With a relatively quiet weekend coming up in European football (there are a few interesting matches, but more on that later), my focus for this week’s DON’T MISS recommendation is the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But why? Why on Earth would I think people should watch this race on Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton already crowned World Champion and Mercedes already having won the Constructors Championship? Well, for starters, it’s the last Grand Prix of the season. And, therefore, the last race we’re going to see until late March 2016. Also, the Yas Marina Circuit is one of the most spectacular in the Formula 1 calendar, and the race has the added attraction of starting in daylight and finishing at night. The track itself was built on a man-made island at the dizzying cost of an estimated $1.5 bn. That’s just for the circuit, not the whole island! This is where Hamilton won the title last season, crossing the finish line first. Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel holds the record for most wins at Yas Marina Circuit – three. The quadruple World Champion also holds the lap record.
The biggest news ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix comes from former powerhouse Red Bull Racing. The Austrian team has announced that it will not be using the latest engine developed by Renault in the last race of the season. They tested the power unit in Brazil during the previous Grand Prix, on Daniel Ricciardo‘s car. And disappointingly found that it was slower than Daniil Kvyat‘s car, which had the older engine in it. This does nothing to ease Red Bull‘s engine woes for next season, because it looks like they’ll be stuck with Renault for 2016 too. There hasn’t been any official announcement regarding the engine supplier, but the latest talks – with Volkswagen – collapsed following the Dieselgate scandal, so Red Bull will probably have to use these new French power units. They’re just hoping Renault has the time to fiddle with them and get more power out of the engines.
As promised, back to football for the final part of this article, because not everyone’s a fan of Formula 1. The most interesting game of the weekend promises to be the London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea, in the English Premier League. Scheduled for Sunday, the game looks lopsided, and not in the way it used to: Tottenham are the favorites this time. With only one loss in 13 matches played this season, Hotspur are only four points behind the leaders and sit in a comfortable 5th position. I say comfortable because they’ll still be 5th regardless of the outcome of the game v Chelsea. The Blues are having one of their worst seasons in recent history, currently languishing in 15th. They scraped through their last game 1-0 at home against minnows Norwich City, but that was just the fourth time this season that they emerged victorious. Let’s not forget, these are the reigning champions of one of the toughest football leagues in the world.