World Champion Max Verstappen Wins Season-Closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen claimed a record-extending fifteenth win this yr with a “chic” efficiency for Pink Bull in Sunday’s tight and strategic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel headed into retirement with a degree. The 25-year-old Verstappen dominated from begin to end, however he was unable to help his Pink Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in his bid to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and take second place behind him within the drivers’ title championship.

Leclerc, driving with nice precision and consciousness, made his one-stop technique succeed by resisting Perez, on brisker tyres after two stops, within the closing laps to verify Ferrari completed second within the constructors’ contest as he did within the drivers’.

Carlos Sainz got here residence fourth within the second Ferrari forward of Mercedes’ George Russell, Lando Norris of McLaren, Esteban Ocon of Alpine and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.

Daniel Ricciarcdo completed ninth within the second McLaren and retirement-bound four-time champion Vettel was tenth in his last race, for Aston Martin.

“I want it could have been a pair extra factors,” stated the retiring German driver.

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“A giant day, thanks for all of the assist and the smiling faces. I am positive I will miss greater than I can think about,” added Vettel who heads into F1’s sundown with 4 drivers’ world titles, 53 race wins, 57 pole positions and a refrain of tributes ringing in his ears.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who ran in third regardless of struggling along with his Mercedes for a lot of the race, retired within the closing laps with hydraulics issues.

Hamilton, who misplaced out on an eighth world title in final yr’s controversial climax on this monitor, has ended a season for the primary time and not using a win.

Verstappen’s win was a 3rd in succession in Abu Dhabi and the thirty fifth of his profession. His engineer came visiting the crew radio telling the Dutch driver his twilight drive on the Yas Marina circuit had been “chic”.

However it was Leclerc who cried with aid as he crossed the road. “Sure, child, we acquired it,” he stated. “Good job guys, actually good race.”

After one other sizzling day, the competition started with temperatures falling from 28 levels as Alpha Tauri gave the departing Pierre Gasly a guard of honour as Aston Martin supplied Vettel a cake forward of his last race.

‘Free to race’

Verstappen made a clear begin to lead from a thrusting Perez.

Hamilton struggled to shake off Sainz and, because the Spaniard pressured his method by, took to a run-off space to keep away from a collision, transferring as much as fourth. The stewards cleared Sainz of any misdemeanour, leaving the Briton to present the place again.

By lap 5, Hamilton had discovered his method again and handed Sainz within the chicane, however once more struggled to tug clear, complaining his automotive was broken as he rode the kerbs on the opening lap.

Russell, sixth behind Sainz, informed the crew that “Lewis wants to choose up the tempo…. We are able to beat the Ferraris” but it surely was a forlorn plea as Sainz handed Hamilton once more at Flip 9 on lap eight.

“You are free to race,” Russell’s engineer responded when requested and he swiftly handed his team-mate for fifth. Hamilton was clearly struggling for pace on the straights.

By lap 15, Verstappen led by 5.7 forward of Perez, who was 1.3 away from Leclerc as the primary spherical of pit stops started.

Russell’s cease was delayed by three seconds and he swerved out throughout Norris’s McLaren, a reckless transfer that price him a five-second penalty for an unsafe launch.

By lap 32, the leaders had been again in crew order with Verstappen forward of Perez, Leclerc and Sainz with Russell fifth forward of a recovering Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso, in the meantime, in his final outing with Alpine earlier than succeeding previous good friend and rival Vettel at Aston Martin, was known as in to retire on lap 25 with a mechanical downside, not his first this yr.

As Perez, Sainz and Russell pitted once more Verstappen continued to dominate from Leclerc and Hamilton, all three on ageing rubber earlier than Perez fought via to regain third on lap 46.

With ten laps to go, he was 9 seconds adrift of Leclerc, establishing a tense finale as he sought to remain forward of the charging Mexican on worn tyres as Hamilton slowed and retired with a hydraulics downside.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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