This week, the Formula 1 boys are in the desert for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. To be honest, this track is one of the least imposing on the circuit, with lots of tight corners making it a bit stop-start track in stark contrast to the one in India, which has a number of fast and technically demanding turns.
It is very unique race because it begins at sunset and ends under the lights when the temperatures are much cooler. Cars pass the glamorous Marina, drive by the huge Ferrari World theme park and pass under the beautiful Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel en route to the start/finish line. The estimated cost of the track was $1.5 billion, and it might just be one of the most scenic courses in the entire series.
The race was Formula 1’s first-ever day-night race back in 2009 won by — who else? — Sebastian Vettel. Speaking of Vettel, everyone knows by now that he has won his fourth straight drivers’ title. Race fans also know that his Red Bull Racing team has locked up the constructors’ crown as well.
The question on everyone’s mind heading into Abu Dhabi is a very simple one: can Vettel stop Vettel? He is so dominant in Formula 1 that few will bet against him winning a seventh straight race and 11th this year. The Mercedes team might be the strongest team left to battle Vettel as we saw in India with Niko Rosberg and Louis Hamilton’s strong mid-race pace. Kimi Raikkonen of Team Lotus has won here before, so you can’t count him out.
Also, Team Ferrari headed by Fernando Alonso is worthy of consideration when looking at possible winners.
Live qualifying coverage begins this Saturday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. ET on CNBC from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and streamed live on NBC Sports Extra.