F1: to watch at the Abu Dhabi GP, in addition to Hamilton-Verstappen

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ABOU DABI, United Arab Emirates – Besides the epilogue of the fight between Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull), what to watch out for during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 22nd and final round of the season F1, on the Yas Marina circuit from Friday to Sunday:

Mercedes against Red Bull among manufacturers

Mercedes and Red Bull are not only competing for the drivers ‘title, but also for the constructors’ title. The German team are favorites with 28 points ahead and a maximum of 44 still available. Seventeen points (a fifth and a sixth place on Sunday) are enough for him. But, in the event of a tie, Red Bull would win in terms of the number of victories, ending the long reign of its rival, which began in 2014.

The rest of this ranking (which determines the commercial income received by the teams) should hardly change, with Alpine almost guaranteed to take fifth place, behind Ferrari and McLaren, but ahead of AlphaTauri.

Fifth place among pilots

Among the drivers, the Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), lieutenants of Hamilton and Verstappen, are guaranteed to finish, as expected, third and fourth.

The fight for fifth place is however very open between Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Briton Lando Norris (McLaren) and Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari), only 8.5 points separate. “It’s going to be hot !, announces the Monegasque. As usual, I think McLaren and we are going to be very, very close. « 

The last of Räikkönen

F1 bids farewell this weekend to the popular Kimi Räikkönen, who retires at 42, after 19 seasons since 2001, a world title with Ferrari in 2007, 103 podiums and 21 victories. Faithful to his not very expansive temperament, the Finn says he is above all « anxious to finish the season » and to have « a normal life ». Will he be moved on Sunday? “I don’t think so, but you never know,” he sweeps away.

His Italian teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, 27, is also leaving Alfa Romeo for Formula E, but he « does not want to believe that this is (his) last race in F1 ».

As for transfers, Valtteri Bottas is racing his last race with Mercedes before joining Alfa Romeo. For the Briton George Russell it is the final circuit at Williams before replacing the Finn in the second Silver Arrow.

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