Monday, November 15, 2010

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull - F1 World Champion in Abu Dhabi

Who would have thought ...
1) Sebastian Vettel becomes the YOUNGEST World Champion ever, at 23 years old!
2) Red Bull wins both the Constructors' and Driver's championship!
3) Vettel was 3rd overall, coming into the last race of the year at Abu Dhabi ... but leapfrogged his team mate Webber, as well as leader Alonso!

Vettel jumps on top of his car, to celebrate!
Know what he said over the team radio as he crossed the finish-line? "Thank you, I love you!"

Finally, the helmet is off, and Vettel is beaming :-)

Flanked by the lovely Etihad gals ;-)

Vettel couldn't hold back his tears as the German anthem played, who could blame him!

Yes, Vettel is the youngest F1 champion ... ever!
Hamilton came in a respectable 2nd, and Button in 3rd.

My dad reminded me after the race via SMS, we have three world champions on the podium in Abu Dhabi ... 2008, 2009, 2010!

Good night from the F1 village of Yas Marina ... zzzz :-)

ps - If you thought my 2,000 AED ticket was expensive, the Al Dhiyafa ticket which affords a view from the main grandstand, with hospitality thrown in, is 3,400 AED! Thanks to JT for the treat :-) What a weekend!

F1 Abu Dhabi 2010 - Race Day action

At 5pm UAE time, the drivers would set off in what would be the most exciting season in F1, ever! Could Alonso hold on to his lead? Would Vettel sneak up on him, and take the title? Or would his Red Bull team-mate, Webber do the unthinkable? Or how about ex-world champ Hamilton ride his luck!? We would find out 1 1/2 hours later!

Soon after the start ... Still on the 1st lap ... Vettel had made the perfect start from P1, leading Hamilton. Poor Alonso, dropped to 4th, after being passed by Button. Tsk tsk...

Good grief, action so soon? Vitantonio Luizzi crashed head-on into ex world champ, Michael Schumacher, after he had spun following a touch by his own team-mate, Nico Rosberg in the Petronas-Mercedes! Ouch!!
The Mercedes SLS AMG F1 Safety Car was out! For 3 laps!! I took a shot each time the gorgeous gull-winged SLS went past my seat, mind you I only brought my Canon Powershot G9 to the race, decided to let the Nikon rest!
Then it was back to the race!! Alonso couldn't do much after a pit-stop that was later deemed strategically-too early, and then he couldn't overtake the bright yellow Renault of Petrov, alas it wasn't to be for Ferrari!

This is what it looks like ... in a day and night race!

I was well proud to have been there!

F1 Abu Dhabi 2010 - Race Day Warm Up

Yas Marina Circuit, located here in Abu Dhabi, UAE ... 2 years old, and already a legend in the sport of motor-racing after what transpired yesterday! 21 corners, and the longest straight in F1, with what could possibly be the coolest track-side hotel in the world, with a marina alongside, this is quite a venue!

Grid positions, interestingly Vettel in P1 and Hamilton in P2, and leader of the pack (with this being the last race remaining!) Alonso in P3!

Guys warming up their Bridgestone tyres (Last year in F1!) pre-race start ... The sound was deafening!

With the constructor's title, this is already Red Bull's year. But can it be Sebestian Vettel's as well :-)? Or can Scudeira Ferrari's 2-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, hold him off?

Malaysia participated through Team Lotus Racing as well :-)

Best view in town? From the Yas Hotel or from your boat on the marina ... take your pick. I had the Support Pit Grandstand, I wasn't complaining! Made it there just in time for the start of the race though ... phew! I was impressed how everyone stood up for the UAE, ooops Abu Dhabi anthem ;-)

How cool is this .. A fly-past by Etihad Airways, the chief sponsor of the race :-)

Etihad Airbus A340-600 doing the fly-past ... three times!

Drivers were oblivious to the Airbus flying overhead :-)

One more time under the Yas Hotel bridge before the race starts ....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Linkin Park rocks Abu Dhabi, Yas Island

50 million albums sold worldwide, 2 Grammys, and now Linkin Park finally makes it to Abu Dhabi :-)

This was the post-Qualifying Session concert near Ferrari World, at the Concert Arena of the Yas Marina F1 circuit. Doors opened at 6pm, but I only got there at 8:50pm, 15 minutes before Linkin Park took to stage :-)

Unmistakable scream and angst of Chester Bennington, who has been with LP since 1999. And the enigmatic founding-member of LP Mike Shinoda.

Compared to the more subdued atmosphere at Kanye West last night, Linkin Park ROCKED Abu Dhabi :-) LP played stuff from all their albums, Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight and their latest offering from Sept 2010, A Thousand Suns.

It was incredible, I loved Crawling ... and the angst of Numb. Brilliant!

The mighty chorus of In The End brought the house down!
And as I was leaving, Somewhere I Belong was equally impressive. Wow!

Coaches that way to Shahama, for those who parked there and are heading to (or from)
Dubai ... or you could head to Zayed Sports City quite quickly as well. Much better organisation by the Yas Marina Circuit team this year, compared to the shambles last year!