GP2, GP3 titles set to be decided in Abu Dhabi
While the battle for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will take center stage in Abu Dhabi, two other titles are also set to be decided this weekend.
Both the GP2 and GP3 Series, the first and second rungs below F1 on the single-seater ladder, will crown new champions at Yas Marina as their seasons come to a close.
The battle for the GP2 title has been one of the closest in recent years, with Prema Racing teammates Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly set to lock horns at Yas Marina.
Giovinazzi heads into the final round with a seven-point lead over Gasly, with 48 on offer across the Feature and Sprint races at Yas Marina.
Red Bull junior Gasly had been in the running for a seat in F1 with Toro Rosso for 2017, but was passed over in favor of retaining Daniil Kvyat.
The Frenchman is expected to remain part of Red Bull’s plans, with a move into the Japanese Super Formula series being mooted for 2017.
Giovinazzi could become the first rookie since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 to win the GP2 title, but his future is also unclear. The Italian is not affiliated with any F1 team, although he did recently enjoy a run in Ferrari’s simulator at Maranello. His next move, for now, is hard to predict.
An outsider for the championship is ex-Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello, but the 39-point gap to Giovinazzi means the odds are stacked well against the Italian.
Both the feature and sprint GP2 races are live on the NBC Sports app this weekend.
GP2 Abu Dhabi - Live Stream Times
In GP3, Ferrari youngster and Haas development driver Charles Leclerc could wrap up the series title on Saturday thanks to his 29-point advantage heading into the final double-header round.
Leclerc has enjoyed an impressive year spearheading ART Grand Prix’s domination in GP3, taking three wins. His nearest rival is teammate Alexander Albon, while Trident’s Antonio Fuoco also stands a chance of winning the title in Abu Dhabi.