Formula One | Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina
QUALLY: So during qually we have seen Caterham back on track. They made it just in time with Kobayashi and new 2nd driver: Stevens. (Who was already for the last 2 years quite good on the road in Formula Renault 3.5). Stevens was at first connected to Marussia but then the financial thing came around the corner. Both Caterhams were however dead-last. Lotus didn't do that well either. Both Maldonado and Grosjean couldn't make it further then Q1. Esteban was unlucky in his Sauber. Meanwhile Adrian (Sutil, his team mate) was capable of doing Q2, by a margin. Force India in front of him, which isn't that much of an effort. Magnussen did 'fair' with P11. Both Ferrari's were in the back of the field in Q3. With Button in front of them. Both Button and Magnussen still didn't know what to expect, and if it was there last race. Kvyat did good with P7 (Vergne on P12). Then the Red Bull's and Williams cars. And last but not least both Mercedes drivers. With Rosberg in front by -:--:386
RACE: The race was different then normal. Abu Dhabi is normally the place for the end-battles. But not this time. Not that much changed. But it was a enjoyable race none the less. Rosberg lost some places to Hamilton. And later even more. The team soon realised Rosberg had a problem. How much of a problem was later uncovered. Meanwhile Hamilton had some minor troubles as well. Kvyat was the first to leave the race. Too bad for him, he could have done something nice in the last race. Meanwhile Vergne was busy with quite a nice battle to hold his seat for next year. (More on that later tough). Stevens did good with keeping Alonso off his back, after a series of pit stops. Alonso on the other hand had some problems. Maldonado had also some great moves, but needed to give up when his car failed to deliver. Force India made a bright comeback to end up in 6th and 7th. Vettel was more or less nowhere on 8th. Meanwhile Rosberg was dropping down even further. The team wanted him to come inside but Rosberg wanted to at least finish the race. Which is understandable from a drivers view. But none the less he asked for positions but he should have known it was a done deal. And that Hamilton was the champion for this year. So yeah 2nd title for Hamilton since his debute in 2007. Both Williams drivers ending up behind him. Where there was a thought that Ricciardo would end up on the podium.
OTHER: Then the season overall. Suprises ? Yes: Vergne with his battle-spirit. Ricciardo with great podium finishes. Vettel who was completely not capable with the rules of this year (in the car he had). The bad luck Marussia and Caterham had in the last couple of races. Jules Bianchi who is thankfully recovering in France already. The team of Lotus were also nowhere to be found this year. However they seemed in the race itself more or less to do better then Red Bull (facts will tell differently tough). Force India ends up in 6th position, behind them Toro Rosso. McLaren could keep the loss above critical, thankfully (5th). Ferrari behind Williams must be a pain in the a**. Red Bull still behind Mercedes with the results from Ricciardo most of the time. And Rosberg for being a good sportsman to congratulate Lewis on the Championship.
Then the drivers parade for seats. McLaren were the last to confirm there drivers for 2015. And they waited for Alonso longer then they intended to do. But afterwards we heared that Alonso was pretty solid already (for 2015). So why all the marketing stunts and everything ? Well maybe someday we will know. The same goes for the Sponsors on the McLaren from this year. Besides Alonso will be Button (as confirmed on the 11th of December), and in the reserve role: Magnussen. Vergne will be without a seat in F1. And has already chosen for Formula E. Which delivered him a pole in the last race of the year in the Formula E championship. Next year Vergne will probably go to Indycar (and he is a 3rd driver for Ferrari as well). Sainz Jr. on the other hand will be the team mate for Max Verstappen next year. He had some big-mouth during this year about Max, so I am already curious about his excuses when he isn't better then Max. Susie Wolff is next year offical test driver (that is Williams-language for third/reserve driver). Max will drive with #33 and Sainz Jr. with #55. Chilton is looking ahead to more options (even outside F1). Rossi meanwhile will set his mind on something else then F1. Altough Sauber has confirmed Ericsson and Nasr they still tested with different drivers. In the last test days of 2014. So did McLaren with there prototype of the Honda engine with Vandoorne (who won't drive for McLaren next year, at all). The report from Japan came to the light which told us that Bianchi didn't slow down enough during the race of Suzuka. Why that is (car or driver mistake) isn't clear yet. Kobayashi will appearently go to Super Formula (in Asia). Then Esteban is taken in by Ferrari as test driver. Hulkenberg will combine his work for Force India with a seat in the third Porsche in the World Enduarance Championship. Sutil meanwhile is looking ahead towards 2016 with possibly Haas F1 or a seat in the World Endurance Championship. (Which might be possible because Nissan is back in LMP1 next year, so extra seats available).
And then last but not least: The track in Russia was awesome, better then expected. For next years calendar there is Korea back on it. But this might be a trick from the FIA to give all the teams an extra set of equipment. And it might be because of the contract there still is. Korea isn't counting on the race at all. So 20 races without Korea. With Mexico returning to the calendar. The 2015 season will start in the weekend of 15-03 in Australia. And end in the weekend of 29-11 in Abu Dhabi as usual.