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Three things to look out for at the Abu Dhabi GP
Posted on 29 November 2015
By Adam Cooper
The World Championship may have been decided some weeks ago but there's still a lot at stake for the two Mercedes drivers. Nico Rosberg will start from pole for the sixth race in a row having once again outpaced Lewis Hamilton, and he'll be gunning for a third consecutive win with which to end the season. Intriguingly Nico has also got a much higher mileage engine than his team mate, as they got out of synch when the German had a problem in Monza. As engines get older they lose a little power and of course potentially face reliability problems, so Nico will have his fingers crossed on Sunday. Lewis of course will be determined to turn the tide and finish his year with a victory. The first lap will be interesting!
<> Sergio Perez has been one of the stars of the Abu Dhabi GP weekend thus far, and the Force India driver will be aiming to earn his second podium of the season. He was third fastest in Q1, Q2 and on the first runs in Q3, but when it mattered on the final runs he was pipped by Kimi Raikkonen. Nevertheless his eventual fourth place was a pretty good outcome, and Perez will be hoping to benefit from any trouble ahead come Sunday. His team mate Nico Hulkenberg will start seventh.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will have his work cut out in the race after he found himself stranded in a lowly 16th place. There appeared to some confusion in Q1 as the team felt he had done enough to make it into Q2, and he abandoned his final run, only to find out that he had fallen short. Ferrari clearly has a good package here, and the race might have been a lot more interesting had Vettel been at the front, but his progress through the field will be worth watching. Meanwhile his team mate Kimi Raikkonen had one of his best sessions of the year as he secured third. Can he put the pressure on Mercedes, as he did in Bahrain?
Adam Cooper has been a motor racing journalist for 30 years. In his early days, he covered a variety of categories, including the WEC and IndyCars, and he also spent two years in Japan. He then focussed on F1, and has been to every Grand Prix since 1994. A regular contributor to Autosport, Autoweek and www.motorsport.com, he has also written several books, including a biography of 60s racer Piers Courage.