This weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the final round of the 2022 Formula 1 season. While the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships may have been settled, this past weekend’s race in Brazil showed us there is still plenty the teams and drivers are fighting for.
In a surprise turn of events, it was Mercedes’ George Russell who claimed his maiden F1 win at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton finished second, despite making contact with long-time nemesis Max Verstappen during the early stages, to cap off a great weekend for Mercedes.
However, the conclusion of the race was shrouded in acrimony when Verstappen bluntly refused to obey team orders, leading teammate Sergio Perez to comment on the Dutchman’s character.
While things seem to have simmered down following a closed-door discussion, it will be interesting to see how the Red Bull drivers get along in Abu Dhabi.
As always the weather will play a key role in determining how the race unfolds.
Friday, Practice 1 and Practice 2
Given that this isn’t a sprint weekend, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will feature a traditional weekend schedule with the first two practice sessions taking place on Friday.
Unsurprisingly, the final weekend of the F1 season is expected to be a dry affair with the chance of rain essentially in the single digits.
Air temperatures on Friday are set to peak at 34 degrees Celsius, with wind speeds topping out at 14 kilometers per hour.
The first practice saw Mercedes continue their good form with Hamilton leading his teammate Russell at the top of the standings.
The conditions for the second practice session are likely to be as picturesque as the first though there will be a sharp decrease in the temperature as the sun goes down.
Saturday, Practice 3 and Qualifying
Saturday’s conditions will essentially mirror those on Friday with the air temperature slightly lower at 32 degrees Celsius.
Wind speeds are expected to break past the 20-kilometer-per-hour mark at around 15:00.
The cooler conditions could impact the running order with Mercedes in particular looking good to build on their form from the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The slight cloud cover that hovered over the Yas Marina Circuit will disappear on Sunday with the race expected to run under perfect conditions.
While wind speeds are expected to go past 30 kilometers per hour, the race’s 17:00 start time will ensure that conditions start to settle down a bit.
It will be interesting to see if the decrease in temperature throughout the race affects the performances of certain cars over others.