So, the championships have been decided but there is still one race to go. However, this race will not be a complete dead rubber because we are visiting a brand new and exciting circuit in a country we have never visited before.
In fact, there are plenty of firsts with this track, some of which sound good, some sounding bad, and some completely unknown. For example, the race has been completely sold out and will start in twilight and finish in darkness under floodlights, which sounds cool.
However, the layout does look a little too much of a Tilke-template (even if the surroundings look gorgeous) and the pit lane exit is tight and underground – the drivers have to go through a tunnel to get back on the track. This sounds dangerous to me and I think there is a high probability of seeing a red flag because of an accident blocking the track here. We shall see…
Let’s have a look at the track then.
If you live in the UK you can have a look at this video from BBC F1, or you can have a look at this onboard footage of Bruno Senna in the Yas Marina promotional car, courtesy of James Allen.
But will it be a good track? There have been differing opinions on this – some have praised the innovative layout and have identified potential overtaking points, while others have criticised it for being just another Tilke-Drome. David Coulthard, who also drove the two-seater F1 car around the track, has said that he does not think there will be much overtaking as there will be too much sand offline and the risks are too great to attempt a manoeuvre at any other place except the hairpin at the end of the long straight.
It has been identified as a KERS circuit because of the long straight, and some have suggested that this will suit McLaren and that Lewis Hamilton has a good chance of winning. Also, now the pressure is off Brawn and Button, so we may see a lot of drivers just going for broke – as results do not matter and people will want to finish their season on a high.
I think this race will be interesting because it is new, there are lots of unknowns and because the championship has been decided, the drivers will be out to have fun and get a good result. I’d like to see Lewis win (as always), but equally, I’d like to see Jenson do well to show that he deserves to be the champion.
Who do you think will win and will the event be a success? What do you like/dislike about the venue? Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below…