2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Preview
The 2016 Formula One World Championship season concludes this weekend with Round 21, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, from the Yas Marina Circuit
- Nico: “Nothing in this sport is easy, so this won’t be any different”
- Lewis: “I’m proud of everyone who’s been a part of this success”
- Toto: “After such a battle of endurance, the winner can say without doubt that they earned it”
- Paddy: “We will approach this weekend as we would any other”
- Vital Statistics: Yas Marina
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 – 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.
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Timetable
|Session||Local Time (GST)||Brackley (GMT)||Stuttgart (CET)|
|Practice 1||13:00 – 14:30||09:00 – 10:30||10:00 – 11:30|
|Practice 2||17:00 – 18:30||13:00 – 14:30||14:00 – 15:30|
|Practice 3||14:00 – 15:00||10:00 – 11:00||11:00 – 12:00|
|Qualifying||17:00 – 18:00||13:00 – 14:00||14:00 – 15:00|
|Race||17:00 – 19:00||13:00 – 15:00||14:00 – 16:00|
Weather.com Forecast (Accurate as of Monday 21 November)
|Thu||21 – 29°C||Sunny||0%||16mph ESE||57%|
|Fri||19 – 27°C||Sunny||0%||23mph ENE||57%|
|Sat||19 – 27°C||Sunny||0%||16mph E||50%|
|Sun||20 – 27°C||Sunny||0%||13mph ESE||52%|
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