Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s year-long duel for the 2014 Formula 1 world title goes down to the wire this weekend in Abu Dhabi and both BBC Sport and Sky Sports F1 will have comprehensive live coverage of what promises to be an unmissable season finale.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit plays host to the final round of the championship for the fourth time in six years, and with double points on offer in the race, there is even more at stake for both title rivals this weekend.
Controversy continues to surround the FIA’s decision to award double points for the final race of the season and it’s easy to see why, and had the rule been brought in before, a total of three drivers’ championships would have changed hands over the last 20 years.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, who leads the 2014 championship by 17 points going into Abu Dhabi, would in fact still be chasing his first world title if double points were awarded in the final race of his championship-winning year back in 2008, and Bernie Ecclestone’s so-called ‘Abu Double’ could end up denying him a second.
Despite the lack of support from fans and some within the Formula 1 paddock over double points, it in turn sets up an intriguing final round battle for the world drivers’ championship.
After eight months and 18 races around the world which have seen two childhood friends and on-track rivals battle it out for the most coveted championship in four-wheel motorsport, it all comes down to the final showdown in the desert.
Hamilton is in pole position to secure his second world title, which would mean the Stevenage-born driver would become only the fourth multiple British world champion in the history of the sport, alongside grand prix legends such as Sir Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Graham Hill.
Abu Dhabi will be the fourth time Hamilton has been involved in a final-race title decider in Formula 1 since he made his stunning debut in the championship back in 2007.
He was in prime position to clinch the crown in his very rookie season with McLaren, but ultimately fell a heart-breaking single point short of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at the very last race in Brazil.
However, Hamilton would go onto prevail a year later in one of the most extraordinary finishes to a grand prix season ever, with his last-lap pass on Timo Glock at Interlagos securing him the title amid chaotic scenes.
The Briton then had an outside shot at glory going into the final round in Abu Dhabi four years ago, but despite a podium finish, he eventually had to settle for fourth overall.
After three years out of the title battle, Hamilton returned back to the sharp end in 2014 with his Mercedes team going onto dominate the championship following huge changes to the technical and sporting regulations in the off-season.
Hamilton and his German team-mate Nico Rosberg have shared out the majority of race wins throughout the season and despite a blip in the middle section of campaign, the Briton has dominated the final stages of the season with five consecutive wins from Italy to the USA, though perhaps Rosberg stole some of the initiative with his victory in Brazil last time out, his first win since his home race at Hockenheim in mid-season.
Despite his current 17-point advantage over Nico Rosberg in drivers’ championship, Hamilton believes it does not give him a margin of safety heading into the ‘Abu Double’ season finale, where 50 points are up for grabs for race victory.
Hamilton can afford to finish second to his team mate and title rival at Yas Marina and still clinch a second drivers’ crown, but the Briton knows that he cannot take his lead over Rosberg for granted and that securing victory in the twilight of Abu Dhabi should be his sole aim.
By this stage in 2013, the now outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel, who had already claimed the drivers’ crown, underlined his dominance by winning in Abu Dhabi and in doing so secured his seventh straight race victory.
This year’s race will be his final drive for Red Bull after an incredibly successful six years which has seen the German win four championships on the trott, while Fernando Alonso also makes his last appearance for Ferrari after a five-year association with the team, which yielded no world titles.
Vettel has won three of the five races staged in Abu Dhabi, but Mercedes driver Hamilton will be confident of adding to the one victory he claimed in 2011, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg will also hope to challenge for a victory which would increase his chances of winning his maiden world title.
All eyes will be on Yas Marina this Sunday afternoon as the duel for the world title concludes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and fans can follow all the dramatic action from the final round of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season on both BBC Sport and Sky Sports F1.
BBC Sport will broadcast the entire title-deciding Abu Dhabi weekend live on free-to-air television across BBC One and BBC Two as the season reaches a nail-biting climax at the Yas Marina circuit, with Britain’s Lewis Hamilton gunning for his second world title.
Live coverage begins on Friday morning with the first free practice session on BBC Two at 8.55am, followed by the second session at 1.00pm, with practice three also live on BBC Two at 9.55am on Saturday morning.
Then at the weekend, BBC One and BBC One HD brings fans live coverage of the must-see qualifying session and the race itself, with both sessions getting underway at 1.00pm.
