F1 Worldchampion 2016 -
MERCEDES AMG Petronas
Obviously, the result in Brazil wasn't the one I was going for. But Lewis did a great job and second place wasn't a disaster in the end. I'm looking forward now to Abu Dhabi. It feels great to be in the World Championship battle with Lewis for a third year in a row. I will give it everything to end the season with a win. I've had a great week, relaxing and catching up with my family and friends, so I feel like I'm in a good place. In Brazil, after the race, I was joking that I would still be taking things one race at a time. But, the more I think about it, the more that's actually not as crazy as it sounds. I have to treat this like any other race. Doing a good job on a Grand Prix weekend is always a challenge. Nothing in this sport is easy, so this won't be any different and I still have to go all out for a good result. I have great memories from winning at this track last year and it's somewhere I've usually been strong in the past, so I have every reason to feel confident. The closer it gets, the more I'm feeling excited. It will be a big battle and hopefully the fans will get a great show to end the year.
To finally win in Brazil was a moment I'll never forget. It had been a long time coming. I'm in a good place right now. I'm feeling super strong in this amazing car that everyone at the factories has worked so hard to give us. I've had 31 wins in four years with this team so far, which is just crazy. I'm so thankful for the great opportunity these guys have given me. We're continuing to make history together. It's not been a perfect season and I'm faced with pretty impossible odds no matter what I do this weekend. But I can't and won't give up. You never know what might happen -
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-
Last weekend we saw yet another classic Interlagos race. To come away from all the drama of the crazy weather, the re-
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
This is the first time we've had a 21st race in any Formula One season and it's fitting that such a record-
Red Bull Racing Team
“The track design in Abu Dhabi is quite different, there are a lot of low speed corners and combinations. The unique layout means it is challenging, a small mistake during one of the many corner sequences can ruin a lap. It is also important to have a strong car in the last sector to keep the tyres alive.
Away from the car Abu Dhabi has some cool features that set it aside from other races, the hotel goes over the track which is pretty special, it’s great for spectators in that sector. I have had a quick look around the area and spent a bit of time in Dubai which is always good fun. Maybe this year I’ll sample a bit more Arabic food as I haven’t really got stuck into that yet.
Of course it is the last race of the season and I think we can look back and be very happy with 2016. There is plenty of work to do for next year with the regulation changes and I think everyone is excited to see the new cars so I can’t wait to get started.”
“I have always gone well on the track at Abu Dhabi, it’s been really enjoyable in the past, especially the last sector underneath the hotel, that’s great fun. It has a bit of a street circuit style to the layout which I enjoy. I had my first ever Formula 1 test at this track so it holds good memories and has generally been good to me.
I love any kind of hot climate and being warm so I’m very much looking forward to getting out there. I try to get there a little earlier than usual and stay a bit afterwards to enjoy some time in the heat and get out into the desert, ride some bikes and have some fun.
As it is the last race of the season I usually have some friends out for some fun and there is always a good atmosphere. It’s kind of like the Middle Eastern Monaco, and it definitely has that vibe to it. There are usually some celebrities and good parties knocking around that weekend which adds to the buzz of the season finale.”
McLaren Honda F1 Team
“The faster first sector and the two long straights in the middle sector at Yas Marina mean that it isn’t a track that will naturally suit our package, but over the course of Friday we’ll work hard to dial in the car to make the most of what we have and extract as much performance as possible. It’s an interesting track to set the car up for, as although it’s in the desert, the track temperature cools a lot during the course of the race as we reach twilight, so the tyre conditions and grip levels are constantly evolving as we reach the chequered flag. It’s a really unique place and a great circuit to end the season at, and I hope we can push for a positive end to the year.”
“Yas Marina is a pretty technical race track, with a relatively low average speed thanks to the tight corners in the final sector, which gives it many of the characteristics of a street circuit. Typically, overtaking is quite tricky there, so it’s important we do as much as we can in qualifying and hope for a strong, clean start like many that we’ve enjoyed so far this year, and make the most of our strategy in order to get the best possible result. If we use the track time productively on Friday it’ll give us the best opportunity to set the car up for the weekend and, hopefully, avoid a repeat of Brazil where I really struggled for pace in the race. Our package definitely has more potential than that, and I hope that I can push it to the limit and give the team and the fans a good end to the year.”
