It’s much more than a car race. It’s one of the world’s greatest examples of fair play and team building. We are into one of the most exciting F1 weekends of the year – the very last of the season!
If you have wondered what exactly is a Grand Prix, or F1 as we usually call it, it’s simple. It’s the French way of saying ‘the grand prize’, much like the Grand Slam of tennis! You see, this is a series of races – precisely 21 races held in different tracks, in different countries. Besides having a winner for each race, the racer who wins maximum points in the series wins the Formula 1 World Championship – which is the ‘grand prize’!
So, what is this formula?
If you thought it is the formula of adrenaline itself, you are not far from it in spirit! However, what the word literally means is: this is not a race that you can contest according to your whims or modification fancies. There is a set of rules that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), motor sport’s world governing body, has ‘formulated’.
The one in F1 denotes the topmost level of motor sport in a series that also has GP2 and GP 3 as well. F1 is the No.1 in this hierarchy.
So, there are rules about the kind of engines, the tyres or the chassis that can be raced. This is what makes it one of the greatest examples of fair play and teambuilding. Teambuilding especially, because the championship has a title for the team as well, besides the racer: The constructor’s world championship. Because, hey, this isn’t a game that is all about the drivers though they seem to be the macho men around.
The test is not of the speed and skills of the driver alone; but equally that of the engineers and technicians, and automotive designers and aerodynamic experts and tyre manufacturers and…. Yes, you got the point. It’s a team sport. You can see it at the pit stop fellas – each millisecond saved at the pit stop is a millisecond gained on track. Felipe Massa’s pit crew once changed all four tires in 1.92 seconds!
Felipe Massa is calling it a day after the Abu Dhabi F1, by the way. And so is Jenson Button though he is only taking a break. See you around, mates!
Why is it called ‘Constructor’s championship’?
Because they literally construct it. The team is supposed to build the cars they race by themselves, even if the engine and the tech could be outsourced.
What is the one thing to watch out for in the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP?
FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX is taking place on the 25, 26 and 27th of November. To begin with, we are lucky to watch the final race of the Grand Prix season – last of the 21 races. And this time it is a crucial leg as the championship is still kind of open.
Between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who does the odds favour?
Both of them are great drivers racing for the same team. But the fact is that one of them will be the world champion on Sunday, while the other will be flanking him at the Press Con. Apparent odds are for Rosberg as he leads Hamilton by 12 points. Even if he finished third, he will still clinch the title. We can’t forget he is defending victor at Yas Marina even though Hamilton is the defending world champion, and Nico has stood on the podium 15 times out of his past 20 outings. Both the racers won 9 races each this season. That’s damn astonishing consistency between teammates!
Pole position is another little stat that helps to keep it hanging for us. If that bit matters, Hamilton has been in pole position 11 times this season against Rosberg’s 8. But here is a little spoiler – out of the seven F1 years at Yas, pole-starters only won twice! Nico himself was one of them.
So, in this game of ironies, who else is the face to watch out for? It’s Red Bull Renault’s Max Verstappen who became the youngest ever winner at 18 years and six months, when he won the F1 in Spain in May. Young Sebastian Vettel was 21 when his first victory came by.
As for the Constructor’s championship, indeed Mercedes is one lucky (read talented) team this year, with possibilities of a 1-2 win at Yas, which they have already achieved in 7 races! They are in a err… safe spot with 18 wins in 20 races! A few hundred points down the board is Red Bull followed by Ferrari, while Force India is looking at their career best with a fourth position finish.
So, the one thing about the F1 Abu Dhabi is…
…that it isn’t just about the F1. There is the GP2 and GP 3 races happening this weekend, too. As for ticket holders, it’s also about food and music and entry into the Ferrari World, Yas Water World and the Pit Lane Walk and signing of autographs and of course the grand concerts featuring some of the biggest names in the biz!
Seriously, if there is one thing about the F1, it is a whole world of fun!
If you have an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket and want to know the quickest route to take: Those with Red or Yas Gateway Park passes (blue colour) are advised to use the Yas East traffic flow as per the map. Those with Gold, Silver, Black or YTT (Yas Trackside Terrace) parking passes are advised to use the Yas West flow, as per the map. For more information to the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, please call +971 2 659 9800 or visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com
Your questions may also be answered by the Yas circuit’s App: YasHUB can be downloaded here
Picture and insights courtesy: Yas Marina Circuit Press Info, Scot Sport and various portals