2015 Formula One Driver Battles: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Edition

This weekend is the final round of the 2015 F1 season. Although there are no titles to be decided in the season closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there is still plenty at stake in the drivers standings.

 

Battle of the Finns

The battle between Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen has reached a fantastic climax with Raikkonen having closed the gap to Bottas to one point.

Kimi Raikkonen at the 2015 US Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) at 2015 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX” by Mike Boudreaux is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many will be hoping they are battling for the same piece of track like they have done in Russia and Mexico, rather than one being dominant over the other, which is what happened in Brazil.

 

Red Bull

After Brazil, Kvyat has managed to increase his advantage over his teammate to ten points. Ricciardo will need to finish fifth or higher to beat Kvyat, and that is hoping the Russian doesn’t score points in Abu Dhabi.

 

Battle for Tenth

Hulkenberg now finds himself in tenth place in the standings, three points ahead of Grosjean and Verstappen.

Although with his recent up turn in form making Hulkenberg likely to secure tenth place, if he fails to finish it opens the door for either Grosjean or Verstappen to take tenth away from the German.

 

Grosjean v Verstappen

Romain Grosjean driving for Lotus in 2015
Romain Grosjean at the 2015 British Grand Prix / photo taken by Franziska is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Even if Hulkenberg is clear of the Lotus and Toro Rosso it doesn’t mean that there is less excitement during the race as Grosjean and Verstappen will then be fighting over eleventh in the standings.

They are level on points, forty nine each, and were dicing on track in Brazil, with some brilliant overtakes by Verstappen making this, along with the Bottas/Raikkonen battle, a key fight to look out for.

 

Nasr v Maldonado

After Brazil the gap between the two has closed, they are now level on twenty seven points after Maldonado finished tenth in Brazil.

This means that if either gets into the points, even tenth place, it is likely to secure them thirteenth in the standings.

 

Other Battles

Over the past few races I have identified other battles in the standings. Who would claim second was decided in Brazil after Rosberg sealed the position, finishing ahead of Vettel.

Although anything can happen it looks like the Williams inter team battle is finished with Massa needing a twenty point swing in his favour to beat teammate Bottas.

The battles between Sainz/Button, Alonso/Ericsson and the inter team battle between the Manors is unlikely to see any changes in position in the standings, although if the race has high attrition, it could open the door for these battles.

Sainz
Carlos Sainz pushes STR10” by Michael Elleray is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Wrap Up

There are two main battles to look out for during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Bottas/Raikkonen and Grosjean/Verstappen. There are other fights that could still see change but would require sizeable shifts in points.

So, although the final round won’t see a title decider, there is still plenty to decide and look out for during the Grand Prix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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