In Abu Dhabi, UAE on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes look to complete the championship comeback victory over Max Verstappen and Red Bull. Hamilton took his third straight checkered flag at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last Sunday. Heading into final race of the season, Verstappen and Hamilton are knotted at 369.5 points each. Which driver gets it done and who figures to join the top two on the podium? Keep reading for more information on the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race Info
- When: Sunday, Dec. 12 at 8:00 am ET
- Where: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: Formula1.com
- Circuit Length: 5.554 km
- Laps: 55
- Number of Corners: 21
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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix recap
Max Verstappen hopes history repeats itself. At last year’s Abu Dhabi GP, Verstappen finished first, almost 16 seconds ahead of Hamilton teammate Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton finished third. But although Verstappen beat his rival at last year’s UAE race, Hamilton had built such a big lead on the standings that even a third place finish yielded first place for the season.
This year, Verstappen must beat Hamilton in F1’s final race of the 2021 season to ensure the title. If Hamilton wins, Verstappen loses the season championship. If Verstappen wins, he grabs the victory.
Which of the two top drivers, Verstappen and Hamilton, has the best chance of winning the Abu Dhabi GP and, therefore, the F1 title?
If we go off recent form, it looks as if Hamilton is a lock. The Mercedes driver has won the last three races: the Brazilian GP on Nov. 14, the Qatar Grand Prix on Nov. 21, and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Dec. 5. But although Hamilton has beaten Verstappen in the last three, the Red Bull racer could turn the tables. Verstappen finished second in all three Hamilton victories.
Not only that, but he’s motivated. Hamilton has dominated F1 for the past couple of years. Verstappen and Red Bull believe now is their time. So even though a tie puts the title in Verstappen’s hands, he wants to make sure everyone knows he beat Hamilton. Of the two drivers, Hamilton has the recency edge. Verstappen, though, has the motivation edge.
Can Sergio Perez or Charles Leclerc out finish Valtteri Bottas and finish third in the race?
Even though the Saudi Arabian GP was Valtteri Bottas’ last race, he still put forth an excellent effort. Bottas finished third. Sunday is Bottas’ final race driving for Mercedes. No doubt, he will work as hard as he can to help Hamilton win the title and for a top three finish. But even if Bottas puts in a great effort, we shouldn’t discount Sergio Perez or Charles Leclerc. In Saudi Arabia, Leclerc finished seventh while Perez had to retire.
Both could come up with big efforts on Sunday. Of the two, Perez has the better chance of finishing ahead of Bottas and grabbing a podium spot. Perez drives for Red Bull. His teammate, Max Verstappen, can win the season championship. Perez will be motivated to show his constructor that he’s a team player, which means he has the best shot of overtaking Bottas and stepping to the podium.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.