Dull Abu Dhabi Grand Prix gets very low rating

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

While last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the second highest-rated race of the season, this year’s received one of the lowest scores we’ve seen in Rate the Race.

F1 Fanatic readers gave it an average rating of 5.017 out of ten, the lowest of the season so far and the worst of all the previous events at the as Yas Marina circuit. It is also the seventh-lowest score since Rate the Race began in 2008.

Sebastian Vettel won his seventh race in a row as he pleased. One of few notable moments in a largely incident-free race was Fernando Alonso’s off-track antics following his final pit stop.

Before the race began Kimi Raikkonen looked likely to provide much of the interest as he started at the back, like Vettel did last year. But his first corner exit put an end to that, and was followed in short order by his departure from the track and then a farewell to his Lotus team as well.

That disappointment was one of several reasons given for the race’s low rating.

Monotonous lap after lap of drivers having to wait for DRS zones to overtake. Track awful. Thought a fair few drivers were very average. Vettel brilliant.

Feel like the strategic aspect of the last few races has been over-hyped, most drivers follow the same strategy after ten laps anyway.

Plastic race at a plastic venue. DRS, tyres, more DRS and penalties. One or two nice moves (Massa) but precious little racing.

But well done Vette – can’t see anyone beating him any more this year.

Funny how people say it was a boring race. I must have seen something different.

I saw a tight start, then a lot of action all over the field, then we got Vettel’s pit stop, and a lot of battles again. Massa shutting off his ears for team messages, Alonso making a pass he shouldn’t have gotten away with, a solar eclipse, a bit of action towards the end and Vettel donating another ??10,000 to the FIA* with his celebrations. Beats the finger by miles in my opinion.

I will give this race a solid six out of ten: it was by no means tedious or boring. It wasn’t a great race, but what would you expect on this track?

There was actually some decent racing in the lower half of the top ten, Massa’s move on Hamilton was brilliant as was Alonso’s bravery when coming out of the pits.

But it is very difficult to get too enthused when after 20 laps Vettel has a 22 second lead over the guy in second place, who by the way happens to be driving the same car. The dominance today was comparable with Singapore, probably even greater as Webber in the same car, and in clear air could get nowhere near Vettel’s pace, even with Rocquelin for three-quarters of the race telling Vettel to take it easy.

The perennial thorn in the side of the 2013 season has been DRS, once again it failed to impress.

If anyone is rating this race higher than a five I think they need remember the DRS passes. Nobody wanted to pass before the second DRS zones (stupid implementation). Nobody was defending against a pass (need to save tyres).

What’s the point of having a second DRS right after the first one? It seems totally self-defeating. DRS seems to work best in a race where it barely has any effect at all..

The first lap loss of Raikkonen was a source of frustration to many:

I was anticipating a great recovery race by Raikkonen. Sadly, it didn’t happen.

I was hoping Mark would be able to hold on to first a wee bit beyond turn one. He didn’t (but no big surprise here).

Would be a one, but gets a two for the last stint by Alonso including the bravest exit from the pits I’ve seen in a long time.

Very disappointing that Raikkonen retired after the first corner, I expected him to challenge the two Ferraris. After the first corner we all knew who was going to win.

Still Vettel was incredible to watch, Ferrari’s comeback was nice, love the doughnuts, awesome to hear Vettel quoting Raikkonen on the radio.

The domination of the Vettel / Red Bull combo seems to be a factor in the low scores of late however many gave credit were credit is due.

The dominance of Vettel is expected but often there is still some entertaining battles further down the order, however nothing got me excited during the Grand Prix.

There may have been quite a few overtakes throughout the race but most were due to DRS and for me they provide as much excitement as a driver being lapped.

Another boring race, can’t deny Vettel’s greatness though

At least one reader saw an entertaining race in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, it was a repeat.

Yesterday, I enjoyed watching Sky’s replay of the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP. In particular, it was refreshing to see a race without the gimmicks designed to improve racing – DRS and rapidly degrading compounds.

When compared to today’s race, it is easy to see how lost F1 has become.

That race scored 6.6 out out of ten.

While some were getting nostalgic for the past, this year’s disappointing race left others hoping next year will be better:

I don’t think anyone is happy at the moment in F1, except Vettel and Horner.

