Deciding the Dhabi double in the desert

This weekend marks the last race on the Formula 1 calendar.  The curtain closes at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with double points on offer for the top ten finishers.  Stories from the paddock have been flooding in as the season decider draws closer.  But one story dominates all: who will walk away from the desert as World champion?

From the beginning of the season, Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been locked in battle, leaving the rest of the field to struggle in their dust.  So the WNOL Sports team have decided to give you a run-down of the main factors that contribute to this desert duel.

Lewis

Abu Dhabi History

Since its introduction to the race calendar in 2009, Lewis Hamilton has had varying luck at the Abu Dhabi GP.  He has taken pole twice at the Yas Marina circuit (2009 and 2012).  His highest finish came in 2011 when he won the Grand Prix after pole sitter Sebastian Vettel retired on the first lap with a puncture – the first time since the race’s inception that a Red Bull had not taken the flag.

Other than finishing second in 2010 and seventh in 2013, he has two retirements to his name, albeit both having been in a McLaren Mercedes car.

Nico

Abu Dhabi History

Unlike Hamilton, Nico Rosberg hasn’t won at the Yas Marina circuit.  Every finish he has had has resulted in a top 10 finish with his highest placing being third in 2013, qualifying on the second row of the grid alongside Hamilton.  Rosberg’s other finishes saw him come in ninth (2009), fourth (2010) and sixth (2011).  His only retirement came in 2012.  His car came into contact with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, meaning a trip to the pits to replace a broken front wing.  Rosberg then collided with Narain Karthikeyan’s stricken HRT, putting an end to an abysmal race after 7 laps.

Abu Dhabi: The Breakdown 

Hamilton currently goes into the Abu Dhabi with a 17 point lead over his team mate.  However, a major factor for the final round on the F1 calendar is the points on offer.  Double points are awarded for the top 10 finishers, effectively giving the german more opportunities to clinch the title.

Showing fast pace around the Yas Marina circuit, Hamilton is very effective when given a reliable car.  As a former world champion. He knows of the glories that come with it.  But with the good comes the bad.  Having won his title in the final race in 2008, he has also lost a title on a last race decider – 2007 to Kimi Raikkonen.

Rosberg comes into the race looking for his first Championship, full of confidence as he comes into the race on the back of a win in Brazil two weeks ago, and sharp jibes as seen in Thursday’s press conference.

The track offers little room for error, eradicating most attempts at overtaking even with the two DRS zones available to drivers.  So qualifying will be key in this battle of the Silver Arrows. A good start wouldn’t go amiss either.

When it comes down to it Rosberg has to make sure that he finishes ahead of Hamilton.

 

Lewis and Nico Stats

Who do you think will snatch the the 2014 World Championship?

Photo credits: Mercedes AMG F1 (Twitter), Mark McArdle, emperornie, Mercedes AMG F1 (Twitter)

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