Mumford & Sons, Calvin Harris and Pink confirmed, here are other acts to have played at Abu Dhabi GP

Sport360 staff 26/09/2017

This year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will see Mumford & Sons join Pink and Calvin Harris, making it a weekend of top action on and off of the track.

The Grand Prix, which is Formula One’s showpiece event, has had no shortage of famous faces from the music world perform in the past.

From Jay-Z to Sir Paul McCartney to Eminem – Rihanna is the latest in a long list of big names to sing in the UAE capital.

Here, Sport360 takes a look at the previous acts to have lit up the stage at the Yas Marina Circuit.


Performers: Chemical Brothers, Lionel Richie and Rihanna

Line-Up Rating: 8/10 – Largely down to Rihanna’s slick and engaging performance to close the Formula One weekend in fashion.

Judging by the performances of Lionel Ritchie, Chemical Brothers and Rihanna, the event promoters have set the bar high for the 2017 edition of Yasalam.


Performers: Enrique Iglesias, Blur, Florence and the Machine

Line-up Rating: 7/10 – Had he not been riding the wave of a big comeback hit, Enrique would have seemed a left-field choice, while Blur appealed to nostalgic 1990s Britpop lovers and Florence and the Machine cranked up the volume.


Performers: The Who, Pharrell Williams, Armin Van Buuren

Line-up Rating: 8/10 – A mix of old and the new, with The Who rolling back the years to their 1970s heyday while superstar Pharrell oozed class as the main showpiece act.


Performers: Jay-Z, Muse, Depeche Mode

Line-up Rating: 9/10 – Muse’s big-stage appeal made them the perfect act to line-up in the UAE capital and rapper Jay-Z ensured it was a memorable weekend.


Performers: Eminem, Kylie Minogue, Nickelback

Line-up Rating: 8/10 – Past his peak, fans were more interested in Eminem’s classics than his modern material but it was good to see the cult rapper on stage. Kylie and Nickelback were also crowd-pleasers, performing their repertoire of hits.


Performers: Britney Spears, Sir Paul McCartney

Line-up Rating: 8/10 – The Beatles legend is always a huge draw and seemed to enjoy his time on stage in Abu Dhabi, while Britney Spears entertained a jam-packed crowd on the second night.


Performers: Prince, Linkin Park, Kanye West

Line-up Rating: 9/10 – The late, great Prince rolled back the years with a vintage display and American rockers Linkin Park literally lifted the roof. But Kanye West proved the most spectacular.


Performers: Aerosmith, Beyonce

Line-up Rating: 9/10 – Cult rock band Aerosmith’s big hits went down well, however Beyonce stole the limelight with a flawless display.

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Singapore Grand Prix provides pivotal moment as Lewis Hamilton extends lead in championship race

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Every world championship has its pivotal moment and Singapore has all the makings of being the turning point that decided the see-saw battle for track hegemony in 2017.

Immaterial of who was to blame for the incident that took out Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen – although we’ll revisit that – it does beg the question what the hell Vettel was doing?

It was abundantly clear from qualifying that he was set to be the quickest man at Marina Bay and that if he stayed out of danger then the 25 points were his and he was most likely back in front in the title race.

But instead, he veered rashly across to the left, in part no doubt panicked by a rarely sluggish start by him.

As he did so – well aware as he was that he was marginally on the back foot following that start – he surely knew other cars were upon him immaterial of who and exactly where, and in so doing was putting his own race and hence championship at risk by veering so drastically across the racing line.

It was an aggression that was unnecessary, Vettel probably with enough pace to win the race even if Verstappen had got the jump on him.

Instead, it made for an incredibly messy – albeit thrillingly spectacular – race start that cost Vettel an almost certain 25 points and turned a banker weekend into a nightmare for Ferrari.

As for the blame, the temerity of Ferrari to apportion that on the shoulders of Verstappen was quite laughable, the team tweeting: “VER took #Kimi7 out then he went to #Seb5 #SingaporeGP.”

It led the usually unassuming Christian Horner, Verstappen’s team boss at Red Bull Racing, to let rip and suggest bosses at the Italian manufacturer needed their eyes testing. He had a point.

The stewards duly agreed, calling both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to answer their actions in the aftermath while Verstappen, who kept a straight line throughout the incident, was rightly left to rue by himself what might have been.

Vettel’s rashness has already reared its head this season – his bump into Hamilton out of merely childish frustration at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix a case in point.

And this had echoes of that, an unnecessary risk as tempers frayed in the heat of the moment.

Hamilton had admitted himself when he woke up the day of the Singapore Grand Prix with fifth place on the grid it was all about damage limitation.

Ironically, there was none, quite the most unexpected swing in an already captivating season come the chequered flag.

Not even the greatest Mercedes optimist could have envisaged both drivers on the podium come the end with the Ferrari pairing back in their respective garages and out of their racing overalls after a solitary lap.

For the wider championship, it is hard to see how Hamilton loses the title from here with 28 points in the bag over Vettel, six races left and no bogeys like Singapore was supposed to be.

Sure, Hamilton could have another hellish weekend a la Russia or Monaco, but the Mercedes appears to be performing better at tracks that supposedly don’t suit them.

Post-Singapore, team boss Toto Wolff was looking to Mexico and the season finale in Abu Dhabi, both of which suit Ferrari arguably more.

But elsewhere, Hamilton and Mercedes ought to have the edge, all with the buffer of those 28 points.

If the point swing had played out as predicted in Sunday’s race, Malaysia might have been a different matter altogether, Hamilton under pressure to force the win to claw back the points.

Instead, the onus is on Vettel: for his rashness in the championship, for his swing across for what was essentially a Ferrari sandwich for Verstappen, and for potentially ruining his hopes of a fifth world title.

The two weeks between now and Sepang will be long and painful for the German.

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Sergio Perez to stay at Force India for 2018

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Sergio Perez.

Sergio Perez will remain at Force India for a fifth successive season after it was announced he will race on with the British-based team in 2018.

The Mexican driver, who spent one season alongside Jenson Button at McLaren, is seventh in the standings ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Perez would have been interested in a move to Renault next year, but Carlos Sainz’s switch to the French team – which was confirmed here earlier this week – left him with little option other than to stay at Force India.

The 27-year-old will be partnered by Esteban Ocon once more despite the fall-out from last month’s Belgian Grand Prix in which the Frenchman accused his team-mate of trying to kill him following two collisions.

“Staying with Sahara Force India was always my priority,” Perez said. “It’s a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here.

“I’m proud of everything we have already achieved together and I think there is more to come.

“The team has done an amazing job this year to develop the car and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula One. In the end it was an easy decision to continue our journey together.”

Perez’s Force India team, based at Silverstone, have impressed again this season. Despite their limited financial muscle they appear on course to finish fourth in the constructors’ standings – behind only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – for a second straight year.

“Sergio has played an important role in our success story over the last few years,” Force India boss Vijay Mallya said. “Since joining us in 2014, he has matured to become one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid.

“His track record speaks for itself as the most successful Force India driver ever with four podiums.

“Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula One.”

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