Formula One fan or no, there is no way (in my opinion) anyone could say this was not perhaps the best race of the season. Action, action, tension, drama, it all came together and provided for a fantastic result, up and down the standings.
Kimi Raikkonen, the "Ice Man", did something few have done before, including Michael Schumacher, and that's winning a Grand Prix after having left the sport for a year or more. And, my Lord, he did it in a Lotus for crying out loud. Who would have thought?
This race, at the finish, had three World Champions on the podium and in fourth was another - Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel and Button. In my world it just doesn't get any better than that.
Sebastian Vettel. What can be said? Here's a kid, he's only 25 years old, and a multi-World Champion; something like 26 wins, 45 podiums and 35 pole positions - and that like in 100 starts or so. This man is in position to be perhaps one of, or maybe even the greatest F1 driver in history - or at least the greatest in the modern era.
Vettel gets dropped to the back (having to start from pit road) because he had a few ounces too little fuel left in his Red Bull Renault after final qualifying. A few laps in he gets caught up in a touchy thing and damages the right side of his front nose but screams on. Because of a long caution the front runners are looking at a one-stop race. Vettel pits for a new nose and tires - the soft compounds - and begins his trip to the front, yet again from the back.
Yes, yes. I know. Hamilton had the race in his pocket; but you have to finish - which he didn't do. Kimi drove one-hell-of-a-race and deserved every ounce of his win. Alonso drove the crap out of his not-so-great Ferrari and Vettel, now having made two stops, lap after lap after lap trying to get by Button finally made it with a brilliant move on the outside, he then drove away from the McLaren driver finishing nearly four seconds ahead at the end.
Abu Dhabi was one hell of a Formula 1 race - fantastic racing all through the field and for the "crash" lovers there was plenty to whet your whistles - especially with the Nico Rosberg, Narain Karthikeyan coming together with Roseberg in "flight" and doing quite an auger into the barrier.
Super congrats to Kimi for an extremely strong drive and to Vettel for overcoming unbelievable adversity. Alonso never ceases to amaze and Pastor Maldonado in the Williams showed very well for himself. And for Massa? Well, he was a mere 22+ seconds behind in seventh being well beat by Kobayashi in the Sauber.
Even with the tremendous drive from Raikkonen I just can't come away not being amazed by the effort of Vettel and the Red Bull Renault team. Oh, and how about those under three second 4-tire changes for some of the pit crews? Stunning, to say the least.
Whip me as you will. I welcome it.