It's now the Race to Abu Dhabi

Its now the Race  to Abu Dhabi
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg crosses the finish line to win the Abu Dhabi GP at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi last year. - AFP

Abu Dhabi - 160 kilometres far away in Abu Dhabi, it is anything but calm and it is perhaps, the calm before the impending storm.



By James Jose

Published: Wed 23 Nov 2016, 11:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Nov 2016, 11:37 PM

After the Race to Dubai, it's now the Race to Abu Dhabi, quite literally speaking.
Last weekend saw a slow burner of a contest in European Tour golf, with the tussle for the Money List coming right down to the wire at the pristine surroundings of the Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the 'Iceman' Henrik Stenson taking the spoils.
But 160 kilometres far away in Abu Dhabi, it is anything but calm and it is perhaps, the calm before the impending storm.
The sprawling Yas Marina Circuit, in the UAE Capital, has been witness to many a title decider and run-ins, in the past seven renewals of the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. And it again throws up another fascinating battle, a shoot-out between two teammates for the Formula One World Championship.
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are locked in combat for the Drivers' title, going into the final lap of the 2016 season and the season finale over the weekend promises drama, which could possibly put many soap operas to shame.
Rosberg is chasing a first, while his British teammate Hamilton is eyeing a fourth as he makes it to the top annals of motor racing.
It is the not the first time though that the pair have been at it. Not too long ago, 2014, in fact, the duo landed in Abu Dhabi with the drivers' title on the line.
Hamilton was in the lead and held that slight advantage going into the race. And with double points on offer for the last race, the Briton went for the kill, while Rosberg's hopes went up in smoke after his car - the Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid - encountered issues.
This time though, the shoe is on the other foot, so to say, with Rosberg holding a crucial 12-point edge and the German, the son of former world champion Keke Rosberg, will hope that 2014 doesn't show its face again.
The scenarios are quite simple for Rosberg and he has five of them.
He will win the championship if he finishes on the podium, irrespective of where Hamilton finishes. Rosberg can still win if he finishes sixth or higher and Hamilton doesn't win. The 31-year-old can still win if he finishes eighth or higher and Hamilton is no higher than third. Rosberg can still take it if Hamilton finishes fourth or lower, regardless of where the German finishes.
And if it does come down both drivers not able to finish the race, the title is Rosberg's to keep.
Meanwhile, Hamilton has three options, where in, he wins and Rosberg is fourth or lower, Hamilton finishes second and Rosberg finishes outside the top six or the Briton finishes third and Rosberg finishes outside the top eight.
So, it is all to race for this weekend. Fasten your seatbelts.
james@khaleejtimes.com


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