The race in Abu Dhabi wasn’t a classic. I don’t think it was even as good as last year’s debut at the Yas Marina Circuit. The track and facilities are incredible, but as far as the racing goes, the main two points that we’ll remember this race for are Vettel‘s brilliantly controlled drive and Ferrari’s poor strategy which cost Alonso any chance of winning the championship by putting him in the pack behind Petrov for the remainder of the race.
Mark Webber decided to pit early as the tyres on his car weren’t holding up well. Once he pitted, Ferrari thought that it would be wise to pit Alonso in order to cover Mark. They did successfully cover him, with Fernando emerging from the pits just in front of Webber, but by that time they were both effectively out of the running.
There was one other memorable part of the race. The incident at the beginning involving Schumacher and Liuzzi was a scary one. Michael span on his own and Liuzzi had no where to go but up the front of the Mercedes like a ramp. It was incredibly lucky that the car missed his head by a narrow margin because that is probably the only part of an F1 car that doesn’t give full protection to the driver.
As far as Sebastian goes, he drove a controlled race to cruise to victory in the championship. He had to be on his guard for Kobayashi at the stops but he managed to get back out in the lead and it was plain sailing from there.
Had it not been for all of the failures he had endured when he was leading races throughout the season, he would have won this championship far easier. He is incredibly deserving of the title and in the end I think that clearly the best driver and the best car won in 2010.
Mark Webber has a lot to be proud of in 2010. He was dominant in some parts of the season only to let it slip from Korea onwards. Alonso has settled in perfectly to Ferrari and was unlucky to not capitalise on Red Bull’s reliability issues. McLaren were the third fastest team for the majority of the year and yet were able to sneak ahead of Ferrari for second in the constructors. While this is partly because Felipe Massa had a very poor season, it’s also because they had some great races for both Jenson and Lewis. With Jenson completely comfortable in the team now, and with next year’s car likely to suit him more, I think the team will be formidable next year.
2010 was a great season in F1 and if the new regulations don’t cheapen overtaking too much and makes for exciting racing, then I think 2011 could be even better, despite this year being a hard act to follow.