The Alpine F1 Team go into the final round of the championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with lots to play for, such as their fight with Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, and Fernando Alonso’s battle for the Most Overtakes of the Year.
Fernando Alonso had a disappointing Saudi Arabian Grand Prix which sees him needing a lot of overtakes to beat Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen to the Most Overtakes of the Year Award. The priority will of course be on securing the team fifth in the Constructors’ Standings, something which they have almost certainly done after some recent impressive results.
Alonso is looking forward to trying the new layout at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend, where he wouldn’t mind a mini-race with his fellow veterans.
“I think it’s been clear for a while that the circuit is quite difficult to overtake on and hopefully these changes can make the difference. It’s a shame when a title deciding race is tough to overtake on, but it’s a good track to race on and if there can be more overtaking it’ll naturally make it more exciting for us drivers and everybody watching. We like racing in Abu Dhabi and I am curious to see if it will change anything. I’m always keen for trialling new circuit layouts, so let’s see on Sunday.
“On the overtake of the year award, we’ve had some fun battles out there and with Sebastian (Vettel) and Kimi (Räikkönen) too who are also in contention for this award. Maybe we can have our own mini race on Sunday and see who gets the most overtakes.”
“There’s a unique buzz around the paddock” – Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon goes into the final round of the season on the back of both an amazing result, yet highly disappointing one at the same time. The Frenchman was just moments away from clinching a podium at Saudi Arabia, before being out-dragged to the finish line by Valtteri Bottas.
Ocon will be hoping that he gets another chance to fight for a podium this weekend, which based on how this season has panned out, is completely possible. The Frenchman goes into the final round wanting strong weekend, where there is a rush of excitement throughout the paddock.
“It’s a strange feeling for me leaving Saudi Arabia for Abu Dhabi. I’m so proud of what we achieved in the race with fourth place but, at the same time, there’s the slight disappointment at not taking a trophy there with us. We gave it everything we had and it was not enough, unfortunately, to take third. In my entire Formula 1 career so far, Abu Dhabi has always been the final race of the season.
“There’s a unique buzz around the paddock for the whole weekend as the season draws to a close with championship places still up for grabs. It’s another night race, which is becoming more and more regular now in Formula 1. They are always enjoyable as it gives you a different sensation of speed under the lights.”