Verstappen takes routine win in F1 finale
Max Verstappen took a snug victory on the grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi forward of a nail-biting battle for second place between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Verstappen managed the race from pole with ease, managing his tires to perfection to make it to the checkered flag with a single pit cease when he’d initially meant to make two.
It was the Dutchman’s thirty fifth profession victory and prolonged his report for many wins in a season to fifteen.
“It was race,” he stated. “Unimaginable to win once more right here, and fifteenth win of the season is unbelievable.
“It’s been actually fulfilling to work with the entire workforce to have the ability to obtain one thing like this this 12 months.”
The battle to complete runner-up to the reigning champion was extra dynamic, with Sergio Perez unable to move Charles Leclerc for second place within the race and second within the drivers championship.
Perez ran a snug second within the first stint on medium tires, however the arduous compound Ferrari was extra aggressive, and the Mexican got here underneath stress previous center distance.
Their races diverged on lap 33, when Perez, having had his lead diminished to only 1.5s, got here in for a second set of arduous tires.
Leclerc stayed out and dedicated to a one-stop technique, organising a 20s chase in 24 laps and a possible grandstand end.
Perez’s progress was voracious, and he halved the hole with 10 laps remaining regardless of having misplaced treasured seconds in a duel with Lewis Hamilton.
Nevertheless it wasn’t quick sufficient to shut the hole, and Leclerc held second place – and took second within the drivers championship – by simply 1.3s.
“I used to be 110 per cent from the primary lap to the final lap,” he stated. “Actually, we had the right race for us. There was not rather more right now.
“We managed to make the one-stop work, so we’re actually completely satisfied.
“I actually hope subsequent 12 months we are able to do a step ahead to be able to combat for the championship. Contemplating the place we have been final 12 months, it’s a extremely massive step forwards.”
Perez was magnanimous in defeat, with third within the standings a career-best consequence.
“On the finish of the day I’ve obtained to be completely satisfied,” he stated. “I gave all of it.
“As a workforce we gave all of it by the season. After we come again we will probably be stronger subsequent 12 months.”
Hamilton was the opposite one-stopping frontrunning driver and arrange with an analogous problem imposed by Carlos Sainz, who loved tires 21 laps youthful in a ultimate 19-lap stint.
However the hole had simply shrank to lower than 2s when Hamilton pulled off the racing line with a hydraulics downside with three laps to go, robbing the game of a grandstand end.
Hamilton retired from the race, selling Sainz into fourth and George Russell, whose 5s penalty for an unsafe launched at his first pit cease put him out of podium competition, up into fifth.
Lando Norris secured sixth on the head of the midfield, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient for McLaren to overtake Alpine for fourth within the constructors championship with Esteban Ocon taking the flag behind him in seventh.
Lance Stroll completed a aggressive eighth as considered one of solely three drivers within the high 10 to make use of the medium compound twice, serving to him scythe up the order late.
Daniel Ricciardo noticed off the retiring Sebastian Vettel for ninth after a five-lap scrap to the flag.
Each drivers have been on one-stop methods, and whereas Vettel was significantly skeptical about its advantage, it launched Ricciardo up from thirteenth on the grid into the factors in his ultimate race for the foreseeable future.
Vettel’s sole level was sufficient to tie Aston Martin on factors with Alfa Romeo within the constructors standings, however the latter held sixth place on countback because of Valtteri Bottas’s fifth-place end on the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
The German, who has now retired from Method 1, ended the evening with some celebratory doughnuts on the grid.
Yuki Tsunoda completed twelfth forward of Zhou Guanyu, Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas.
Mick Schumacher led house Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen in sixteenth and seventeenth regardless of the German crashing with Nicholas Latifi earlier within the race, sending each right into a spin, and the Canadian again to pit lane to retire.
Fernando Alonso was the race’s solely different retirement, returning to pit lane with an influence unit water leak after 27 laps.