Alonso, Raikkonen, Webber lost interest.
McLaren well off where they should be.
Force India, Lotus financial woes.
Back teams making pretty much zero progress.
Fans not seeing any real competition for some while while paying sky high ticket/TV prices (there’s a pun in there!)

I love F1 and it’s sad when it’s not the spectacle it should be, I just hope that the rule changes, and mixing up of teams/drivers will make it a whole lot better in 2014.

*On this occasion Vettel and Red Bull were not fined for their doughnut celebration.

Previous rate the race results

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

54 comments on “Dull Abu Dhabi Grand Prix gets very low rating”

  1. I am starting to wonder how many Vettel-fans F1 Fanatic counts. Perhaps all Vettel fans are voting honest and agree it was a dull race despite their favourite winning or there simply are not enough to counter all the Lewis and Alonso fans. Or of course somewhere in the middle.

    The rating really represents the thruth though. Australia, Germany and Bahrein really held the best GPs of the year. Together with the British GP, they are a solid four races to remember 2013 by so far.

    1. The driver you support must not play a role in the ratings more than the entertainment value of the race as a whole .If , perhaps , you support Vettel and he does a fantastic race from start to finish controlling it with sheer pace and accuracy , that may make you happy but the questions you have to ask yourself is ” Was the overall race worthy of watching ? Was there overtaking ? Was there sheer unpredictability ( I don’t mean unpredictability of X leading by 30 sec or 60 sec ) or chaos ?Was there mixed weather that led to different strategies culminating in a nail biting finish? I know it is difficult , but that’s how it has to be done. And , for those of you guys saying I am spoilt for great races , yes , I am indeed . I am a big fan of f1 and expect to witness a thrilling race every weekend as it is the pinnacle of motorsport, or so it seems.

      1. There were a lot of people down voting the race because Raikkonen retired at turn one.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      11th November 2013, 11:38

      I’m a Vettel fan and I find races like the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be an absolute bore. It would have been better if there were actual battles through the field. Of course my favourite own but it was still incredible dull. I prefer races like Germany this year where Vettel won by a second over Raikkonen.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th November 2013, 13:21

      @ardenflo Vettel won and if you see the avatar on the left you can guess who I support, but I rated the race 2 or 3. So I think your assumption about Vettel fans can be true (some fans will give any race Vettel wins a 10) but about me, I leave my Vettel preference aside when I rate the RACE.

    4. I believe I gave it as low as a 4 (I can’t recall exactly). It just wasn’t an exciting race.

    5. As a Vettel fan, I gave it a 7, some interesting battles, the higlights were Alonso and his pit exit, Di Resta and his one-stop strategy and Vettel doing doughnuts at the end but overall boring race yeah. I gave it a 7 because I gave a 6 at Monaco, which is the only race which was worse this year.

    6. I have no idea how Hungary was rated as the third best race of this season.

  2. Nice to see my comment included. I think the race probably deserved a bit more, but between the not inspiring track, absence of a fight for the lead, disappointment that we did not get to see Kimi making his way up the field and DRS being the common denominator in most on track action its not hard to see really why.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      11th November 2013, 12:07

      @bascb – I think it depends how you judge it. If 1 = “I would rather do the ironing” then no – no F1 race will ever score particularly low! However, if 1 = “the most boring F1 race you can remember” and 10 = “the best F1 race you can remember”, this can’t have scored more than a 3 or 4.

      I tend to use the full 10 point scale for this rather than something inbetween 5 and 9 like most on here seem to do. It says a lot that 5 (which out of 10, should be considered average) is one of the lowest scores ever!

      1. @petebaldwin

        I completely agree with you on how many of the readers seem to score the races too highly. to me a race that scores a 5 should be one that’s slightly more exciting from start to end than a major news news event. I can only imagine a race that scores 2 would see a few drivers die, a few of the most loved teams drop out and Vettel still winning unchallenged by a 30 sec margin over second placed Ricardo whilst being urged by rocky to “watch the tyres there is some debris on the track” with Marko still looking like the same loving puppy at the podium celebrations and Vettel pulling the finger … I.e the most disgusting race ever..

