F1 Winter Break
Mercedes F1 to break more records in Abu Dhabi F1 GP season finale?
Posted By: Editor   |  22 Nov 2018   |  1:56 pm GMT  |  115 comments

As the final race of the season draws near, teams and drivers will have the chance to end their season with a flourish before the focus turns to 2019.

The Yas Marina Circuit once again plays host to the season finale, where the final positions in the championship will be decided.

The top two positions in the drivers’ championship have already been decided, but there are sixteen points between third-placed Kimi Raikkonen and fifth-placed Max Verstappen, with Valtteri Bottas in between.

Red Bull’s Verstappen has had an impressive second half of the season, and he would’ve been even closer to the third place battle if it weren’t for his mid-race collision with Esteban Ocon in Brazil.

That collision allowed Hamilton to take his tenth victory of the season, marking the first race Hamilton has won after claiming a world championship with races to spare.

He now has the chance to equal his personal best record of eleven wins in a season, an achievement he managed back in 2014.

Mercedes have sensational form here; they’re aiming to become the first team to achieve five consecutive front-row lockouts at the same venue, along with taking four consecutive one-two finishes at the same circuit, which would be another record.

His task may be made tougher by the fact that his power unit apparently only just survived the Brazilian Grand Prix, and engine damage may force him to run either an older, higher-mileage power unit, or restrict the performance of his current unit.

Despite this, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said that sealing the constructors’ championship with one round to spare means that Mercedes can now “go for broke” in Abu Dhabi:

“The championship pressure is off, so we can look at this as one race where we can really go for broke. Our Silver Arrow has won 10 races so far this season and we all want to add one more to that score – especially Valtteri, who has lost out on wins this season through bad luck and team orders. We know, too, that it will be a tough battle because both Red Bull and Ferrari will have the same target of taking good momentum into the winter.

“We have taken four wins in a row at Yas Marina, although it’s a track with a lot of slow and medium speed corners. We’ve made some good steps forward when it comes to our car’s performance on similar tracks, so we’re confident that we can perform strongly in Abu Dhabi as well, and end this incredible 2018 season on a high.”

Final push for constructors’ championship places

With Haas’ push to pass Renault for fourth place fizzling out (they’re 24 points adrift), the closest contest in the constructors’ battle is for seventh place.

Force India’s quest to haul themselves back up the rankings has faltered in recent races, and they now find themselves at risk of falling back behind the in-form Sauber team, who are just six points behind.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was a tad unlucky not to convert his best-ever qualifying session into points in Brazil, but a seventh place for Charles Leclerc put the Swiss team nine points clear of Toro Rosso and within one good team result of taking Force India for seventh.

Alonso’s final race in Formula One

Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will take to the track for his final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, over seventeen years after making his debut for Minardi back in 2001.

Whilst some aspects of his career will be remembered with a “what if…”, the sport will lose one of it’s toughest competitors as he concentrates on other motor sport ventures.

He will run a special livery for his final F1 appearance, but association with McLaren will continue in the Indy 500 next year, with Alonso suggesting that he and the team will take on other motor sport challenges in the future.

“Abu Dhabi will certainly be very emotional race for me, as it will be the end of a long and happy 17 years in Formula 1. The time has come for me to move on, but I’m looking forward to ending the season – and my F1 career – on a positive note,” said Alonso.

“I’m also pleased that my relationship with McLaren will continue with the Indy 500, and there will be more new challenges together. There are very exciting things ahead, and I’m enthusiastic for what the future will bring. For now, I’m not ruling anything out.”

Ricciardo makes his 100th-and-final appearance for Red Bull

The season finale in Abu Dhabi also marks the final race for Daniel Ricciardo in Red Bull overalls, before making the switch to Renault in 2019. This also coincides with his 100th appearance for the team.

During his time at Red Bull, the Australian achieved seven wins and three pole positions, the most popular of which came from a memorable weekend at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, where he secured a pole position before going on to take victory, erasing the memory of his 2016 Monaco GP heartbreak.

“Abu Dhabi marks the end of five years with the team and 10 years with Red Bull itself,” said Ricciardo ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“I’m sure it’s going to be emotional afterwards, especially when I cross the line for the last time with the team. But I’m going there guns a-blazing, showing a lot of love. Hopefully the love shows me back and I can spray some fake champagne on Sunday, which would be a fitting farewell.”

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

What are your predictions for the season finale? Can Bottas or Verstappen take third place in the championship from Raikkonen? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

“the sport will lose one of it’s toughest competitors”

Possessive pronouns don’t have apostrophes.

