x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Yas may mean more

With the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix just over a month away, this year's race is shaping up to be a far more significant sporting event than last year's inaugural.

With the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix just over a month away, this year's race is shaping up to be a far more significant sporting event than last year's inaugural. Sebastian Vettel's win in Suzuka, Japan yesterday means that he, as well as Fernando Alonso, trail championship leader Mark Webber by 14 points, raising the intriguing possibility that we could go into the season's last race in Abu Dhabi with the overall winner still undecided.

While last year's event at Yas Island was a huge success on many levels, with spectacular concerts complementing the action on the Yas circuit, the race itself, while visually stunning, was anti-climactic in a competitive sense because Jenson Button had already been crowned champion two weeks earlier in Brazil. If Webber's setback yesterday is followed with wins by his two closest challengers, or even by Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button in fourth and fifth respectively, Abu Dhabi's motor-racing fans could be in for a treat.

Ferrari should be used to the pressure; they set a record with six consecutive wins lasting until 2004. So as thousands of spectators exit the Yas Marina Circuit stands and go to watch Prince strut his stuff after the race, will it be Red Bull-Renault's Sebastian Vettel going crazy, or even Fernando Alonso and Ferrari partying like it's 1999?