Simply Abu Dhabi XX

6 5 S I M P LY A B U DH A B I T here’s no question that the 2015 Formula One World Championship has seen a dominance by one team the likes of which many have never witnessed before. However, you could argue that Formula One fans, especially those in the UAE who get to watch the season finale first-hand at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, have been spoilt over the past few seasons with the title often being decided at the final round. Heading into the last race of the year over recent times with three – and in the case of 2010, up to four drivers – in contention for the title is an anomaly in F1 terms. And while no one begrudges the sheer dominance the Mercedes AMG Petronas team has displayed this year, it is something seasoned F1 vets will pass off with a nod and wink to previous generations. You only have to look back to the Senna/Prost era of 1990 when the McLaren Honda drivers won 18 of 19 races, or the Williams Honda domination with Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese. And who could forget the utter steamrolling Michael Schumacher gave his rivals with his Ferrari which handed him six of his seven world championships? Lewis Hamilton’s performance this season has been stupendous, showing Senna and Schumacher-like performances all year inside the cockpit while being a little more James Hunt outside the car with his high profile, his red-on-black Bombardier Challenger 605 private jet and Hollywood lifestyle. “It’s been an amazing year and I’m so happy to have been able to celebrate my championship here in Abu Dhabi. I have to take my hat off to the teamwho have built an amazing car. These guys have workednon-stopallyearandI’mverygrateful,”Hamiltonsaidafter finishing second behind team-mate Nico Rosberg in Abu Dhabi. Yet, his high profile life outside of the car hasn’t taken his focus away from the day job of winning his thirdWorld Championship, equalling Ayrton Senna’s tally and also passing another of his idols, Sir Jackie Stewart’s 45-year record of laps led in 18 consecutive Grands Prix. Fittingly, he broke this record at both his and Sir Jackie’s home race, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.