2021 Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2021 Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.jpg

Who will win the 2021 World Championship?

  • Max Verstappen

    Votes: 1,428 62.8%
  • Lewis Hamilton

    Votes: 845 37.2%

  • Total voters
    2,273
  • Poll closed .
Formula 1 enters the season finale of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the driver’s championship leaders tied on points.

After a roller coaster ride of a season in F1, the final event of 2021 will be held in Abu Dhabi and will decide the championship battle between Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton. The two drivers are even on points entering the race.

Verstappen has won more races this year than Hamilton, so if the two end up finishing even after this race due to neither scoring points, the championship would go to Verstappen. Momentum seems to be with Hamilton after back-to-back-to-back race wins in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, though points momentum has never lasted long this season.

The Yas Marina circuit is a location where both drivers have won in the past, with Hamilton having won numerous times at the track, and Verstappen being the most recent winner. The layout has been altered for 2021 to encourage more overtaking.

Looking away from the feature act of this race weekend, the constructor’s battle between Mercedes and Red Bull seems to be all but decided, with Mercedes holding a 28-point advantage. With Hamilton and Verstappen cancelling each other out on points, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas have been involved in a lower profile battle than their teammates, but one full of surprises just the same.

This will also be the last time we see certain drivers in F1, or the last time we see them with their current teams. Perhaps the biggest departure is Kimi Räikkönen, who will retire from driving after Abu Dhabi. Kimi’s teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi, will also vacate his F1 seat after this season and will race in Formula E next year instead. One of the Alfa Romeo team seats will be filled by Bottas, who will finish this year third in the driver’s standings. His current seat at Mercedes will be filled by George Russell.

This looks to be an exciting finish to a season filled with drama and shocking moments. Let’s hope that we see the best from each of the championship contenders this weekend.

Qualification Results​

1Max VERSTAPPENRed Bull1:22.109
2Lewis HAMILTONMercedes1:22.480
3Lando NORRISMcLaren1:22.931
4Sergio PÉREZRed Bull1:22.947
5Carlos SAINZFerrari1:22.992
6Valtteri BOTTASMercedes1:23.036
7Charles LECLERCFerrari1:23.122
8Yuki TSUNODAAlpha Tauri1:23.220
9Esteban OCONAlpine1:23.389
10Daniel RICCIARDOMcLaren1:23.409
11Fernando ALONSOAlpine1:23.460
12Pierre GASLYAlpha Tauri1:24.043
13Lance STROLLAston Martin1:24.066
14Antonio GIOVINAZZIAlfa Romeo1:24.251
15Sebastian VETTELAston Martin1:24.305
16Nicholas LATIFIWilliams1:24.338
17George RUSSELLWilliams1:24.423
18Kimi RÄIKKÖNENAlfa Romeo1:24.779
19Mick SCHUMACHERHaas1:24.906
20Nikita MAZEPINHaas1:25.685

Race Results​

1Max VERSTAPPENRed BullLAP 58
2Lewis HAMILTONMercedes2.256
3Carlos SAINZFerrari5.173
4Yuki TSUNODAAlpha Tauri5.692
5Pierre GASLYAlpha Tauri6.531
6Valtteri BOTTASMercedes7.463
7Lando NORRISMcLaren59.2
8Fernando ALONSOAlpine61.708
9Esteban OCONAlpine64.026
10Charles LECLERCFerrari66.057
11Sebastian VETTELAston Martin67.527
12Daniel RICCIARDOMcLaren+1L
13Lance STROLLAston Martin+1L
14Mick SCHUMACHERHaas+1L
15Sergio PÉREZRed BullDNF
16Nicholas LATIFIWilliamsDNF
17Antonio GIOVINAZZIAlfa RomeoDNF
18George RUSSELLWilliamsDNF
19Kimi RÄIKKÖNENAlfa RomeoDNF

What are your thoughts on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Let us know on Twitter at @RaceDepartment or in the comments section below!

Photo credits: Red Bull Content Pool
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About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

That will be the interesting thing this race. Max can afford all the possible risk when battling directly with Hamilton. IF they both go off he'll win the championship, Lewis on the other hand can't afford too many risks in a duel with his rival as he might be jeopardizing the WDC.

What do you guys think will be the roles for Bottas and Perez (Gasly & Yuki)?
Actually, Masi said that if there is anything unsporting, he / stewards have the right to take certain measures, including docking points.

So if Max drives Lewis off the track and it's blatantly obvious, then Masi can dock him a point. That was clarified to both drivers on Thursday so hopefully it settles that.
 
Staff
Premium
Actually, Masi said that if there is anything unsporting, he / stewards have the right to take certain measures, including docking points.
Yeah seen that as well. Not a very strong sign imo that this race gets a special treatment with docking points.

What the FIA needs to do is make clear rules, be super consistent and firm all year long and you'll have no debate at the final GP of the year about this.
 
What the FIA needs to do is make clear rules, be super consistent and firm all year long and you'll have no debate at the final GP of the year about this.
Agreed, but unfortunately for the sport, the FIA has never been consistent and probably never will be.
I wish one day this situation changes for the better but I don`t have much hope.
 
