Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. This is it, the final round of the 2014 Formula 1 calendar. Rosberg may have a long shot on his hands but he certainly is not going out without a fight.
Continuing his dominance of the qualifying sessions he has once again clinched first spot on the grad from his team mate Hamilton but as the points now stand, this Championship is only Hamilton’s to loose. Even if his team mate takes victory again in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton will only need to finish second to clinch the title. Despite the slight anti climax that this may bring to the season, race on race, this has been one of the most thrilling yet.
Williams once again take up third and fourth slots behind the Mercedes with the two Red Bulls behind them. Surprisingly Jenson Button continues to cling to the top ten in his ailing McLaren, on the grid in eighth just behind the young Russian Kvyat in the Torro-Rosso And the Ferraris fill out the final slots.
Assuming Rosberg can match his performance in Brazil a fortnight ago and take victory from Hamilton the question of who will be World champion lies with the two Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Do either driver have what it takes to steal that covered second spot on the podium and rob Hamilton of his second World Championship title? Or will Hamilton suffer from electronic or mechanical failure as Mercedes have feared for the last three races die to the life of his gearbox coming to its end?
Let us know what you think in the comments below or join the conversation in the Forums.
What ever the out come, I for one would not miss it for the world.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.480s
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.866s
3. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 1m 41.025s
4. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 1m 41.119s
5. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 41.267s
6. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 41.893s
7. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 41.908s
8. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 41.964s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 42.236s
10. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 42.866s
11. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 1m 42.198s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 42.207s
13. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1m 42.239s
14. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 42.384s
15. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 43.074s
16. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 42.768s*
17. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 42.819s
18. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault 1m 42.860s
19. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 1m 44.540s
20. Will Stevens Britain Caterham-Renault 1m 45.095s
107% time: 1min 48.291secs
all times unofficial
• denotes driver due to take 20-place grid penalty;
Abu Dhabi is a city on the move. Not content with enjoying one of the world’s richest oil reserves, the region has recently thrown itself into a massive programme of development. And one of the jewels in Abu Dhabi’s crown is the new 5.55-kilometre Yas Marina Circuit, which on November 1, 2009, hosted the country’s inaugural Grand Prix. It was also the first F1 twighlight race, with powerful lighting ensuring a seamless transition from day to night.
Located on the spectacular Yas Island, the track is set to revolutionise the design of future Formula One circuits. Boasting top speeds of 320 km/h and average speeds of 195 km/h, it features nine right turns and 11 left turns and is one of the few venues on the calendar to run in an anti-clockwise direction.
Designed by renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke, Yas Marina has a waterfront setting scenic enough to rival the likes of Monaco and Valencia. And with the track wrapping itself around the island’s glamorous newly-built marina, there’s plenty of mooring space for the paddock’s plethora of yachts.
Its distinctive design also boasts several innovative elements including the iconic five-star, 499-room Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel, which straddles the circuit; the 60-metre solar powered Sun Tower, which offers unrivalled views for invited guests; and a pit lane which sees the cars exit via a tunnel passing under the track.
Another world first is that all of the grandstands, including the massive hairpin seating area, are covered to protect spectators from the desert sun, whilst the state-of-the-art pit building boasts 40 air-conditioned garages. Luxuriant comforts and first-rate views are clearly the watchwords for Abu Dhabi race goers.
The track itself was designed with racing in mind. As well as the waterside marina area, there are high-speed sections (including the longest straight on the F1 calendar), tight corners for overtaking, and even a twisty street circuit-style sector. Overall, its diverse elements come together to create one of the longest and most demanding tracks in the world, where close and competitive racing is guaranteed.