Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 20
Abu Dhabi 2017.
Rate the race: Mean reader score 2.62
The score speaks for itself- 2.62 by far the lowest score of the season and the worst score for Abu Dhabi for quite some time. Last year there was still the WDC to be settled: would it be WDC4 for Hamilton (no) or WDC1 for Rosberg? (yes.) Even 2015 (when the WDC had already been settled) managed to score 4.42.
Apart from the lack of wheel to wheel racing, overtaking, edge of the seat drama, safety car incidents and colourful radio messages, why was this race so bad? After all, Magnussen spun off at the start, Hulkenberg claimed to be pushed off track when he overtook Perez and was given (an ineffective) five second penalty, Grosjean and Stroll were to-ing and fro-ing for P13, Massa and Alonso slugged it out for P10/11, Gasly spun his car, Ricciardo had a dramatic DNF, Sainz left the pits on three wheels and showed some excellent driving skills by managing not to crash into a wall (a feat for which some readers thought he should have been awarded driver of the weekend) and Renault pipped Toro Rosso for P6 in the constructor championship, bagging themselves a few million quid (courtesy of Hulkenberg’s great finish in P6.) As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one race, Bottas kept Hamilton (and everyone else) at bay by winning his third GP of the season.
Driver of the weekend: Valteri Bottas 44.12% of reader vote
Didn’t he do well? The gorgeous Mrs Bottas was in Abi Dhabi to cheer on her husband and her efforts were not in vain- Valteri not only put in a blistering qualifying lap in Q3 to take pole, but managed the grand slam by winning the race, leading every lap and putting in the fastest lap AND he won our Driver of the Weekend accolade as well. Well done Valteri!!
So the 2017 season is over, BUT we do have a new F1 logo to see us through the long dark days of winter. Not only that, but we have the halo to look forward to next season-what’s not to like???