This weekend sees the final round of the 2021 F1 season take place in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit, where we will find out the winner of the World Driver’s Championship, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton tied on 369.5 points, with the Dutch driver leading having won more races in the season.
The permutations are relatively straightforward for this weekend’s GP, as Hamilton must simply outscore Verstappen on points to claim an outright record of eight world titles, but, if the Stevenage-born driver fails to finish the race in general then the Red Bull driver will win his first-ever World Driver’s Championship. Verstappen must simply outscore or match Hamilton’s points tally to win, but, for the latter to happen it will most likely take a Michael Schumacher versus Damon Hill-Esque finish or even something as cynical as Ayrton Senna on Alain Prost at Suzuka in 1990.
Last time F1 travelled to Abu Dhabi in 2020, Verstappen won the race in the Red Bull ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton, whilst Alex Albon managed to finish the race in fourth in what was his last race for Red Bull.
Notably, this will be some driver’s farewells to the sport, as 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is retiring at the age of 42, having given the sport many great memories since his debut at Albert Park, Australia in 2001 with Sauber.
Meanwhile, Raikkonen’s teammate Antonio Giovinazzi is set to leave the sport to join Formula E team Dragon Penske Autosport.
Following this race there will be some driver transfers, as George Russell is to replace Bottas at Mercedes, with the Finn going to Alfa Romeo, joined by F2 driver Zhou Guanyu as his future teammate. Russell’s departure from Williams left space for Albon to rejoin the sport having spent 2021 as Red Bull’s test driver following the signing of Sergio Perez before the start of the season.