The Persian Gulf has never appealed to me, travel-wise. Although the championship will almost definitely be determined at that race, Yas Marina has never been considered a "destination" track.
Tickets for the race are still available and are relatively reasonable cost-wise. So are hotels.
Flight options are interesting. SFO has direct flights to Dubai (Emirates). You then take a 90 minute bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Coincidentally, Etihad will start non-stop flights to Abu Dhabi from SFO on November 18. (I didn't know what those Etihad logos at F1 races were until now.) The crew will be Etihad, but the planes will have Jet Airways livery. Jet Airways is an Indian carrier owned by Etihad. Airfare on Etihad is very reasonable, but what if there is a delay and flights do not start on the 18th?
Here's the drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Has anyone been to the UAE?