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What To Watch For in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: The fight for P2 in both championships and Vettel’s farewell | Biznewz

From the battle for second-place honours to Sebastian Vettel’s ultimate race earlier than retirement, and from how the midfield battles are shaping up after Saturday’s qualifying to reliability points to be careful for, Chris Medland select some key areas to keep watch over when the lights exit at Yas Marina…

1. The battle to be vice-champion

When drivers replicate on their careers, they clearly deal with the wins and titles, however that doesn’t imply there isn’t a variety of satisfaction on the road in terms of making an attempt to complete because the runner-up within the standings. On prime of the kudos of doing so, securing second place may also include contractual bonuses for some, so there may be a number of the explanation why it turns into a precedence.

READ MORE: Verstappen storms to pole as Red Bull rating 1-2 in ultimate qualifying session of the season at Yas Marina

For Charles Leclerc, it’s the goal to get the utmost out of a season that promised a lot within the opening few rounds earlier than his title problem fell away. And for Sergio Perez, it’s the chance to offer Red Bull with their first ever one-two within the drivers’ standings.

For each it could even be their best-ever championship end, and it couldn’t be any nearer as they head into Sunday’s race degree on factors.

The equation is easy: whoever finishes forward of the opposite takes the honours. And if each fail to complete or are exterior the factors, then Leclerc can be vice-champion as a result of his larger variety of wins this season.

With each drivers beginning alongside their respective group mates, it could possibly be an actual group sport that’s performed when the lights exit.

Charles Leclerc is beginning one place behind Perez in Sunday’s race, as the 2 put together to battle it out for P2 within the championship

2. An identical battle within the constructors’

The drivers’ championship is perhaps requiring teamwork this weekend, however it’s often the constructors’ that brings such eventualities to thoughts. And Ferrari can’t take their eye off the ball in terms of what number of factors they rating as a group general.

Despite boasting 4 wins to Mercedes’ one thus far this season, Ferrari solely have a 19-point cushion over the Silver Arrows within the battle for second place within the groups’ standings, a spot that seemed like being even smaller at one stage final weekend when Mercedes claimed a one-two at Interlagos.

READ MORE: Hamilton says brake issues and ‘bouncing’ price Mercedes after third row displaying in Abu Dhabi qualifying

In the tip, spectacular work from Ferrari ensured they restricted the harm in third and fourth, and a stronger displaying thus far this weekend each from themselves and from Red Bull means it’s wanting harder for Mercedes to outscore them by the required margin.

But stranger issues have occurred, and Mercedes have been spectacular in selecting up the utmost quantity of factors out there to them frequently thus far this season. Given the actual fact their automotive has additionally been extra aggressive since an improve launched in Austin – placing them able to battle for victory at every of the final three races – they’ll actually be placing up a stern problem.


Mercedes have been trailing Ferrari all yr – however might they snatch P3 within the ultimate race of the yr

3. Vettel’s farewell

Sebastian Vettel begins a really encouraging ninth after a powerful qualifying, however no matter occurs on Sunday night time, it’s good to hold an eye fixed out for every time his race involves an finish. Hopefully it’s not till the chequered flag with a powerful outcome, however every time it might be it’s certain to be an emotional second because the four-time world champion completes his ultimate laps in Formula 1.

There are tributes galore throughout the grid – together with Vettel duplicate helmets being run by Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher – and because it’s the ultimate race of the season there may be some fairly spectacular gestures after the race ends, with Vettel and Hamilton flanking Alonso for synchronised donuts right here 4 years in the past when the Spaniard initially retired from F1.

READ MORE: ‘I enjoyed every lap’ – Vettel delighted with ultimate F1 qualifying run however needs he had ‘one more set of tyres’

It will even be time to say goodbye to Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo and Nicholas Latifi – for now a minimum of – as they full their ultimate races earlier than dropping their present seats and going through new futures.

For Schumacher and Ricciardo, they’re more likely to be seen once more in reserve roles at different groups, however all three will need to bow out on a excessive.

2022 Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying: Watch Sebastian Vettel’s final ever qualifying lap in full

4. More constructors’ championship rigidity

There is massive cash on the road in terms of the ending positions for the groups on the finish of the season, as only one place larger or decrease within the standings can result in a swing of tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in prize funds.

The closest battles are for sixth place – the place Alfa Romeo maintain a five-point benefit over Aston Martin – and eighth, as Haas presently lead AlphaTauri by simply two factors.

FACTS AND STATS: Red Bull safe first entrance row lock-out of the yr in Abu Dhabi

Aston are well-placed after Vettel’s qualifying efficiency and with Zhou Guanyu beginning fifteenth forward of his group mate Valtteri Bottas in 18th, whereas it’s the youthful drivers main the Haas vs AlphaTauri battle with Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher beginning eleventh and twelfth respectively.

Some of the midfield fights have been thrilling to observe thus far this yr, and Sunday night time guarantees extra of the identical with main rewards on provide.


Can Mick Schumacher assist Haas defend P8 from AlphaTauri in his ultimate race for the group?

5. Final race reliability

When it will get to the ultimate spherical of the season, a few of these undecided battles may also come all the way down to points out of a driver’s fingers.

Teams are consistently pushing the bounds throughout the yr however this weekend their equipment solely wants to complete the ultimate race, without having to fret about one other Grand Prix in a couple of weeks’ time. So wherever the final spherical of the season is held, they search as a lot efficiency as potential, and with it comes a barely elevated threat of points.

HIGHLIGHTS: The finest motion from qualifying as Verstappen storms to pole place in Abu Dhabi

Retirements as a result of reliability issues have been significantly damaging within the midfield battle, with McLaren failing to attain at Interlagos, and Alpine transferring comfortably forward within the battle for fourth, however it has tended to be Alpine who’ve had extra complications by way of reliability equally struggling a double-DNF in Singapore that reignited that individual scrap.

It’s not simply reliability that may play an element both, with the stakes larger for the drivers as there’s no probability to make amends in a future race. It’s elbows out time when there’s lots using on the outcome for his or her groups.



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