Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Don't expect any sort of racing this weekend.

It’s another fast turn around and after the hurly burly chaos of India we're now in the soulless capital to Capital. Abu Dhabi and the particularly dull Yas Marina circuit, if anyplace typifies the current trend to go to countries to line Bernie pocket, this is it.

Long fast straights, check
Into tight hairpins, check
Goes around a dockyard, check
Has a few empty grandstands, check

Congratulations, it’s a Hermann Tilke identikit circuit. This one has a hotel that lights up rather than an old fish market to keep you interested. But as the sun goes down there will be precious little action on the track. Actually the hotel is all the lights on it changing colour is quite impressive, if a bit tacky.  There will be long periods of this race when you will think, have all the other cars crashed? The director will be following the third place car behind Vettel and there will be no other car within a hundred yard, it’s really bizarre how the track can look so empty.

The big news of the week has been how ferociously Ferrari and Vettel have denied that there is a contract or letter of understanding between them. I don't believe a word of the denials and I'm still sure the German will be wearing red in two years time.

Over at Sauber, they've confirmed Hulkenberg will be driving for them next year.  No great surprise really, as there wasn't really anyone else available with the experience or money. I think this is going to be a good match, if and it’s a big if here, they survive Perez taking his big fat wallet with him.

The race then, well I expect Vettel will win, if his tire doesn't fall off its rim like last year.  Then Webber or Alonso and the McLaren boys ahead of the Merc and Lotus chaps perhaps. Throw in a Williams or Sauber for good measure. Massa looks to have got his mojo back so I’d have him ahead of the Merc boys.  

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