Go Go Go!!!
By Glenn Cowan
Formula 1 sees its final race of the season taking place on the 27 November at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.A tight race season has seen both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton fighting it out for the honours. As usual F1 never strays far from controversy, with either it’s owners or highly-rewarded drivers shying away from the spotlight.
While, as previously stated it seems like a foregone conclusion that a Mercedes driver will win the overall championship, future Formula One titles might well have a new name with the Australian Daniel Ricciardo definitely looking like destined for success in the very near future.
It’s highly likely that the talented Aussie would do even better if he was able to make the switch to a slightly more competitive outfit.
Yas Marina Circuit
Designed by Hermann Tilke and getting its name from the location on Yas Island, the testing circuit brings the curtain down on a Mercedes AMG Petronas dominated season.The circuit was opened in 2009 at a cost of $1.3 Billion USD. Twenty-One twists and turns await the drivers as they hurtle along the 5.5 KM track, with crowds of close to 50,000 people watching in awe.The longest stretch of just over a kilometer (1140 metres to be precise) should provide drivers plenty of opportunity to overtake as they battle into turn 7 out of the 21 available.
Also the marina based development includes a water park, residential areas, hotels and a theme park.
If you ever needed a tiebreaker for a quiz, you will do well to remember that the circuit has been constructed with a permanent lighting system in place and currently holds the title as the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world! Don’t say these articles don’t provide real value!
2016 Season Highlights
To suggest that Mercedes have dominated the season could be a bit of an understatement. But with the German firm’s drivers occupying the podium in virtually all races it isn’t hard to understand their constructor supremacy. Rosberg scored maximum points in the first 4 races and it wasn’t until race 6 in Monaco that Hamilton was allowed to take the spoils. The Stevenage born driver got his own back on Nico winning 4 races on the turn, including his home GP on round 10.
There hasn’t been much to separate these guys this season, even taking into account some of the technical issues that Hamilton has had to drive through.The only other winners of a GP (at the time of writing) have been the Red Bull Racing - Tag Heuer duo of Max Verstappen and the Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, such has been the nigh on total dominance of the Mercedes drivers.Pole position winners haven’t provided any more variation either, with only Hamilton, Ricciardo and Rosberg being able to start the races from the front of the grid ! Let's hope that the new 2017 offers a little more unpredictability, for the benefit of all race fans around the globe!
Snap Chatty Lewis!
Like him or not, Lewis Hamilton’s technical ability and skills as a professional driver are never in doubt. However, as with many top sportsmen he seems to suffer from an air of petulance, bordering on a sometimes childlike peevishness. .
Winning margins don’t come much smaller than in the fastest sport on earth and Hamilton has shown his frustration when things don’t quite go his way. Questioning the reliability of his ride after the Sepang GP, a disconsolate Hamilton was demanding answers from the Mercedes camp.Suffering from reliability issues this season, the F1 team were unable to provide an explanation to Lewis. Sadly this left the driver suggesting that there were “greater powers” trying to prevent him from winning. To be fair, Hamilton has had more than his fair share of reliability issues to contend with this season. While it is near impossible to determine just how many points have been lost this term due to mechanical faults, there are some commentators who believe it could be as many as 40. Surely, those points (had they come his way) would have seen him comfortably claim a hat-trick of GP successes.
Hamilton the showman has brought additional exposure to some of the press conferences of late. Spending almost the entire time “snap-chatting” on his phone, was picked up by the world's press. Something that many people external to Formula One had suggested was in poor judgement. A bit of humour, or Lewis throwing his teddies out of the pram? Probably the latter, but his skills as an expert Snap Chatter are in no doubt!
Lewis may also have reduced the number of Christmas cards he needs to send out this year after exploits at the Mexican GP. It would seem that Daniel Ricciardo was left seething at both Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton gained a somewhat unfair advantage during the race. With another twist after the race, the Aussie was lifted two positions when time penalties were introduced to both Verstappen and Vettel. Who said F1 was getting boring!!!
Life After Ecclestone
It would have been hard to miss the big F1 news back at the start of September with Bernie Ecclestone rubber stamping the sale of his beloved sport to Liberty Media.The deal brokered by the diminutive supremo will see Liberty shell out a cool $8.5 Billion USD over two trances; however Ecclestone has engineered the opportunity to stay on as Chief Executive Officer of F1. That guy knows how to structure a deal!
The Brit will still remain a key player in the world of F1, keeping his 14 percent share, 5 percent of which is owned in his own right and the remainder through his family trust Bambino.
It is thought that day to day there won’t be too much initial change under the new regime; however, the new owners will be looking to grow it to a wider global tv audience.
Could well be a case of the fat cats getting fatter - watch this space !