Abu Dhabi GP: F1 ready for final 2019 showdown before winter
Formula 1 will point its final race of this 2019 season – and last event of this decade – at Abu Dhabi this weekend.
The first season to complete because 1963, the race of Sunday marks the end of a 21-race campaign that started in March and also has observed Mercedes triumph a record-setting sixth consecutive world championship double.
But the season is ending with its unpredictable and most aggressive chain of races because the Mercedes age began five decades ago.
In the eight races as August summer break, F1’s world champions have just qualified on pole position after, with world champion Lewis Hamilton winning 2 of these grands prix and also Mercedes half.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, meanwhile, succeeded out in Brazil, where Charles Leclerc and also Ferrari Sebastian Vettel clashed to heighten focus on their in-house battle for supremacy.
For Hamilton, hoping to end his sixth largest title-winning year with an victory of 2019, the increased rivalry is welcome news.
“The Honda’s clearly made some huge steps and it is great to see another manufacturer as strong as they’re now,” explained the Mercedes driver.
“It usually means that next year we’re going to have a really significant three-way, four-way battle and that is good for Formula 1”
Although neither planet championship is online at this year’s season finale, there are still some interesting championship sub-plots to play …
Verstappen or Leclerc for third?
The two leading celebrities of just two of the drivers of the season, F1’s new young generation, and currently in a battle for third in the Drivers’ Championship. Verstappen’s brilliant Interlagos success, coupled with the retirement of Leclerc, means the Red Bull driver is the favourite to finish since the very first motorist in the championship of this year. Verstappen holds an edge over Leclerc.
Leclerc or Vettel as Ferrari driver that is direct?
Sebastian Vettel has an outside opportunity to overhauling Leclerc to end the year as the Ferrari driver with the most points, although he might not have the capability to finish third overall. Nonetheless, it’s a tall order to the former world champion: Leclerc directs him by 19 points and Vettel, who has only been demonized by a team-mate over an F1 season by Daniel Ricciardo back in 2014, must either win the race or even finish second with the fastest lap to get any possibility of avoiding a repeat.
Can Sainz assert two Red Bull scalps?
Given Alex Albon have each spent a season apiece at Red Bull that is race-winning and Pierre Gasly, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz possibility of beating to sixth in the drivers’ standings is noteworthy. Gasly along with Sainz are tied to 95 points – using the Frenchman holding sixth on countback after the ending to his Brazil – 11 back after his minute at Interlagos.
Renault to hold on to from Toro Rosso?
Having already fallen short with fourth confirmed by McLaren at Brazil, of the pre-season goals, Renault will expect to hang on to fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship at Abu Dhabi. They hold an eight-point edge over Toro Rosso, who have once finished at the top-six of the teams’ standings before.
The last race of this 2019 season will be live on Sky Sports F1, and takes place at Abu Dhabi on December 1.