High voltage at Ferrari - The Leclerc-Vettel rivalry is far from over, although the Monegasque stated he was “pretty sure” clashes with his teammate are not happening again, from which we could not hear anything today. In fact, Vettel’s arrival in the UAE is due tomorrow after the birth of his first child, who (rumour has it) may have been named Lewis. The German was supposed to be facing the media in the FIA presser alongside his teammate, but the awaited confrontation was hindered by Vettel’s personal life event.
Therefore, further clarification and views on the crash are set to be postponed to tomorrow, as Mattia Binotto will also speak to the media.
Kubica’s send off - After F2 driver Nicholas Latifi has been announced by Williams as their 2020 driver alongside George Russell, the line-ups on the grid for next year are now sorted.
“Definitely I'm looking for a big challenge, and definitely DTM, which is the highest probability that I will be racing [in], it's probably the toughest championship apart of Formula 1 in Europe.
"I think, let's put it this way, if I would manage to be racing there, I would be happy with it - and if we manage to combine a few things to make everybody happy, I'm open to this”.
Apparently Robert Kubica is likely to announce his future plans soon, as he made his intentions clear about a double commitment between F1 and DTM. His main sponsor PKN Orlen’s preference would be keeping a link to F1, if not a full-time presence. Two options are currently in place for the Pole, who is either heading towards Racing Point or Haas. Günther Steiner spoke to the media earlier today and set a deadline about the offer he advanced to Kubica. “I hope we get good news next week”, he said, as he never hid that talks had been held between the Kannapolis-based outfit and Kubica.
A table for two - Another way to read through the lines in today’s press conference (divided into two parts) is the double fight for 3rd and 6th place. The first part featured Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, whereas the second part saw Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly, who are tied at 95 points to P6. Ironically, the two closed in to P6 thanks to their maiden podium finises in Brazil.
On the contrary, there is a 11-point gap between Leclerc and Verstappen, which is a rather high amount of points to gain in just one race. Therefore, it will be interesting to keep an eye on these two final shots.
A silent farewell - With Latifi joining the 2020 grid, Nico Hulkenberg is now officially out of the picture for next year. Hence the Abu Dhabi GP will be his last in F1. The German driver was not featured in the FIA press conference and had the chance to speak in his team sessions only, without getting any TV time before his send-off. Moreover, his announcement concerning his future plans is still due after months of speculation, which would picture him in DTM.