The last Grand Prix of the year always means the end of several stints. So, heading into this week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, here’s what is coming to an end and is possibly coming to an end at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season:
- The longest season in F1 history, at 21 Grands Prix.
- Potentially, Lewis Hamilton’s run as World Champion after back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.
- Certainly, Felipe Massa’s F1 career and potentially, Jenson Button’s. Massa will make his 250th and final Grand Prix start this weekend in a career dating to 2002; Button will make his 305th start in a career that’s been even two years longer, since 2000.
- The stints of Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Kevin Magnussen (Renault), Esteban Gutierrez (Haas) and Esteban Ocon (Manor) at their respective teams. Hulkenberg’s been with Force India in 2012, then 2014 through 2016, while Magnussen, Gutierrez and Ocon will leave their current teams after one year apiece.
- Scuderia Toro Rosso’s run with year-old Ferrari engines. The team will switch to Renault power units in 2017.
- Pirelli’s 2016 specification tires, with newer, wider and bigger tires having been tested this summer and fall before coming into play for 2017.