Things to know for Abu Dhabi

Here were are in Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2015 Formula One season. I have put together a full preview supplying you all of the information you need to savour the final race of a controversial if not always entertaining season. For Sky Sports F1 viewers I have included a full TV schedule so you don’t miss out on an ounce of the action.

There is nothing left but pride for this grid of 20 drivers to compete for so I forgive you for thinking this will be a dull race, but in my experience when pride is all these drivers have left to fight for we often get the best racing.

Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel will once again be at the front vying for the final victory of the season. Rosberg will want to finish off the season with three straight victories to prove a point to himself, the fans and the team that he wont just stay in Hamilton’s shadow and collect second place. He needs to use the last few races as a spring board to come back next season fully committed to the title fight and that starts with winning the final race of the season. Hamilton will want to stunt the progress of Rosberg with victory at the track where he secured his second World Title just 12 months ago, this comes after Nico outperformed Lewis in both Mexico and Brazil.  If he was to sign off the season with a victory it would be the perfect end to his Triple World Championship winning season. Whilst the two Mercs likely battle to outperform one another you can bet your bottom dollar Vettel wont be far behind, he will be hoping he can pounce on any mistakes the pair make. Unfortunately he isn’t going to be close enough on pure pace despite the Ferrari showing increased performance as the season has progressed, all in all I think Vettel will be quietly pleased with how the season has gone.

As for the rest of the field I expect Red Bull will have a better race here despite the lack of power they will have on the straights they should be the best team in sector three and I expect at least one of their cars to be in the top 6. Whether Red Bull announce their engine supplier for the next season at this race remains to be seen but with an update expected on the Lotus take over by Renault I don’t imagine Red Bull’s announcement will be far behind. Their sister team Toro Rosso should be strong once again in the race as we have seen all season, they have struggled at times with qualifying but when it comes to race day their drivers now what to do.

McLaren will be desperate to score points in the final race but both cars finishing the Grand Prix would be a success in my book given their constant troubles, they will be glad to see the back of this season and I hope they come back re-energised with the solid focus on consistent point scoring in 2016. Williams and Force India should be in the points here with the latter probably having the advantage as has been the case for almost every race since the summer break. Sauber could creep into the points once again if there are a few DNF’s along with at least one Lotus, most likely Grosjean in his final race for the Enstone team. As far Manor they will be at the back of the grid as they have been all season but hopefully that will be a thing of the past with them using Mercedes engines from next season I am hopeful next time we visit this track I can be discussing their point scoring capabilities.

Sky Sports F1 schedule
Friday November 27th
Practice One: 09:00
Practice Two: 13:00
 
Saturday November 28th
Practice Three: 10:00
Qualifying Build Up: 12:00
Qualifying Start: 13:00

Sunday November 29th
Grand Prix Build Up:  11:30
Race Start: 13:00

There you have it my final race preview of the season, hopefully you have enjoyed my post and pre race analysis this season and will join me for more next season. I hope we get the finale the season deserves with all drivers allowed to race with the engines on full beans and no team orders so we can get an entertaining race to tide us over until March. Check back here throughout the off-season to keep up to date with any breaking news and analysis.

By: Chris Laker
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