The last post for 2009 F1 season in this topic the new season topic will be started shortly and here is the final news piece to say goodbye to a eventful and controversial season.
A number of lasts in Abu Dhabi
The final race of the season always features a number of “lasts” ahead of the winter break. Abu Dhabi 2009 is no exception as the grid is set to be shuffled with driver moves, team ownership and engine supply changes ahead of the 2010 season.
BMW Sauber are set for their 70th and final grand prix at a time when it is not clear whether its new owners – Qadbak – will conclude an agreement with the rival teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holders to compete next season. BMW Sauber, who made their debut in 2006, recorded one win with Robert Kubica in Montreal last year. Kubica himself is set for his final race with the team before moving to Renault next year.
The race will also mark the final race with Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in its current guise. Promoted by former FIA president Max Mosley, the introduction of the KERS this year has proven expensive and controversial. Only Ferrari and McLaren are running KERS this weekend before the voluntary agreement to drop the technology comes into force. The systems could be reintroduced in 2011, but these are likely to be standard designs, rather than bespoke team designed and developed units.
The 55 lap grand prix will also be the final race where refuelling is permitted. Next season the cars will start the race with enough fuel to complete the race distance.
After a two-season stint, Williams has announced that they will not be using Toyota engines next year. The Grove-based team will switch to Cosworth, while Nico Rosberg has confirmed it is his final race with the team before moving to Brawn or McLaren.
Giancarlo Fisichella is about to start his final grand prix before standing down and starting his new career as Ferrari team test and reserve driver. With three wins from his long career, as well as a stunning second position with Force India at Spa Francorchamps this year, the Italian veteran jumped at the chance of replacing the injured Felipe Massa from the Italian Grand Prix onwards. While he has struggled at Ferrari, it was a fitting end to the Fisichella story.
A number of other drivers are set to compete in their final grand prix before moving teams. Fernando Alonso’s second spell with the Renault team is about to come to an end as he prepares for his move to Ferrari alongside Felipe Massa next season replacing Kimi Raikkonen. The 2007 world champion has been linked to both McLaren and Toyota next year, the former being his only realistic option he claims.
Jarno Trulli is not expected to be retained at Toyota next season and could well be making his final start for the team. He has been linked with the new Lotus outfit, while current team-mate Timo Glock is reportedly an option at Renault. Heikki Kovalainen is expected to make way for the arrival of Raikkonen next year and is linked to Toyota alongside Kamui Kobayashi.
There could be further engines changes for next season. Red Bull is hoping to switch from Renault to Mercedes power and should Sauber make the field with Qadbak backing, they will run Ferrari engines.
© CAPSIS International