The X-Factor At Yas Marina

November 26, 2017 by

F1 Abu Dhabi Excitement Builds

Forget about the title, the career-long rivalries, the championship positions.  These may all be very much on the priority cards at Yas Marina as the F1 season finishes under a flood of lights in Abu Dhabi, but more than all of these, there is one other reward that will be at play: pride.

For Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, Yas Marina represents signing off on a fourth title season with a victory.  After all, Mexico and Brazil have been bitter non-events, and Mercedes and Hamilton will be hoping to regain a certain measure of pride after these disappointing and embarrassing stints.

On a personal level, team-mate Valtteri Bottas will be looking to cement his runner-up position in the final standings. A victory would also come in very handy going into the winter break.

In camp Ferrari its Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who would probably enjoy nothing more than to cause an upset for Mercedes and Hamilton.  For Vettel especially, winning at Yas Marina will only further sweeten the Brazilian deal.  And then there’s Raikkonen who would very much like to remind Ferrari and his fans why he’s still around and racing, especially after a relatively strong F1 season.

The Added Force To Contend With

Whilst the foursome that is Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel and Raikkonen are already a lot to go on, let’s not forget about the newest addition to the big league: Red Bull.  Just ask Max Verstappen, who hung everyone else out to dry with his brilliantly stunning victory in Mexico.  Not to mention the ball of sheer energy that is Daniel Ricciardo, who has not been having the best season of it and will surely be looking to break his own personal podium curse.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner has voiced concerns to the tune of remaining hopeful that Renault will not end up resembling a glorified heap of scrap metal at Yas Marina as a result of a last minute scramble for MGU components.  Reliability is also a grave concern and the engines may very well have to be tuned down in the interest of reliability and making it all the way through all 55 laps.

Horner did seem to find solace in the fact that both engines held up pretty well in Brazil, but added that a fifth and sixth place simply wasn’t what anyone wanted, least of all men like Verstappen and Ricciardo.

A win or die philosophy seems to be the only option for team Red Bull.  No compromise or in-betweeners will be tolerated.

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