Ko At a track where Ferrari are yet to win and where Mercedes clearly seem to be struggling, just want chance does Max Verstappen have at winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Truth be told, it would be a fool’s errand to even think that the most consistent and staggeringly successful driver of this season will consider it tough to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But then, never say never in Formula, isn’t it?
The 2023 Formula 1 world champion from the Milton Keynes-based outfit will have a clear view of the track having taken pole at the Yas Marina. Not that Verstappen or his fans need any special pumping of confidence to win at Abu Dhabi; the man who’s made F1 orange has won previously at this venue and was, lest it be forgotten, the winner of the 2021 event here.
There was once a leave me alone Mr Bwoah moment in Abu Dhabi…
Not that the electrifying and ultimately, polarising event has been forgotten even today; they’ll be many and they’re entitled to their views who will have more than a thing or two to say about Abu Dhabi. Such a fascinating venue, where lest it be forgotten, icons like the Iceman Kimi drove brilliant races back in the day. Think of the 2012 “Leave me alone Grand Prix,” where Kimi crossed the checkered flag in a Lotus-Renault with quintessential coolness under pressure and zero bullshit persona.
Not that Verstappen wouldn’t like to be left alone to win at Abu Dhabi; Leclerc, however, will try his level best to better the pole sitter. The Ferrari, it shouldn’t be forgotten, begins from second on the grid while Oscar Piastri, such a fine spark of this grid, will hope to retain his third, at the very least.
SF 23 v MCL 60?
Can the young Australian with the soft smile beat Leclerc having at his disposal a really fast machine? This will certainly form a key narrative of a race where thanks to both slow and medium-fast corners, the SF-23 could be shown the mirror by the MCL 60.
Not that the Tifosi would appreciate that a bit and can they even be blamed? The most recent best result by a Ferrari driver was Sainz with his P3 (2021), which was arguably the most underrated effort in that controversial and dramatic event. However, Sainz would hope for a miracle and make something out of a race where at present, he hardly has a chance of a great showing.
Key battles ahead?
Several interesting battles lie up ahead as the season-ender is about to begin. But pragmatism suggests that last year’s winner at Abu Dhabi will retake another win: SportsTiger reckons it is clearly Max Verstappen’s race to lose. But again, can Leclerc work some magic as he did in suddenly producing that burst of speed in the dying moments of Q3 to take second which is when he was over a second down in that very quali run a few minutes earlier?
Having said so, SportsTiger requests you to place your bets cautiously and wisely and be mindful that gambling can be addictive and harmful in the end.