Now their winner-takes-all battle will be shown live on Channel 4, as well as on Sky Sports – which hosts all F1 races through its subscription services, having reportedly paid over £1bn for a five-year deal back in 2019.
Sky chief executive, UK and Europe, Stephen van Rooyen said: “Sunday’s Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the last decade, and could be an historic moment for British sport.
“We’ve chosen to gift the race to the whole country at Christmas through our partnership with Channel 4, so everyone can be part of a huge national moment as Lewis Hamilton goes for an historic eighth World Championship title.”
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit has undergone a series of changes in a bid to make the season finale even more exciting for drivers and fans.
Last weekend’s spectacular race in Jeddah, F1’s debut in Saudi Arabia, will live long in the memory after the new circuit delivered drama.
The Abu Dhabi GP has hosted the last race of the season for the past seven years, an honour the organisers pay a premium for in the hope of such an occasion as this.
Their eighth end-of-season event not only provides the conclusion to one of the most closely-fought, back-and-forth title fights in memory – it also takes place on a circuit altered to improve the spectacle.
“I’m looking forward to the finale in Abu Dhabi as they have modified the track there, which I’m really pleased about as I think it will present a new challenge to the drivers,” said Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport.
“I think they are going to enjoy it a lot more. The simulations we have done show the new Abu Dhabi is a better racing track with more opportunities for overtaking.”
Three main areas of the track have been reconfigured. A chicane has been removed, with a wider hairpin now forming turn seven, while four tight corners, 11 to 14, have also gone – replaced by one long, cambered turn.
Further alterations at the hotel section, turns 17 to 20, have been made to allow the cars to run closer together in an attempt to boost the number of overtaking opportunities on the circuit.