2017 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
The drivers are now on track and getting ready for the start of the race.
Here is a photo of all the drivers at the last race which was taken earlier today.
Below, you can see what some of the drivers and key members had to say ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso – “I’m quite happy that it’s the last race and we would like to finish on a high. It’s been a frustrating year so it’s good to say ‘bye bye’ to the year. I will do all I can this race.”
Pascal Wehrlein – “It’s a difficult time to say that I’m happy this year. We scored more points than last year and I’m just trying to always give my best.”
Ross Brawn – “I’ve lost my wife in the crowd somewhere. (laughs) I’m reasonably happy with the sport. We are starting to look at some fundamental changes – the viewings are going up and we have more fans attending the races. I’m very happy with the year so it’s good to see. I miss the sharp edges with the racing and I take a lot of satisfaction from looking at the plans for the sport for the future.”
Drivers are now getting in their cars ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the photo below is from the Ferrari Twitter page, showing what’s currently happening on Sebastian Vettel’s side of the grid.
Drivers are now making their way round the track for the parade / formation lap ahead of the race. The sun has started to set and weather conditions are looking great.
Lights out and Bottas retains the lead – Hamilton not getting the best of starts.
Magnussen spins and goes off-track however rejoins the circuit with no problem.
The top 5 drivers at the moment are Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen.
Hulkenberg reporting that Perez pushed him off-track, Perez radioing his team too.
Perez – “He needs to give up the position man, he needs to give up the position.” In regards to Hulkenberg.
Vandoorne goes off-track.
DRS has now been enabled.
Everyone has been well behaved – no incidents and no battles yet.
Hamilton seems to be closing the gap slightly to Bottas.
Perez – “What’s going on with Charlie man?”
Team to Perez – “It’s with the stewards, what exactly happened?”
Perez – “It doesn’t take a genius too know, he cut the corner.”
Ricardo who lost a lot of time at the start, has now started to close the gap to Vettel who has Hamilton and Bottas in front of him.
Lewis Hamilton now sets the fastest lap time of the race.
Valtteri Bottas now sets the fastest lap time of the race – he’s replying to Hamilton’s time. The top 4 drivers are quite bunched up, there’s not too much time between them.
Grosjean making his way past Lance Stroll who’s down in p14 and at the next corner, Lance Stroll now makes his way past Grosjean .
Team to Raikkonen – “OK, try and close the gap and let’s have a go.” Raikkonen has got Daniel Ricciardo in front of him and the team is giving him the go-ahead.
Grosjean makes his way past Lance Stroll however, Stroll brakes and managed to regain the position quickly – keeping his position in P13. The battle is continuing with these two.
Grosjean finally manages to make his way past Lance Stroll and keeps the position – Valtteri Bottas in the meantime now sets the fastest lap time.
There’s not too much going on – the front 5 drivers have stayed in the same position.
Lance Stroll now pits.
Alonso – “Can you tell me the distance with Massa and the times.”
Team to Alonso – “Understood.”
Fernando Alonso has now started to close the gap to Felipe Massa.
Team to Hamilton – “Lewis, if you can take Turn 9 in second gear to see about that vibration.”
There’s not too much happening in this Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – everyone seems to be in a relaxed mood and as mentioned, there haven’t been many overtakes or battles.
Verstappen and Raikkonen both come into the pits.
Verstappen has already closed the gap to Ocon – he’s right behind and manages to make his way past, chasing down Raikkonen.
There’s some issue with Hamilton – the team is trying to give him information and Hamilton replied – “Can you give me information at a minimum please.”
Perez now comes into the pits.
Piere Gasly spins on-track, he’s managed to turn the car the right way.
Team to Gasly – “Is the car OK?”
Gasly – “The car is OK, I just lost the rear completely.”
Fernando Alonso is now closing the gap to Massa.
Sainz has now closed the gap to Alonso who’s closed the gap to Massa – it should be a good battle here.
Raikkonen has now started to close the gap to Ricciardo.
Valtteri Bottas now sets another fastest lap time.
Ricciardo now comes into the pits – the team have seen that Raikkonen closed the gap but he manages to keep his position in P4.
Hulkenberg now manages to make his way past Grosjean.
Vettel comes into the pits.
Overall, it’s a calm Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Team to Ricciardo – “Ok mate, we’ve got a hydraulic problem. Switch off.”
Daniel Ricciardo is OUT of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – yellow flags in sector 2 to make drivers aware of the car.
Valtteri Bottas now comes into the means and Hamilton has taken the lead – setting a fastest lap time and taking full advantage of the clean air and the fact his team-mate has pitted for a tyre change.
Hamilton leading the race – he’s now lapping Vandoorne who’s at the back of the grid.
Fernando Alonso has now closed the gap to Massa, trying to make his way past – nearly going into the back of Massa at one point. The two battling round the corners however with DRS, Alonso manages to make his way past and is up into P11.
Lewis Hamilton now comes into the pits – will he manage to stay in P1 or will Valtteri Bottas re-take the lead?
Valtteri Bottas retakes the lead – setting the fastest lap time and is back in P1.
Hamilton now sets the fastest lap time – he’s closing the gap to Valtteri Bottas. Will we see a battle? The team haven’t got anything to lose now so they could let their drivers battle each other.
Vettel is back in P3 – he’s not as close to the front two Mercedes drivers and as mentioned above, it’s a very calm Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton is steadily closing the gap to Bottas.
Sainz – “One tyre is not on.” He’s out of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sainz – “Yeah, the front tyre is off.”
Team to Sainz – “Stop the car, stop the car.”
He’s out of the race through no fault of his own. The front left tyre was not bolted on properly following his pit-stop.
Wehrlein being told that Vandoorne has an issue and that he can put the pressure on both Magnussen and Vandoorne which is unusual for Sauber.
Raikkonen now making his way through the back markers along with Verstappen – making their way past Wehrlein and continuing through the grid.
Bottas is still leading the race – not much else has happened other than little battles here and there.
We will be bringing you all the latest driver reaction and interviews after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.