How sport will change in 2018, part four: Making F1 competitive again


The twinkling temple of neon that is Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina presents a vivid illustration of Formula One’s faultlines. Every way you turn, there are pretty people, even prettier yachts and, at the centre of it all, an irredeemably Mickey Mouse racetrack. Anybody imagining that the 2017 duel between Mercedes and Ferrari had been a panacea for the sport’s ills was disabused by a desert finale so turgid that Martin Brundle apologised for the spectacle live on air.

For all the parade of Lamborghinis past the Yas Viceroy hotel, and all the nouveau riche extravagance fuelling Abu Dhabi’s claims to be the ‘Monaco of the Middle East’, competitive racing was again conspicuous by its absence. The two Mercedes cars finished 20 seconds up the road, while the most diverting skirmish was a pass by Romain Grosjean on Lance Stroll – for 13th. It was a sign of the paucity of wheel-to-wheel action last year…





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