There are no Sprint race weekend changes, threats of rain, or loose-fitted drain covers lurking around to catch the teams and drivers out this weekend. That will be music to the ears of everyone involved after the non-stop nature of the sport's third trip to the USA last week, which will still affect many involved.
What to watch out for in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
You may have noticed that Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing have already won the 2023 championships, so there's no crowning moment or head-to-head title fight awaiting in Abu Dhabi. That doesn't mean the remaining teams have nothing to race for, though.
With each place in the constructors' standings representing roughly $10 million, there's a lot riding on how well everyone does under the setting sun at the Yas Marina Circuit. Only four points separate Mercedes and Ferrari, and McLaren boasts just an 11-point advantage over Aston Martin — those are easily overturnable differences.
Yet it's those at the bottom without the big budgets of these teams with the most at stake, with 16 points and some $40 million of potential prize money separating Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, and Haas. The fight for P7 may not sound glamorous, but it could be the springboard for a brighter future for whichever teams manage to avoid the ignominy of ending 2023 at the bottom.
2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli Tyre Choices
As in Vegas, Pirelli will provide the three softest tyres for the 20 drivers to race with. That translates to the C3, C4, and C5 rubber to tackle the 5.2km circuit on their tour of Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina.
Pirelli will stay busy after the race, too, with the post-season Young Driver test letting the stars of tomorrow gain familiarity with an F1 car. Tyre testing will also take place, but with the compounds remaining the same for 2024, aside from removing the C0 option, there's not much data for the teams to find from these versatile tyres.
Who could win the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?
Should Verstappen claim victory, it'll be 19 of 22 races the Dutchman triumphed at in 2023 and the seventh in succession as he continues being the class of the field. Should he beat teammate Sergio Perez once more, he'll also score double the points tally over the vice-champion driver in a real show of supremacy rarely seen in the sport.
Nonetheless, Perez and Charles Leclerc each led the race on merit last time out, so Verstappen may appear less invincible than this time seven days ago. Carlos Sainz should've started the race in P2 before a grid penalty, as Ferrari showed some late-season pace, further chipping the champion's armour. Finally, Mercedes have one last chance to prevent a winless campaign, although Lewis Hamilton and George Russell seemed unable to get their W14 cars to work on the Las Vegas streets.
2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix U.K. Start Time
The day-to-night race means the Middle East's evening timeslot translates nicely to early afternoon viewing for the U.K., with a 1 PM race on Sunday.
2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sky Sports Live Coverage
Qualifying – On air: 1 PM, Session start: 2 PM Saturday 25th November
Race – On air: 11:30 AM, Session start: 1 PM Sunday 26th November
2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4 Coverage
Qualifying – Highlights: 7 PM Saturday 25th November
Race – Highlights: 5:30 PM Sunday 26th November
2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Weather Forecast
Qualifying/Race – It's a warm weekend with highs of 28°C that drop to around 26°C for the session start times and no threat of rain throughout.