Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
With double points on offer, for Rosberg to win the title he’ll need to come first and Hamilton finish third or lower. However, considering Hamilton’s performance this season (he’s won 10 rounds versus Rosberg’s five), Rosberg is going to need nothing short of a miracle to come out on top.
So what can they expect in Abu Dhabi? Yas Marina Circuit stretches 3.4 miles and includes 21 turns, and it has three distinct sectors that put different demands on the car. Car setup is a compromise between straight-line speed and achieving good traction out of the slow corners, and engineers have to be wary of the cooling track temperatures as the sun goes down in what is the only twilight race of the year. Overtaking should be possible in the two DRS zones, and with so many points at stake this weekend it’s fair to expect plenty of action.
Clear skies are expected throughout the weekend and the peak temperature on Sunday will be 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Pirelli has nominated its soft and supersoft tires; a step softer than last year’s medium and soft combination.
A lot has happened in the world of F1 since the Brazilian Grand Prix a fortnight ago. Just today it has been confirmed that Sebastian Vettel will replace Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next season. We also learned that injured driver Jules Bianchi is no longer in an induced coma and has been moved to a hospital in France.
And while Bianchi’s team Marussia has been disbanded due to financial troubles, Caterham, which has financial troubles of its own, has managed to raise enough funds to make it out to Abu Dhabi for this final round. Driving for Caterham will be existing driver Kamui Kobayashi and former Marussia reserve driver Will Stevens, who makes his F1 debut this weekend. He replaces Marcus Ericsson who has been confirmed to drive for Sauber next season.
Going into the weekend, Lewis Hamilton sits on 334 points in the 2014 Drivers’ Championship, with Nico Rosberg on 317 and Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo on 214. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG has an unbeatable 651 while Red Bull has 373 and Williams 254.