F1 Raceweek: Countdown on to Alonso farewell

The countdown is on to the final race of Fernando Alonso's Formula One career at the Abu Dhabi Grand Priz this weekend.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso is retiring from F1 to focus on a second attempt at the Indy 500.   -  Getty Images

This week marks the end of an era in Formula One, as the career of one of the sport's greatest drivers comes to an end.

Fernando Alonso will retire from F1 after Sunday's season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, instead focusing on his World Endurance Championship campaign and a second attempt at the Indy 500.

A two-time world champion with Renault, the general consensus is that Alonso should have enjoyed far more success over the years.

However, a series of ill-timed moves have seen him catch some of the biggest teams during periods of underperformance.

With that in mind, Alonso's F1 career is unlikely to finish with any kind of flourish at McLaren and he will leave with his last win having occurred during the 2013 campaign.

But the Spaniard will nonetheless be the focus of much of the spotlight this week, with Lewis Hamilton having already wrapped up the drivers' title and the constructors' crown already in Mercedes' possession.

Sunday also sees Kimi Raikkonen drive for Ferrari for the final time, ahead of his move to Sauber next season.



One of the biggest stories of the week is the potential return of the Dutch Grand Prix to capitalise on the popularity of Max Verstappen.

F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is quoted as saying he is "very interested" in racing in the Netherlands.

Verstappen clashed with Racing Point Force India's Esteban Ocon in Brazil a fortnight ago and the Frenchman's future is still up in the air.

With Williams seemingly his only option of a drive next season, he has been linked with being a reserve driver for both Mercedes and his current team.

And Hamilton could be set for a grid penalty in the final race of the season.

Mercedes noticed significant damage to his engine during the race at Interlagos, meaning some form of change may well be needed and a sanction incurred.




1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 383 – Champion
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 302 (-81)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 251 (-132)
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 237 (-146)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 234 (-149)


1. Mercedes 620 - Champions
2. Ferrari 553 (-67)
3. Red Bull 392 (-228)
4. Renault 114 (-506)
5. Haas 90 (-530)

RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

FP1 (13:00-14:30)
FP2 (17:00-16:30)

FP3 (14:00-15:00)
Qualifying (17:00-18:00)

Race (17:10-19:10)


The five constructors' titles won by Mercedes have all been secured before the final race of the season, however 2018 has seen them record their lowest tally of victories (10), pole positions (12) and points (620) of their five triumphs.


2017: Valtteri Bottas
2016: Lewis Hamilton
2015: Nico Rosberg

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :