We’ve reached the end of the 2017 F1 season, a season that gave us a resurgent Ferrari and an inkling of how competitive Red Bull can be given the right conditions. It’s seen the breakdown of McLaren’s relationship with Honda and post-Europe implosion from Ferrari. It’s seen Lewis Hamilton break the record for all-time pole positions and seem Hamilton win his fourth world championship – whilst Mercedes have made it four from four in the turbo era.
The top five places in the constructor’s championship are sorted – there is a faint mathematical chance for Toro Rosso – currently 6th – to catch Williams, but they’d realistically need a one-two finish with Williams picking up hardly any points, so in reality, they’ll be aiming to finish ahead of Renault and Haas. The gap between these teams is just six points, so, with big financial rewards on offer, there’s some serious motivation to do well. Further up the field, pride is the main motive – Sebastian Vettel won last time out in Brazil and will want to finish the season strongly, as will Ferrari.
In terms of the venue, Abu Dhabi has come under criticism for a lacklustre track, though the atmosphere surrounding the venue itself is usually quite positive. Overtaking will come about from the DRS zones, as much of the circuit – especially turns 12-21 – will not offer the opportunity. Without anything serious at stake for the top teams, they might well let their hair down and the drivers will be able to race each other without the pressure of a title fight. This might produce a good race.