Rate the race: Abu Dhabi

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel led home a RedBull-one-two at Yas Island. What did you think of F1’s first race at Abu Dhabi? Rate the race out of ten below and have your say in the comments.

Rate the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix out of 10

  • 1 - Terrible (2%)
  • 2 - Rubbish (2%)
  • 3 - Boring (13%)
  • 4 - Often tedious (8%)
  • 5 - A bit dull (16%)
  • 6 - Not bad (18%)
  • 7 - Good (21%)
  • 8 - Great news (9%)
  • 9 - Fantastic (7%)
  • 10 - Perfect (3%)

Total Voters: 2,775

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117 comments on “Rate the race: Abu Dhabi”

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  1. Oh, to make matters worse I forgot to change the clocks last night and was woken at 4am.
    Just what is the attraction of F1 under the lights?
    No flaming exhausts, sparks or even glowing breaks,I don’t get it, complete waste of electricity by the haha ‘green team’.

  2. Besides the last lap (button and webber) the race was Boring with a capital B. I am not a fan of those “bad taste” bling bling playground tracks. TO MUCH space, whit tjis types of tracks they never are going to overtake…..

    1. not as boring as some other races we seen this year. In fact there were number of interesting overtaking maneuvers that made the race worth watching. Too much space? hmm…. never overtake? did you see Kobayashi?

  3. I wish Formula 1 was more down-to-earth.

    Less celebrities and more engineers with oil-soaked hands. Less glitzy hotels and more fans huddled together under a tarp under the rain. Less artificial circuits and more sweeping tracks that follow the lay of the land.

    Less of this:

    More of this:

    1. There are plenty of tracks where you can stand in the mud. Spa is indeed one of those.

    2. With the speed that cars are doing today that seems very unlikely. It is unfortunate, but F1 is just going to become more and more about money and popularity and celebrities and people trying to look good and show off…

  4. That was like watching paint dry, the track looks a mess, the TV direction was dire, Legard is just unbearable (had to switch to the Five Live commentary). Throwing money at something doesn`t make it good, they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

  5. It was an okay race. The day into night thing worked beautifully. The track looks nice. Not enough overtaking, but bless ’em Webber and Jenson put in a stirling performance over the last 2 laps. It obviously is possible to overtake here, but the dust off the racing line does cause issue. Maybe the place needs an industrial sized hoovering prior to F1 sessions.

    Biggest problem for me was the lack of atmosphere. Okay, I know it’s hard to get that down a TV feed, but think more fans and a few shots of them during the race would help.

    Anyways, nice finale for the season with a well earned 1-2 for RBR with JB right in the hunt till the final lap.

    Gonna be a long 133 days, but next season promises to be a goody again. Alonso and Massa in Ferrari, Button and Rosberg at Brawn, Lewis and Kimi in McLaren (hopefully) and Vettel and Webber doing more of the same. Six more cars. Brimming fuel tanks and no Max Mosley – bring it on!

  6. I actually liked the hotel but thought the rest of the track looked boring and was full of too many 90 degree corners. There was something about the surroundings which meant it had no character- mostly grey tarmac and barriers and blue stripes. Grass, trees, water and gradient give tracks character as do exciting corners. This coure lacked most of that. Also, racing under lights seems to make it even more colourless. The actual race was mostly dull too, except for the very end.

  7. …although I did like the James Cordon bit at the end. Would love to see him doing an alternative, totally biased review at the end of each race. Would make it quite funny, and he’d be a good replacement for Eddie Jordan!

    1. Eurgh, no thanks.

  8. 2 out of 10.
    Watched the beginning, then started reading the newspaper, lunched during the race (on sundays I always eat after the race), and left earlier for the local soccer match.
    In one word? BORING

  9. William Wilgus
    1st November 2009, 17:53

    Except for a few moments shown on replay, it was completely, absolutely dull. Therefore, graded it boring.

  10. I think this race was as good as it could possibly get.
    I didn’t see any driver being stuck behind another one, not being able to overtake. That’s what happens with race fuel Q3: Everyone drives off as fast as they were in qualifying, position changes only through the pits.

    Seriously, there is no racing series in the world where a driver can overtake a car that’s only marginally slower than himself, let alone a faster car. how exactly do you get a more exciting race from that base?

    banning KERS and refuelling for next year will be a step in the right direction. But besides that you can only introduce gimmicks like a reversed grid or NASCAR-style safety car-periods (Or spice things up by holding qualifying during torrential rain…)

  11. i give it a very generous 3-BORING! i’m not worried about the venue, as in a couple years it will be washed away like the palms and other piles of sand.

