June 9, 2023

Formula One has reached its final race and Abu Dhabi will determine who will be crowned the F1 World Champion and which team will take home the Constructors’ title.

After a whirlwind of chaos and penalties in Saudi Arabia, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are tied for the world title at 369.5 points each, creating a ‘winner takes all’ scenario at Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It will boil down to whoever wins or snags the most points.

However, there is the possibility of finishing with the same number of points. In this scenario, 24-year-old Verstappen will win his first World Championship due to the tie-breaker advantage. He’s won nine races this season to Hamilton’s eight, the most recent being in Saudi Arabia.

This is the first time in two title contenders have been level in points heading into the season finale since 1974.

World Championship— Hamilton vs. Verstappen

Mercedes has taken every pole and win at Abu Dhabi from 2014-’19, and it was expected they would once again in 2020 until Verstappen shocked the Formula One world when he claimed his first pole position of the season.

While he hopes to repeat on Sunday, Verstappen has yet to be the fastest qualifier since the United States Grand Prix in October. He most recently crashed in the wall during the final turn of qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

As Verstappen fights for his first world title, some drivers voiced in interviews with Formula One that they believe the 24-year-old will bring the trophy home this year. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel said Michael Schumacher is his hero, and “for that reason, I probably don’t want Lewis to win” while others focused on the season as a whole.

“It will depend on the package a little bit; Mercedes lately have been more performing and they’ve won a couple of races now, but Max is driving – in my opinion – one step ahead of all of us,” Alpine’s Fernando Alonso said. “We saw the [qualifying] lap in Jeddah, until he touched the wall at the last corner, that lap was coming from Max, not the Red Bull.

“In a way, that’s my opinion: Mercedes deserve the constructors’ championship because the car is superior and Max, maybe overall in the year, was driving one step ahead of everyone.

“It’s not that I support Max, it’s that he deserves it, in my opinion.”

Hamilton is chasing a record-breaking eighth title after winning the last four. Since the track was first included in 2009, the 36-year-old has snagged five Abu Dhabi poles.

Schumacher set the record after winning seven titles between 1994 and 2004, which Hamilton tied during the Turkish Grand Prix last season.

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