Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said Brazil’s “incredible” 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows is less likely as the outgoing Constructors’ Champions do not expect to be quite as competitive in Abu Dhabi.
This was because of, according to Wolff, the circuit’s characteristics, however the Austrian did add: “Given the surprises we’ve had this year with the W13, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Mercedes finally found the winning key in Sao Paulo, having knocked on the door in America and Mexico, the preceding races, as George Russell won both the Sprint and Grand Prix around Interlagos as the Briton took his first F1 wins.
The Brackley team have an outside chance of snatching second in the Constructor’s Championship from Ferrari, who have at times had the fastest car in 2022.
Speaking of the 19-point gap to the Italian team, Wolff said: “The points gap to Ferrari is the smallest it has been all year. Hopefully we’ll keep this positive momentum going to end the year strong.”
Mercedes has a great record in Abu Dhabi, winning every race held around the Yas Marina circuit between 2014 and 2019, with Lewis Hamilton winning four of those six races.
Hamilton and Mercedes looked set to win last year’s season finale, and the World Championship, at the same circuit before the controversial conclusion allowed Max Verstappen to pass the Mercedes and claim his maiden title for Red Bull.