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GP Week : Issue 70
and Prix, Yas Marina Both Force India drivers were loving the new Abu Dhabi circuit, but it wasn't ever going to be the kind of circuit that would have seen them ghting at the front. Mid grid was the best they could expect, but in qualifying it all went a bit wrong. Both drivers complained of a lack of grip, and Liuzzi out-qualified Sutil in 16th and 17th respectively. From there, the race was going to be tough. Sutil finished 18th after experiencing issues with his tyres, while Liuzzi took 15th despite brake problems. It was a disappointing end to what's been a great year for Force India. They have truly emerged as a serious outfit and their 2010 development will be fascinating to see. A likeable team with some underrated drivers on its books, Force India was the shock of the season. Williams started the weekend looking pretty good. They were always there or thereabouts times wise, and hopes were high of a good weekend. Nakajima was disappointed not to make Q3, but 13th on the grid wasn't a disaster. Rosberg was back in the top 10 with ninth position and hopes of scoring points. In the race Nakajima plugged away for little reward ... in fact so too did Rosberg. They both finished where they'd started and had to watch BMW overhaul them in the championship at the final moment. Rosberg will leave Williams and is expected to sign for Brawn, if indeed he has not already done so. As for Nakajima, this may be the end of the F1 road for him. He's a lovely bloke, but just hasn't put in anything like the kind of performances this year that will attract other teams. Although the Mercedes-powered cars looked the class of the eld, there was an unspoken con dence at Red Bull which suggested they maybe hadn't showed their complete hand in practice. Those suggestions were realised in qualifying when Vettel and Webber took second and third spots on the grid. With heavier fuel-loads than pole-man Hamilton, a cracking race was in store. Vettel managed to peg the Briton in the opening laps and took the lead after the first stops. With Hamilton's retirement, Vettel was never troubled for the win which he strode to majestically. Webber drove well and defended beautifully in the closing stages to hold off the new champion Button. Another 1-2, second in the championship for Vettel and a very satisfactory end to a great season. Once again, Toro Rosso's weekend was a story of two halves, with Buemi looking his ever-impressive self, and Alguersuari struggling to get to grips with the car. Practice saw the Swiss driver in the top positions, but Alguersuari was stuck in the lower few spots. This form was carried into qualifying, but the Spaniard did a good job to get into Q2 and line up in 14th position. Buemi took 10th on the grid and looked forward to the race. Alguersuari got the award for stupid moment of the Grand Prix when he tried to pit in the wrong space. Having to go back out it looked like he'd run out of fuel although he swore it was a gearbox issue. Hmmm. Buemi drove aggressively and picked up a point in eighth after taking the battle to Kubica. Having wrapped up both championships in Brazil, the pressure was o Brawn in Abu Dhabi but that didn't mean the team wasn't going to try. The Mercedes engine was clearly enjoying stretching its legs at the Yas Marina circuit and the Brawns looked competitive from the o . Qualifying didn't quite go to plan with the Red Bulls ahead of them, but with Barrichello in fourth and Button in fifth things looked good. The Champ got ahead of his team- mate at the start as Barrichello picked up damage to his front wing that affected his race. With Hamilton's retirement, Button was promoted to third. The final sector of the race saw him catch Webber and the last few laps were marked out with a superb battle between the two. Ultimately Button had to settle for third. F1 ABU DHABI >> 31