I hope Max wins, he has been the better driver. Lewis has been off his game. He has a reputation as a clean driver but he bends rulles and can play dirty when he wants to. To me playing dirty is part of any sport. You push for a advantage and just go over the line. You cant just nail evrey driver over any infringement. It would make penaltys all over the feild. So you need to asses and declare what should be punished. Making drivers victums when they get penaltys for doing what the others are. Personaly i think the rulles are to restrictive. Forcing drivers to pull the foul as that is racing. Imagine the no drifting wide rulle in the days of Jilles Veilleneve (He did that all the time exiting turns) The no weaving rulle in the 90's. The bottom line drivers like Michale Schumacher and Ayerton Senna in my opininioun the greatest driver's of my generation would never get to put there car on track. They drove like Verstappen and got away with it. I dont want to see Gentelmen's code racing i want to see feirce Gladiators. They are true champions.
 
Yeah seen that as well. Not a very strong sign imo that this race gets a special treatment with docking points.

What the FIA needs to do is make clear rules, be super consistent and firm all year long and you'll have no debate at the final GP of the year about this.
I only hope that we don't get a photocopy of Silverstone or a similar situation with reversed roles, yeah sure it would have a bitter taste for the championship, but how are you going to take points away if earlier in the season you only gave 10 seconds.

Imo it has either be obvious obvious (94/97 like) or a double DNF to warrant a point deduction.
 
The new Yas Marina layout could actually result in some interesting racing. They got rid of a few slow corners and the track seems to have a slightly better flow.

My guess is that it will come down to tire management.

I just hope Max and Lewis will be able to race side by side and not crash into each other, as it's always the case.
 
Premium
Really, really like the changes they've made to Yas Marina. I've always had mixed feelings about that circuit when sim-driving on it. The fast bits are fun, but those chicanes, and the tight corners at the hotel, made it so start-stop that there was no flow at all. Eliminating those two chicanes and opening up the radii at the hotel was a great idea, and I can't wait to see how the race goes.

Hoping that Max can figure out a way past the Merc straight-line speed. Qualifying is going to be lit. It would be nice to see someone other than Mercedes/Hamilton win the title for a change.
 
Japan 2005, Brazil 2007, Spa 2004, 2009, USA 2018, Malaysia 2003, and even the debut Australia 2001 - these are the races that will quietly enter (or rather have already entered) the history of F1 performed by Kimi
 
Hoping that Max can figure out a way past the Merc straight-line speed.
RBR might have a higher exit speed out of Turn 5 due to their better slow/medium corner speeds. This could help them sling shot down the back straight and stay ahead. If that's not the case, though, then the Mercs will fly down the straight and get out of DRS range in the first 2-3 laps and probably win the race by 20+ seconds again.

I hope this race is actually a race. Aside from the silliness between Max and Lewis at Jeddah, that was actually a good race. Merc caught the RB on the straights and DRS Zones, but RB pulled away in the twisty bits. I can see Abu Dhabi having a similar affect because Sector 1 is the opposite of Sector 3.

I personally would like Max to win the WDC. Don't care if he wins the race itself, especially if someone else like Perez, Bottas, or a McLaren wins. I think Max deserves it based on his season record. I admit Lewis is an amazing driver and also deserves to win, but I am also ready for something new.

Is anyone else secretly hoping that the new 2022 regulations send both Merc and RB to the midfield, with teams like McLaren, Alpine, or Williams back at the front? Would also like Haas not to be so far at the bottom...again.
 
Premium
Is anyone else secretly hoping that the new 2022 regulations send both Merc and RB to the midfield, with teams like McLaren, Alpine, or Williams back at the front? Would also like Haas not to be so far at the bottom...again.

I am, but would like for Ferrari to be back to the top as well. McL and Alpine why not, Williams I think not likely but it would be great to see their car back to the front, to pay homage to the late founder.
 
D
I just wish Christian Horner wasn't such a knob
Totally agree, also its rubbed off on Max abit..
I'm a Lewis fan have been before F1, and for me really want him to get that 8th title, if you had asked me a few months ago I would of said I think this is Max's year, but now Lewis has the momentum, and I'm afraid Max doesn't deserve it now due to his own stupid antics on track, always siad when Max appeared he would be a 'so close man'..and Horner also knows this is more than likely be their only chance of the titles for a few year..
 
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Pit stop strategy will be one of the keys at Abu dhabi and I think that Max will be better than Lewis on this track even though mercedes is a bit faster on long straight...yep finally I really do not know as it is 50/50 on paper, but eagerly waiting for what could be one of the most interesting race in f1 era :coffee::geek:
 
It's hard to predict anything about next years with the new cars and Verstappen has many years to win titles (most of the greatest drivers of past just started F1 at his age). There is objectively no reason to go beyond racing and play it nasty/silly.
 
This article pretty much sums it up for me:


May Hamilton win his 8th WDC. Get in there Lewis!
That article is an embarassement if i ever read one...

About the race, i think Merc has a decisive advantage. If the Red Bull can't be at least close enough on pace in the race so that Max can do something to bridge the difference, then i predict a rather mundane race with Lewis driving off into the sunset (literally).
 
Agreed, but unfortunately for the sport, the FIA has never been consistent and probably never will be.
I wish one day this situation changes for the better but I don`t have much hope.
Because every situation is unique in its own way.
Nobody gives a damn about penalties in the midfield.
Mercedes has not been challenged in this way the last 6 years.
If you are driving comfortably half a lap in front of the rest, no situations like we had this year will arrise.
 
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