Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

November 18, 2022
Last Updated:
November 18, 2022

It's 21 rounds down and one more to go for Formula One as the sport visits Abu Dhabi for what has become the traditional F1 season finale. Although the drivers' and constructors' champions have long been settled, millions of dollars in prize money are at stake up and down the grid, so there's plenty left to play for.

It's the first trip to the scene of so much controversy, with 2021's last lap finale still a sore subject for many fans even 12 months later. But, as fate would have it, a new drama surrounds F1 for this year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ironically, it stems from the 2022 champions in the aftermath of Max Verstappen's much-criticised decision not to help teammate Sergio Perez last weekend. So all eyes will be on Red Bull to see how the situation may escalate.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

What to watch out for in the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The aforementioned Red Bull drama stems from Verstappen not obeying team orders in Brazil to help Perez pursue P2 in the drivers' championship. Red Bull may have won four constructors' titles in the past, but have never taken a 1-2 finish with their drivers, something the team clearly wishes to tick off their bucket list.

In statements following the São Paulo GP, Red Bull seems to be putting on a unified front, saying everything is okay within the garage. However, how the drivers behave on track may tell a different story, and all eyes will be on the aggrieved Perez, who claims Verstappen only had two championships because of his help.

Away from Red Bull, there are plenty of stories around the paddock to make this Abu Dhabi race weekend a must-watch. The rumour mill suggests Ferrari is looking to sack Team Principal Mattia Binotto if they haven't already done so behind closed doors. Sebastian Vettel will race in F1 for the final time on the circuit where he became the sport's youngest world champion. And his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo will contest his last Grand Prix for the foreseeable future.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli Tyre Choices

It's a return to the softest three tyre compounds from Pirelli in Abu Dhabi. The C3, C4, and C5 rubber will be available for all runners thanks to the modern track's low-degradation characteristics. In addition, the circuit redesigned the stop-start sections of Sector 2 last year into a more flowing layout, further helping tyre life.

Of course, rain won't interrupt proceedings over the weekend, but Pirelli will run more than just the three tyre compounds above at Yas Marina Circuit. The post-season tyre test comes on Tuesday to give the teams and Pirelli a chance to see how the new 2023 tyre compounds perform.

Who could win the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

We go into a race without a Red Bull driver as the victor of the previous round for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix in July. Mercedes finally came good on their post-summer break improvements to record their first 2022 win last time out, and they did so in style with a 1-2 finish.

It may be premature to suggest George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are the favourites for the win in Abu Dhabi, but the bookies think both Mercedes men and Verstappen are the three most likely drivers to take to the top step. Hamilton has never completed a season without a race win, so Abu Dhabi is the last chance saloon to keep that remarkable record around.

Elsewhere, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez are on level points in P2 in the championship. Although it may not mean much to fans, the importance to the drivers became apparent with the team radio pleas from both men in Brazil. Of course, a win for either would secure that vice-champion title, but the harsh reality is they're likely chasing a podium finish at best.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix U.K. Start Time

It may be a day-to-night race that sees the season out, but the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is an afternoon affair for us in the U.K., with the race starting at 1PM and Saturday's Qualifying at 2PM.

2022 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sky Sports Live Coverage

Qualifying – On air: 1PM, Session start: 2PM Saturday 19th November

Race – On air: 11:30AM, Session start: 1PM Sunday 20th November

2022 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4 Coverage

Qualifying – 6:40PM Saturday 19th November

Race – 5:30PM Sunday 20th November

2022 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Weather Forecast

Qualifying & Race – You'll be shocked to hear that it's set to be a warm and dry weekend in the Middle East. Forecasts have lows in the mid-20s and highs in the low-30s with no chance of rainfall.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 Preview

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