This weekend the F1 community set foot in sunny Abu Dhabi for an F1 street festival, taking a brief break from the dubious pleasures of winter testing.

The street festival involving displays of the F1 cars and some of the drivers, have been put on ahead of the announcement that Abu Dhabi will be hosting a round of the F1 championship from 2009.

Recently Bernie Ecclestone has been steering F1 away from the more traditional circuits of Europe in search of making F1 more “global and exciting”. Of course it would be cynical indeed to point out that Abu Dhabi is part of the Oil-rich Persian Gulf…or that Bernie is starting to resemble certain western politicans fancies for invading countries based on the amount of petrol you can steal off them. I am sure there were purely altruistic intentions at work, honestly. Well it would cut F1 costs wouldn’t it? your own pipeline track-side….as if anything remotely money-related would cross that dimunitive midget’s mind!

abu-dhabi11.jpg

During the festival Ferrari driver Kimi Raikonnen looked relaxed, and was spotted smiling and waving to the crowds assembled….I’m beginning to think his face is going to start hurting sooner or later….after spending five years looking miserable as sin it’s got to be a bit of a culture shock to the cheek muscles….maybe it is all part of his fitness workout.

rubens1.jpg

Honda’s Rubens Barrichello took the opportunity to remember the good old times with colleagues from his former team, with Michael Schumacher absent he was able to hold their attention for a good 10 seconds….no wonder he looked so pleased for a change.

ronandfonz2.jpg

Other drivers however did not look quite so enamoured with the whole affair, probably due to a lack of cattle prods on hand. Fernando Alonso looked very glum throughout proceedings, particularly when he was cornered by Ron Dennis and given a hand written “automative oration” to deliver should any F1 hacks ask awkward questions. The quiet and shy Spaniard is obviously struggling to come to terms with the change in PR style at McLaren, where temperamental outbursts are frowned upon. Alonso was seen charging off shortly afterwards muttering childishly “its so unfair! this isn’t a sport!”, well we probably couldn’t pronounce half of Ron’s speech either.

Let’s hope they all enjoy the sunshine while it lasts as they will be off to Jerez next week and probably a snow blizzard judging by the way testing has gone so far. Ciao!

Advertisements