Less than a week after Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull wrapped the 2013 Formula One Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships, respectively, the series is back in action at the stunning Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
It’s a track where Vettel has won twice (2009, 2010) but has not yet done so on the Pirelli tires, although he’s the odds-on favorite this weekend. Instead, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have taken the last two Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victories, and Vettel put in one of his best drives of his career last year from starting in the pit lane to ending on the podium in third place.
As in India, Pirelli has brought the soft and medium compound tires to Abu Dhabi. The softs went off particularly quickly in India, with drivers needing to stop less than 10 laps into a stint to change onto the mediums. Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola previews how the tires will handle this course, this weekend.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.