The Scuderia has never won a race at the Yas Marina course and want to end another somewhat disappointing season on a high after a collision between their drivers Sebastian Vettel (right) and Charles Leclerc two weeks ago in Brazil. Photo: Darron Cummings/AP Photo
The Scuderia has never won a race at the Yas Marina course and want to end another somewhat disappointing season on a high after a collision between their drivers Sebastian Vettel (right) and Charles Leclerc two weeks ago in Brazil. Photo: Darron Cummings/AP Photo

Ferrari have a lot to prove in F1 season finale

Time of article published Nov 28, 2019

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ABU DHABI – World champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team

would be excused if they decided to take things a little easy at

Sunday's Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi while rivals Ferrari

will have plenty to prove.

The Scuderia has never won a race at the Yas Marina course and want

to end another somewhat disappointing season on a high after a

collision between their drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

two weeks ago in Brazil.

In addition, teams are already preparing for 2020 which marks the

last year before sweeping regulation changes in the sport.

"Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the start of the 2020 season in many

ways, with most teams trying out ideas for next year during Friday

free practice," Vettel said.

Vettel and Leclerc were ordered for talks at the Ferrari headquarters

ahead of the season-ender as team principal Mattia Binotto insisted

the team "must make sure that something like that doesn't happen

again."

Ferrari have just three wins this season as they failed again to

seriously challenge Mercedes who ran away with the drivers' and

constructors' world titles for the sixth straight year.

Binotto praised a fightback after the summer holiday "with three race

wins in a row and a run of six consecutive pole positions, as well as

our win in Monza" but what they really want is to finally win the

drivers' crown again they last lifted through Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

"Of course finishing second will never be good enough for Ferrari and

we are looking ahead to a very intense winter to keep building as a

group. The aim is to come back stronger to be up to the challenges

that await us," Binotto said.

Vettel has three wins in Abu Dhabi from his term at Red Bull where he

won four world titles. But Hamilton is the record winner with four

top spots at the night race on the 5.554km course, and with another

success would move within seven of Michael Schumacher's record 61

race wins.

Vettel also faces finishing behind a team-mate for only the second

time in his career (the other being in 2014 behind Daniel Ricciardo

at Red Bull) as Leclerc ranks 19 points ahead of him.

But the impressive Ferrari debutant Leclerc will not only want to

keep Vettel at bay, he also still has the chance to finish the season

in third by reclaiming that spot he lost through the Sao Paulo

collision with Vettel.

Leclerc is 11 points behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen into fourth due

to not finishing in Brazil - with Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate

Valtteri Bottas long assured of first and second.

Abu Dhabi also marks the last F1 race for now for German Nico

Hulkenberg who has received no new contract at Renault and failed to

find another team.

dpa

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