“it’s” = “it is”
“its” = “belonging to it”

You’re welcome 🙂


Wot no update after first and second practice?

If you want up-to-date news and insightful commentary….. find another website.

At least James used to keep the site up to date.


Press conference was funny. (“Boys”). I’m a Max fan when he’s on track, but during interviews Kimi and Seb are in a league of their own.

Ocon seemed a bit deflated. And he was so happy with himself in Brazil…..


That’s the whole issue isn’t it James. It depends upon that Mercedes engine. 3 engines for 21 races is a long ask for any team.

Why not give them all 4. That would not be too many for the best of the rest since its happened already.


Be nice to see Lewis do the right thing and (hopefully not too painfully conspicuous if possible…if at all) chuck Valtteri that win back ?

Remember ?…I know… like a million lifetimes ago now ….?

When it was that stupid/clever decision…when it was SOOO much in the balance??


I really hope this prediction is wrong, but I fear Danny Ric’s career has peaked – seems like the wrong decision to go to Renault.

Talking about wrong decisions, it’s sad to see Fernando fizzle out of F1 but I would love to see him win the WEC championship (albeit ironically due to being in the best car with no competition) and would be thrilled if he won indy500.


Q to CA, Renault: we’ve already talked about bridging the gap to the other three big teams. You’ve got Daniel coming on board next season, what are your expectations?

CA: It’s a bit early to exactly mention or disclose our exact target for next year because first we would like to finish this season in the best possible way but obviously we need to keep on progressing: P9, P6, P4 in the championship in two years, in three years so we would like to see that progression continuing. We know that obviously the further you go the bigger the steps and the more demanding they will be. We would like to see, for instance, bridging the gap closer to the top teams in qualifying, in races, not being lapped, in terms of points scoring, so this is the type of target that we will announce at the start of next season…

[2nd part of post below…]


Cyril Abiteboul has modest goals for Renault in the next years. VERY modest: he’ll be happy if the cars don’t get lapped anymore. Today’s press conference:


As expected, Ocon confirmed as 2019 Mercedes test and third driver. At today’s press conference:

Toto: He will spend a lot of time in the simulator and be ready for a seat in 2020.

Horner: If you could show him what the flags mean, as well, that would help.


Beside qualification, formula one should have a lap record breaking trial to see if car are really fastest.


Harkin back to the days of the laurel wreath.

What would Dan Gurney do with grape juice?


Merc have done everything they can achieve in f1 they should go elsewhere


I’m not a fan of this track, haven’t seen many epic races here. Hoping something interesting will happen before the long break sets in and I have to scrounge the internet for shreds of rumours of new happenings before the new season begins.

Pass me some of that fake champagne…


Buy some raspberry syrup and pour club soda on it. It’s basically what this stuff is.

Anyone still roll James Bond style with a soda syphon? I do. One company pretends like they’ve evened V10s and is selling that soda stream contraption. Ain’t it funny how something that was always a great idea makes a comeback? Maybe there is hope for proper F1 formula to come back too?

We know it won’t be in 2020, but if Liberty knows what’s good for them, they’d start a vintage series to support F1 ASAP. It’s a no brainer…outside of making current F1 sound tame and lame …Oh…that’s why they won’t do it! They don’t want to undermine the pinnacle? It seems like a perfect excuse to give fans what they want without making these hybrid-lie peddling manufacturers leave and stop paying.

Poor Mercedes, where would they advertise their 100% electric EQ Brand if not in hybrid but really mostly 105kg gas powered Formula 1?


A little odd that Fernando doesn’t even get his own article for his last race in F1. He doesn’t even make it into the headline. Ho hum..


Good. Leave already. Quit threatening a comeback too. Use that 2008 Singapore trophy to keep you warm.

He keeps trying to wrote his biography. He’s so good. Best Le Mans win on history of Le Mans! Be gone already!

How many articles do you want cheesy? They did one he retired. Done. See ya. Take the PUs with you!


@Sebee you’re lecturing on when enough is enough and what is too much? The majority of us have had to listen to you prattle on about your conspiracies and theories hundreds of times over the years. Take a look in the mirror next time you before you get on your worn out soapbox and know that there will be a thousand times more people willing to read three words from Fernando over a hundred words from you. Thanks for flapping your sanctimonious gums again.


What did you expect? He is not British and his name is not Hamilton


Weird David, you turn yet another unrelated comment into a dig about Hamilton. How about being positive about life, it makes life so much more enjoyable…..


Positive Paul…must be on the pills now



I expect you’ve seen it, but over on the BBC they’ve done a five parter on his career.


@C63 yup it was an interesting read. At least he’s more than a footnote on there.