        In reality this race should have been scored as between 3-5, although I only watched the highlights, from what I saw it seemed fairly good but I’m glad I didn’t watch the whole race as I guess I saw the best bits in 45 mins rather than 90. Completely opposite to last year which was a glorious race that I watched live and had money on Raikkonen to win (from the point he took the lead) which was IMO almost perfect – I wouldn’t ask for more action than the Abu Dhabi race in 2012 – if only it had kept Raikkonen in the Championship hunt it would have been a 9.8 for me. (and I’m a perfectionist that would never give a race a 10)

    2. Many people rate the race based on the results of their favourite driver

  3. to @Carrick comment: The second DRS zone made for show. It’s simple: firstly, you overtake, then, you are being overtaken.
    Terrible venue, especially when it comes to mind that they could build anything in this place.

  4. At first, I wasn’t really in favour of new rules from 2014 onward but F1 seems to be a poor show for fans in comparison to worldwide sports as football, basketball, or whatsoever with a ball… but I’m now looking optimistically forward to next year hoping the new regulation will spice things up.

    Also, with the economic state of F1 – refering to world-champion Raikkonen and uprising Hulkenberg unpaid, Lotus’ and Sauber’s deals, Caterham and Marussia troubles – I’m can only feel pessimistic.

    Wake up F1 circus! Something needs to be done now, otherwise never.

    1. They wont, Bernie and his rich mates will continue as they wish until they wake up one day noticing that there is no F1 left.

      1. @full-throttle-f1, Bernies plan is for that day to be the day he doesn’t wake up.

        1. @hohum

          I can see that :-)

          Can you imagine what the people having to sort out the mess of F1 would say after he pops his socks?

          “Honestly, the guy says he’s gonna fix it, then he goes and dies on us! Absolutely typical!”

  5. Was just wondering whether people would prefer just not to race on these kind of tracks and go back to a 15 or so race calender. Leaving out the sandbox – and Asian dragon tracks.

    1. I know one man that would disagree with you…

      Bernie has deep pockets that need to be filled.

    2. While I agree that less races on better tracks would be better, I feel that some Asian Dragons are better left on the calendar. China and Malaysia are pretty solid venues and are the best of the modern designs (along with COTA). If they never went to Bahrain, Korea, Abu Dhabi, or India again I wouldn’t miss it. I am slightly concerned by Sochi’s design, but the new Redbull Ring might actually be a very good F1 venue. I am all for quality over quantity when it comes to F1. If there were less races then maybe we would see some of the best drivers in the world compete in multiple disciplines, like in the “good old days”.

      1. Not really considering Malaysia and China among the boring ones. Malaysia and China have both been on the calender for a while now. I was more looking at, as you mentioned, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Bahrein.

        On Sochi; looks nice and I have high expectations, similar to COTA is how I feel.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          11th November 2013, 15:07

          Sochi looks like Valencia 2.0

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th November 2013, 13:26

      @ardenflo Vettel needs the Asian tracks ;P
      But seriously, any track can produce a thrilling race with some conditions, and a boring race with some conditions. If last year you had said “Barhein 2013 will be rated as the best, and Spa the worst”, many people would have called a shrink to make an appointment, but look what has happened. And personally, I never liked the A1 ring, it’s mainly a square with just on or 2 turns to the left.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        11th November 2013, 13:27

        @ferrox-glideh that comment I made about the A1 was a response to you

        1. It turned out alright though!

    4. I like the idea of a 15 race calender, less races means more time in between races, which means more car developement, which means more different winner which means a more exciting championship!

  6. We F1 fans are a hard bunch to please. I find it funny how one commenter was wistfully remembering the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP. I remember that race being the epitome of what was wrong with F1 pre 2011 and how it highlighted what a terrible track Yas Marina is. Passing was nigh on impossible, and strategy was almost non-existent, from what I can remember almost the entire field one stopped, and the likes of Petrov and Rosberg were able to go practically the entire race on one set of tyres. There was no variation, no passing, and it was a processional affair that was only saved by virtue of the championship battle – or lack thereof as Webber and Alonso were stuck in midfield with no chance of progressing while Vettel cruised to victory.

    I agree that F1 is not perfect at the moment and there are valid criticisms of both the tyres and DRS. What I’m trying to get at is that F1 pre 2011 also suffered from some serious flaws and boring racing. Racing and passes are many times artificial these days, and drivers can’t fully exploit the performance of their cars due to the tyres. These problems have just replaced older ones. What good was a driver being able to race flat out when they couldn’t get close to the car in front due to the dirty air? Passes were harder earned, but there were so few that racing often became processional. The tyres were so robust that Canada 2010 was seen as a revelation, with teams having to do multiple stops and different strategies instead of the entire field coming in within a few laps of one-another.

