Obsessing about the Abu Dhabi Race – what will happen?
10th November 2010, 11:13 at 11:13 am #128464
I have been obsessing about the upcoming race – I can’t remember the last time I have wanted anybody to win the WDC this bad (with Webber). I have been looking at last years results, and comparing the results so far this year on similar tracks.
From another thread:
None of it will matter when Alonso dominates Quali and race.
I don’t think this will happen. I think it will be VET, WEB then HAM in qualifying.
1) The McLarens seem to suit Abu Dhabi very well. There is the factor of higher temperatures and a different engine heat and tyre degradation profile. Lewis qualified on pole last year in what was arguably the third best car. Jenson ran a very good race although he was out-qualified by Rubens. Qualifying last year was:
HAM – 1
VET – 2
WEB – 3
BUT – 5
ALO – 16 (Renault)
The Ferrari’s qualified 11th and 20th.
The race result was:
VET – 1
WEB – 2
BUT – 3
ALO – 14
HAM – DNF (Brake failure)
2) Lewis has been the best/most consistant night driver between his Singapore and Abu Dhabi results. I believe that driving at night is an entire skill set, as much as being good in the wet is.
3) Alonso has not done as well with night races (except, *cough*, Singapore)
4) The Ferrari’s were terrible at Abu Dhabi last year – and despite Kimi finishing the season well and the car being a lot better than at the start of the season, their entire weekend at Abu Dhabi was a shocker (as it was at Singapore). I am not sure how much you can read into last years results and map them to this year – but a rough comparison seems to stand with a lot of the other races
5) The engine situation – I believe Webber is in the best spot in terms of engine use and milage. None of the contenders have a new engine to use – but Webber has had the least number of failures and best milage of them all.
6) Baring an exception performance by Webber, I can’t see him out-qualifying Vettel in Abu Dhabi – based on both recent form and his performance there last year. Lewis totally killed it at Abu Dhabi last year.
7) Besides qualifying – the start will be crucial. The run to turn 1 is short and there was no large difference between the clean and dirty side of the circuit last year. The front runners finished the first lap in the order they started. The only incident was Webber bumping Rubens. Outside of mechanical or pit stop issues (or Vettel moving aside) I would expect them to finish in whatever order they leave the first corner in. I doubt Alonso will get a run on Hamilton in the way he did at Interlagos.
8) I think Lewis would prefer Mark to win the WDC, and will do what he can to help (not so much as to pull over, but definitely in terms of effort). I am uncertain where Button stands on this – if he is coming into the weekend super-motivated in terms of the championship, but I believe he will definitely be super-motivated from a personal perspective to finish the season on a high, and at least be nearer to Hamilton on points come year-end.
9) The best unbiased predication I can make is that qualifying will shape up as follows:
VET, WEB, HAM, ALO, ROS, KUB, BUT
and the race order will be similar, but hopefully BUT KUB and ROS will be pressuring ALO.
10) I hope Renault are strong (essentially a one man team, which is a shame because a better second Renault driver could be taking points away from Ferrari) and I hope Mercedes are strong. I think Massa will be at the bottom of the top 10 again
11) There is a very real chance that the much-discussed VET, WEB, x, x, ALO in fifth scenario will play out
What does everybody else think? Am I under-estimating ALO? I really think the McLarens and possible Kubica and/or Rosberg will get the better of him this weekend10th November 2010, 11:18 at 11:18 am #150663
” Alonso has not done as well with night races “
Well he’s won 50% of them so far and finished on the podium 3 out of 4 times. You could argue Korea was a night race by the finish!10th November 2010, 11:38 at 11:38 am #150664
Comparing it too last year doesn’t really work though does it. You can’t say “Oh, Alonso come 16th last year is a horrible Renault so he will do bad this time around. This year is completely different and there are different pressures on both Red Bull drivers this time around. Yes Ferrari did do bad last year but they stopped developing the car several races before. Singapore should’ve been a Red Bull track, but it wasn’t, and with longer straights and not so much emphasis on downforce (Although the 3rd sector is twisty) Alonso has got a great chance.10th November 2010, 12:34 at 12:34 pm #150665
Massa will stage an amazing comeback and get pole in front of Vettel, Alonso and Webber. Then Massa will take Vettel out at the first corner, Alonso will take Webber out at the second corner (à la Senna/Prost Japan/1990). Hamilton will then take the lead both of the race and the championship but will get a puncture on the very last laps (à la Mansell Australia 1986). Button then wins and Alonso is champion. Or may be it’s going to rain on Abu Dhabi for the first time since Noah and it will wreak havoc on the race until the last lap (à la Japon 1976).
If I were not expecting something of the sort, I would go fishing on Sunday.10th November 2010, 13:01 at 1:01 pm #150666
I think the only real problem is you’re over-estimating the McLaren.
Its advantage over Ferrari in the first sector will not be that great. They’ll have an advantage over Red Bull and Ferrari in the second sector, though the chicanes will hurt them a bit. But in the last sector they will probably lose all of these gains and more.
Personally I see Red Bull qualifying ahead of Alonso with Hamilton a tenth or two off. The important question is if Hamilton can get a run at Alonso into the second or third chicanes, because that would spoil Alonso’s race a lot in that theoretically he will run out of prime overtaking spots before he can close in on Hamilton during the lap.
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