Max Verstappen wins in Abu Dhabi, while Charles Leclerc is 2nd on points

Max Verstappen wins in Abu Dhabi, while Charles Leclerc is 2nd on points
Written by nismiste
Max Verstappen wins in Abu Dhabi, while Charles Leclerc is 2nd on points

Red Bull still want to finish 1-2 in the standings.

Max Verstappen reached his 15th Formula 1 win of the season in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc used the one-stop strategy to place Sergio Perez second in the race and second on the points standings.

Perez and Leclerc tied for second in the standings after Verstappen failed to replace his teammate in the final round in Brazil. Perez started second after Verstappen and picked up speed on the new tyres. But Leclerc would have exhausted Perez’s advantage as the tires wore out and he took second place when Perez pitted for the second time.

Leclerc’s speed stabilized on his old tires and Ferrari chose to keep him on the track, behind Verstappen, who was once again on the track. And Perez was still more than a second behind Leclerc in the checkered flag as he charged towards Leclerc in the final laps. It’s important to note that Verstappen’s refusal to replace Perez in Brazil ultimately didn’t matter, as Leclerc finished second, three points more than Perez. If Perez had beaten Verstappen in the final lap a week ago, Perez would have lost by one point to Leclerc in the standings.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished fourth in the builders’ standings to ensure Ferrari was second against Red Bull and Mercedes’ George Russell was fifth. Lewis Hamilton had to withdraw from the race on the final laps due to a hydraulic problem.

Hamilton would probably have finished fifth without any mechanical issues with his car. Instead he finished without points with his first mechanical failure of the season. The problem also enabled Hamilton to finish the 2022 season without a win. For the first time in his career, Hamilton was without a win and a pole position for a season. This futility was due to a Mercedes car that wasn’t as good as Red Bull or Ferrari at the start of the season. Russell’s win at Interlagos a week ago was the team’s only win of the season.

Perez won two races in 2022 and Red Bull won 17 of the 22 races of the season. Leclerc won three races, while Sainz won the British Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel finished his last race in Formula 1 in 10th place. The four-time champion retires at the end of the season.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 20: Dutchman Max Verstappen drives (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 during the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates using Emirates. (Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

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