While I loved finally getting a chance to drive the full-length F1 circuit, I could see that it was boring for the fans.
Hopefully we can learn something from the Abu Dhabi weekend...
...and make the racing a little more interesting next year. The problem is that we share with Formula One over the weekend and are constrained in the number of practice and qualifying sessions. But we’re the only support category over the whole weekend and there is a lot of dead track time so surely they can find some more track time for us in 2013.
The three 12-lap sprint races were also too short. Our fans are used to longer and more strategic racing. Longer races also would have introduced the factor of tyre degradation which throws up some interesting racing.
And while I loved finally getting a chance to drive the full-length F1 circuit, I could see even from where I sat that it was boring for the fans. With the long straight and fast-flowing corners the field very quickly gets spread out.
Perhaps we should mix it up with some racing on the long circuit and some on the truncated track. We struggled with car set-up early and ran out of time in the practice sessions to make inroads. And with limited qualifying we were stuck back in the grid where it’s difficult to make up ground on such short races.
We actually improved the car after the first race, but there was nothing we could do from that far back in the grid. The good news for us over the weekend was my starts. We had three great starts thanks to a new format we’ve been working on.
Our starting sequence is now a lot more familiar and repeatable, so that’s something that will help us for the rest of the season and next year. I hopped on a plane straight after the F1 race and was in Melbourne for the Cup.
I’m not really into horse racing and didn’t have a bet. But if I had, I would have gone for one of the favourites and done my money, so just as well I didn’t. If I were a betting man, though, I’d put my money on Casey Stoner driving in the development series next year.
He’s not yet signed anything with anyone, but from his bitter Twitter exchange with Frosty over the weekend, I can see he’s getting really passionate about this sport. I think he said something about some amateur driving by Frosty and Mark bit back. That should fuel some competitive racing in the future between the two if they ever get on track together.