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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: the final chequered flag of the 2020 Formula One season

From driver farewells to a fight for third place in the constructors' championship, there is plenty to watch out for in the final F1 race of the season

Mercedes' George Russell in action with Haas' Kevin Magnussen during the Sakhir Grand Prix. Russell will be returning to Williams for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while Magnussen prepares for his final Formula 1 race this weekend. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace/File Photo) (Pool via REUTERS)

The final race of this year’s Formula One (F1) season will be held at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on 13 December. There is plenty to watch out for, with the third place in the constructors' championships still up for grabs. McLaren, Racing Point and Renault will be looking to make the most of this last chance.

The paddock will also witness a series of farewells this weekend. Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will finally part ways after six years. Vettel, after a bittersweet time with the Maranello-based outfit, will move to Racing Point (the team will be rebranded Aston Martin) for next season. Replacing the German at Ferrari will be McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. The last of these driver merry-go-round farewells involves Daniel Ricciardo, who will leave Renault to take Sainz’s seat at McLaren. Kevin Magnussen will also drive his last race for Haas. The 28-year-old Danish driver has said he's treating the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as his final race in F1.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez during a press conference on 10 December ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. (Photo credit: FIA/Handout via Reuters)
Racing Point's Sergio Perez during a press conference on 10 December ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. (Photo credit: FIA/Handout via Reuters)

Racing Point's Sergio Perez, who grabbed his first race win in F1 at Sakhir, Bahrain, last weekend, will be looking to impress potential suitors. The Mexican, who is currently fourth in the drivers standings for 2020, is still without an F1 seat for next season. Perez's performance at Abu Dhabi could potentially help his case as the debates around him taking Alex Albon's seat at Red Bull Racing for 2021 refuse to die down. Albon, meanwhile, could further strengthen his grip on a 2021 seat for Red Bull if me manages a strong result in Abu Dhabi. Keep an eye out for this intriguing duel.

The biggest talking point ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, however, is Lewis Hamilton, who will return for Mercedes this weekend. The seven-time world champion was ruled out of Sakhir after testing positive for covid-19. George Russell, of Williams, replaced him and came agonizingly close to a maiden F1 win. It will be interesting to see if Hamilton has the energy to pick up his 12th victory of the season or if there will be a different race winner this time out in Abu Dhabi.

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