Who’s hot and who’s not heading into the Abu Dhabi GP

Another Mercedes 1-2 this weekend would not be good news for Lewis Hamilton. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)
Peter J Fox/Getty Images

Formula One heads to Abu Dhabi this weekend of the final race of the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

While there are still many battles yet to be decided, the one everyone will have their eyes on is the championship battle between Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

A lot of questions won’t be answered until the checkered flag waves on Sunday, but here’s a look at who’s hot and who’s not heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes – HOT

It’s hard to pick a favorite, which is actually probably good news for Nico Rosberg. The German leads the points heading into the season finale, and will win the championship as long as he finishes on the podium. Between them, the Mercedes teammates have won the last two races here and have finished 1-2 – with Hamilton in front – in the last three rounds. Unfortunately for Hamilton, another 1-2 here – either way around – would give Rosberg the title.

Felipe Massa – HOT

Williams driver Felipe Massa is one of two Formula One veterans who will not be in the sport in 2017. For Massa, this will be his 250th and final Formula One start. He has finished in the points in all six races that he has competed in at the Abu Dhabi circuit, with his best finish of second coming back at the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP.

Force India – HOT

The Force India teammates of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have been on top form recently. Last time out in Brazil, Hulkenberg was running in fourth place early on when he suffered a puncture. This allowed his teammate to move up in the order, and Perez crossed the line in fourth. In the last two races at Abu Dhabi, both Perez and Hulkenberg have scored points, with Perez placing fifth here in 2015.

Haas – NOT

Unfortunately for the American-based Formula One team, their first season in the sport does not look like it will finish as well as it started. Back in Australia, there was a lot of rejoicing when Romain Grosjean crossed the line in sixth place. Three rounds ago, Grosjean scored points again at the United States Grand Prix, but the last two rounds have been disappointing for the team. At the Mexican Grand Prix, the Haas F1 cars finished 19th and 20th, and both of them were unable to make it to the finish line in Brazil. However, every race this year has been a new adventure for the team, and who’s to say that Abu Dhabi won’t be a track that fits their car?

Jenson Button – HOT

Along with the aforementioned Felipe Massa, Jenson Button may also possibly be making his final F1 start, as he has announced that he will not be racing full-time in 2017. However, it could in fact be a good send-off for the Brit, as the McLaren has performed well at heavy-braking tracks this season. Additionally, Button knows what it takes to stand on the podium here, having placed third here in 2009, 2010 and 2011.