Williams Martini Racing
After two high altitude races we now head right down to sea level in Abu Dhabi. Although a modern circuit, it is quite challenging with the high-
Abu Dhabi is a nice place to finish the Formula One season. The facilities are great there and it seems like more and more people come to this race every year. It’s the place where I had my first ever Formula One test in 2011. It’s a good track for racing and it looks very cool with the sunset. We ended the 2014 season there with a double podium so it would be nice to finish this season with another strong result. Normally it’s a good track for our car because of the long straights and short corners and chicanes, so I look forward to it.
It’s going to be another emotional one! You try not think about it too much when you’re in the car, you just try to do as good a job as you can. It’s a really nice track to drive, there are lots of fans who really enjoy themselves at the track and outside of the track and it is, of course, a twilight race which is interesting for us and everyone watching. I really hope the final, and 250th race of my Formula One career, can be a fantastic one. We will of course have a big party! Hopefully we can celebrate with a great result.
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Vijay Mallya on Abu Dhabi
VJM: “After scoring well in Brazil, we head to Abu Dhabi on the verge of achieving our best ever finish in the constructors’ championship. There is one final step to take and everyone is determined to get the job done and end the season on a high with a strong result.
“The final race is a great opportunity to look back at the work we have done this year. I have always been confident in our team, even when circumstances played against us in the early races and we didn’t get the results our pace deserved. We kept to our plan, trusted our direction and since May we have been on the way up. Monaco was a big turning point and the team has been going from strength to strength since then.
“Abu Dhabi is the culmination of all our efforts, but there is no room for complacency. Both our drivers have an extra bit of motivation to do well – Checo to cross the 100-
Sergio Perez on Abu Dhabi
“It’s the final race of the year and you really want to close the season with a good result. It’s an exciting time and you need to keep focused on the job even though everyone is already talking about the following season. You want to finish the year well to go on holiday with a sweet taste in your mouth, especially this year when there is so much at stake. Nobody wants to have a bad final race; it’s a pretty nasty feeling!
“Abu Dhabi is a cool place and the fans we meet come from all over the world. The facilities at the track are impressive and I’ve always liked racing there. It’s a very fast track, with big braking zones and quick changes of direction. You need a car that is very stable at the rear to make the most of the braking zones. Also, having good traction out of the corners can gain you a lot of time. There are some overtaking opportunities and the possibility to go for different strategies usually produces interesting races.
“Last year’s race was pretty exciting -
“You always get a bit nostalgic at the end of the season. You know it’s the last time you’re going to drive your VJM09 and you don’t know what the next season will bring. I want to go into the winter with special memories from the final race.”
Nico Hulkenberg on Abu Dhabi
“The final race of the season is always special, but this year even more so. It will be my final race with the team, so it will be emotional to work with the crew and the other team members for one last time. People move around teams a lot in Formula One, so I know it’s a goodbye and not a farewell. I want to enjoy this last race together and make sure it turns into a celebration: I want us to confirm fourth place in the championship, then we will see a lot of big smiles on everyone’s faces and be proud of what we achieved together.
“Abu Dhabi is a very cool place. Yas Marina is very modern and the circuit has probably the best facilities of the whole calendar. The track is not bad either and it’s fun to drive. You race into the sunset and it looks really cool when all the lights come on. It’s a unique experience.
“The pit lane exit is very tricky and one of the most memorable parts of the circuit: you release the pit limiter, accelerate for a second and then you have to brake for the very sharp left hander underneath the track. The wall feels very close and you always hold your breath every time you drive through that narrow exit! It’s a little uncomfortable because as soon as you push harder, you start to slide and it’s very easy to get it wrong.
“Looking at the track characteristics, Abu Dhabi should suit us really well. We had a few strong results in the last few years and I am confident we can get a good one this time around too. I would love nothing more than to sign off from the team in style.”
Driver standings prior the final ABU DHABI race:
1 NICO ROSBERG, GER, MERCEDES, 367
2 LEWIS HAMILTON, GBR, MERCEDES, 355
3 DANIEL RICCIARDO, AUS, RED BULL RACING, 246
4 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, GER, FERRARI, 197
5 MAX VERSTAPPEN, NED, RED BULL RACING, 192
6 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN, FIN, FERRARI, 178
7 SERGIO PEREZ, MEX, FORCE INDIA, 97
8 VALTTERI BOTTAS, FIN, WILLIAMS, 85
9 NICO HULKENBERG, GER, FORCE INDIA , 66
10 FERNANDO ALONSO, ESP, MCLAREN, 53
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