Abu Dhabi GP – THE POINT… BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI
Also this season is ended quickly, consisting of fascinating Grand Prix, even though almost all branded Mercedes. It’s a pity that this final deprived us of Nico Rosberg, who was slowed by a problem of his car. It wold have been amazing to see them fighting till the end. I have to congratulate him both for his nice gesture against Lewis in the race over, and for wanting to stop at all costs the Grand Prix.
It’s been a championship in growing, despite technical concerns at the beginning. The times have lower quickly until approaching the various records, just like Rosberg’s Qualifying time scored yesterday, which was really close to Vettel’s track record – 2009.
It’s been a season with so many variables: Williams, after a difficult 2013, has become the third force in the world, closing the season with a double podium. It revived Felipe Massa and formed one of the most promising young driver, Bottas. Talking about chassis, Red Bull has shown that have a competitive car, despite too many smarts. Developing as Power-unit, it would certainly have something to say. Ferrari, among many difficulties, has confirmed as the fourth / fifth force of world championship. Fernando said good-bye to the team showing things that only a champion can do, like the overtaking on Kimi and the fast change of strategies, entering first for pit-stop. Button has digested perfectly his last GP. Alongside Ferando, in fact, there’ll be Kevin Magnussen. Therefore, from Tuesday, the new McLaren-Honda era will start.
A season that ends with so many changes, both for drivers and for technical aspect. Vettel instead of Alonso in Ferrari. Alonso instead of Button in McLaren (missing only the announcement). Kvyat instead of Vettel in Red Bull. The Russian has been unlucky in some circumstances, but from the beginning he has imposed very well. He will be alongside to Ricciardo that even today has proven to be a first lead. In Toro Rosso, instead arrives the young Max Verstappen. To decide who will be his partner. For tests, the team from Faenza called Carlos Sainz jr. At this point, I would say that for Vergne the doors close, although he was the author of a good season ending. Verstappen-Sainz, a young team will be a good bet, though not easy. On the technical side, we have seen many changes, especially in Ferrari, where, however, the news are not over. The rumors speak of a new change of leadership, between Mattiacci-Arrivabene. If so, it would be quite a good shot. Arrivabene is very familiar with F1, Ferrari’s environment and the Agnelli family. In short, there are still many pieces to put in place.
During the tests in Abu Dhabi, we will have the chance to see in action even Raffaele Marciello, at the wheel of Ferrari. I’ll follow him very carefully, having observed him closely, since his first steps in this world.
Gian Carlo Minardi