The dust (or should that be sand?) has settled on this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the Badgerometer is bringing YOU the top five stories that caught Badger’s eye throughout the weekend. Enjoy!
Woe at Williams
Take note people – if you want to get a large Emirati bank to sponsor your race team, do exactly the opposite to what Williams did this weekend. It it wasn’t bad enough that Pastor Maldonado had chewed his way to his ninth engine of the year (and earned a ten place penalty in the process), the once great team also had problems for Rubens Barrichello’s motor which prevented him from venturing out at all in qualifying. Once the session finished, both drivers were on the back row. Terrible.
It really doesn’t bode well for the squad seeing as they are seeking major sponsorship to, if rumours persist, pay for Kimi Raikkonen’s salary. Good luck with that Frank.
Double DRS doesn’t dazzle
The changes in the regulations this year was meant to make Abu Dhabi a bit more exciting. Having two DRS zones was part of that, but thanks to the layout of the track, all it did was shoot itself in the foot.
There was plenty of overtaking in the first designated zone – and it was exciting to watch – but then the second zone was situated immediately afterwards. Which was a little bit like shooting yourself in the foot. As soon as a pass stuck, drivers were a sitting duck for a repass straightaway.
At least we got to see Jenson Button defend from Mark Webber and Felipe Massa, and without the benefit of KERS. Without that, it would have been a bit of a chore to watch the race to be honest. Even the 2011 regs couldn’t quite kick Abu Dhabi into life.
Vettel feels deflated
The defining moment of Sunday’s race came only a few hundred metres after the start, with Sebastian Vettel suffering a “catastrophic failure” of his right rear tyre. It opened up the race for Lewis Hamilton, making him the man to defend the lead, rather than the man that clung to Vettel’s coattails.
What was refreshing to see from Vettel was the fact that, even though the title was sown up in Japan, the double champ didn’t head back to the garage and go and relax. He was straight onto the pitwall looking through all the telemetry to find out exactly what happened. Not only that, but he also went to the first corner with a few engineers and a Pirelli technician to see if they could see any debris that may have caused it.
The best was left ’till last though. When asked by Jake Humphries exactly what happened to him, Vettel brought out that ear-to-ear smile and simply stated; “I had a puncture”. Genius.
Lewis and Fernando in compliment shocker
Can it be? Have the two bitter enemies put their differences aside? After all the gushing between the two over this weekend, you’d be confused to think that they ever hated each other.
Fernando started it. On Friday, the Spaniard stated that Lewis is “the only driver capable in winning in a car that’s not the best.” In Badger’s eyes, that’s a little bit backhanded, but the Brit loved it, stating that he was “blown away.”
Then, after the race result, Lewis did his usual of stating that it was one of his best wins (which seems to be all of them, by our count) and repaid the Ferrari driver’s good nature by calling him “one of the best drivers in the world”.
All together now. Awwww.
Jenson’s Mansell homage
Forget the lack of speed on the option tyre, and the fact that he was beaten to pole position by Hamilton and Vettel, Jenson Button got all the attention this weekend for his charity effort for Movember. It’s a cause that challenges a man’s ability to grow a moustache and, in doing so, Button resembled another British great.
Yes, it looked a bit silly and, coupled with the garish blue and yellow overalls the McLaren drivers wore in qualifying, Jenson looked more like an ’80s NASCAR driver than an F1 pilot, but it was for a good cause so we’ll let him off.
Interesting fact – it was 17 years to the day that a ‘tache last graced a podium, when Mansell won in Adelaide. Great timing!