India to Abu Dhabi: if you ever fancy a culture shock then this is the trip for you. While India gave Formula 1 a heart, enthusiasm and a raw feel to the sport again, Abu Dhabi shows what endless amounts of money can give the sport.
India had people standing on the back of trucks and trying to gain any vantage point to see F1 cars in action for the first time. Abu Dhabi has much more of a corporate feel - even while I was standing outside Red Bull for almost an hour waiting for Sebastian Vettel to emerge during the race, there were so many people not watching the race but waiting to get a picture of Sebastian speaking to the media.
I must say that I enjoy both venues, but I do understand that may be because I have the luxury to be there, while many of you watch on the television.
At least yesterday's grand prix was more exciting than we've had in the previous two years, despite Mark Webber saying on Saturday that it was going to be boring and Jenson Button saying all weekend how ineffective the DRS would be.
But if there was ever a race for Lewis Hamilton to get his swagger back it was more than fitting that it was in the flamboyant and glitzy, star-studded desert.
I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm not saying that Lewis is just a showman or lacks substance - we all know that's far from the case. But the Abu Dhabi race has a real sense of occasion and after the struggles and stresses that he's had over the past season, to win under the lights, in front of a celebrity-packed crowd was the perfect way, and place, for Lewis to show he's still got it.
Many of you will ask, 'but would Lewis have won if Vettel hadn't had the puncture and damaged the car?' And, of course, we will never know, but staying on the black stuff and seeing the chequered flag is the name of the game and it takes a combination of a lot of talent and luck.
Yesterday Sebastian's luck ran out for the first time since Korea 2010 and, thanks to another strong qualifying effort, it was Lewis who was poised to capitalise.
Lewis Hamilton was back on form in Abu Dhabi © LAT
Another who made the best out of his situation was Fernando Alonso who stormed from fifth to second. It's interesting to see how much love there seems to be between the two former bitter rivals.
On Saturday Fernando was praising Lewis as the most likely to win a championship without having the best car. Lewis was left speechless... until yesterday in the press conference when he talked about winning and holding off one of the best drivers in the world like Fernando.
It certainly seems that those two have found their peace. Or maybe it is a unity between drivers who aren't winning championships at the moment! Alonso did tell me a few races back that he was cheering on McLaren to win races, basically any car that could take points and wins off Red Bull!
This week, the teams will stay on in Abu Dhabi for the Young Driver test. Some are trying out young talent, while the top-four teams are concentrating on new parts for next season. I'm staying for the start of the test and then I'm off to Brazil, which is always a great trip.
The atmosphere should be even more electric as the chequered flag falls for the final time in 2011.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.