Abu Dhabi GP – Preview

Seven days after Sebastian Vettel’s won his 4th world title, the F.1 paddock is ready to move to the Middle East for the last but three events to take place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

At Yas Marina teams will fight to get the second place in the drivers and constructors championship and they are all ready to score the points that are still up for grabs in order to preserve their position or aspire to new adventures into F.1. I expect Red Bull to do its best for not giving anything to rivals. The true challenge will take place behind them. Considering the track high temperatures and hot weather, the Pirelli tyres will play a key role again.

I get the feeling next racing week end will be mainly played out “off-stage” because of the many questions about the 2014 F.1 season that are still unanswered. There are still some free seats to be assigned: Lotus, for example, is looking for a driver to replace Raikkonen, being careful with money and technical skills. Williams’ Maldonado is determined to quit the English team to join the Eric Bouiller’s camp. Should the Grove-based team find an interesting economic agreement, it can sign Felipe Massa. Another aspect which is not of a minor importance compared to any other is the one concerning the maximum number of engines which can be used by each team throughout next season (5 engines per driver). Considering the large number of technical upgrades introduced by FIA (turbo-powered engine 1.6 with limited rpm, limited gas consumption, new energy recovery systems such as the MGU-K and MGU-H) and the lack of time to make on-track test, I think 5 engine units per season are not enough. It won’t be easy to find the right reliability and balance at the beginning. The great thing about that is that this technology can be applied to standard cars.

The 2014 season will be very demanding from a technical point of view, but I’m sure that engineers and technicians will be able to find a solution to that, as usual. Technical changes will involve a huge financial outlay for all teams and small teams will rely on great manufacturers’ technology. Historically speaking, regulations amendments has always changed the balance of the deployed forces. Red Bull seems to be out of reach and I think the Austrian team will be like that also in the future, but we will probably see some other team growing.