Grand Prix 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

BradMan was down to do this thread, as he seems to not be around :( I stepped in on his behalf.

Here we are then, the last race of the season and what a season it's been. Ferrari showed so much promise in testing but then it all faded away as we started to race. All bark and no bite as you might say, Mercedes on the other hand took the championship by the scruff of the neck and certainly got everything out of it that they could. They had a 1-2 finish in the first five races of the season and Hamilton continued his winning streak even after that. It was only Vettel splitting them in Monaco that ended the top two place domination by them on the podium up to then. The Ferrari drivers and Verstappen for Red Bull could only manage the odd trip to the podium or the places just off it. It took until Austria for Hamilton not to be on the podium, even if Bottas had been shoved off a little sooner in Canada before returning again the next race.

I don't know about the rest of you but I was finding it all a bit boring and predictable then. Germany was a bad race for Mercedes (by their terms anyway) with Hamilton back in 9th and Bottas retiring. At the next race Hamilton took the win in Hungary though even if Bottas couldn't quite get back to the form he'd had before.

After the summer break it seemed like things had changed. Mercedes still had a very good car but Ferrari had somehow upped their game and so too had Red Bull, at least Verstappen had anyway. By this point Pierre Gasly had been told 'you've had your chance but it's back to Toro Rosso for you my son' and Alex Albon got the nod instead. Mercedes had still been rarely off the podium and of course Lewis Hamilton cruised to his sixth world chamionship in some style, but thankfully for us the other teams have made more of a fight of it, even if at times it felt like it was just the Ferrari boys fighting one another.

Abu Dhabi being the season finale feels somewhat lacklustre due to the championship having been sorted out a few weeks ago, however some of the other teams have a point to prove and places to gain or lose up and down the table. For them it's a vital race to push as hard as they can. After this race we will say 'auf wiedersehen' to Nico Hulkenberg as he exits stage left. He never fulfilled the potential he appeared to show in F1 which is a real shame, however he is of course a previous winner of Le Mans 24 hr. We also say goodbye to Robert Kubica, his comeback to F1 was a brave attempt to recreate his winning run from before his tragic accident, sadly, that wasn't to be and he ended up a shadow of his former self. You have to say, at least he tried.

This coming race could well be wet (kidding). We know it's going to be dry and it's not the most thrilling track of the season. So don't expect too much of it, just let out a sigh of relief that the season is done and start counting down to F1 2020, if you can be bothered to do so. At least with this race if you get bored of the action on the track you can look at the pretty lights on the hotel ;)

In 2018 your pole sitter was Hamilton and the podium was 1st Hamilton, 2nd Vettel, 3rd Verstappen


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Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Of course, Lewis went on to win how many championships - three isn't it? - since his last known serious relationship broke up? Maybe we can expect the same from Valtteri.
Well, I did use to note that Hamilton would almost invariably get pole at those races where Nicolle was not present. When she was there, his results were inconsistent. I think he was a little distracted.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Well, I did use to note that Hamilton would almost invariably get pole at those races where Nicolle was not present. When she was there, his results were inconsistent. I think he was a little distracted.

i dont blame him being a bit distracted. but it boded better that he now having more fun on track than off it
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Wow, Sky really upped the anti with their pre-qualifying stuff and interviews. We had Johnny and Rachel buying a carpet (yes, really), we had a section on the Brundles racing around the Nurburgring which, as interesting as it was, had nothing to do with the Abu Dhabi GP. Then, between the sessions we had input from the walking personality vacuum that is Nico Rosberg and a man who's ego is visible from space, Fernando Alonso. None of which added anything to my knowledge of what is happening over the weekend.

:grumpy:
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
, we had a section on the Brundles racing around the Nurburgring which, as interesting as it was, had nothing to do with the Abu Dhabi GP.

i guess that was the city tour guide but that was irritating about that they advertising the half hour program of that feature of that so had to turn over otherwise it would ruin it.

on things i annoy me about sky. seeing
bottas pretending to look interested in a "spontaneous" petronas visit & that woman talking about going into moto gp got annoying months ago & when will fairfx be equals. its be "soon to be known as" all season
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
The margin of victory for Mercedes shows what an uphill struggle the other teams have got in front of them to try and beat them in 2020.

Its not that much different when Schumacher and Ferrari were trouncing everyone back in 2002 and 2004 but wait they had superior tyres and spending buckets of money more than everyone else.

The difference between Hamilton/ Mercedes to the rest is they seem to working in harmony with each other , the next driver on the grid who feels at home is Verstappen so perhaps Red Bull with a bit more Honda grunt will be serious challengers. Ferrari have made so many mistakes this season and allowed Mercedes to walk away with the title at a chanter. Should Ferrari get their act together next season then things could get interesting otherwise the knives will be out for Binotto at least
 
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