5 parter?

He has only 2 WDCs!

Oh…WDC and WCC all wrapped up. 5 parter makes sense then.


Sebee, was it you prattling on about how terrible ‘driver live’ is and that everyone should grow up a bit?


Another record could be Hamilton’s team mate not winning a single race in a season.


Kovalainen ’09


It is really the team mate wins that Mercedes have given away to competition in 2017 and 2018, isn’t it?

Just a little downward dial on Bottas’ engine modes. Little less optimal strategy. It is easy.

“I’m not saying that in a negative way. Every driver has his own way of trying to achieve success but Valtteri is an absolutely cool Finn. I don’t think Valtteri even realises if something is being manipulated.” Toto Wolff


Sebee, wasn’t so easy in Baku was it? Did Toto lean over the pit wall with his air rifle?


You certainly are grabbing tiny d by the nut sacks and dragging him and Tom with you 😂while you pedal your “soap box go kart” of disappointment. Especially regarding Arrivabene and his happy, approachable , and very friendly, (never stuck up their own sphincter universe), Ferrari Team. How many times have they pressed the ‘pass button’ to give Schumacher Alonso Massa a helping switcheroo or the classic Rob Smedley “Fernando is faster than you!”on poor Massa.
You really want to be careful as tiny d may become over dependent & latch on too much. End result would be sore nips and a bad case of B#tch T#ts.
Ps “I’m not saying that in a negative way” as you may enjoy tiny d latching on (*)(*) . 😁#MMC Much Maligned Conspirators.


Not sure how serious this is, but Kovalainen did not win a race in 2009.




Methusalem, happened in 2009.


and it is not even his fault


That also happened in 2009.


83% poles.

73% wins.

That’s the score for Mercedes in PU era. I’m giving them pole and win in Abu Dhabi. And that’s with 2 years of MMC!


Red Bull has a newer engine.


And here’s the fairer way of plotting those stats noting the trend that Mercedes are being less dominant year on year since 2016, as expected due to convergence of performance:

2014: Poles 95%, Wins 84%, Possible Points 82%

2015: Poles 95%, Wins 84%, Possible Points 86%

2016: Poles 95%, Wins 90%, Possible Points 85%

2017: Poles 75%, Wins 60%, Possible Points 78%

2018: Poles 60%, Wins 50%, Possible Points 72%

The percentages over the entire PU era are meaningless, the predictor for future performance for next year depends on the trend, which is clearly for Mercedes performance to get closer to their competitors.

You want them (or another team) to have another dominant season? That’s what will happen if you completely rip up the engine regs as you want to do. You want the competition to get closer? You leave them as they are.

The MMC is clearly nonsense, and always has been nonsense. If they really did have a second in hand over everyone they wouldn’t have been embarrassingly lapped in Mexico as their driver won the championship despite finishing a minute behind the championship runner up and nearly getting lapped himself, nor risk the glory of losing the race at which they were going to seal the constructors in Brazil when Verstappen flew past Hamilton in the lead (just two examples).

I for one congratulate them on being the best team. Others have caught up on outright performance, Mercedes are clearly still operationally the best on the grid, and that’s why they will remain favourites for next year’s championships.


Sebee. It’s 60% pole capture and 50% wins this year for Mercedes.


All Hamilton.



Did you moan all the time when Ferrari were wrapping up the drivers title at Hungary? You certainly didn’t when Red Bull were riding high. Just curious.


I was there for that 2001 Hungarian wrap-up. Sounded marvelous. What a hot day. Stayed in someone’s house, woke up, parted the blinds to see the bowl in which Hungaroring sits. So sweet to hear those V10s ringing in the morning.

May I remind you it was 63% win percentage for Ferrari back then over the 5 seasons. It is so much more dominant car in this PU era, don’t even try to compare. It’s a new level of domination and predictability never before seen.

Hey, future of AMG in electric world looks funny, doesn’t it. AMG-Line. Ha!



But did you moan all the time?

Tornillo Amarillo

Everything is aligned for a Bottas win…

Editor, Haas is protesting the Force India car intellectual property, more lawyers then, the midfield is getting hot.


I don’t understand their argument. By their logic no team could ever be bought out and then race the same season. They’d have to design and build a car from scratch to race in 1 or 2 weeks’ time. Do they think teams that have been sold in the off season bin all their development and start from scratch?


Why not. They got cut 10 points over a grey area. Very grey.


