2013 Abu Dhabi Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: You're watching history. It may be boring, but it will be talked about years from now.
EVENT: It's an F1 event in every (modern) sense of the word -- glamour, girls, yachts, live entertainment, and international attendance. You would never know you are in a Muslim Middle Eastern country when at the Yas Marina Circuit, especially since none of the locals attend the race. The stands are filled with foreigners and tourists along with empty seats.
QUALIFYING: Webber gets his time just before Hamilton ended the session, Alonso is stunned while Massa moves to Q3, and Ricciardo continues to shine.
RACE: Let's see a show of hands who predicted Vettel would somehow get the lead and run away with the race. That's what we thought.
TRACK: Two consecutive DRS zones makes for plenty of action braking into Turn 11. Overall, a nice flowing track with rhythm even if passing is scarce.
START: Let's see a show of hands who predicted Webber would immediately and unequivocally throw away his hard earned pole position with yet another blown start. That's what we thought.
VETTEL: He's starting to make to look easy. Scary easy.
WEBBER: Mark's a great guy and a very, very good racer. But let's face it, he is being totally outclassed by Vettel. What that says about Webber and what that says about Vettel is up to you to decide.
RED BULL: Surprisingly, they haven't had too many one-two finishes this year.
ROSBERG: Nico gets back on the podium and looked very happy about it.
HAMILTON: Held up by Guiterrez's blocking tactics.
MERCEDES: Management overload appears to have cost them Brawn.
GROSJEAN: Romain was always lurking in the shadows.
RAIKKONEN: Kimi's failed first lap left Finnish fans' flags limp.
LOTUS: Must be pulling their proverbial hair out wondering whether Raikkonen will show up for a race. Then again, it would help if they actually pay him...
ALONSO: A wild bump to avoid a collision.
MASSA: His team messed Felipe's strategy up.
FERRARI: What are the chances Maranello is going to build a more competitive car next year?
BUTTON: Nice comeback after having to change his front wing.
HULKENBERG: The most aggressive driver on the track.
RICCIARDO: A dismal start. Perhaps practicing to take the Webber role at Red Bull...
SUTIL: A very strong race until his contretemps with Maldonado.
FIA: Both Red Bull drivers doing doughnuts after the race was a sweet middle finger to the Stewards.
ROSSI: Alexander wins his first GP2 race from pole after slipping to second at the start, biding his time, leapfrogging into the lead during the tire stop, and then holding off a fast closing Palmer.
DALY: Conor finished the GP3 season strong with a podium finish.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Scary.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 7 -- and counting...
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: He may be biased, but what Dr. Helmut Marko says is scary, "There's no doubt this has been his best season. But I do not see a peak. I do not see Vettel as a finished personality."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Niki Lauda has a point, "Vettel and Red Bull in this moment are unbeatable. It's the fault of their competitors for not being as strong as them."
SCHEDULE: Formula 1 returns to the "International Sports Event of the Year." Can the USGP and the Circuit of the Americas possibly top themselves?
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