Chris Medland's 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

What time does the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix start? What channel is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on? The answers to all of that and more in F1i’s race preview

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race Day - Abu Dhabi, UAE

It all comes down to this. The 2016 F1 drivers’ championship will be decided in a showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Rosberg goes into the race as the heavy favourite, with the German becoming champion for the first time if he finishes on the podium. For Hamilton, the triple world champion knows nothing less than third place will do. The roles were reversed at the Yas Marina Circuit two years ago as Hamilton won the title, but as we have seen on many occasions, title deciders can throw up all sorts of drama. Will Rosberg seize the moment or take a cautious approach which could open the door for Hamilton?

On top of the championship decider, Abu Dhabi marks the last race in the F1 careers of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button (though the latter insists it may just be a year off racing for McLaren), and the final grand prix at Force India for Nico Hulkenberg before his move to Renault. There’s going to be a few tears one way or another…


Hamilton has been supreme since Rosberg’s victory in Suzuka, not putting a wheel wrong as he has won three straight races to take the title down to the final round. Perhaps his best performance was in the wet in Brazil, where he even had the measure of the sensational Max Verstappen. Red Bull continues to pose a threat to Mercedes, but will do well to close the gap further in Abu Dhabi and is likely to be in a tight battle with Ferrari. Force India is likely to have the edge over Williams once again, while Haas should perform well if its form in Bahrain earlier this year is anything to go by.


Pole position: Nico Rosberg, (Mercedes), 1:40.237

Top three: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 1:44.517

SESSION TIMES (All times local)

FP1: 13:00 - 14:30

FP2: 17:00 - 18:30

FP3: 14:00 - 15:00

Qualifying: 17:00 - 18:00

Race: 17:00


©Pirelli Motorsport

©Pirelli Motorsport


If you’re hoping weather could play a part in this weekend’s race after the excitement of Brazil, I’m sorry to disappoint. Abu Dhabi remains one of the most predictable races on the calendar in terms of conditions, with a forecast of warm and sunny conditions on all three days, with temperatures in the high 20s. While FP2, qualifying and the race take place at sunset, the stable weather suggests temperature drops will be consistent throughout the weekend.


Sky Sports F1 - Live coverage

FP1 - 0845

FP2 - 1245

FP3 - 0945

Qualifying - 1200

Race - 1130

Channel 4 - Live coverage

FP1 - 0855

FP2 - 1255

FP3 - 0955

Qualifying - 1155

Race - 1200


1st - Lewis Hamilton

2nd - Nico Rosberg

3rd - Daniel Ricciardo


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