THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

F1 bids farewell to 2017 with Abu Dhabi fizzer

FORMULA ONE: The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix won’t be remembered for its on-track action or closely contested podium fight, but the 2017 Formula One season finale was a milestone weekend for the sport nonetheless.

transporttechnology
By Michael Lamonato

Tuesday 28 November 2017, 10:18AM


Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates on the podium at the end of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates on the podium at the end of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

Valtteri Bottas was the emphatic victor, beating teammate and world champion-elect Lewis Hamilton to pole position and off the line to record his third win of the season.

Tasting the winner’s tipple was an important marker for Bottas, whose impressive early season pace dropped off dramatically after the August mid-season break.

His slow recovery to race-winning form took him to pole in Brazil two weeks ago only to see the lead snatched from him at the first turn, but in Abu Dhabi he made no such errors en route to the top step of the podium.

“I’m very happy for him, for his brain, [after] the problems he’s had during the year,” Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Sky Sports F1. “I’m really happy for him and his team, his mechanics – everybody.”

The Yas Marina Circuit offered little in the way of action behind the leading Mercedes cars, but as the final round of the year the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had a number of stories ready-made, chief amongst them the retirement of F1 stalwart Felipe Massa.

After briefly retiring last year only to be recalled when Bottas was drafted to Mercedes to replace the suddenly outbound Nico Rosberg, Massa took his second and presumably definitive bow in Formula One with a 10th-place finish.

The sport will remember Massa fondly and for the emotional scenes at the end of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, where he lost the championship to Lewis Hamilton in the final seconds of a chaotic race.

The dignity with which he conducted himself on the podium, having won the race but lost the ultimate prize, will stick fast in the sport’s collective consciousness forever.

QSI International School Phuket

A far less emotional farewell took place in McLaren’s motorhome, where the sport’s second most successful team finally reached the end of its wretched three-year relationship with engine partner Honda.

McLaren drafted Honda back into the sport from 2015 in an effort to rekindle the duo’s glory years of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the Japanese company could bring the English team only broken dreams.

Asked for his fondest memories of the season, tortured star Fernando Alonso responded, “The Indianapolis [500] weeks were definitely the highlight of the year for me,” referring to his decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix in favour of an IndyCar sojourn.

But with a deal to use Renault power from 2018 now in place, the mood at McLaren-post race was one of optimism for brighter days ahead.

With most of the loose ends tied up by the end of the race – only Williams and Sauber’s driver line-ups remain unconfirmed – Formula One had a final announcement to make when podium compeers Martin Brundle and David Coulthard introduced a replacement to Formula One’s 23-year-old logo.

The change will mark January’s one-year anniversary of Liberty Media buying F1’s commercial rights and will be the centre of a whole-of-brand relaunch that will include a new television presentation, a fresh digital presence and, crucially, online broadcasts of the 2018 season in select territories.

The relaunch further distances the sport from its Bernie Ecclestone era and is the first step in what will be a commercial and technical overhaul of Formula One by 2021.

The end of 2017 is less a page-turn and more of a fresh chapter, then, for Formula One ahead of the 2018 season – if only someone could beat those silver Mercedes cars.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Three parasail operators caught with unsafe equipment

You have to admire thai safety standards: give prior warning of an inspection - three operators stil...(Read More)


Trash Talk: Tackling waste in Phuket

The Thai's treat the country as a trash bin. Like in that picture, they are totally comfortable ...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

This is a nice little racket the Police have running. They allow the "rental agents" (anyo...(Read More)


Prayut set to retain grip on top job

"...Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is highly likely to reclaim premiership..." Is any...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

Hilarious! All the punters on here complain about bike shops renting to tourists with no license, an...(Read More)


Three parasail operators caught with unsafe equipment

Missed Kamala off the list. Guess they aren't operating on a daily basis there!...(Read More)


Thailand bans Boeing 737 MAX flights for 7 days

Another one who cannot read and understand an article. Thai Lion Air is Indonesian. ...(Read More)


Democrats fall in Phuket

So much for the survey that said there would be a 97% turn out....(Read More)


No ‘tsunami alert’, just notice to be aware, says Phuket disaster chief

Perhaps these 'earth shakes' were warnings, for more heavy to come. And it is quite nearby....(Read More)


Egyptian tourist breaks arm in Freedom Beach fall

Did they still charge him a entry fee?...(Read More)