    I don’t want F1 to stay the way it is, and hopefully 2014 can be a magic cure all for the problems F1 has right now but I doubt it. One thing I don’t want is a return to 2010 style racing as that had its own glaring flaws, as did racing in ’09, ’08, ’07… I think many are blinded to the flaws of past seasons by nostalgia, convinced that only a few years ago the racing was far better than it is now, that it was ‘purer’, more ‘real’ or more ‘entertaining’. That is a fallacy at worst and an entirely subjective opinion at best.

    1. @colossal-squid, I knew when I read @kodongo, s excellent reply to a similar comment in the FIAs greatest moments article that I would have need to re-post it before to long, I should have cut it for pasteing but being an old dog I haven’t mastered that trick in the blogosphere, I imagine you read it, if not I urge you to.

      1. @hohum It’s a good comment, and I am in complete agreement with several points. DRS is mostly a joke, and the tyres are too brittle.

        Although his argument is slightly skewed, with several issues raised that were not directed at the racing itself. The Alonso-Hamilton rivalry that he refers to had nothing to do with the cars, tyres or rules at the time and everything to do with two of the greatest drivers of their generation in the same team, so I consider that moot.

        The qualifying tyre issue I didn’t address in my comment as I’m solely concerned with the racing.

        His claim that drivers are now ‘raping’ tracks is absurdist. Drivers have always done everything in their power to maximise lap times in every era. It’s their job. This current one is no different, just the construction of the modern tracks allow drivers to make them more frequently. Again, not something that was in the remit of my comment above but whatever.

        Finally he himself admits that passes beforehand occurred infrequently. It was a valid criticism of the pre 2011 regulations something that DRS and the Pirellis have tried to address and instead the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.

        I’m not defending the issues with F1 at the moment. I state that quite clearly in my comment above. What I am stating is that the problems we have now are a direct reaction to the problems in F1 racing that preceded them. We need a balance. Either DRS will become less powerful, or (hopefully) removed, or Pirelli can do the impossible and create tyres that can be raced on as well as degrade, or we need a serious overhaul in the regulations at a fundamental level – and who knows what that might do to the character of the sport.

        The problems that F1 has are myriad, and there are no easy fixes. Just as the reaction by the powers that be should have been more moderate when first implementing DRS and the Pirellis, so too should those that criticise the current racing come at it with a clear view of what F1 is now, and has been in the past, unfiltered by undeserved bias and nostalgia. F1 is not perfect now (far, far from it) but then again, it never has been.

        1. Fair enough.

  7. People complaining about the races these days has not been following Grand Prix racing for a long time and have nothing to complain about . I have been watching and following F1 since 1966. In the sixties, seventies and even the eighties you had drivers winning by nearly a whole lap . Sometimes the guy in third place was three to four laps back. You had races where only three to four cars finished the race. The TV coverage was very poor and you sat watching the leader for most of the race , guy in second place was to far back to be caught on the camera. You only saw the other cars when they were lapped. Today you at least see some battles at the back and midfield. I think a race today is made by the guy in charge of the cameras and whether he catches the best action or not. If you are a real fan of the sport and you attend a race just savor the pure power, noise and smell of the cars and skill of ALL the drivers and dont worry it was boring or not.

    1. Couldn’t agree more.

    2. +1 well said

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th November 2013, 13:29

      @ean watching F1 for eons eh? COTD for you.

    4. @ean, I have been watching F1 as long as you have but I totally disagree ( @kodongo, HELP), of course the TV coverage was worse, cameras were as big as suitcases, videotape wasn’t even invented then, yes cars were fragile but that meant that no matter how far in front the leader was the result was in doubt until the finish, “savour the pure power, noise and smell of the cars” today it’s all the same in the past every car was different, different power, different sound, different strengths and different weaknesses, cars could follow millimetres away through the corners and then the battle down the straights pitted the acceleration of a torquey motor against the ultimate power of a peaky motor. I could go on and on.

    5. +1
      People have short memory.
      You actually don’t have to go that much back in time. The early 00’s was really dull races.
      Schumi would win. Most take overs was done in pit or by mechanic failures.
      I don’t like DRS and the tires, but at least it gives us something to watch.

