Abu Dhabi has brought the curtains on the most dominant season from Max Verstappen, who was crowned the champion in Qatar. With Sergio Perez at the second position in the Driver’s Championship, this is the first time Red Bull duo achieved this feat. Lewis Hamilton took the third position in the championship. The fight for fourth was much closer, as Fernando Alonso narrowly kept his position from Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and even Carlos Sainz, all separated by just six points!
In the team’s championship too, the gap between Red Bull and the rest was more than double, so the fights to look for were between, Mercedes and Ferrari, and Williams and Alpha Tauri. It ended with Mercedes besting Ferrari for second place and Williams surviving the scare from Alpha Tauri.
How the race went:
Max Verstappen has been in stellar form all season, and even after winning the championship more than a month ago, he was still bent on dominating the race. He won his 19th race of the year and also made history by leading more than 1,000 laps in the season. He was followed by Sergio Perez and George Russell to the finish line, but a five-second penalty saw Perez tumble down to fourth.
Verstappen was troubled by Leclerc at the race start, who tried to overtake twice in the first lap, but slowly fell behind the Dutch driver as he began to stretch his legs as the race went on.
Lando Norris could not fight for the podium position, due to a slow pitstop, and a tussle with Perez, but was able to outpace his teammate Oscar Piastri. Yuki Tsunoda drove valiantly and battled with Lewis Hamilton for the eighth position. He dedicated his performance to Franz Tost, congratulating him on his last day as the team principal of the Italian team which he joined in 2006.
Hamilton also had a tussle with Pierre Gasly of Alpine, when the French driver locked up in lap 16, and was hit by the Briton. Both drivers suffered damage to their cars and could not trouble the drivers higher up on the grid. Further down the order, Carlos Sainz ended the season on a low note, as he did not finish the race, following a flawed tyre strategy that was based on the hope of a safety car, which did not arrive.
While this may be the end of this year’s action, we can rest and wait until the testing for the next season begins in around three months’ time! The regulations will enter their third year and it is to be seen if Red Bull will continue its dominance or if another team can outpace them as theoretically, stable regulations will lead to equal performance.