Engines, Tires, and Rivals Oh My! Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News November 26, 2015
As the sun will set over the beautiful Yas Marina Circuit at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there will be quite a few things to talk about before and after the race. Engines will be a hot topic following the decision by the F1 Commission earlier this week to reject the idea of a cheaper, alternative engine for next year.
This may be good news for the two strongest teams, Mercedes and Ferrari, but it is not so great news for the smaller teams who are struggling with the current engine cost. With this decision we have to ask our selves would it benefit the sport if there were more engine manufactures, and would the sport gain more visibility by having other well known engine brands in the mix. I don’t think any team or driver wants to be on the second tier of a two-tier championship. The manufacturers, along with the FIA, will present a proposal by 15 January 2016.
Tires are also on the menu for this weekend as Pirelli is hoping to engineer a sudden drop-off in performance back into its tires for 2016 in order to make racing more exciting. Pirelli tires have seen a gradual loss of performance in previous seasons.
"We've got a couple of ideas. I'll know after Abu Dhabi whether it's worked or not. The ideal situation would be to have a 'cliff' back so we can get back to two or three stops rather than pushing the stint lengths as we've had as a tendency of the last two years." Motorsport boss Paul Hembery said the key to achieving a 'cliff' in performance is down to the chemical balance of the compound.
"It would be a compounding thing, something that we're looking at," Hembery continued. "It's things maybe we can do inside the tyre to try and create a kind of 'cliff' which could be a chemically-engineered one, so that it becomes unbeneficial to stay out for longer stints.”
Nico Rosberg heads into the race weekend with back to back wins and five poles. Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Although, there are no championships to race for there is still plenty of action on Sunday with Nico Rosberg working to building his confidence heading into 2016.
His recent run of five poles and two wins will have Team Rosberg fans watching and Team Hamilton looking for some “Hammer time”, but will team strategy play a factor as it did a few weeks ago in Brazil or will we get to see an epic battle to the finish between the silver arrows. Either way hold to your hats and glasses for the wildest race in the desert.