ABU DHABI GP 29/11/15

F1 Racing - - TURN 1, SUZUKA AND AUSTIN -

Be­tween races, Wil­liams dropped their ap­peal against Felipe Massa’s ex­clu­sion from the Brazil­ian Grand Prix on ac­count of it hav­ing no bear­ing on their nish­ing po­si­tion in the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship. Fight­ing the case would, they said, be an un­nec­es­sary ex­pense.

Costs, not for the rst or last time this sea­son, came to the fore­front once more as it emerged that both Manor Marus­sia and Sauber had sought ad­vances on their share of F1’s com­mer­cial rev­enues. Em­bat­tled Lo­tus, mean­while, found them­selves caught in the horse-trad­ing be­tween pu­ta­tive new own­ers Re­nault and F1’s com­mer­cial rights hold­ers, hav­ing to wait once more while their equip­ment was held at the air­port await­ing pay­ment of an over­due bill.

Not ev­ery­one was on the same page re­gard­ing cost con­trols, though; the F1 Com­mis­sion voted against the FIA’s pro­posed ‘bud­get en­gine’. The gov­ern­ing body did man­age to as­sert its author­ity else­where, though, clamp­ing down on loop­holes in the aero­dy­namic rules that might en­able the larger teams to use part­ner teams to aid their own aero de­vel­op­ment.

Mercedes ended the year in a po­si­tion of dom­i­nance as Nico Ros­berg led an­other one-two ahead of a frus­trated Lewis Hamil­ton, and all eyes quickly turned to 2016 as a 12-hour tyre test got un­der way on the Tues­day fol­low­ing the grand prix. Pirelli’s ca­pac­ity to en­gi­neer more un­pre­dictabil­ity could be the key to other teams build­ing a more reg­u­lar chal­lenge to Mercedes over the com­ing sea­son.

Nico Ros­berg took a third con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in Abu Dhabi. Ti­tle-wise will it be third time lucky for him in 2016?

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