    1. something kinda happened on the first lap.
    2. hamilton retired (technically, this is a case of nothing happening)
    3. some car racing accidentally occurred between kobayashi and button
    4. something almost happened on the last lap

  12. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix wasnt bad, but it wasnt Great and it wasnt down to the Track!

    The Track 10/10

    I Think the thing that needs to be changed is the dirty air zone!!.. that is the only reason there is no overtaking!! because when they get in within 1.0sec they cant go any faster.. there car gets worse!

    but none the less the track does have its overtaking spots.. we didnt see much today.. because there didnt need to be.. Button had the title.. nothing was up for grabs…

    I Think Mclaren should of Started Lewis in the Pit.. so his car wouldnt have a problem and he could fight through the field with his KERS & Mercedes Benz engine.. would have been amazing to watch…

    But Byee KERS Youve Been Good:)

    1. What? Lewis started first because he qualified first. They didn’t know about the problem with the brakes until he started racing and for safety reasons they didn’t let him carry on without knowing exactly what was wrong with them. I thought that was obvious.

  13. It’s not because of the track that people can’t overtake. I think it’s just breathtaking, a beautiful track and it seems like a very safe track too. Lots of space! Also, the blue lights under the sunset.. It’s just a beautiful picture as a whole!

    The race was a bit dull but only because Vettel was on superb form today! Shame Hamilton had to retire, just when you thought they would be the ones to battle it out to the finish… I enjoyed the last race and for the ones claiming Buton can’t pass anyone: Webber himself said that Button is great at overtaking and he gave him a scare so.. I really liked Kobayashi too!! The guy won Gp2 Asia series but in Gp2 he didn’t seem very special this year. However, in the past 2 races he definetly proved he has a lot of talent and potential. Sure, he has to learn a thing or 2 to become as complete as Alonso for instance but he’s got the speed and he’s definetly not afraid to go for it!

    For next year I think Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are the main candidates to battle it out. Their teammates are all good too but I think Alonso is way more flawless than Massa, and Vettel is just quicker than Webber most of the time. If Raikkonen goes to McClaren (let’s hope so!!!) we’ve got ourselves another serious rival. Rosberg to Brawn might surprise us as well and now the pressure is off, why not Button? They still have a good car, Button doesn’t make many mistakes so he has a chance. I don’t think Kubica and Glock are going to be contesters, the renault is just not good enough. They need to change something radically because if Alonso can’t go faster than a 9th place in the championship, no one can. Also, Williams (who announce their drivers tomorrow) could surprise us! They say that the car is fast enough, just that the drivers can’t get everything out of it. I thought Rosberg was quite impressive mid-season but they might be right. And with Barrichello’s experience and the supertalented Nico Hülkenberg we might be in for a treat next year. I don’t think a guy like Hülkenberg comes to the F1 to learn. He’s going to be there to win! He got everything out of any other car he ever drove. Perhaps he can surprise us too. Can’t wait!

  14. The race had plenty of promise, but the loss of Hamilton really took alot of the edge of the contest. I think everybody on this site wanted to see Vettel and Hamilton go wheel to wheel, and sadly that did not happen.
    With Hamilton gone, Vettel was allowed to run at his own pace and dictate. He knew full well that few were in a position to challenge him, and towards the end we saw Webber drop to atleast fourteen seconds off the pace to Vettel.
    This could have been because Mark had a problem, or maybe the team wanted him to hold up Jenson Button so as to aid his team mate? Whatever the reason, the Webber and Button battle at the end made the event.
    At one stage, down the main straight at 196mph I felt sure that Button had made the move stick but Mark Webber drove with great grit and determination.
    Apart from Button, the driver who most impressed me was Kobayashi. I know that Button’s car was fat on fuel and on cold tyres, but how many times do we get to see a rookie take on a champion like that in F1?
    Unlike Brazil though, the Japanese driver bagged some points and beat his veteran team mate Jarno Trulli.
    This is the same Jarno Trulli who has spent large portions of this weekend still complaining about Sutil and the crash in Sau Paulo that took both of them out.
    Apparently, he has paperwork and video evidence and is considering taking the matter further.
    What he hopes to achieve is anybody’s guess, but his real concern must be his career and not the events of two weeks ago! Another man who must have watched Kobayashi’s performance with interest was Timo Glock.
    I suppose the hope is, is that the bean counters back in Japan maybe buoyed enough by Kobayashi’s performance to keep their interest in Toyota F1. Still, after all these months, the team is rumoured to be leaving Formula One.
    Roll on 2010!!!

