Abu Dhabi – the season championship decider, with the added spice of double points for drivers and teams!
The battle for the drivers’ championship is now just between Hamilton and Rosberg, with Hamilton at an advantage being 17 points ahead of his team mate. The mathematics mean that Rosberg has to win, and Hamilton has to finish below third for the German to take the title. Hamilton has a more realistic chance, and can settle for second place.
As with every Grand Prix this year, you can enter our FVL F1 Podium Winners Competition to win a £50 voucher if you correctly guess the podium. Click here to enter by adding your prediction – full terms and conditions here.
Twilight into night race
As previously, the race takes place as the light goes, and the floodlights across the course kick in. There is a period of low sunlight causing visibility issues, which is always an edgy time for the drivers.
Caterham have made a welcome return to the grid, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, and they’ve given new boy Will Stevens the second car.
In practice, Hamilton and Rosberg dominated, with the first two session showing Hamilton having the edge, but Rosberg put down a marker in the third practice session, finishing three tenths of a second ahead of his teammate. The best of the rest were Williams and Ferrari, with Red Bullalso lookign strong.
There were no major surprises in the first part of qualifying, but Adrian Sutil did well to pop his Sauber into Q2. However Q2 saw Sutil and the usual suspects drop out, but Kevin Magnussen was a surprise exclusion from the top ten, and Jenson Button had an unwanted drama as he was pulled in before his planned flying lap, after his team realised they had not put enough fuel in the car. The Williams cars looked impressive, pushing apart the Mercedes with Hamilton fastest, followed by Massa, Bottas and then Rosberg.
Braking is a key element in this race, and in qualifying as track temperatures dropped, many of the drivers were making mistakes and adjusting brake bias, and this was the area where Hamilton made an error, just over-driving slightly on his final qualifying lap, and locking up after going wide on one turn on his initial hot lap in Q3.
So Rosberg starts on pole, but Lewis just has to follow him home to win the championship. However, that’s not the way Lewis drives races. He drives to win. So it should be a fascinating climax to the season tomorrow in Abu Dhabi!
- Add your prediction with a comment below… good luck!
As with every Formula 1 race this year, we are holding the FVL F1 Podium Winners Competition – just guess the correct 1-2-3 on the podium by entering your prediction at least an hour before the race starts, to win. The prize for a correct entry is the winner’s choice of a £50 value of either an iTunes Gift Card, a Google Play Gift Card or an Amazon Gift Card. A winner will be drawn at random if more than one entrant correctly posts the winning 1-2-3. Full Competition Terms and Conditions are here but in essence, you have to be UK resident, and aged 18+. We won’t add you to any mailing lists, or share your details. Add your 1-2-3 prediction in a comment below – at least an hour before the race starts, please! For example, you might enter –
- Button by Phil Jackman, Edinburgh
- Please use the hashtags #f1fvl and #myfvl if you share your entry socially, and do join FVL socially online. Good luck!