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exciting Abu Dhabi - Final race F1 World Championship 2016 - 25.-27.11.2016 - Preview -




F1 Worldchampion 2016  -  final GP at iconic Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE - the 'middle east 'Monaco'

- german Nico Rosberg and  british Lewis Hamilton take titel battle at iconic Yas Marina circuit Abu Dhabi
- british Jenson Buttons 'last race' Abu Dhabi Grand Prix  but with open options for 2018
- brasilian Felipe Massas last race, retiring  from F1 after 15 years of racing.
- new young drivers will join the F1 2017, canadian Lance Stroll and french Estebán Ocón.
- new Team principle McLaren Honda F1 Team, US business man Zac Brown.
- Abu Dhabi, UAE, the place to be,  travel with kids .. worlds best luxury kids club hotels
- US company Liberty Media new owner of the F1 business.


Interviews -  quotes
MERCEDES AMG Petronas
Nico Rosberg
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.

Lewis Hamilton
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 - however unlikely it may seem. I'll be proud of myself and what I've achieved as long as I feel I've given my all and performed at my best. And, whatever happens, I'm proud of everyone who's been a part of the success we've shared over the past few years. I'm approaching this weekend the same as I do every race. I want to win and I'll give it everything to finish the season on a high.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Last weekend we saw yet another classic Interlagos race. To come away from all the drama of the crazy weather, the re-starts and the extreme track conditions with a 1-2 finish was a special result. Of course, the bigger picture is an exciting finale in Abu Dhabi. To have the title decided between our two drivers at the final race of the season, for the second time in three years, shows just how closely matched they are. It also shows how much this team has achieved. We can be very proud of that. But, as a group, we now have one very important final duty this season - to give Nico and Lewis the platform they need to battle it out to the flag. Both of them have been exceptional and either one would make a worthy Champion. It's been a gruelling year for us all, with a record-breaking calendar and the added challenge of a new regulation set to prepare for in 2017. After such a battle of endurance, the winner can say without doubt that they earned it. We are all excited to see who that will be. May the best man win.

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-breaking year should conclude with the Drivers' Championship being fought right to the very end. It's great for fans of the sport. Of course, it also means significant tension within our particular camp - but the team has shown itself highly adept at managing this type of situation over the past few years. We will approach this weekend as we would any other, with the primary objective of ensuring that the title is decided on track in a fair fight. While there have been occasional issues over the course of the year, 2016 has actually seen the strongest reliability record in the history of this team - both technically and operationally - giving us good faith in the underlying progress that we've made. The drivers too are in great shape, so we're looking forward to a close and hard-fought competition. Pirelli have included the UltraSoft compound tyre for this weekend, so we could well see Qualifying times faster than ever before at this circuit. All in all, we're hoping for a spectacular finale under the magical setting of those Marina lights, giving everyone something to remember as we cap off an incredible year.


Red Bull Racing Team
Max Verstappen
“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.”

Daniel Ricciardo
“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
Fernando Alonso
“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.”

Jenson Button
“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
Pat Symonds
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-speed areas of turns two and three, and turns 15 and 16, really testing the cars. However, the set-up also needs to allow good low-speed change of direction. The two long straights have independent DRS zones giving drivers two bites at overtaking, or conversely, if they accomplish the overtake on the first straight, they must defend on the second. Pirelli are bringing the ultra soft tyre to this race for the first time, which could prove a difficult tyre to use as the numerous corners that make up sector three may well push this tyre above its ideal operating temperature, particularly as the prescribed pressure is significantly higher than we have used with this tyre before. Unlike Brazil, we can be pretty sure of a dry race here in the desert and, in spite of the introduction of the softer tyre, we would still expect a two-stop to be the favoured strategy.

Valtteri Bottas
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.

Felipe Massa
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-point threshold, which would be the first time ever for a Force India driver; Nico to close his Force India adventure on a high. This is a track that brought us some good results in the past and it would be special to end the season in style.”
 
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 - fighting for the podium against the Ferraris. Even though we fell short, it was a very good race and hopefully we can have another strong weekend after Brazil.
“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:
TOP  10  

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


Foto: copyright Mercedes AMG Petronas, all rights reserved




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