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Formula One reaches the end of the 2020 world championship season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Join The Roar for live race updates and a blog of the last race of the year from 12:10am (AEDT).
In a season full of irregularities, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix maintains its traditional spot as the final race, with the end-of-term vibe very much being felt throughout the sport.
While the championships have been wrapped up, it is all about recovering some lost pride in this final race for the likes of runner-up Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton returns after missing the previous race with a positive COVID test.
The focus of attention this weekend will be the battle for third in the constructor’s championship, which sees Racing Point lead McLaren by ten points and Renault a further 12 behind the Sakhir Grand Prix winners.
Yas Marina is a vastly technical circuit, with little opportunities for overtaking across the 5.5 kilometres during the 55-lap race. The DRS zones are long, including the record 1.14-kilometre straight, but it may be pit strategies which cause the major shuffling.
With Hamilton not 100 per cent fit after missing the last race, Verstappen capitalised during qualifying and claimed his first pole position of the year. The Dutchman was 0.025 seconds faster than Bottas with less than a second covering the top three.
McLaren qualified the best of the midfield cars, as Lando Norris was a stunning fourth quickest on the same row as Hamilton. Carlos Sainz starts sixth, as the only Racing Point in the top ten is eighth and Renault have both cars in tenth and eleventh.
All will be wary of Sergio Perez too, who despite starting from the rear of the grid in what could be his final Formula One race can still pose a threat to the top ten and help Racing Point secure third in the championship.
It is a weekend of farewells too for many drivers with their current teams, as Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Ferrari, Sainz to McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo to Renault, while the likes of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat are out of Formula One altogether.
For one last time in 2020, tune in on The Roar for Formula One live blog updates of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with coverage to start at midnight AEDT. Will it be Hamilton who makes a twelfth win of the season? Or can this crazy year produce one last twist for Formula One?
Lights out: 12:10am (AEDT)
Venue: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Previous winner: Lewis Hamilton
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 4. Lando Norris (McLaren), 5. Alexander Albon (Red Bull), 6. Carlos Sainz (McLaren), 7. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), 8. Lance Stroll (Racing Point), 9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), 10. Esteban Ocon (Renault), 11. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), 12. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), 13. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 15. Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo), 16. George Russell (Williams), 17. Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas), 18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), 19. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), 20. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)