The 2015 Formula One season concludes with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. There isn't much movement at the front of the field, but the weekend laid some interesting groundwork for the 2016 season just 85 days away.
Mercedes has plenty to be celebrating at the moment, having just won the Formula One World Championship in spectacular style – taking the constructors' title by a huge margin and the top two slots in the drivers' standings as well. It almost goes without saying that the German outfit would celebrate with a special edition, and that's just what we're looking at here.
Formula One got the drawn out Driver's Championship it wanted, which won't be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn't even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.
Thankfully, the weekend's Formula One dramas all concerned events that happened off the track, with both Caterham and Marussia going into administration, after which a rumored boycott by the small teams was avoided. That gave the 18 drivers left on the grid freedom to focus on making the most of the Texas sunshine for Sunday's US Grand Prix.
The Sochi International Street Circuit used to host the Russian Formula One Grand Prix has a few things in common with the Valencia Street Circuit that was used to host the European Grand Prix. Both are built among existing infrastructure used for other events, both contain long, narrow stretches run between concrete walls and chain link fencing, and both are, shall we say, not exactly exciting.