Track: Yas Marina Circuit
The curtain comes down on the 2022 Formula 1 season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull blew Ferrari away as the Dutch driver collected 14 wins on his way to a second drivers’ championship and constructors’ championship for the team.
Mercedes has come a long way since their early season troubles and George Russell’s first win ahead of Lewis Hamilton in Sao Paulo last Sunday was well deserved.
Max Verstappen starts as the favouite at 2.15, and for the past two seasons, the Red Bull driver stood on the top step. Last season’s controversial win for the Dutchman must still sting for Hamilton’s camp, and the British driver will want justice for a shocking call by the race director.
The seven-time world champion has scored five victories in Abu Dhabi and his recent form has propelled him to 3.60 for the win.
Russel has had an excellent debut season with Mercedes considering the team’s struggles. The former Williams driver is guaranteed a fourth-place finish in the drivers’ standings and is 4.25 for the race win.
The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will look to end the year on a high after a season marked by dodgy strategy calls.
The Yas Marina Circuit is the most expensive track in the world, it was built on a man-made island at an eye-watering cost of $1 billion.
It hosted its first race in 2009 and is 5.28km long with 16 turns. Last year it underwent a few changes that offer a more flowing lap. A 1.2km long straight from Turn 5 to 6 is an opportunity for pedal to metal racing with a maximum speed of around 340km/h.
Hermann Tilke designed the track and Turns 10, 11, and 12 pose a challenge for drivers with lateral load making it difficult to navigate that stretch.
The set-up requirement is for a high level of downforce and 63% of the lap is at full throttle with 56 gear changes per lap.
The weather forecast has sunshine predicted and no rain predicted over the weekend.
What To Look Out For
Sergio Perez and Leclerc have a straight battle for second place in the drivers’ standings, both are on 290 points. Mercedes has a 19-point deficit to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship to scoop the second spot, so watch out for all-out action across the field.
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel bids farewell to F1, and the future of Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher is still unclear as both have not secured a seat for next season.
If the action at Interlagos was anything to go by, we expect the drivers to leave nothing on the table and battle for every position.