Scuderia Ferrari team members flew out of Brazil on a direct flight to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season. The team is set for one last effort, absolutely determined to end a positive year with a flourish, after it returned to winning ways this season with four victories, having been front runners in almost all the races.
Goals. Among this weekend’s goals are securing second place in both championships. In the Constructors’, the Scuderia leads Mercedes by 19 points, while in the Drivers’, Charles Leclerc arrives in the UAE equal on points with Sergio Perez, but ahead of the Mexican by virtue of having more wins. As usual, the 14th edition of this race is being held at the Yas Marina circuit, which underwent some modifications last year to improve the show.
Three drivers again. Three drivers will be on duty at Yas Marina for the Scuderia. In accordance with this year’s regulations, Robert Shwartzman will be back, having his second outing of the season, replacing Carlos Sainz at the wheel of the F1-75 in the first free practice session. This will give the team’s test driver a head start for this coming Tuesday, when he has the car to himself all day as part of the young driver test. During this session, Charles and Carlos will both drive the other car, as part of a Pirelli test of the 2023 tyres.
Programme. As always, the race gets underway at dusk, with most of the other sessions taking place late in the day. Free practice starts on Friday at 14 local (11 CET) while the second session begins at 17 (14 CET). On Saturday, the final hour to set up the cars is scheduled for 14.30 (11.30 CET) prior to qualifying at 18 (15 CET). The 14th Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will get underway at 17 local (14 CET).
Three questions to…
RICCARDO ADAMI, RACE ENGINEER CAR #55
1. Can you tell us about your passion for motorsport and the path that brought you to Scuderia Ferrari?
“It all started during my studies at university, I realized I was really passionate about the technical aspects of motorsport. I found that I loved learning about all the aspects of this fantastic world. It was then easy for me to decide to progress from there, partially by luck, to F1 and finally to Ferrari, having a lot of fun in doing what I’m doing”.
2. This weekend we race at Abu Dhabi. Which kind of track is Yas Marina? What will it involve for you, engineering two drivers, starting with Robert and the switching to Carlos?
“The track was quite radically changed last year, making it faster and with more overtaking opportunities. It’s now even more challenging in terms of understanding tyre behaviour and the wing level choices. Having Robert in FP1 will be interesting, as it’s always nice to see the enthusiasm and the approach of a young driver to F1. We’ll give him the best opportunity to learn, understand and to test few important things that will be useful for Carlos and Charles during the rest of the weekend and for next year’s car development”.
3. This is Sebastian Vettel’s last race. You worked with him at Scuderia Toro Rosso and again during the six years he spent at Ferrari. What are your best memories on the track with him, and what was the legacy he left that you can see today in the team’s processes?
“There are a huge number of great memories with Seb both on and off the track. It’s difficult to pick just a few! I definitely remember his first epic win in Monza 2008 (with a Ferrari engine). The first unexpected win with Scuderia Ferrari in Malaysia 2015 at his second race with the team. The many wins and podiums in both 2017 and 2018 when, with a slower car, we were able to challenge the dominant team (Mercedes) for the title right to the very end of those seasons. Seb has brought quite a lot to the team in term of methodologies, attention to detail, he was pushing for improvements at all levels. We put a lot of effort into developing the simulator and it’s now a much better tool that it was back then.”.