Job Done for Red Bull. Ferrari cannot catch them for 2nd in the Constructors and Daniel Ricciardo has secured 3rd in the Driver Standings. Max Verstappen can go better, outscoring Vettel’s Ferrari by at least 5-points this weekend will promote him to 4th in the Standings.
With 15 podium appearances between them (16 including the team’s first of the season courtesy of Daniil Kvyat), including fantastic wins in Spain and Malaysia, the mood will be a positive one in the Red Bull Racing garage this weekend. Ahead of the season finale on the tricky Yas Marina circuit, Daniel Ricciardo said,
“I’ve always gone well in Abu Dhabi; it’s been really enjoyable in the past, especially the last sector underneath the hotel, that’s great fun. It has a bit of a street circuit style to the layout, which I enjoy. Also, I had my first ever Formula One test at this track so it holds good memories and has generally been good to me.
As it is the last race of the season I usually have some friends out for some fun and there is always a good atmosphere. It’s kind of like the Middle Eastern Monaco, and it definitely has that vibe to it. There are usually some celebrities and good parties knocking around that weekend which adds to the buzz of the season finale.”
– Daniel Ricciardo
With the expectation of a Mercedes 1-2 again this weekend, it looks to be a fight for the final podium place between the Red Bull drivers. If Max Verstappen can claim 3rd place here, he will match Ricciardo’s podium tally for the season, which isn’t too shabby given the Aussie’s four-extra Grand Prix in the RB12.
2016 has been a breakthrough year for Max Verstappen, a baptism of fire that was extinguished at the first opportunity. The promising Dutchman said,
“The track design in Abu Dhabi is quite different; there are a lot of low speed corners and combinations. The unique layout means it is challenging, a small mistake during one of the many corner sequences can ruin a lap. It is also important to have a strong car in the last sector to keep the tyres alive.
I think we can look back and be very happy with 2016. There is plenty of work to do for next year with the regulation changes and I think everyone is excited to see the new cars so I can’t wait to get started.”
– Max Verstappen
Verstappen had the standout performance last time out but would have to do something beyond spectacular to catch the eye around here, the title fight will take center stage.