Guide to everything that you need to know about 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as F1 reaches its season finale in Yas Marina.
Exactly eight months after the season commenced in Bahrain, F1 now brings the curtains down on a thrilling season with one final round to determine the final standings.
Whilst Max Verstappen has already wrapped up the title, the vice-champion honour remains up for grabs between Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and George Russell.
This race also marks Sebastian Vettel’s last race weekend as a F1 driver as he prepares for retirement, whilst Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso farewell AlphaTauri and Alpine – ahead of respective moves to Alpine and Aston Martin.
Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile will leave McLaren at end of this race but his F1 future is currently unclear at time of writing, whilst Mick Schumacher is also set to exit Haas.
Now, here is everything that you need to know ahead of 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Circuit: Yas Marina Circuit
Race Distance: 306.183km
Tyre Compounds: C3, C4 & C5
|Friday 18 November 2022||FP1||10:30am|
|Friday 18 November 2022||FP2||2:00pm|
|Saturday 19 November 2022||FP3||10:30am|
|Saturday 19 November 2022||Qualifying||2:00pm|
|Sunday 20 November 2022||Race||1:00pm|
Five Key Pointers
- Having found form in the last three races of which the latter two rounds were held at high altitude, Mercedes now need to take that form into a flat circuit.
- With contrastable track conditions between FP1 and FP3 to FP2 and Qualifying respectively, only FP2 will provide a representative picture of the pecking order heading into Qualifying.
- Traction could be crucial out of the first hairpin because just one slight mistake will impact their maximum speed along the back straight, especially of battling cars have different tyre degradation.
- Each of the last seven races in Abu Dhabi have been won from pole so Qualifying could be crucial in determining victory.
- Last season saw a mix of one-stop and two-stop strategies so expect more of the same but a late Safety Car could lead to potential further stops for drivers in need of point or have pace to win.
There will be several changes in FP1 as some teams complete the second of their two required FP1 sessions for rookie drivers, so here is who replacing who at which team;
- Red Bull – Liam Lawson replaces Max Verstappen
- Ferrari – Robert Shwartzman replaces Carlos Sainz
- McLaren – Pato O’Ward replaces Lando Norris
- Alpine – Jack Doohan replaces Fernando Alonso
- Aston Martin – Felipe Drugovich replaces Sebastian Vettel
- Haas – Pietro Fittipaldi replaces Mick Schumacher
- Williams – Logan Sargeant replaces Nicholas Latifi
All seven replaced drivers will return to the cockpit for rest of the weekend from FP2 onwards.
Last Time Out
F1 arrived in Abu Dhabi for the 2021 season finale with raw tension in the air as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton entered the final race locked on points, with Verstappen clinching pole position ahead of Hamilton.
Hamilton though was able to snatch the lead at the start and proceeded to dominate en route to a destined eighth title, until a late crash for Nicholas Latifi led a two-stopping Verstappen to gamble on a third stop for fresh soft tyres which put five lapped cars between him and Hamilton.
Controversy consequently broke out after FIA Race Director, Michael Masi instructed the Safety Car to pit at end of penultimate lap, just after only the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were allowed to pass and re-join the queue at the back than all lapped cars.
Verstappen ultimately took advantage of the fiasco to make a last-lap overtake on Hamilton to secure his maiden title, amidst fury of several drivers, Mercedes and fans around the world which led Masi to be relieved of his duties during the off-season by the FIA.