Abu Dhabi - Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team will be aiming to end an already-triumphant season on a high while the chasing pack scrap for points, positions and prize money at this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Much more than pride will be at stake for the middle and lower order teams, as they seek to finish strongly and boost their 2018 budgets, in the twilight showdown at the Yas Marina circuit.
Hamilton has already wrapped up his fourth Drivers’ world title and Mercedes its fourth consecutive Constructors’ championship, but team principal Toto Wolff said the team was determined to win in Abu Dhabi for the fourth year in succession.
"Regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship," he said. "Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our 'diva' in her final race and to win.
"We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did, and this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year.
"But we have not been on the top step of the podium since winning in Austin and we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi."
Hamilton was the victor in Texas a month ago and, like his team boss, wants to end his season strongly with a 10th victory this year.
"I'm going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi," said Hamilton, who has seen rivals Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari win the past two Grands Prix.
Vettel will also be keen to impress again and clinch second place behind Hamilton in the Drivers’ championship. He goes into the weekend with a 22-point advantage over Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.AFP