Here we are almost at the final Formula 1 race weekend of the 2019 season. We started off this weekend with the penalty announcement for Valtteri Bottas who has to start the Sunday’s race from the back of the grid due to the replacement of the Power Unit on his W10.
From what we have seen in the last few days, Bottas has acquired a good pace on the Yas Marina track. On the other hand Hamilton’s car has had some engine problems which forced the driver to return to the box for a control.
“Bit of an unusual Friday, to be honest,” said Hamilton. “Just getting into the rhythm wasn’t really possible for me today – but you have your good and bad days. Nonetheless, the car still feels good.”
Bottas and Grosjean have been involved in a crash during FP2 but following on from that Valtteri has still been the fastest.
The Finn expressed his version about the collision saying “Honestly I thought he would see me coming because he was… trying to cover the line, but I thought he was aware I was there.”
Ferrari has had problems too with Sebastian Vettel who has lost his SF90 in FP1, whereas Charles Leclerc has "kissed" the wall but fortunately nothing has happened to his car.
Instead Red Bull handled the final practice with Max Verstappen who earned the best time and Alex Albon who finished fourth ahead of the two Ferraris which were the only ones who used medium tyres.
Moreover McLaren drivers - Lando Norris and Carols Sainz - ended FP2 side by side and thanks to Norris’ Friday statement we found out his purpose for the race:
“My aims for this weekend [are] trying to get ahead of [Racing Point’s Sergio] Perez in the drivers’ championship and trying to go 11-10 in qualifying,” he said.
Currently Saturday’s Qualifying are finished and tomorrow we will see Lewis Hamilton starting from the pole position. By doing so Mercedes still retains the pole and win record.
Also Bottas took part in Q3 despite his penalty and Hamilton was awarded the first position with 1m 34.779s ahead of Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen.
"I'm looking forward to the battle," said Hamilton regarding Verstappen’s second place.
Leclerc was the fastest in Q2 with medium compound tyres on, but he made a mistake in the last qualifying round so he will start from the third position behind Verstappen, meanwhile Vettel will start from the fourth position after a terribile last lap.
What a pity for Toro Rosso whose drivers will start from the 12th and 14th positions. Pierre Gasly has to settle for the twelfth position on the starting grid.
Sergio Perez’s 11th starting position could help him to confirm his 6th place in the Driver Standings.
Lando Norris will start from the 7th position which is important because he could remount during the race to consolidate his position in the Drivers Championship.
Everything seems prepared for a exciting challenge between Hamilton and Verstappen.