As we’re not getting many articles as the season winds down (with seemingly not that much to talk about)…
Time for Philosophy 101…
Is it really promoting the sport to be advertising that Mercedes is going to break another record?
Is it good for the health of a sport to have long standing and singular domination in any sport?
In AUS Rugby League the St George Dragons won 11 premierships in a row in the 60’s..
Chicago Bull 2x 3peats..
Lets see if we can have a civilised discussion without jumping to anyones defence?


There is proof in both directions. That people like dynasties and domination and that it is bad for the sport and ratings.

If you separate those two camps, what remains is a simple task: how do you satisfy both groups as a business? It is not easy to do and usually can’t be done at same time.

As you know it is my belief that is what Mercedes has been trying to deliver last 2 years. Some here call it MMC – and delivering to both groups is the purpose of it. Bottom line, there is no way to satisfy both groups. At some point one group has to win and one will lose. Ideally you want to keep both happy as long as you can.

It is also my feeling that after 2 years of balancing to satisfy both groups, Mercedes will satisfy only one in 2019 again. Guess which one?


Mercedes has pulled the strings to give a false impression of competition. They could have massively defeated everybody, but just think about consequences related to that. A bit of a thrill… Walk in the park championships, laughable. Best group of engineers and best car ever. Hope RB is doing something next year. Who is betting on Fiat is a sure loser.


Winx cox plate Rafa french open yeah sick of merc dominance


Best top your shopping with some extra sick bags.
This is competitive world. Nobody is going to just quit winning because you are sick of them winning.
Maybe the deficiency is in those who cannot understand the concept of competition.
How teams build their cars and how successful they are at grabbing performance within the rules is the fundamental principles of F1.
If you cannot understand that. Then maybe playing marbles in a gutter grate maybe a better choice. Or maybe watch a bunch of drone ants doing exactly the same thing hoping that some alien stimulus may change their environment…like tiny Pirate Wolf Spider.
Or a downpour captured in extra slow motion on a Ultra HD camera. Or maybe that’ll make you feel sick too ?!


Lkfe, at how many Grand Prix this season have Mercedes had the fastest car?


15 sounds about right


Care to list the 15 races then? 😏


Lkfe, 15? Really? I don’t suppose you have any intention of listing those? Surely Monaco, Canada, Germany, Mexico, China and Austin would be the six you think don’t make Merc’s list, but what about Belgium, Bahrain, Austria and Silverstone? There are strong reasons to believe that the Merc wasn’t quickest in Azerbijan, Japan, Italy and Brazil either, despite them winning those races. I realise I’m talking to myself here as the truth about Merc’s performance this season isn’t that interesting to you guys, but it’s interesting to me.


#TimW….Merc have had the fastest car in quali in all the ones they got pole position. Or are you saying that Hamilton would have done just as well in a Haas?


It’s silly to say that pole automatically equals you having the quickest car. There are without doubt quali sessions where the driver gets a slower car (however slight) onto pole ahead of a quicker car (however slight).

Hamilton’s poles at Silverstone, Singapore, and Austin were won against quicker cars. So were Hungary and Belgium, but those were affected by rain.


Krb, plus Suzuka where both Ferraris blew their hot laps.


Tomx, what on earth are you talking about? I asked lkfe a pretty simple question, if you want to have a bash at answering it, go right ahead.


@Mr L

‘My Driver’ isn’t winning!

That’s what it always boils down too…..


that’s a shame….


Guns a blazing

Showing a lot of love

Sounds very Hamiltonesque😄

But good luck to them all…. but what I really want to see, is a straight up battle between Lewis and Max. With everything wrapped up at Merc, and Lewis not having to think about the long game. Think it would be epic!

But in my opinion, Lewis will out smart Max.

Let us be entertained!!


I am not a Hamilton fan but I do admire his driving and I am not a Max fan but enjoy his overtaking when he is not relying on others giving way…so would really enjoy a Max Lewis wheel to wheel with nothing to lose.


I wonder when F1 will stop visiting countries that put people in prison for life for ‘spying’, or drink on a flight on the way in then find out they broke the law?


When will they stop visiting countries that have any sort of death penalty (USA)? Where do you draw the line?


When their money is less green than of the countries you think are perfect and you think have a spotless ethics record as per your personal value system.

It was US Thanksgiving yesterday, and you know what I did? I watched the Redskins vs. Cowboys game. Obviously Cowboys won. Now lets eat the bird!

And remember, no matter what country you are from, politicians and corporations have your interest in mind first and foremost. Now shut up, sit down and enjoy the no-longer-free hybrid tire/fuel/engine preservation show and like it!


you will get nothing and you will like it


China? Bahrain? Azerbaijan? Russia?
If you are going down that path, at least be consistent…


Bit of a meaningless race now, season wise, with the two championships decided, although gives Hamilton another chance to chip away at the Shumacher race record total.


