2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Blog
We’ve been treated to some amazing races this season, this edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix probably wasn’t one of them. That is sport and it seems that fate conspired together to deny us a blockbuster conclusion at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday.
The writing was perhaps on the wall when Mercedes announced that an MGU-K “gremlin” had forced them to turn down power on all their engines. Combine that with Lewis Hamilton not being match fit after such a quick return from his bout of coronavirus and this was never going to be an easy race for Mercedes.
Take nothing away from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. They had the best car on the day and the race victory never looked in doubt. However, for neutral fans the race was somewhat of an anti-climax. Don’t get us wrong, we love going to Yas Island and the facilities here are the best you will experience anywhere on the calendar, it’s just we wish the on-track action could have done justice to such a wonderful destination.
Red Bull won’t care about any of this though, they beat Mercedes purely on merit and Christian Horner summed up their weekend, saying: “A win was the best possible way to sign off the 2020 season in what has been a challenging and disrupted year. To beat Mercedes fair and square from pole position, the first time Mercedes have been beaten at this circuit since 2013 when we last won with Vettel, is a phenomenal performance.”
McLaren also scooped a major jackpot by finishing third in the constructor’s championship. There was a difference of just 7 points between third and fourth place (Racing Point) but a swing of around £4million in prize money. This was a fantastic achievement for the Woking based team, not least because Racing Point had looked unbelievably quick in the two previous races in Bahrain. Andreas Seidl was delighted, saying: “We did it! P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Congratulations and well done to the entire team, here in Abu Dhabi and back home at the MTC.”
What a difference a week can make. Sergio Perez, fresh from his victory in the Sakhir GP, was forced to retire from the race with an engine issue. This could be Checo’s last race and he certainly deserved a better outcome. Reflecting on things afterwards he said: “I’m really sad that my final race with the team ended so early and with a repeat of the engine problem we had in Bahrain. I really wanted to sign off with a strong race for everyone in the team. I hope people remember winning the Sakhir Grand Prix instead of this weekend!” It may not be the last we see of Perez in Formula 1 though because, if rumours are to be believed, Red Bull are expected to confirm his as Max Verstappen’s team-mate for 2021. Watch this space!
F1 will take a well-earned break now. 17 races completed since the start of July is a phenomenal achievement. We thought at one stage there may be no 2020 season at all. Huge credit must go to all involved for keeping the show on the road. The teams and drivers must be exhausted. We wish them all the best relaxing and enjoying the Christmas and New Year period. Like many of you, we are counting down the days until ‘Lights Out’ again in Melbourne!
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