The last race of the 2019 Formula One season provides Scuderia Ferrari with the opportunity to move past the disappointing outcome of the Brazilian Grand Prix, where the Italian side’s drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, were involved in a regrettable incident which took both of them out of the race. The Maranello team is now fully focused on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and is targetting a positive end to the year, in order to prepare for the 2020 season, when Ferrari will hope to successfully challenge Mercedes.
However, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, an event which begins in sunlight and continues through the Arab night, will definitely not be an easy task for Ferrari, especially due to the fact that the third sector of the Marina Bay Circuit does not suit the characteristics of Ferrari’s SF90 vcar. Engine power will be very important in the first two sectors of the track, but the twisty and slow last sector can prove difficult to manage for the Italian side, which was already the case during the first two practice sessions that took place on Friday.
In addition to this, histoy is not on Ferrari’s side when it comes to the Marina Bay Circuit, where the Maranello team has never won and has never started a race from the first row. On the other hand, Mercedes has won the last five events in Abu Dhabi (three victories were scored by Lewis Hamilton, while Nico Rosberg won in 2015 and Valtteri Bottas two years ago). Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel does have three victories here, but all of them are linked to his Red Bull period. The German driver did finish second for Ferrari last season and will now look to score the Scuderia’s first win at the 5.554 kilometre track.
According to SportsBettindDime, Lewis Hamilton is favored in Abu Dhabi at 7/4, narrowly ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (3/1) and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (4/1). The odds portend an extremely tight battle, which makes sense on the heels of a hard-fought race in Brazil. But Hamilton isn’t just favored because of name recognition and his dominance over the Drivers Standings. His Mercedes ought to perform well on the windy track at Yas Marina. Shut out in four straight, look for the Briton to take the chequered flag in the final race of the year.