Friday, November 23, 2018

The Finale

The Formula One season comes to an end this weekend, after Mercedes-Benz AMG Petronas wrapping up the constructors championship in Brazil and Lewis Hamilton, the drivers world championship the race before in Mexico, many wouldn't see the point in this race but you're wrong. With Abu Dhabi being a dead rubber race for most of the last few seasons, it still pulls out all the stops to make sure it's worthy of the season that passed. Having attended one myself, I'd rate it as a must if you're an enthusiast of the sport. It gives you the opportunity to visit a world class track, unlike any other, the glitz, the glamour attached to F1 just escalates in the Emirates, with the track being on an island, the yacht's  all docked along side it, the majestic Yas Viceroy Hotel hovering over the track and of course the fireworks. 

But with every final race of the season comes some sad goodbyes, with drivers changing teams and some drivers bidding farewell to the sport. This year see's one of the greats retire from the sport, a two-time world champion and often one of the unluckiest drivers in the field, Fernando Alonso. His 17 year career in the sport which started for him in 2001 at Minardi wasn't all doom and gloom though with him securing 32 wins, 97 podiums and over 20 pole positions. The Spaniard fort many a great driver in his time, while having stints at Minardi, Ferrari and Mclaren but it was at Renault where he truly flourished winning back to back titles in 2005 and 2006 under the guidance of Flavio Briatore. He will be sorely missed in the sport but after clinching a LeMan's winners medal last year with Toyota Gazoo Racing, he has his eyes set on claiming the triple with a win at Indy 500 in sight. His attempt last year was flawless from his side but as per usual in his career of late, the car let him down. 

There will be many drivers changing seats in next years Formula One season, the big one would be the straight swap between Ferrari and the Alfa Romero - Sauber F1 team, which see's youngster Charles Leclerc and Kimi Raikkonen change over. Much has been spoken about the young french man this season. While we still haven't seen his full potential, Ferrari will expect big things from this talent, after the disappointment of the last two seasons, the Italian team will have a point to prove with them bolstering their line up for next year. As for the Iceman, many breathed a sigh of relief to hear he will be staying in the sport and not hanging up his drivers gloves just yet. The often controversial Fin has been a bit more vocal this year, showing more emotion and jovial-ness on racing weekends. It really looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself out there and to his credit performed damn well, I'm sure much more than what his team expected him to do on certain occasions. It will be interesting to see how he goes about his business at Sauber but either way, we're glad his still apart of the sport. 

The other big name move was Daniel Ricciardo leaving Red Bull Racing to join Renault, the Aussie didn't have the best of seasons and with his high profile clashes with his team mate Max Verstappen during races, that didn't help his morale at all. Red Bull seem to be backing the young Dutchmen who has shown some great potential but often has brain farts at crucial times in races. If Christian Horner can set his head straight, he will be a proper contender next year. Once the fireworks have disappeared from the nights sky in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night, it's a long wait till the lights go out in Melbourne next year March, so lets just soak it all in this weekend and enjoy the season finale. 

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