This weekend Formula 1 moves to Abu Dhabi, the Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates. While both the drivers' and constructors' championships were determined at the Grand Prix of India, the three remaining races on the 2013 season calendar can still feed Formula 1 fans' desires to see racing action before the off-season begins later this month. Drivers took to the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday to practice. We have results of both practices for you, in addition to this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix TV schedule for American fans.
First, the practice results.
Sebastian Vettel, right? Well, yes and no. While Mr. Vettel of Red Bull did end up with the fastest time in P2, he did not, in fact, drive the fastest time during the first go-round, nor did he drive the second fastest in the first practice session on Friday. That first-place distinction went to Romain Grosjean of Lotus with a time of 1:44.241, according to F1. In P1, after Grosjean, came Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes with a time of 1:44.433 followed in third by Vettel posting a 1:44.499.
As fans might expect, the four-time F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, picked up significant speed in P2, coming in quickest with a time of 1:41.335. Behind him in P2 were teammate Mark Webber with a time of 1:41.490 and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes at third with a time of 1:41.690.
After coming in 12th in P2, Romain Grosjean had this to say about his day at the track:
“It’s been a pretty good day even if we missed time in the later session whilst the brakes were worked on. We also had a little vibration that needed looking at, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The car feels pretty good as we saw with the fastest time in the first session, so I’m sure we’ll get on top of everything we need to for tomorrow.”
For his part, Sebastian Vettel commented:
It’s difficult to say today how we compare to the others, we know the Lotus is quick here, but we also had decent pace today. It’s not always so easy at this circuit with the conditions changing throughout the day; we start in the sun and finish at night and the track temperature changes during that time. But, no big issues, so I’m pretty happy.”
Qualifying, as usual, takes place on Saturday.
TV Schedule for American viewers
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network this weekend. Below is the TV schedule -- all times given are Eastern. Live broadcasts are marked with an *.
Saturday, November 2:
1:30 p.m. -- 3:00 p.m. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying -- NBCSN (first airing, but not live).
Sunday, November 3:
*7:30 a.m. -- 10:00 a.m. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race -- NBCSN -- LIVE.
*10:00 a.m. -- 10:30 a.m. F1 Extra -- NBCSN -- LIVE.
6:30 p.m. -- 8:30 p.m. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race -- NBCSN (rebroadcast)
8:30 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m. F1 Extra -- NBCSN
Another interesting programming note for F1 fans is that before the race on Sunday morning on NBCSN (7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. ET), the network will air a new program called "Vettel and Andretti: One on One." NBCSN describes the show as:
"A sit-down with 4-time F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel and the Team Principle of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, to discuss racing along with American F1 racing champion, Mario Andretti."
Going into the 17th race of the 19-race season, Sebastian Vettel has secured the championship with a dominating 322 points to his closest rival, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at 207. Constructors' points determined that Red Bull Racing-Renault is already the 2013 champion with 470 points, and in second place comes Mercedes with 313, according to Formula 1.
The remaining two races in the Formula 1 season are the U. S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (Nov. 15-17) and the Brazilian Grand Prix (Nov. 22-24) in Interlagos.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. is the author of several books and is a Formula 1 and historic/vintage racing enthusiast. She writes about several series and topics in motorsports and motorsports history both for Examiner and for print outlets. With her racer-partner, she is working on a new book about the sport. Connie contemplates topics related to the sport on her blog at Motor Sport Muse.