Everything you need to know about the 2022 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix
The controversial start of a new era will end this Sunday in Abu Dhabi. The 2022 Formula 1 season has had everything in terms of drama off the track, controversy on and off track and dominant champions in Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
What to watch for this Grand Prix
|Table of Contents|
|What to watch for this Grand Prix|
|2022 Abu Dhabi GP Facts & Figures|
|Yas Marina Circuit info|
|2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Tyres|
|2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Weather Forecast|
|Who will be on the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Podium?|
Although titles are sealed in favor of the Austrian team, there are some things still pending in the current season. The battle for second in the World Drivers' Championship has received lots of attention lately, especially after Verstappen refused to help his teammate Sergio Pérez in Brazil and then some disturbing reports about Pérez's actions in the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in May.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Pérez are tied in P2 of the WDC with 290 points each. However, the Monegasque is ahead of Red Bull's driver due to winning three races against Pérez's two in 2022.
George Russell is fourth for Mercedes with 265 points after his maiden win in Brazil last week, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton follows with 240 points and has finished three races in a row in second place. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz closes out the Top 6 in the WDC with 234 points.
Red Bull has already won the WCC with 719 points (the third-highest tally in a single season), and Ferrari is following with 524 points, 19 points ahead of Mercedes.
Alpine (167 points with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso) seems to have sealed the deal against McLaren (148 points with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) in the battle for fourth place in the World Constructors’ Championship. The Woking-based team could not complete the race in Brazil with both cars, while Alpine was fifth with Alonso and eighth with Ocon.
Alfa Romeo (Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou) has scored in two races in a row with Bottas and is sixth in the WCC with 55 points. Aston Martin (50 points with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll) scored a point with Stroll in Brazil and is five points behind Alfa Romeo in the battle for sixth in the WCC.
Haas (37 points - Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher), AlphaTauri (35 points - Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda), and Williams (8 points with Alexander Albon, Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries) round out the WCC positions.
Haas announced that Mick Schumacher will leave the team and Nico Hulkenberg will replace him as a full-time driver in the 2023 Formula 1 season. It will mark Hulkenberg's return to full-time racing in F1 for the first time since 2019. The 35-year-old Hulkenberg has already competed in 181 races.
2022 Abu Dhabi GP Facts & Figures
The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 14th race at the place since 2009. The event will be the final race of the year for the 11th time since entering the Grand Prix calendar and for the ninth consecutive year.
Red Bull has won the last two races in Abu Dhabi and five overall (2009, 2010 and 2013). On its side, Mercedes has won six of the last eight editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel won the first two Abu Dhabi Grands Prix back in 2009 for Red Bull. In the following season, Vettel and Red Bull won again at Abu Dhabi, which sealed Vettel’s first World Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton won in 2011 for McLaren-Mercedes, while Kimi Raikkonen took a famous victory in the 2012 edition (his first in three years). Vettel and Red Bull dominated in 2013 before Hamilton sealed his second championship with a dominant win in 2014.
Nico Rosberg won in 2015 for Mercedes, and then he sealed his only championship with second place in 2016 (behind Hamilton). Bottas took the 2017 edition for Mercedes, while Hamilton controlled the 2018 and 2019 events from Pole Position.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull won the 2020 round and the 2021 title decider, which has been widely claimed as a controversial race, with the FIA ultimately replacing the 2021 Race Director Michael Masi for his mishandling of the Safety Car in the final lap of the event.
Hamilton is the most successful driver at Abu Dhabi, with five wins. On the other hand, Mercedes’ six victories are the most for any team in Abu Dhabi. Vettel follows Hamilton with three victories at the venue, while Red Bull is second among teams with five triumphs.
Yas Marina Circuit info
The original layout of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi was designed by Hermann Tilke. Since 2021, the track has seen changes to its layout, including changing the Turn 5, 6, and 7 section and turning into just one corner. Also, the old section between turns 11 and 14 was also converted into a faster corner.
The track was previously a 5.554-km circuit with 21 corners, but was changed to a 5.281-km long circuit and has 16 corners since the 2021 event. The track is clearly faster and the new Turn 5 is definitely better than the previous complex seen in that area of the circuit.
The track has one of the most spectacular pit exits in Formula 1, as the pit exit street cross under the track through a tunnel.
The lap records at the old layout of the Yas Marina Circuit are held by Max Verstappen from the 2021 race, the only edition under the new layout. The Red Bull driver put up a 1:22.109 min lap in 2021's Q3 for the outright Fastest Lap in the circuit. Moreover, he put up the Fastest Lap of the race with a 1:26.103 Lap Record on lap 39.
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli explained their choice with a statement in a press release: “The circuit characteristics aren’t particularly demanding for the tyres. The asphalt is not especially abrasive, which allows the use of the softer compounds. It’s going to be important to consider falling track temperatures during the race on Sunday, as the chequered flag falls late into the evening.
Yas Marina is made up of 16 corners as well as some fast sections. Aerodynamics are an important aspect to guarantee a strong performance and optimal tyre management.
The teams used a number of different strategies at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his first world title after stopping three times, putting on the soft tyre during a safety car period five laps from the end.
This is the final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season, but the teams will then stay on for a one-day test of the 2023 slick compounds, which were fine-tuned in testing during the USA and Mexico Grand Prix weekends.”.
Pirelli's head of motorsport, Mario Isola, also talked about the final race of the season: "At Abu Dhabi, a truly thrilling season comes to an end. Last year’s modifications to some of the straights and corners on the Yas Marina track have made the circuit faster, balancing the longitudinal and lateral demands on the tyres – whereas previously it was more about traction and braking.
Despite these changes to the layout, there is still going to be a lot of attention paid to the rear tyres in order to guarantee the best traction over long stints. On the Tuesday after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2023 slick tyres will be tried out during a full day of testing, where the teams will be able to decide their run plans as well as which drivers to use: race drivers or young drivers.”
The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 23.0 PSI (front) and 20.5 PSI (rear).
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Weather Forecast
Friday, Nov 18th - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Partly cloudy
Max. temperature: 22°C
Chance of rain: 0%
Saturday, Nov 19th - FP3 & Qualifying
Conditions: Partly cloudy
Max. temperature: 22°C
Chance of rain: 1%
Sunday, Nov 20th - Race
Max. temperature: 21°C
Chance of rain: 1%
Who will be on the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium?
Max Verstappen will enter the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix involved in some controversy, but he will be looking for his 15th win of the season (unprecedented in F1 history in a single year) and for his third in a row at Abu Dhabi (which no other driver has achieved at the venue yet).
Obviously, some fans will naturally ignore his 2021 win in Abu Dhabi, but F1 hasn't changed its history books.
The Red Bull driver could close out the season with a big win at Abu Dhabi and end his best season with tremendous numbers.
On the other end, his teammate Sergio Pérez needs to finish ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to give Red Bull a 1-2 in the World Drivers' Championship for the first time in the team's history.
Ferrari has not been able to win a race since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix (10 races without a win) and ending the year with some momentum could help in another bid for titles in 2023.
Finally, Sir Lewis Hamilton will try to get a win for the 16th consecutive season (each year of his career so far) and establish a new record, but his chances are clearly slim, as Mercedes might not have the same advantage as it had in last week's 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. His teammate George Russell would clearly look to contend for a second consecutive win.
The prediction for the podium of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is 1. Lewis Hamilton, 2. George Russell, 3. Max Verstappen.
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