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Lewis Hamilton can close out his championship season in style by winning the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton had the title won before the Brazilian Grand Prix, but he will still be keen to finish on a high.
There is added motivation for Hamilton after losing out to Sebastian Vettel, his chief rival from Ferrari, in Sao Paulo. By the same token, Vettel will want another win as he looks to lay down a marker as Hamilton's main threat again for next season.
Max Verstappen is talented enough to challenge both Hamilton and Vettel next season, but the Red Bull Racing driver needs to cement his rise by winning at Yas Marina.
Here are the schedule and viewing details for the big race:
Date: Sunday, November 26
Time: 1 p.m. GMT, 8 a.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports F1, Channel 4, NBCSN
Hamilton will be a deserved favourite based on his title-winning form this season. He is already anticipating a close battle with Vettel at Yas Marina.Hamilton impressed during the second practice session.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images
Having been timed the fastest during the second practice session on Friday, Hamilton spoke of how close Vettel kept things, per James Galloway and Pete Gill of Sky Sports: "But there's only a tenth between us. It's close—and it's good that it's close. I think Red Bull have a bit more to come—as do we. Between us and Ferrari, it's closer than you think."
The reference to Red Bull shows Hamilton is aware of the threat posed by Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Competition will be fierce for Hamilton, but he has spent most of the season being a cut above the contenders.
Mercedes still has the vehicle to outstrip all other cars on the circuit.
Vettel couldn't keep pace in P2, but he did clock the fastest time during the opening practice session, per Sky Sports F1:
Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1
The times from Practice One in Abu Dhabi SSF1: https://t.co/UHqGmloxB9 Blog: https://t.co/kIeylFtXGf #SkyF1 #AbuDhabiGP #F1 https://t.co/9akI1oMaEs2017-11-24 10:34:46
The German is already showing the potential for a strong finish to the season. Ending his campaign on a high is important to Vettel, who emphasised the importance of winning the final race for Ferrari, per the Daily Telegraph: "[But] to win the last two races would show that we are heading in the right direction, and that would be very welcome."
Vettel will likely still be ruing the stretch of seven races without a win that ultimately cost him the championship. Yet he was in firm control before crashing in Singapore back in September and being forced to retire in Japan in October.
He couldn't finish the job, but Vettel has done enough this season to prove he can push Hamilton all the way again in the next campaign.
Verstappen isn't short of confidence ahead of Sunday. The 20-year-old has made it clear he is only targeting first place at Yas Marina, according to James Benson of the Daily Express.Verstappen wants a win to finish his season.Mark Thompson/Getty Images
There is no doubt Verstappen is a precocious talent, but he also needs to start putting some big wins together to justify Red Bull building the team around him for years to come.
The Dutchman signed a new contract in October to stay with the team until 2020. Now is the time for Verstappen to start proving his credentials as a future champion in the making.
Having the championship wrapped up will test whether Hamilton is still focused enough to win. He couldn't in Brazil, and it may be Vettel has greater motivation to prove a point in the season finale.
Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2745903-abu-dhabi-f1-grand-prix-2017-start-time-drivers-tv-schedule-and-more