Grand prix

Will Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez’s bust-up spill into Abu Dhabi? | F1

More Red Bull team orders?

The big talking point going into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s relationship.

Things got heated at the end of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix when Verstappen refused to give up sixth-place to aid Perez’s fight with Charles Leclerc.

While both drivers were keen to squish the beef after the race at Interlagos, it’s likely to be the main talking point in Abu Dhabi, particularly after speculation over whether Perez did indeed crash on purpose in Monaco qualifying.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted Verstappen will support Perez this weekend.

“We discussed it behind closed doors, the drivers have discussed it,” Horner said in Brazil.

“As a team, our focus – going into Abu Dhabi, with Charles and Checo tied on points – is to do our best that we can to support Checo, to achieve second place. 

“Max has obviously made that commitment as well so, as far as we’re concerned, it’s about looking forward, not looking backwards.”

Let’s see if it spills over into Abu Dhabi.

Last chance for Hamilton

It’s the last chance for Lewis Hamilton to protect his remarkable F1 record of winning in every season he has participated in since 2007.

Brazil was another missed opportunity for the seven-time world champion after contact with Verstappen put him out of contention.

It does mean that Hamilton has now finished second at five races this year. 

It’s unlikely Mercedes will be as competitive as they were in USA, Mexico or Brazil so that might be one record that comes to an end this weekend.

Goodbye Seb and Daniel!

It will be an emotional weekend as F1 says goodbye to Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo (for now at least in the case of the Australian).

Both drivers have given so much to F1, on and off the track.

Vettel will go down as one of the greatest drivers to have ever raced in the sport with four world titles, 53 victories and over 100 podium finishes. 

While the last couple of years haven’t been ‘vintage Vettel’, his performances in F1 2022 have been impressive and certainly not of someone who is retiring at the end of the season. 

A class act.

It’s easy to forget that just two years ago, Ricciardo was among the top four or five drivers on the grid after a scintillating year with Renault in 2020.

It’s not worked out for a variety of reasons with McLaren, partially down to the incredible level Lando Norris has been performing at.

Good enough to be a world champion in the right machinery, F1 will be a worse place without Ricciardo.

What’s still left to play for?

Outside the battle to finish runner-up, there’s still a number of tasty battles in the constructors’ championship.

Alpine are 19 points clear of McLaren in the race for fourth, while Alfa Romeo are just five ahead of Aston Martin.

Haas have a two-point advantage over AlphaTauri in the battle for eighth overall.

F2 is back

After a ridiculously long break, Formula 2 makes its return in Abu Dhabi.

Felipe Drugovich – who will make his F1 debut with Aston Martin in FP1 – has already wrapped up the title.

All of the attention will be on 2023 F1 Williams driver Logan Sargeant, who currently sits third in the standings.

The American needs a top five finish in the final standings to acquire the correct amount of super licence points to race in F1.

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