There won’t be as much drama as in the 2021 edition of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ Cup having already been decided. But that doesn’t mean there’s no drama.
For Sebastian Vettel, it will be the end of a career in the series, as the four-time world champion will leave Formula 1 once the checkered flag falls on Sunday. For Mick Schumacher, it may also mean a time when he will have to decide which way to go, as one of the garage’s worst-kept secrets finally came to light when Haas said he was parting ways with the son seven times. World Champion Michael Schumacher and that Nico Hulkenberg will take the seat in 2023. And for Red Bull Racing, it will be an opportunity for current World Champion Max Verstappen to prove he has no hard feelings with his Teammate Sergio Perez, and he can do that by helping the Mexican finish second in the points standings ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
So there’s still a lot to unpack, so let’s start with Red Bull Racing, where the team released a statement that they made a mistake at Interlagos regarding team orders. Verstappen and Perez apparently got along as well, as Verstappen said he would gladly help the Mexican finish better than Leclerc if given the chance.
Second place in the Constructor’s Cup chase also remains to be decided, as Ferrari’s considerable lead over Mercedes is down to just 19 points thanks to the Silver Stars’ return to form in Mexico City and Interlagos. The Yas Marina circuit has always been a track where Lewis Hamilton and the team in general have performed well, and Toto Wolff and company will certainly be looking to snatch second place in the Constructor’s Cup from Ferrari in order to give momentum in the offseason. .
As for Haas, the move to an oldie like Hulkenberg is likely in response to the huge car bill Schumacher has run this season. Daniel Ricciardo, who has yet to announce his future plans after 2022, and Nicholas Latifi, who is at Williams, are also watching the release and wondering where it leads. Schumacher’s name has been mentioned in a possible reserve role at Mercedes next season, while Ricciardo’s name has been mentioned in a similar role at Red Bull Racing.
How to watch the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix
- Date: Sunday November 20
- Location: 3.45 miles (5.28 kilometres), 16-turn Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Time: 8 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Flow: fuboTV (try for free)
What to expect
This will be the second year at the reconfigured track, as changes made in the summer of 2021 have allowed for a smoother circuit, particularly at the keyhole of Turn 5, which used to have an additional left-right bend before the riders negotiate the hairpin on the back right, the longest and fastest stretch of the track. Other changes last year included removing extra creases between turns 10-14 to make this section more or less a curve with a short little chute connecting the turns.
These small changes made for an interesting 2021 race with drivers finding a few more places to attempt overtaking, and with the cars now able to close in on each other due to the different aerodynamic package introduced in 2022, the Yas Marina Circuit should make a pretty good event.
As for the tyres, expect Pirelli to bring a similar compound to that used in previous races at Interlagos and Mexico City, although there are enough differences between these tires to make it obvious that the medium compound tire brought to Mexico City was not as stout as the mediums used at Interlagos. As Yas does not have a particularly abrasive surface and the circuit is low drag, the decision to bring the three softest compounds in the Pirelli range should be straightforward for teams in terms of familiarity with tire degradation. tires.
This race can be won using a two-stop strategy, but last year Verstappen made a third stop during a safety car period to put on the soft rubber tires en route to victory.