The acceleration of a Formula One car is 2g. That’s quick, when you consider a family saloon accelerates at about about 0.4g, but it’s nothing compared to the rollercoaster at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. From a standing start, it accelerates at a massive 4g – enough to leave an F1 driver shrieking for mercy.
“You can’t help but cry out,” says double world champion Fernando Alonso. “I was made to go on it about five times in a row because the team was filming me and Felipe [Massa], and by the end I needed to stop because I was feeling sick! But it’s good; it gives you a real buzz. It’s definitely worth a go.”
With the late kick-off of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (the gates to the circuit didn’t open until 12pm on Sunday), the spectators had plenty of time to kill before the start, and what better way to pass the hours than at Ferrari World? Something that’s fast enough to scare an F1 driver has got to be worth a go.
Once inside the track, the fans had plenty to see and do. The fan zone behind the main grandstand had F1 simulators and show cars in it, and there was a spectacular 55-lap race to watch. Two Safety Car periods, incidents aplenty and a new winner – the eighth of the season – in Kimi Raikkonen. He gave Lotus its first win since Ayrton Senna won the Detroit Grand Prix in 1987.
As the teams packed up the freight on Sunday evening, Eminem could be heard warming up in the du Arena for the third of three consecutive concerts over the GP weekend. The drivers could make it tonight if they wanted, but that’s unlikely if Daniel Ricciardo’s attitude is anything to go by.
“I grew out of Eminem about 10 years ago,” said the Aussie – 10th in the Abu Dhabi GP. “But even if I did like him, I don’t think I’d go. You’re so knackered after a race that you just want to chill out.”
There’s now a two-week break in the F1 calendar before the circus reconvenes at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas for the first GP on American soil since 2007. With only 10 points between Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in the title chase, there’s everything to play for. Should be a cracker!