In the world of Formula 1, all roads lead to Abu Dhabi and since its first GP, the Yas Marina Circuit has been the final race of the calendar. It hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite with very little overtaking opportunities. The track layout changed slightly last year with some alterations in some of the corners to aid and promote overtaking and, with the current generation of cars hopefully that will mix well together. It’s not a short circuit either, the 5.2KM (3.2 miles) circuit is mostly flat and seemingly unremarkable but since it’s the last race on the calendar, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is usually the decider for championships or the remaining spots available such as this year’s runners-up spots in both driver and constructors championships. We’re going to share with you who’s looking good for a positive outcome over the weekend and we remind you to place your bets using only the best F1 betting sites.
In terms of second place for the driver’s championships it’s once again Red Bull vs. Ferrari. The once title contender for this year, Charles Leclerc had slipped back to his dismay throughout the course of the season handing Max the title in dominant fashion. You should also look out for the best F1 betting odds before placing any bets.
As a result of Red Bull’s success and Ferrari’s seemingly lack of race finesse, Charles has found himself tied on points with Sergio Perez with 280 points each to their name. The Mexican driver has never found himself in such a position before, he might not be fighting for the top spot but finishing off runner-up is certainly an achievement. He’s had remarkable drives showing off his racing experience and has been a team player, contributing to Red Bull’s success this year. This is most definitely the highlight battle of the weekend as one has to finish before the other in terms of points in order to secure the 2nd place spot.
Ferrari have found themselves slightly worried about P2 in the constructor’s championship as that spot remains up for grabs although second place is slightly veered towards Ferrari’s favor. Since Mercedes have been so consistent in the second part of the season and have found pace once again, they secured third in the championship. However, due to their success they theoretically still can place second but it may be a very steep mountain to climb and is very much dependent on where Ferrari finish rather than just beating them to the line. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claimed that they would like to focus on winning a race rather than securing P2 in the constructors and with that win out of the way Mercedes has found themselves just 19 points behind Ferrari so, has their focus shifted heading to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?
There are other battles which will take place to secure certain positions which would allow teams to finish ahead of each other at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and for good reason. The difference in positions mean that there are millions of prize money at stake for the teams. The other battle to look out for is the one between Alpine and McLaren for P4. McLaren’s disastrous result in Brazil means that Alpine has cruised 19 points clear past their rivals. This could all turn around at Abu Dhabi as we’re expecting a fierce battle between the two.
In the current hybrid era there’s only been two teams who have won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes and Red Bull with the German outfit being the most successful. However, Red Bull can match their rivals’ tally of six wins here and they are looking like the favorites to do so. Qualifying and track position is very important at the Yas Marina circuit and pole position has gone to win all but one of the races held here, that being Kimi Raikonnen who took victory here in 2012 from P4. Only Ferrari look favorable to spoil the Red Bull party as they can easily take pole and their car still seems to be quickest over a fast circuit such as this one. Mercedes have upped their game though and it still remains unclear how well they will perform at a circuit where they have dominated. Their star driver Lewis Hamilton is still winless this season, this is his last shot at a win. A reminder that the Brit has never finished an F1 season without at least one win and he’s been racing in F1 since 2007! Though the silver arrows can no longer be considered ‘outsiders’ and can easily grab a podium here.
Someone else who’s been on the grid since 2007 is Germany’s Seb Vettel who will be taking part in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for one last time as he’s set to close the chapter of Formula 1 racing and will retire from racing. The four time world champion had a glittering career in Formula 1 being the star of the show when Red Bull experienced their peak in domination during the V8 era. A reminder that he won all his championships consecutively back when F1 was less predictable than today and the cars arguably more difficult to drive. Vettel then followed the footsteps of his idol, Michael Schumacher and joined Ferrari in 2014 but was unable to replicate Michael’s success as he had never won a championship with the Italian team, although he came frustratingly close on many occasions. His performance seemed to have dwindled when Charles Leclerc came to the scene and was reluctantly let go and picked up by Aston Martin where he spent the rest of his F1 days. Vettel has shown us what a great driving talent he can be and has entertained us with spectacular drives throughout his career. It will be very sad to see him go, expect some donuts at the end of the GP!
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