The rules relating to changes to the Power Unit elements meant that for the last few rounds, no matter where Pierre and Brendon qualified, we started the Grands Prix from the back of the grid, because of penalties. In Abu Dhabi therefore, hanging on to our slim advantage over the seventh placed team in the classification was going to be difficult and unfortunately, after 55 laps, the sun had set on our goal of sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship slip away from us.
Apart from those set off to celebrate the podium ceremony this year’s final race did not feature too many fireworks on track. Indeed, looking at how the race in Abu Dhabi panned out, we too would have liked to have produced a bit more of a show, but given the characteristics of the Yas Marina circuit, where overtaking is very difficult, we had to settle for 15th and 16th places, devoid of any points.
The first season of Formula 1 under its new management has seen a lot of change, much of it well received by the teams and fans alike. Two changes to the sport presented at Yas Marina over the weekend generated a lot of comment: after the podium ceremony, Formula 1 unveiled its new logo, but more importantly for the sporting side of things, Pirelli revealed that they will have seven different tyre compounds to offer the teams in 2018, with the addition of the pink “hypersoft” and the orange “superhard.” The Italian company’s existing five compounds will also be slightly softer next year, with the aim of allowing teams more strategy options in terms of the number of pit stops required during a race. Naturally, the aim of this is to make for more exciting racing.
And 2018 starts tomorrow (Tuesday) as all the teams are staying on in Abu Dhabi to test these new tyres in hot conditions, to gather valuable data for next year. In the Toro Rosso camp, Sean Gelael will once again be taking on testing duties in the STR12, with Pierre and Brendon doing half a day each on Wednesday. By the time testing ends, there will be less than 17 weeks until the red lights go out on the grid in Melbourne. Between now and then, everyone in Faenza and Bicester will be working hard to ensure we have a better season than the one just ended.