  8. Ryan Fairweather
    11th November 2013, 12:56

    Webber has made the right choice in my eyes. F1 comes up with rules that just make it more and more gimmicky. I blame casual fans, and people who watch it for the “show”. Corporate greed has truly set in, even more so in this engine freeze era. If the tyres are shoddy again next year, that’ll be it from me. Sports cars all the way!

    On the Grand Prix itself, I usually watch every race religiously but even I couldn’t be bothered with Abu Dhabi and didn’t even watch it.

  9. Is there a one single Rate the Race table starting from 2008?

      1. Thanks a lot!

  10. Sometimes I don’t understand the ratings that people give these races. I remember one person in particular saying something to the effect that “I give each race 5, just for the excitement of seeing F1 cars, and if it’s quite an exciting race, I add points . . . ”
    Sometimes when I am offered the chance to fill in an online survey or something there is a guide which says ‘Please rate your experience from 1 to 10, where 1 is awful, 5 is average and 10 is excellent” so maybe that’s the kind of guide Keith needs here. Because I just don’t understand how a race that so many people described as ‘Plastic race at a plastic venue’ or ‘Monotonous lap after lap’ still gets a rating of just over 5. If it was a bad race, it should be averaging 2 or 3. Not 5 as that midway between Awful and Excellent, which has to be ‘Average’ or something like that, and it really wasn’t average. it was dull.
    Me? I rated it 3 I think.

  11. Struggle to understand the poster who looks at the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP as a good example of a race. If I remember it correctly, the title was effectively decided because Alonso couldn’t pass Petrov and very little else happened. A very disappointing end to a great season, granted this year’s race was dull but looking at the race in isolation neither year were good.

  12. Honestly, F1 would be so much better if overtaking was more natural, i.e you could follow a car through a corner without understeering off the road and the tyres didn’t give up after only 5 laps, and no DRS. It’s not that F1 right now is bad – we all still watch it, after all, usually because we enjoy it – but it could be better, and seemingly the FIA aren’t listening.

    1. @vettel1

      Give me one example in history where the FIA have listened, usually someone needs to die first…

  13. Not sure why people are complaining about the ratings. I see the ratings as 1 equal to 0-10% of worst races ever, and 10 equal to 90-100% best races ever. I admit that “ever” for me means starting around 2000 so I am basing my opinion on that. Of course having the race leader win by 30 seconds is not great – however, we got some quite good battles behind plus some strategy. I think I gave it a 6 or 7 as there were many races that were much worse in 2000-2006 – you had someone winning by 30+ seconds and you had no battles behind either. This season in my view saw two races that were clearly worse (Silverstone in particular as it was a farce, but also Spain with drivers treating their tyres like raw eggs).

    In my view, the 2011 tyres were the best – not too extreme but allowed some variation in strategy. Pirelli should use those for the next few years. Much better than what we had in the beginning of this year, but also better than the Bridgestones where the hard compounds could last a whole race. No refuelling is good as well. DRS should really go away or only be used much more sparingly. I approve of the idea that faster cars should not be held up forever; however, DRS kills the incentive to try to overtake anywhere else on the circuit – just wait until the next DRS zone and cruise by. So, if DRS absolutely needs to stay, I propose the following: (a) 0 or 1 DRS zones depending on circuit (some really don’t need it). (b) When the length of the zone is determined, err on the short side to avoid overtaking being too easy – rather have a race where it is not effective. (c) Only allow DRS activation if the car behind was within 1 second for two or three laps in a row – this gives drivers the incentive to try overtaking somewhere else to pass the car in front more quickly.

    1. @mike-dee, I have always wondered why younger fans are so keen on tyres that handicap ultimate speed and make strategy so important, now I see that different car/ tyre characteristics have replaced different engine/car characteristics where speed cost longevity then as it does now, I prefer the earlier.

  14. Like I said before, no Kimi no rating.

  15. Formula 1 desperately needs new leadership that will bring this sport back to the future, and offer fans more technology, quicker cars (not constantly slowing the cars year after year and limiting the revs), innovation in engineering and research, and more freedoms for the engineers and the aerodynamicists to make more of a difference instead of limiting them at every turn by draconian regulations and a rule book the size of the Bible.

  16. @keithcollantine You put this on Facebook and I almost thought this year’s edition had already been held….then I read the “last year it was one of the highest-rated races” part and realised that my shock had been for nothing.

Comments are closed.