Daniel Ricciardo’s time at Red Bull flew by. Unlucky for him it started in 2014. A year or two sooner and he could have been a double champion. A what if, just like Alonso, who thought 2007 would start himself off in pursuing all the records. When that went sour, it only took barely another season for his youngest pole and winner record to be taken away, and until 2010 until he lost the youngest driver champion record as well.

Farewell to UK free to air as well. Farewell F1.


I see he is telling us how he taught the rest of the grid to overtake………..pretty cocky stuff!!!!!



…like you are teaching us how to incorrectly paraphrase?


It’ll be win number 11 for Hamilton this weekend. Whether it’s through pure Merc pace (like Spain, France, Japan etc), Hamilton proving once again he’s the GOAT (Germany, Italy, Singapore etc), VB having to give way (Russia) or luck being on his side (Baku, Brazil) one way or another we’ll be hearing “Get in there Lewis” once more to finish off the season


Lewis Bottas Max
Bottas gets his win.
& Lewis comes from the back after new engine penalty to take 2nd.
Alonso 3rd. Like Moses parting the sea he gets on the podium.
Meanwhile in comic book format…
End of Term Schools out madness occurs…

Max will still be having a nerd pushing kindergarten scrap🤼‍♀️. While Jos picks a fight with a Mallard🥊🦆. And looses heavily.

Also Dr.Marko is caught red handed spying for the Chinese Bok Choi Vegetarian Triads by Ginger Spice.
Dietrich is not impressed and hires Vijay to manage the Red Bull racing team accounts 🦊 lucky crafty fox.
Christian Horner is shoved on stage at the Red Bull crew at the end of season Party, & is put in a trance by Derren Brown and thinks he is Sporty Spice. And progresses to wear high heels and starts singing “🎵Stop Right Now 🎶!!🎤👄”. It’s really messed up.
Sirotkin, says his, leaving farwells and bids Williams Bye Byes💔, with a cakes made of the finest Russian Polonium Golden Syrup🍰.
Smears abit on 2019 Kubica car seat, before he goes into a WEC . Racing with ‘Sarin Rouble Racing’ and wins every race in 2019 bar one. Silverstone !! as they’ll be visiting Salisbury Cathedral with its huge spire and taking in a meal at Zizzis 😁.

Renault,happily Molatov Red Bulls metal Cow Sculpture in Austria, leaving it flaming and throw Camobare fire crackers at the burning Cow.

Force India becomes Force Stroller and are sponsored by a Pram Company daddy bought Lance.

McLaren hit the Whiskey hard. Shouting things like …”Re…re..hic..remember the good ol’ hic !!
Ahhh scuse me…the good hic old hic days…!

Haas chucks 500 bucks in front of Grosjean and KMag and chucks a butterfly knife and a pair of Nunchakus in the centre.
And puts on the Star Trek Captain Kirk fight Music on loud. KMag comes out silent and victorious and hands back the 500 bucks to Haas. Just keeps a clump of Red hair from Grosjean as a trophy.

Ferrari join McLaren and hit the Benedictine and Lucozade hard. After which they have a rumble with McLaren. Then make up & sing Don Mclanes “American Pie ” while in mid hugs and kisses.

Then the main event Toto kicks off and shaves Chases Joe Weider Tash and then wears it himself.
End Scene with Janis Joplin singing “🎵Oh Lord Why don’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz 🎶!!”🕊🕊🕊🕊
Meanwhile photos in National Enquirer show Redemption Ricci coming out with Sporty Spice from the Groucho Club…..🤯🤦‍♂️Yep it’s Christian in Heels. Dam that Derren Brown 😂🤣.


Another record could be Hamilton’s this weekend – if he finishes on the podium he will break Vettel’s record from 2013 for the most points in a season.


He has to work for number of wins in a row of Vettel and Ascari. Well, I bet he will never beat this record.


You don’t get those records through just work. You need a lot of luck go your way. Firstly you need a killer car. Then you need perfect reliability, and also some misfortune to hit your teammate. Or no. 1 status in your team.

That’s how Rosberg scored 7 straight wins. He had a great car, perfect reliability, and misfortune strike his teammate. Vettel had all that plus no. 1 status, for his streak.


These records are meaningless given how many more races there are nowadays and how many more points are on offer at each race.


Tom, only 19 races in 2013, 21 this year so not really the same.


I know, but the record itself isn’t something subjective. The 2010 points changes had a far bigger impact and it post-dates that.

How much it actually means is another matter. Was just drawing it to people’s attention.

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