Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul, in the white shirt, has more at stake than most at Yas Marina. File photo: Alan Walter / Reuters

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi - The Formula One season winds up in Abu Dhabi on Sunday with both titles won, Lewis Hamilton aiming to close the year on a winning note and big money still at stake for those further down the paddock pecking order.

While four times world champion Hamilton's Mercedes team mates can again look forward to healthy year-end bonuses, others are scrapping for crucial points that could swell their 2018 budgets.

Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas are just six points apart, with the difference between sixth place and eighth in the Constructors' championship equivalent to about $12 million (R167 million) when it comes to revenue distribution.

Renault Sport F1 head Cyril Abiteboul, his team four points behind Toro Rosso and two clear of Ferrari-powered Haas, said: "This race is almost a championship in itself."

There is extra needle in the showdown with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso using the Renault engines for one last time before switching to Honda.

Double figures 

At the top, Hamilton will be determined to grab a 10th win of the season - making it the fourth consecutive year that his tally has gone into double figures and giving him a warm glow through the winter.

"I'm going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi," said the Briton, who won his title in Mexico in  Ocotber but has failed to make the podium in his past two races.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will also be looking for bragging rights by becoming the first non-Mercedes driver of the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014 to finish in the top two of the championship. He's 22 points clear of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, who can only finish runner-up if he wins and Vettel scores no more than two points.

Felipe's farewell

Ferrari has yet to win in Abu Dhabi but Vettel and Hamilton, who was given a hero's welcome when he returned to the Mercedes factory this week, have both triumphed three times at Yas Marina's floodlit circuit. For Brazilian Felipe Massa, with Williams, Abu Dhabi will be a final farewell to the sport.

"I am looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula One career on a high note," said the 36-year-old, who won 11 times for Ferrari in a career that will end after some 270 races.

It could also be goodbye for Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, each uncertain to be retained by a team whose engine partner Ferrari is keen to place its own young talent.

McLaren will also be saying 'sayonara' to Honda after an ill-fated three year partnership that promised much but delivered only failure; the former champion will be using Renault power next season.

The days of entirely open cockpits are also numbered, with 2018 set to usher in a new 'halo' era and the introduction of a head protection device whose looks will change the cars' aesthetics.

This week will also see Formula One's first virtual world champion crowned with the finals of the inaugural eSports series on Friday and Saturday.

IOL Motoring