The 2017 Formula One season is coming to an end. Despite not getting the climax what we hoped for, the season in fairness was still a good season. There’s still one race to go and some positions are yet to be decided. And this brought me to the question, Should Abu Dhabi GP be the season-ending race?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no qualms about the track and by no means, it should be out of the calendar. Abu Dhabi is a good race, good ambience, the infrastructure is the best amongst all the races. From pit lane facilities to the media center and down to the seats, everything is of A+ quality.
But the race severely lacks in one department where it should excel. And that is the track itself. It is the most typical Hermann Tilke tracks even amongst the typical Tilke tracks. Two long sectors comprising of long straights with an awkward sector comprising of series of sharp turns thrown one after another.
The drivers agree too that the track is very strange, to put it in a very polite manner. It has a very weird rhythm. No surprise the track does not fare into the favorite or even ‘good track’ list of any driver out there. The only thing going in Yas Marina Circuit’s favor is the infrastructure and the day-night novelty. But is it enough? Enough to consider Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a good race? Yes, But enough to consider it worth as being the season finale race? I don’t think so.
Going through the years, Formula 1 never had a set race as its go-to place for a season finale. The 50s saw Italy serving as the season finale race for most of the decade. In the 60s the last race used to be held in South America i.e. Mexico. For the 70s they moved north to the land of the free and brave.
Every decade, F1 has shifted its finale to a new venue. The Abu Dhabi shift was from 2010 onwards. The oil-rich country, having the cash to burn, called the circuit home to race at its extravagant track. In all probability, it very easily, in most certainty, have shelled a little more for the track to be the season finale race. And so the circus added a new venue, one in the middle of the desert, to race on.
The Abu Dhabi GP had been the scene to a few good races, no doubts about that. But is it worthy of being a season finale? The final race of the season must be held at venues that represent one the best of racing if not the best.
The previous finale race, Brazil, always have had good races. The overall level of racing has always been spectacular in Interlagos. Brazil has served as the final race for the latter half of the 2000s and the former half of the current decade. Now I’m not suggesting that F1 make a switch in the calendar because Brazil is not without its own share of problems as highlighted this year.
But there are other venues that are worthy of hosting the finale. Japan is one of them and it has been the season finale race a couple of times. There’s Canada as well or even the USA.
There are other alternatives to look at too and that’s a decision the governing body has to make. The current decade is coming to an end and maybe perhaps we can see another shift. The only thing I pray for is that they elect a track that presents a good race to cap off the season.