Suzi Perry presents BBC TV’s coverage of the championship decider from Abu Dhabi across weekend where she will be joined by David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Allan McNish, all of whom will be on hand to provide lively analysis and discussion in the pits and paddock.
During the lengthy qualifying and race build-ups there will be plenty of new features and interviews to keep viewers informed and entertained, including David Coulthard’s grid-walk on race day.
Commentary comes from Ben Edwards and Coulthard, with Lee McKenzie and Tom Clarkson providing pit-lane updates and conduct interviews with the drivers and team personnel.
BBC Sport’s popular F1 Forum, presented by Suzi Perry, follows the conclusion of the BBC One race transmission on the BBC Red Button and online at 3.30pm, while highlights of the season finale following later in the evening on BBC Three at 7.00pm.
The BBC Sport website will have live streaming of all live BBC TV broadcasts, as well as additional live video content during including extra feeds such as driver tracker, on-board cameras, pits channel and a choice of commentary, plus interviews and analysis.
All of the BBC’s TV coverage will be available to view shortly after transmission on BBC iPlayer.
BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra will also have live audio commentary of every on-track session from Abu Dhabi with , Jennie Gow and Allan McNish.
In addition to all the live coverage, Formula 1 fans can get in the mood for the tense weekend of racing ahead by watching Classic F1: Title Deciders presented by Murray Walker, which will be shown again on BBC Red Button on Friday afternoon.
Friday 21st November Free Practice 1 – Start: 09:00 LIVE: 8.55am-10.35am BBC Two Free Practice 2 – Start: 13:00 LIVE: 1.00pm-2.35pm BBC Two Classic F1: Title Deciders with Murray Walker 2.30pm-3.35pm BBC Red Button Saturday 22nd November Free Practice 3 – Start: 10:00 LIVE: 9.55am-11.05am BBC Two Qualifying – Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.10pm-2.15pm BBC One Sunday 23rd November ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX – Race Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.10pm-3.30pm BBC One Post-Race Forum: 3.30pm-4.30pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm BBC Three
Sky Sports F1 will also have comprehensive live coverage of the drivers’ championship showdown in Abu Dhabi as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fight for the title under the spectacular floodlights at the Yas Marina circuit.
The race will be shown live and uninterrupted on Sunday lunchtime, along with the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday, all on Sky Sports F1, including a specially extended build-up to the crucial qualifying session on Saturday lunchtime.
Simon Lazenby will anchor Sky Sports F1’s live coverage throughout the weekend where he will be joined by regulars Damon Hill, Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert.
Ted Kravitz will provide the latest news and reports and from the pit lane alongside Rachel Brookes, who has been deputising for Natalie Pinkham in the last few races, while commentary on all on-track sessions is led by David Croft.
Martin Brundle will join Croft in the commentary box for both qualifying and the race, with former Williams driver Bruno Senna calling the practice sessions this weekend at his home grand prix, as well as providing his insights via the Sky Pad during the weekend.
During the race, a host of interactive additions, including on-board cameras, pit-lane feeds, the latest race stats and much more available via the red button and the Sky Sports for iPad app.
For those who won’t be at home, every second of the action can be seen via computers, laptops, mobiles and tablet devices on Sky Go.
Sky Sports will also have live coverage of the final rounds of the GP2 and GP3 Series from Yas Marina, with Will Buxton commentating on both championships for the final time this weekend.
Friday 21st November Free Practice 1 – Start: 09:00 LIVE: 8.45am-11.00am Sky Sports F1 Free Practice 2 – Start: 13:00 LIVE: 12.45pm-2.55pm Sky Sports F1 The F1 Show LIVE: 5.00pm-6.00pm Sky Sports F1 Saturday 22nd November Free Practice 3 – Start: 10:00 LIVE: 9.45am-11.15am Sky Sports F1 Qualifying – Start: 13:00 LIVE: 11.15am-2.35pm Sky Sports F1 Sunday 23rd November ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX – Race Start: 13:00 Track Parade: 11.30am-12.00pm Sky Sports F1 RACE LIVE: 12.00pm-3.30pm Sky Sports F1 Paddock Live: 3.30pm-4.15pm Sky Sports F1 Highlights: 5.45pm-6.45pm Sky Sports F1 . . .