Ted Kravitz - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the pit lane

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F1 Mole | 14:57 UK time, Friday, 6 November 2009


The Mole welcomes BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz to the blog to give his inside line on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and some pointers for 2010.


Team boss Ross Brawn admitted on Saturday night that his car had been out-developed by Red Bull and McLaren, but revealed an impressively daring strategy that should enure his team are not a one-championship wonder.

The Brawn car arrived at the first grand prix this year as the most developed car of all. Where other teams were only on their Mark I designs, Brawn was at the equivalent of Mk III.

Add what turned out to be the legal double-diffuser concept and they had a massive head start.

The team did some development work on the car, but by the time of the Turkish Grand Prix in early June, Brawn took a gamble.

He believed the car had enough in hand to win the championship, so told his design engineers to switch their attentions to the 2010 car.

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Brawn told us that they only switched wind-tunnel attention back to the 2009 car for one week between mid-summer and the end of the season when they realised they might need a bit more performance to secure the championship.

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BBC Sport's fuel-adjusted Abu Dhabi GP grid

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F1 Mole | 16:50 UK time, Saturday, 31 October 2009


Lewis Hamilton looks in superb shape to take a third victory of the season at the Formula 1 finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The McLaren driver was on pole by a margin of nearly 0.7 seconds and he was still half a second clear when the amount of fuel in the cars was taken into account - an astonishing margin in a season that has been so close.

The cars in the top 10 qualifying shoot-out are not allowed to refuel between qualifying and the race, so the amount of fuel they carry dictates their pace on Saturday as well as when they will make their first pit stops on Sunday.

So grid positions can be misleading until the fuel weights are published and the ramifications of that calculated. Assessing those figures underlines just how strong Hamilton is looking.

This is BBC Sport's fuel-adjusted Abu Dhabi Grand Prix grid, with projected first pit stops:

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Wowed by F1's 'Arabian Las Vegas'

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F1 Mole | 10:53 UK time, Saturday, 31 October 2009


When Formula 1 returned to the desert for its season finale in Abu Dhabi memories of Bahrain sprang to The Mole's mind; the flat golden horizon, the dry heat and sand sweeping across the circuit - and everywhere else.

All these things remain the same in Abu Dhabi - just 263 miles east of Bahrain - but the Yas Marina circuit is something else entirely.

The £800m-track has been dubbed the 'Arabian Monaco' but there is more than a dash of Las Vegas panache to the island complex carved out of the desert.

Team BBC landed long after sunset on Wednesday but despite the darkness our first impression of the circuit was a jumble of "wow, crazy, amazing, it's huge!"

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