Hamilton has the 'ADVANTAGE' at the Abu Dhabi GP, says track designer

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ‘will have the ADVANTAGE’ at the modified Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, says track designer Jarno Zaffelli – as he warns Max Verstappen he ‘has to get the very best out of himself’ to win F1 world title

  • A thrilling F1 season comes to an end on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 
  • Title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are tied on 369.5 points apiece
  • The Yas Marina Circuit has been modified this year and is expected to be faster 

The track designer of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix believes Lewis Hamilton has the odds in his favour to emerge as F1 world champion again on Sunday as his Mercedes should outperform Red Bull.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Hamilton go into the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit tied on 369.5 points apiece – although the former leads on the account he has more race wins (nine to eight).

The track this year has been modified to promote overtaking by removing some low-speed corners for faster and smoother ones.

Lewis Hamilton has reason to smile going into the Abu Dhabi GP, according to its designer

Max Verstappen is tied level on points with rival Hamilton (left) going into the F1 season finale

However, Jarno Zaffelli believes the modified Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will only benefit Mercedes

Zaffelli said Verstappen ‘has to get the very best out of himself’ to have any chance on Sunday

And reflecting on the tweaks made, its designer Jarno Zaffelli feels this will only benefit Hamilton and Mercedes.

‘If I look at the last few races, I have to say that Mercedes will have the advantage here,’ the Italian told De Telegraaf.

‘Max really has to get the very best out of himself and hope that the car is a lot faster.’

‘The circuit is smoother and therefore the chance of overtaking is a lot greater. The drivers like that a lot more. In each of the previous six races, the man who started from pole position has won. Now it will be much harder to block an attack. Moreover, the two straight pieces have also become a bit longer.’

‘The battle will be epic and I hope they both make it to the finish line. Verstappen is not without a chance, but everything has to be right.’

Verstappen and Hamilton will be going wheel-to-wheel at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the title

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