  15. For me it was a good race to end on considering all goals had been done in Brazil. Kobiwhatever his name is is well worth watching and may have kept Toyota in F1, he has talent and the right attitude. I am fed up with drivers only getting into F1 because of other results. Promise and attitude used to be the key not a cabinet full of shiny F2,F3,Fwho cares trophys. I don’tunderstand this need to get pre puberty children into what is the ultimate mans sport.

  16. one of the dullest races of the season, Bernie should be fired for bringing F1 here.

    1. He should be fired, but for better reasons than that, since this racetrack wasn’t so bad.

  17. Either the 2 people slagging Button for being overtaken by Kobayashi are deliberately fishing or are going for the most ignorant comment award of the year.

    Maybe the ‘Glock deliberately let Hamilton past’ posters of last year can present them with it?

  18. I agree with everyone commenting, this race was boring as hell. I read newspaper for like 15 laps because it was so boring I couldn’t watch it.

    The best moments were Alguersuari’s dumbass driving at pit and Kobayashi’s nice overtake from Button. Sure, Kobayashi was lighter etc. but it was a very nice overtake and I think there was lots of irony in that overtake, since Button mocked Kobayashi’s driving after Brazil.

  19. For all the boring tracks we have now in F1 Tilke should be fined and jailed. I was watching this Abu Dhabi GP and was shaking my head: so much money went into everything but the track itself it seems.
    I say: no to Tilke tracks and no to night races – Singapore should be only night race, that’s what makes it unique. Proper racing should take place in day time :\

  20. All of the negative comments on this post really amuse me. Were any of you at the race? No of course not. If you were you would understand that over 50,000 people enjoyed the race. What other race has had that many in attendance? Not many events are as exciting on television as they are live. If you were there you would realize the day into night timing was amazing especially with the temperature and sunset.

    Also for the rest of you speculators, no the palm is not sinking and nor are other propoerties in the Middle East. Yas Island also happens to be a natural island, so it will not be going anywhere. The race and facility will only improve season after season since Yas Island Marina Circuit only began construction less than 2 years ago. It is a huge accomplishment that the track was even finished for raceday.

    Finally with regards to the hotel and other ammentities on the island – yes it might not be to everyone’s personal taste but it is unusual. Abu Dhabi did not want to copy what has already been done and wanted to create something completely new and unique. Again since you were not there you did not realize how awesome the island is.

    1. “What other race has had that many in attendance?” Well, Melbourne gets over 100,000 on race day every year. And that is still going strong, despite the fact we’ve had it for 11 years now & the novelty has well worn off. And we manage to produce decent race most years too.

      No one is saying that the people there didn’t enjoy themselves, I’m sure they did. But the thing is that actual race attendances pale beside TV viewer figures, which is what Bernie cares about. If TV audiences slip because we can’t be bothered watching processional races at Tilke-dromes with no spectators present, then that is a concern.

    2. You’re still talking about how beatiful the island is, the hotel, all the facilities, but the race track itself is still lifeless Tilke track; no money can change that now :/

      1. It’s not the tracks, it’s the formula.

        Some people seem to have some kind of selective vision that prevents them from seeing that Monaco, Catalunya, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Hungaroring, Monza and Suzuka also produced uneventful races this year.

        1. Agree, but Tilke design philosophy is adding even more to this formula youre talking about.

    3. Although I don’t know the attendance figures, most Grand Prix at the established circuits seem to get decent attendances and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them manage more than 50,000 for qualifying or even Friday practice.

      It is mainly the relatively new circuits of the last ten years which seem to have attendance problems partly because some of the countries do not have much history of motorsport in general let alone F1 so the fan base isn’t there.

      What they have managed to do in Abu Dhabi may be a great achievement and the facilities may be the best in the world, but that doesn’t mean the circuit itself or the Grand Prix is the best in the world. It shows what can be achieved with a blank cheque book and government backing.

      While there have been dull races at traditional circuits this year as well, they have the advantage of history, so while Suzuka 2009 may not have been a great race fans remember races such as 2005, so they know that Suzuka is capable of hosting entertaining Grand Prix, whereas new circuits can’t say this year may have been dull but the race a few years ago was brilliant.

      Also I think some of the negative feeling amongst fans towards the new circuits is because they have replaced much loved Grand Prix such as Canada, just look at the reaction when it was announced Donington would replace Silverstone as the host for the British GP.

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