Who do you think will win the Abu Dhabi F1? Time Out predicts
Time Out Dubai Staff
Sebastian Vettel Age: 23 Nationality: German Team: Red Bull Racing Career wins: 8 Season wins: 3 With more pole positions than anyone else this season, it’ll be a huge surprise if the on-form youngster doesn’t qualify for this year’s race on the front row of the grid. And with overtaking being tricky on Yas Marina Circuit’s dusty straights, we’d fully expect him to stay at the sharp end of the field all the way to the chequered flag. He claimed the top step of the podium last year, and holds the current lap record, so, barring a recurrence of the silly errors that marred the middle part of his season, you can fully expect the German to do it again.
Fernando Alonso Age: 29 Nationality: Spanish Team: Ferrari Career wins: 26 Season wins: 5 Not only has he completely dominated the second half of the season, but as the winner of this year’s only other night-time race in Singapore, the conditions will be in the Spaniard’s favour once the sun goes down. That said, the Red Bulls have been virtually unbeatable in qualifying all season, and though we can see the two-time champ sneaking past one of them, it’ll take a repeat of Webber and Vettel’s disastrous collision at the Turkish Grand Prix to allow anyone else the chance to pinch victory.
Mark Webber Age: 34 Nationality: Australian Team: Red Bull Racing Career wins: 6 Season wins: 4 He may have four wins under his belt so far in 2010, but the grid’s only Aussie driver has seemed out of sorts in recent races, having struggled to keep up with team-mate Vettel in Singapore and spun off while leading at the Korean Grand Prix. Now in his ninth season of F1, he’ll be more aware than anyone that time is running out to claim that elusive first world championship, so maybe we’re witnessing a Colin Montgomerie-esque sporting choke in the finale to the season. However, depending on what happens to Alonso, third place might just be enough to clinch the title. But, as one of the nicest guys on the F1 circuit, few would begrudge him the honour of gaining victory.
Lewis Hamilton Age: 25 Nationality: British Career wins: 14 Season wins: 3 Widely regarded as the best overtaker on the grid, if anyone can make the moves stick through Yas Marina Circuit’s winding chicanes, it’s this man. However, with a title on the line, it’s likely he’ll attempt the sort of death-or-glory manoeuvres that put him out of the Italian Grand Prix back in September. If he can snatch pole position on the Saturday, a careful defensive drive could see the 2008 champion take the win. Otherwise, we’re saying fourth at best.
Jenson Button Age: 30 Nationality: British Career wins: 9 Season wins: 2 After a season’s worst 12th-place finish in Korea, last year’s champion seemed happy to concede that the campaign to retain his title was pretty much over. Mathematically, there’s still a slim chance he can retain the drivers’ championship crown he won in 2009, but he’ll need all his rivals to suffer crazy calamities, which, let’s face it, just isn’t going to happen. He ran well at 2009’s race, qualifying fifth and finishing third, but chances are the veteran Brit will know that his main duty in Abu Dhabi will be helping team-mate Hamilton convert his much more realistic opportunity to bag a second title.