F1 race featuring KERS.

3) Drivers in their current teams

The Abu Dhabi GP will be the last opportunity (unless the drivers return in the future) to see Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari, Fernando Alonso in Renault, Robert Kubica in the team currently known as BMW Sauber.

While nothing has been confirmed yet it is also possible (and in some cases very likely) that we will not see again Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima in Williams, Jarno Trulli or Timo Glock (will not be racing in Abu Dhabi) or both in Toyota, Rubens Barrichello in Brawn GP, Romain Grosjean in Renault, Heikki Kovalainen in McLaren…

4) Drivers racing

Giancarlo Fisichella may have a contract with Ferrari for next year and beyond but only as a test driver. So unless he is called in to stand in for the regular drivers Abu Dhabi may be Fisi’s farewell F1 race. He may be joined by some other drivers who are on the way out of their current teams …

5) BMW

BMW has decided to end its involvement in Formula One, Abu Dhabi GP will be the farewell F1 race for the Munich based manufacturer. And as the team currently has no place on 2010 grid it is also possible that this will be the last appearance of the Hinwil based F1 operation …

6) Engine deals

BMW engines will disappear following the BMWs withdrawal from F1. Williams has ended the deal with Toyota, this will be the last race of Toyota powered Williams car. (There has also been talk about Red Bull switching from Renault to someone else but nothing has been confirmed yet.)

7) 20 cars grid

Following the change of the regulations and entry of several new teams – Manor, Campos Meta, USF1, Lotus (provided they all show up in Bahrain next March) – the Abu Dhabi GP may be the last one for a while featuring only 10 teams and 20 cars.

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2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi

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