Why Mercedes' Abu Dhabi advantage might be an illusion

Why Mercedes' Abu Dhabi advantage might be an illusion

At a glance, Mercedes appears in prime position to seal a 15th Formula 1 win of 2019 in the Abu Dhabi season finale. But though it may still be tricky for Mercedes' rivals to catch up, all signs point to a closer fight, in qualifying at least, than practice suggests

Mercedes had a big advantage on the timesheets after the first day of free practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but an edge of just under four tenths might prove to be an illusion.

While Valtteri Bottas set the pace, he is using a brand new power unit after suffering a failure at the Brazilian Grand Prix. This means two things: first that the quicker Mercedes driver on Friday will start at the back, whatever happens. But there's a second and more significant factor.

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