Abu Dhabi GP diary: Kimi's send-off, Alonso racing with 'El Plan' on wing

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ABU DHABI - The build-up to this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been dominated by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's title decider, but there's plenty going on across the paddock worthy of attention.

As the final race of the current season the race marks the end of several things, including the Formula One career of the sport's most experienced driver, Kimi Raikkonen.

The Iceman says goodbye

Raikkonen is known to be fairly unemotional about most things -- the prospect of his final race seems to be another of them.

His Thursday press conference went by as you might have expected. He joked yesterday his wife Minttu will likely be more upset about it than he will.

Alfa Romeo are running a goodbye message to the 2007 world champion on their car this weekend and have a mural on their garage paying tribute to him.

In a unique gesture you don't normally see from one active driver to another, Raikkonen's teammate Antonio Giovinazzi -- who is also facing what is likely his last F1 race having signed to race in Formula E next year -- is running the Finn's 2007 title-winning helmet to mark the occasion.

Would the real Gene Haas please stand up

End-of-year photos are a tradition for Formula One teams. Each team informs their staff to iron their shirt in the morning, turn up outside the garage at a designated time and stand in perfectly ordered lines for a year book-style photo.

But what happens if the most important person in your team can't make? Simple: Lean on your PR office's photoshopping skills to alter history and make sure no one ever knows the difference.

Such was the case at Haas on Friday when the team released its end-of-year photo with a beaming Gene Haas front and centre. However, zoom in on the photo and it became clear that, unlike the rest of the team, Haas' face was lit from the left rather than the right. Zoom in closer and it became very clear that the team owner's head had been digitally stitched onto someone else's body.

The internet doesn't stand for such things, and the doctored photo was quickly called out on Twitter. Haas took the feedback in its stride, releasing a photo of Friday's Godzilla attack on the Yas Marina Circuit with a Haas car photoshopped in the foreground ...

Williams gets the King's Man treatment

Williams has a new sponsor this weekend. The team has paired up with 20th Century Studios to promote the upcoming King's Man movie at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of its UK release on Dec. 26.

George Russell, competing in his final race before replacing Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next year, got the chance to dress for the part in the pit-lane ahead of the weekend.

The King's Man logo is on the Halo and the side of the car.

Russell is also one of the many drivers running a one-off helmet for this weekend's race -- his is a white lid covered in personal messages from Williams colleagues at his farewell race.

El Plan

Fernando Alonso has made plenty of references to "El Plan" this year. The phrase is on the back of Alonso's car this weekend.

He has not specifically explained what it is, but it stems from his clothing range Kimoa releasing a shirt with the slogan "Trust the plan".

The Kimoa website states "Fernando Alonso and THE PLAN that has been talked about for a few months on social networks, in the grand prix stands, in forums, in the paddock backstage...Trust THE PLAN, it is already underway..."