2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix continued to the trend of races receiving poor ratings since the championship was decided.
Though referred to by some as the best race so far at Yas Marina, it was rated the third-lowest of 2011 so far. Four of the last five races feature towards the bottom of the list.
The penultimate race of the season was won by Lewis Hamilton, who capitalised on Sebastian Vettel’s misfortune.
The Yas Marina circuit has been criticised in the past for producing dull races, and this year was little different. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say:
Vettel’s spin obviously divided opinion, but most regretted seeing him retire:
I wasn’t exactly upset when I saw Vettel spinning at the start, but I was quite annoyed that it meant he had to retire as it would have been brilliant to see him come through the field like at Silverstone last year.
ratings so far
The double DRS zone was as hotly-debated as ever:
The double DRS was just silly. The DRS can be OK when you have on driver actually passing another. However with the two zones they practically cancelled each other out.
We saw a reasonable number of braking battles such as Jenson Button against Mark Webber, rather than purely ‘slipstream-style’ passes.
Having the two zones also adds a bit of a strategic element that is missing from DRS otherwise, as drivers have to consider when to attempt a pass.
I still dislike DRS, but I think it was far from at its worst here.
The lack of action at the front frustrated many:
No real contest for the lead, the battle for third flattered to deceive after the early laps and the midfield battles were mainly down to DRS, which I thought was ridiculously easy on this circuit.
The FIA should concentrate on encouraging close racing, not inventing artificial overtaking
While others suspected the teams are getting used to the tyres:
There was nothing special about that race. The Pirelli ‘cliff’ has been eroded away into a gentle incline, the double DRS just left everyone back where they started and none of the drivers were clever enough to wait until the second of them to overtake for the first time.
All the sunsets and sparkly hotels in the world were ever going to change that.
Either Pirelli brought too conservative a tyre choice, or the teams are too good at setting up their cars in the latter part of the season. This could’ve easily been a Bridgestone race.
While some enjoyed seeing Vettel’s luck change, others share his appreciation of records and statistics:
It’s a shame Vettel’s now missed out on Schumacher’s 2004 record and Clark’s percentage of laps led record. Knowing how fascinated Vettel is about those stats, he’ll be very disappointed to retire so early.
Something like that only really comes once in a career, I’d be surprised if Vettel manages domination like this year’s in 2012.
And many F1 Fanatics had half an eye on the final race of the season:
Maybe we’ve just been spoiled by some amazing racing this year, but this one felt like a clinical race, just a stop-gap until we can get to Sao Paulo.
Do you think the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix deserved its place near the foot of the rankings? Why has this money-no-object facility produced three poor races in as many years? Have your say in the comments.
2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Hamilton voted Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend
- Rate the race result: 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Pirelli say tyre failure did not cause Vettel retirement
- Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend
- McLaren: Relief for Hamilton after return to winning ways
- Ferrari: Slow pit stop costs Alonso shot at victory
- Red Bull: Mystery puncture halts the Vettel steamroller
- Mercedes: Rosberg comes out ahead after first-lap scrap
- Force India: Team tightens grasp on sixth in championship
- Sauber: Kobayashi ends seven-race drought
Image © Pirelli