2011 Abu Dhabi Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The Concorde Agreement and special payouts to Ferrari shenanigans are beginning...
EVENT: The fans seem to show up for the F1 race, but not at all for any of the support races. That's because they are not race fans, but "big event" fans.
QUALIFYING: Once again, it comes down to nothing more than a giant tease by Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.
RACE: With Vettel out early, it came down to an old fashion Hamilton vs. Alonso, McLaren vs. Ferrari battle.
TRACK: The DRS made it better, but for a billion dollars...
START: Vettel's best start of the year immediately spoiled by a flat, Alonso's aggression pays dividends, and Schumacher is unable to take it to his teammate.
HAMILTON: Lewis smiled! Lewis smiled!
BUTTON: Lost the race battle, but won the team war.
ALONSO: Typically slow Ferrari pit stops cost Fernando.
MASSA: Once again, Felipe chokes under pressure.
VETTEL: Would someone please explain to me how I can get a flat tire in the second turn without any contact?
WEBBER: Even with his teammate out, Mark still only finished fourth, behind both McLarens and a Ferrari (and beating Massa isn't something to write home about). And, people think Vettel's brilliance is only due to the car...
FERRARI: They must be looking for anyway possible to dump Massa.
ROSBERG: Extends his team lead over the seven-time world champion.
SCHUMACHER: So much for the proclamation of running faster than your teammate in the race.
SUTIL: Provided Force India the cushion they needed to ensure sixth in the constructors' race.
DI RESTA: Ditto.
KOBAYASHI: Kamui scored one very, very important point for Sauber.
TORO ROSSO: Hugely disappointing race for the hottest mid-pack team of late.
BUEMI: Once again, Sebastien gets the short straw in his attempt to keep his ride through no fault of his own.
BARRICHELLO: Rubens ran pretty strong this time.
MALDONADO: Have trouble with your mirrors?
RAIKKONEN: Do the rumors of Kimi's return actually have some truth to them?!
GP2: Nice to see Americans Alexander Rossi (seventh in the sprint race) and Jake Rosenzweig make their GP2 debut. Let's hope they are back next year for the full season.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Flat.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 2 -- The number of turns Vettel lasted.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastian's Vettel's race engineer when Vettel tied the single season pole record, "Good evening, Mr. Mansell."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery, "It certainly seems to be a very unusual incident."
SCHEDULE: To a country which combines F1 passion and flair.
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