Eddie Jordan: Abu Dhabi Preview

  • Written on:
Wri2_00003374-289

Let me confess something: I love being in Abu Dhabi for the grand prix, but have not as yet been able to put my finger on the reason. I mean, it’s great to have a place relatively close to Europe where we can race in warm weather in mid-November, but that alone is not the reason.

The twilight race makes for a unique ambience, and I have no doubt they will keep that into the future, as Singapore will always be a night race. I believe Bernie’s greatest achievement was to bridge the time zone difference between from Asia to Europe with that solution, and by the same token I think having a twilight race here in the desert is an equal stroke of genius. But neither is that the reason.

Then there is a question of the circuit itself: it is wonderful Abu Dhabi is wealthy enough to invest so massively in Formula 1 and build such a fantastic facility in these days of economic crisis, but, again, that is not the sole reason.

As a music fan and musician I love the fact that the grand prix was able to attract topline acts such as Aerosmith in the past and Paul McCartney and Britney Spears this time round, but there is more to really loving a race than its musical supporting acts.

But I guess when you take all these attractions together they add up to a very special event, one which is certainly very different from the rest, and a total contrast to what we had in India a fortnight ago. That is one of the things that makes Formula 1 so special: the sheer variety of venues, with each one being totally unique.

That said, I also love street circuits, and although this is a purpose-built track, it does form part of a major development, with the marina, a variety of hotels and all sorts of attractions being planned around the circuit. When it is totally completed, the entire Yas Island development will certainly be stunning, and it is great that Formula 1 not only got in on the ground floor, but is also forms part of the future.

People ask me why I am such a street circuit fan, and the answer is simple: everything happens close by. Generally purpose-built circuits are miles away from anywhere, but on street circuits everything forms part of the event, and that just adds so much atmosphere.

Last year’s race was a four-way title showdown – which was unexpectedly won by Sebastian Vettel, who took his first championship. He has since repeated the feat, so the race does not have the same fizz, but the remarkable thing is that since that November a year ago every race has been won by a world champion.

Do I expect that situation to change on Sunday? No, I don’t, simply because the only non-champion who can break the sequence is Mark Webber, and he failed to do so this year despite having been on the front row a few times.

Of course, while all races have been won by champions, not all champions have won a race this season, with the odd man out being Michael Schumacher - who next year joins the PUMA family now that the Mercedes/PUMA partnership has been announced.

Having brought Michael into Formula 1 in 1991, I know how competitive he is, and if we are to see another winner in the final two races it could well be him. In fact, don’t bet against it…
 

Motorsport