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It may come as no surprise, but the staff of Autoblog is essentially a bunch of kids trapped in grown-up bodies. That means we're fairly easy to please. Give us a fast car or sensational bodywork, and we're pretty happy. Give us a fast car with sensational bodywork that shoots big freaking flames, though, and we'll be utterly mesmerized.

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The Middle East is an enormously vital market for McLaren, and not just because its oil barons have the cash to buy as many MP4-12C supercars as they and every member of their family could possibly want. While the team has only won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix once and has yet to do the same at the Bahrain Grand Prix – the only two in the region (discounting Turkey), the company is part owned by Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh, and another part by the royal family of Bahrain.

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Riding shotgun in a two-seater race car at speed is a lot of fun – trust us on this – but this video is headache inducing. And scary. Seems like the pit crew on hand at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi was so concerned with starting the camera and setting its white balance that they didn't bother checking to see whether the passenger's safety harness was tight enough. And it clearly wasn't.

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The ongoing revolutions in the Middle East may have put the kibosh on the Bahrain Grand Prix this year, but the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was campaigned as planned against the setting Arabian sun. Follow the jump to read how the penultimate race of the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship went down at Yas Island.

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Rolls-Royce Phantom Yas Eagle edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

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