Good news! There’s still Formula One going on this weekend. Problem is, even the F1 die-hards I know are talking more about ball sports and holiday-mandated gluttony. F1’s championships were decided so long ago that it feels like the season ender doesn’t even matter. So, why not let Manor Marussia win?
What Formula One’s worst races of 2015 have lacked were unpredictability. Great races, like the United States Grand Prix, felt like anyone could win at times, and featured good back-and-forth action at all ends of the field—not only at mid-field and back. Yes, even for the front.
So far, Abu Dhabi is shaping up like somewhat of a cookie-cutter race for 2015. There’s a Mercedes on pole, followed by the other Mercedes. Shocker! Surprisingly, it’s Nico Rosberg on pole and Lewis Hamilton behind him, but it’s a safe bet that one of the two will have an easy ride to the top of the podium.
Sky Sports also explains that Lewis Hamilton has been unhappy with the car lately, but he’s already claimed his third world driver’s championship, so it’s even hard to get excited about Hamilton finding faults with the beast mode Mercedes W06. It’s about to be replaced. Hmm. Meh? Rosberg might win here this year, and it won’t surprise us at all when and if he does.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified a miserable 16th, so even the usual thorn in the Mercedes duo’s side isn’t going to be harassing them so much as working his way through the field. At least that will be fun to watch, I guess. He’ll do it, in all likelihood, and it will be amusing. But it won’t be a surprise when he does.
Once again, Lotus’ freight was delayed for “unclear” reasons per Motorsport’s report, just as it’s been throughout the season. (Lotus is also sort of broke right now, or at least until Renault’s check for purchasing the team gets cashed.) Same struggle, different day.
Red Bull, too—despite having made it official that they’ll continue to use Renault power units next year—reverted back to older power units for both cars after Renault’s upgraded unit didn’t perform as well as they’d hope, per Sky Sports. More of the same back ‘n’ forth there, I see.
Same ol’, same ol’. Like many others, I think I’ve spent more time thinking about college football before I decided to rage-quit the very idea of it after the game last night. (Seriously, screw ball sports. I’m done. I’M DONE.)
However, there’s one thing that could make me sit up and pay more attention to a race on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Tilkedrome: an unexpected result.
So, screw it. Most folks are distracted by other sports, or by Thanksgiving here in the United States. Not much really matters anymore. Why not let Manor Marussia win?
Sure, American standout Alexander Rossi isn’t racing in one of the Manors this weekend. Roberto Merhi’s back in the seat, and he qualified dead last, right behind Manor teammate Will Stevens.
The prize money would prop up the team at the very back of the grid next year in a way that would be more welcome there than anywhere else. They need the funds. Even if they didn’t ultimately win, shoot, a top-ten result would be big for the struggling squad.
So, hear me out folks. Mercedes, run some donuts to let the others through at the end. Better yet, have your drivers duke it out Double Dare-style with giant vats of slime for the pre-race. Why not?
I’d love to see drivers take clever risks they wouldn’t often take and shake things up a bit, just because they can. At this point, Abu Dhabi feels like a glorified exhibition race because all the championships were decided a while ago. The mid- and back-field are still gunning for whatever extra points and prize money they can scrounge up, though. Let ‘em take center stage.
Even if it’s not a Manor win, folks who’ve long written off the season would probably perk right up at an unexpected result—any unexpected result—even if it still ends with a Merc on top. Maybe Vettel actually gets to the front from a sixteenth place start. Maybe McLaren finally pulls out a good result, despite their low starting position. Maybe Felipe Nasr and Felipe Massa hold a pre-race foam sword duel to determine who has to change their name. For British F1 commentators who make them both sound the same, there can be only one.
Give us something we don’t expect, F1.
Anything out of the expected would mean that those who watch the race in real-time would pump up the replay with all kinds of “holy crap, what did I just watch?” and “dude, you should watch this.” Then the rest of the TV-watching masses might remember to watch for a change. Might. (Might.)
Go balls-out. Fight as if your seat depends on it, even if you’re nicely settled for 2016. Affix truck nuts to the car, because nothing even matters. Or, better yet, give us a good race with some decent twists for a change, and the car-loving masses might take a break from Thanksgiving sportsball and tune in to watch.
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