Unfortunately, the time has almost come again: the 2023 Formula 1 season will conclude next weekend. With the Abu Dhabi GP, F1 concludes a special year, in which Max Verstappen set a whole series of new records.
GP Abu Dhabi times
|Friday November 24||First free practice||10.30 – 11.30|
|Friday November 24||Second free practice||2:00 PM – 3:00 PM|
|Saturday November 25||Third free practice||11.30 – 12.30|
|Saturday November 25||Qualification||3:00 PM – 4:00 PM|
|Sunday November 26||Race||2 p.m|
Didn’t you like anything last weekend, every other Sunday at 7:00 am? to start? Then you’ll be happy to see that the last race weekend takes place at more sleep-in-friendly times. Times that you are actually used to from F1’s European tour. However, Abu Dhabi is a bit further east and that means the sun is almost setting there when the race starts. That always makes for beautiful pictures, although it is also an extra challenge for the drivers and teams. The first and third free practice give a somewhat distorted picture in terms of track conditions.
Red Bull has finally managed to take a 1-2 in the championship. Sergio Pérez managed to secure second place this year with his strong race in Las Vegas. Now we just have to wait and see what happens in the battle for P4. No fewer than four drivers can still get it.
|1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull||549 (C)|
|2. Sergio Perez – Red Bull||273|
|3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||232|
|4. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari||200|
|5. Fernando Alonso||200|
|6. Lando Norris||195|
|7. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||188|
|8. George Russell – Mercedes||160|
|9. Oscar Piastri – McLaren||89|
|10. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin||73|
Among the teams, it remains extremely exciting between Mercedes and Ferrari, who are only 4 points ahead of each other for P2. It makes quite a difference in terms of prize money, so you can bet that those two teams will go to Abu Dhabi with great excitement. There is also still a fierce battle going on between McLaren and Aston Martin.
|1. Red Bull||782 (C)|
|5. Aston Martin||273|
|9. Alfa Romeo||16|
Yas Marina Circuit near Abu Dhabi is far from the most popular circuit on the Formula 1 calendar, but it is a track that provides beautiful pictures. If it is not because of the spectacle on the track, then it is because of the special buildings next to and above the track. For example, the drivers drive from turn 13 to turn 14 under the ultra-modern hotel and have to go through a tunnel to leave the pit lane. The circuit opened 14 years ago and cost a whopping $1.3 billion to build. According to some drivers, it was not worth the money when it comes to the racing opportunities, although Abu Dhabi has managed to provide the occasional spectacle, not only because of its position in the championship.
In any case, the circuit will have good associations for many Dutch fans because of the denouement in 2021. Moreover, there were also spectacular denouements for the world championship here some time ago, such as 2016 (Rosberg) and 2010 (Vettel). 2010 was especially special, because no fewer than four drivers still had a chance of winning the title. No more exciting title battles in Abu Dhabi this year. Nevertheless, 58 racing laps still await and the drivers will lead over a total distance of over 306 km. The fastest race lap was clocked last year by Lando Norris; he crossed the track in 1:28.391. Max Verstappen (who won the race for the third year in a row) took pole position a day earlier with 1:23.824.
There is often not much to say about the weather in Abu Dhabi and this is no different for this weekend. It is dry all weekend and about 28 degrees. There is a slightly stronger wind on Friday and Saturday than on Sunday. Perhaps that can still play a role in qualifying.
– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl