It’s the final race of the 2019 Formula 1 season and although both championships were won a few races ago, there is still a few things to contest lower down in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship.
Max Verstappen goes into the finale in third and is eleven points ahead of Charles Leclerc and thirty points ahead of Sebastian Vettel. This after Verstappen claimed his third win of the season in Brazil while the two Ferraris collided into each other, taking both out of the race.
It means now that third is between Verstappen and Leclerc with a maximum of twenty six points still available.
There is however still a mathematical possibility that Vettel could overhaul his teammate in the championship as nineteen points separate the two.
Thanks to the crazy Brazilian Grand Prix and both Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz being classified inside the top three, the two go into the finale level on points.
Gasly currently occupies sixth with Sainz in seventh, Gasly’s second place finish giving the Frenchman the place on countback. Eleven points behind the two is Alexander Albon who was set for his first podium in Formula 1 before Lewis Hamilton collided into him.Embed from Getty Images
It has meant that Albon’s impressive nine race point scoring run has come to an end, with the battle between the three potentially being a main feature of the weekend’s race.
Another position in the drivers’ championship that has been competitive in recent Grand Prix is that over ninth with Daniel Ricciardo currently in the position heading to Abu Dhabi.
He managed to finish sixth in Brazil, extending his advantage over tenth placed Sergio Perez to eight points. Ricciardo has now scored points in the three races prior to this weekend while Perez is on a five race point scoring run.Embed from Getty Images
Perez can look ahead but will also need to look behind as he is only one point ahead of Lando Norris going into the season finale with the Briton having finished ahead of the Mexican in the last two races. Yet two points behind Norris and three behind Perez is Kimi Raikkonen who claimed his first points finish in Brazil after seven races outside the top ten.
It has also meant that the Finnish driver has moved ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat in the championship. Hulkenberg is six points behind Raikkonen after the German finished outside the points in Brazil. Kvyat is eight behind Raikkonen having managed to finish inside the top ten in Brazil, only his second classified points finish in the last seven races.Embed from Getty Images
Nineteen points covers Ricciardo in ninth down to Kvyat in fourteenth, meaning that mathematically anything is possible, and considering the crazy race prior to Abu Dhabi, anything is possible when it comes to the midfield.
Antionio Giovinazzi goes into the season finale off the back of his best finish in the sport, after being classified in fifth in Brazil. It has meant that he is six points behind Kevin Magnussen and seven behind Lance Stroll, should the Dane and Canadian fail to finish inside the top ten and Giovinazzi has another particularly strong race weekend in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is also the last opportunity for George Russell to score his first Formula 1 point in 2019 having come close in Germany and again in Brazil where he finished twelfth. He is the only driver out of the twenty to have competed in the season yet to score a point.
The top four in the constructors’ championship is confirmed with McLaren’s double points finish in Brazil securing it fourth in the championship.Embed from Getty Images
Yet there are still some potential gains to be made elsewhere for other teams. For a start is fifth in the championship with Renault currently occupying the position, but is now only eight points ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso, thanks to the Italian teams second podium finish of 2019 in Brazil. Renault however have been consistently inside the points in recent races with double points finishes in Mexico and the United States before Ricciardo finished sixth in Brazil for the team.
Toro Rosso’s big result in the previous race has meant it has broken away from Racing Point with sixteen points separating the two. The British team now have to worry more about Alfa Romeo Racing who are only ten points behind them after the Swiss team claimed a big points haul in Brazil.
It makes for an interesting finale with the possibility of Toro Rosso beating Renault to fifth, yet Racing Point still with a reasonable mathematical chance of beating Toro Rosso only for Alfa Romeo to be close enough to Racing Point to overhaul them for seventh.