Formula One Abu Dhabi GP Preview

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Adam Nisbet
Living on the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being a Newcastle United fan, Adam also keeps a keen eye on the NBA, UFC and Formula One.

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the final race of the 2019 season, in Abu Dhabi, ending a four month pole drought for the six time world champion – the longest he has suffered since 2011. Securing the top spot by over two tenths on his teammate Valtteri Bottas puts an exclamation point on what has been another astoundingly dominant season for the Brit.

Despite qualifying in second, Bottas will be starting from the back of the grid for Mercedes, suffering engine penalties following his retirement from the previous Brazilian Grand Prix, with an engine failure. While I’m sure the Finn would prefer to be starting alongside his teammate in a battle for the race win, watching Bottas weave his way through the field could create an interesting watch for fans.

Mercedes have been the dominant team all weekend, however Max Verstappen will be hoping that he can snatch the lead off the line after qualifying in third and moving up to second following Bottas’ penalties. Sebastian Vettel will be hoping for a better outing in the race than he had during qualifying, spinning his car during Q1 before backing up his teammate in Q3, meaning Leclerc missed out on a final flying lap.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified in 10th for what could potentially be his final race in Formula One, I’m sure he’ll have his sights set on the best of the rest position and his fingers crossed for some shenanigans further up the grid to give him a shot at a farewell podium.

McLaren will be looking to end their comeback season in strong form with their drivers starting the race in seventh and ninth. It has been an incredible season for the Woking based team, having secured the best of the rest position in the Constructors Championship.

Down the grid, we’ll also be seing Robert Kubica’s final race in Formula One following his comeback to the sport in a race seat this season, he will be gunning for his teammate after rounding out the season 0-21 in qualifying against the young Brit, George Russell.

All in all we could be set for quite an exciting race, with Verstappen chasing down Hamilton, the two Ferrari cars battling each other and Valtteri Bottas making his way back through the field. There are usually plenty of sparks at the beautiful night race around Abu Dhabi, let’s hope that this year is no different.

Final qualifying order:

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Valtteri Bottas* (Mercedes)
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  6. Alexander Albon (Red Bull)
  7. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
  9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
  10. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
  11. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
  12. Pierre Gasly (Torro Rosso)
  13. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
  14. Danil Kvyat (Torro Rosso)
  15. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  16. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
  17. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
  18. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
  19. George Russell (Williams)
  20. Robert Kubica (Williams)

*will start from the back of the grid, due to penalties

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