The titles might have been decided in Brazil, but there's still a lot to play for this weekend in Abu Dhabi. It doesn't mean the drivers will go about their business in any other way than usual, except perhaps for Jenson, who will want to go out with a bang to celebrate his title year in style.
He's had some difficulties in qualifying in the last half dozen races and he'll want to put that right. But there's no criticism you can lay at his door over his race performances - he's got stuck in, pulled off a lot of overtaking moves and been aggressive.
Jenson's a deserving new champion and I think he should stay at Brawn next year - and they should reward him financially, as much as is feasible, for the success he's delivered. Personally, I wouldn't try to cash in and go to a team with more money but ostensibly doesn't have a winning car. He'd get bored of that very quickly.
Into new territory
Yas Marina is a spectacular setting and I'm very curious to see how the F1 cars will go around this new track into the twilight. I've already driven it in a Minardi two-seater and I'd liken it to a cross between Singapore and Bahrain. The second half of the layout is quite twisty and has a street circuit feel to it, like Singapore in some respects, but the opening part is quite open with a 1.2km-long back straight.
The first corner isn't that tight, compared to a lot of the new tracks we've had recently, and it's followed by a fast section before dropping down to a chicane and a hairpin. That should make the opening lap quite interesting. One thing I noticed on the twisty section behind the hotel was that many of the corners were slightly off-camber, which might generate some issues with the tyre wear. Keep an eye out for that.
The real selling point must be the grandstand that is positioned over the run-off area, so the crowd is going to be sitting a lot closer to the action than they'd be at a lot of the tracks. For the drivers, the pitlane entry and exit will be very challenging - there's a lot of time to be gained and lost there - and the underground exit will add another dimension.
The floodlighting is very different to Singapore; these are like what you'd expect at a big football stadium. Martin Brundle and I did some dusk driving and there were no problems at all.
Just wait until you see the roof of the hotel, which is covered with LED screens. Couple that with the harbour, and it should look pretty spectacular on the TV.
Who will it suit?
It's not what I'd call an 'aero circuit' as it's not got a lot of high-speed corners, and with the last section featuring a lot of 90-degree bends, it'll be reasonably high downforce.
I don't think we'll see as much overtaking as we did at Interlagos - which really lends itself to that and I'm surprised its layout isn't copied more - but there should be a couple of potential passing places.
I'm wondering whether McLaren will be the car to beat around there, but the second half might be too tight and twisty for the extra weight of the KERS system it carries. But, then again, it'll have the advantage on the straight - we'll have to wait and see.
It points to another Red Bull versus McLaren battle, as we saw in Singapore, with Brawn, Williams and maybe Toyota in the mix - and can BMW sign off from their latest spell in F1 with another podium?
Whatever the result, this race further strengthens motorsport in the Middle East.
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