Wednesday, November 4, 2009

F1: Abu Dabi GP: Desert Stars - 2009 Edition

Whale I pre-empted my recent Saturday “Qualie” teaser in honour of the tenth Anniversary of Canadian Open Wheel Star Greg Moore’s passing

Along with the fact that I don’t recall it being an overly exciting Qualifying session, as Lewis Hamilton simply “Blitzed” the field, as it was reported that his margin of 0.667 seconds over second place Sebastian Vettel was the largest since 2005.

And “JAGUAR’s” (Hamilton) teammate “KOVY” (Kovalainen) continued his Rodney Dangerfield impersonation, as his Gearbox packed-up on the Fin in the middle of Q2, when it looked likely that Heikki would help insure a McLaren front row lockout… While ironically, as “Fredrico Suave” (Alonso) was making his final Qualifying run for Renault, the Spaniard failed to survive Q1 for the very first time in his career.

And while the Red Bull & BRAWN GP Boyz duked it out for the sharp end of the grid, they were left scrapping over P2 and beyond as Hamilton’s KERS equipped MP4-24 was unassailable, with the top two teams in this year’s Constructor’s Championship inverted; as Vettel led Mark Webber, with Rubino (Barrichello) besting ‘JENSE (Button) once again, while the Kimster (Raikkonen) was unable to advance into the final Q3 Qualie session, finishing 11th and “Fishy-Fellah” (Fisichella) was down in the doldrums once again. (P20)

Thus with Hamilton taking his fourth Pole in the last seven races and Kovalainen 13th, while Raikkonen was P11 and Fisichella starting dead last… (Some 1.5 seconds adrift of Hamilton) The odds of McLaren holding onto their narrow one point lead for third in the Constructor’s title seemed in their favour, as reportedly the difference between third and fourth is a cool $5 million…

Although the Announcers, Driver’s and Media had all spent the entire weekend totally enamored by the brand new circuit (for obvious reasons) largely due to the man made Island’s sheer opulence… I found the race like qualifying to be most Anti-Climatic… Also being not overly impressed by the race itself, as Hamilton seemingly would walk away from the field with his KERS boost upon the F1 Circuses longest straightaway, three quarters of a mile in length and doubling as a future drag strip.

Yet Vettel did his best to remain within sight of the somewhat vanishing McLaren, whose lead was cut in half when “Louise” made an unforced error and thus Sebastian was able to take over the lead after running an extra two laps before pitting… But it was all for naught, as shortly thereafter Hamilton would be forced to retire with an unknown rear braking problem; as I found it most interesting that Peter Windsor reported that Lewis was running two different manufacturer’s compounds on his car; Carbon Industries at the front and Brembo on the rear…

Thus with Vettel’s stiffest competition tucked away into the air conditioned Pit garage, it was a cakewalk for the young German, building up an 18 second lead over eventual runner-up Webber, albeit new World Champion elect Button spiced up the show in the waning laps with a fairly epic duel with the Aussie over second place as the pair ran wheel to wheel, front wing endplates nearly touching, before ‘JENSE settled for the podiums final step…

Race Drive of Abu Dabi
Although Nick Heidfeld gave departing BMW Sauber its final F1 points and “BOOMER” (Sebastian Buemi) came home eighth, once again my hat’s tipped to the man of the fleeting moment; “K-Squared,” as Kamui Kobayashi once again drove an excellent race, finishing sixth, one place ahead of his senior teammate and scoring his first (and most likely last) Grand Prix points, as sadly Kobayashi now looks set to go back to being a Sushi waiter in Japan…

Kobayashi: It’s Toyota or Sushi

Top 3 - Qualifying
Pole: Lewis Hamilton
Second: Sebastian Vettel
Third: Mark Webber

Race Results
Winner: S. Vettel; 2nd: M. Webber; 3rd: J. Button; 4th: R. Barrichello;
5th: N. Heidfeld; 6th: K. Kobayashi; 7th: J. Trulli; 8th: S. Buemi.