Sebastian Vettel's departure from Formula 1 is the big topic of the season finale in Abu Dhabi. But there is more to talk about in the Persian Gulf.
Unrest at Ferrari
The Scuderia reacted. During the week there were media reports that team boss Mattia Binotto would have to leave after this season. Alfa Romeo's Frédéric Vasseur is said to be the favorite to succeed him. Ferrari replied that the rumors were completely unfounded. Charles Leclerc also dismissed it. There are "always rumors about Formula 1 and Ferrari in particular," said the Monegasque driver. "I think we shouldn't pay too much attention to the rumours." But it is true: Ferrari has been chasing a driver's championship since Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 World Championship triumph. The pressure on Binotto is growing. The name of the German McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl was also mentioned in the speculative bubble surrounding his possible replacement.
Lewis Hamilton has his last chance to continue his impressive streak in Abu Dhabi: he has won at least one race every year since his Formula 1 debut in 2007. No other driver has done that before him. The seven-time world champion is now also contesting his 200th Grand Prix for Mercedes in Abu Dhabi. That's 20 more than Michael Schumacher for Ferrari as second in this ranking. "It's been a great journey, I'm incredibly proud of it," Hamilton said before the final about his relationship with the Silver Arrows. It shows that loyalty is part of his canon of values. "I look forward to continuing that." Hamilton's contract expires at the end of 2023, but he wants to stay with Mercedes for several more years.
Springboard for female racers?
Formula 1 has launched a new junior series. The so-called F1 Academy is only intended for female racing drivers and is intended to pave the way for them to move up to the higher classes W Series, Formula 3, Formula 2 up to the motorsport premier class. There is no such thing as a woman with a Formula 1 cockpit. The W Series, which once started with high hopes, even had to end its season prematurely due to financial problems. The women's motorsport series continues to fight for its future but welcomed the new series formed for 2023. F1 Academy female drivers must be at least 16 years old. The field will consist of five teams with three cars each. The premiere racing calendar includes seven events with three races each.