News, news and more news came out of Abu Dhabi today, as teams and drivers prepare for the season finale this weekend. Fernando Alonso confirmed that he will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, while Sebastian Vettel made the announcement that he is Maranello-bound on a three-year contract. Both featured in one of the most entertaining Press Conference’s in recent times, as did the title protagonists. Elsewhere, it was established that British FR3.5 driver, Will Stevens, will take the second Caterham seat alongside Kamui Kobayashi this weekend. Lots to talk about already, and it is only Thursday!
Alonso Out, Vettel In
The Calm Before The Storm
As Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg arrived to greet the press today, the pair shook hands in a poignant display of respect prior to what will be a career defining weekend. For Hamilton, Sunday will be his fourth title deciding race, while for Nico, this is his first chance at snatching a World Championship title. The tension in today’s press conference was evident.
Lewis looked apprehensive, but as the man with the crown in his hands, this is to be expected. His focus however, was evident. Meanwhile, Nico cast the stereotypical image of the contender – a relaxed demeanour. The German took the opportunity to warn his teammate that he needs to “keep it clean” this weekend. Sparring has begun and the duo will take to the track tomorrow to play out the first acts of what promises to be a gripping showdown.
Stevens Snatches His Opportunity
Will Stevens has had a busy few months and after switching teams and closing out a Formula Renault 3.5 championship campaign, the Brit has snatched an opportunity in Formula 1. He will drive alongside Kamui Kobayashi behind the wheel of the crowdfunded Caterham.
While I had not thought of Stevens as an option due to his switch from the Caterham programme to the ninth placed Marussia team prior to the Japanese Grand Prix. However, after establishing a good relationship with the team, it seems that Stevens’ departure was certainly not completed in acrimonious fashion, and the Brit has jumped straight back into the Leafield squad.
Ultimately, the aim for Stevens is to have a smooth weekend, free of any drama. This is his opportunity in the shop window of Formula 1 teams and with an optimistic Caterham team setting their sights on Melbourne 2015, he is now in pole position to gain a permanent seat. Beating Kamui would be an ambitious target to set – finishing the race will be an excellent inclusion to his CV.