Lewis Hamilton locked up the Drivers’ Championship two races ago in Mexico.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport made it five straight Championship doubles last time out in Brazil as they locked up the Constructors’ title. But that doesn’t mean the team is going to take it easy in the season-ending race at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Hamilton will be looking for his 11th win of the year, which would match his career high set in 2014. Valtteri Bottas, who is still chasing his first win of 2018, is in a three-way battle for third place in the drivers’ standings with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. Bottas currently sits in fourth place, 14 points behind Raikkonen and three ahead of Verstappen.
Team Principal Toto Wolff:
“The celebrations in Brixworth and Brackley last week were a very humbling experience. Claiming the fifth consecutive double championship – an experience that only very few people in the sport have had before – felt amazing and we all cherished that moment. At the same time, everyone is extremely keen to continue to raise the bar together and be even stronger in 2019.
“For now, we have one race to go in 2018 and we want to put on a great show for the fans who supported us through the season, be it at the track, in front of their TV or on social media. The championship pressure is off, so we can look at this as one race where we can really go for broke. Our Silver Arrow has won 10 races so far this season and we all want to add one more to that score – especially Valtteri, who has lost out on wins this season through bad luck and team orders. We know, too, that it will be a tough battle because both Red Bull and Ferrari will have the same target of taking good momentum into the winter.
“We have taken four wins in a row at Yas Marina, although it’s a track with a lot of slow and medium speed corners. We’ve made some good steps forward when it comes to our car’s performance on similar tracks, so we’re confident that we can perform strongly in Abu Dhabi as well, and end this incredible 2018 season on a high.”