The year is done and dusted. The trophy’s have been won and Max Verstappen secured his second world championship along with the win at this season’s final race in Abu Dhabi.
Max dominated the race in his Red Bull while the real battle was behind him for second in the driver’s championship. Max’s teammate, Sergio Perez, was locked in a heated battle against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for second and in a bit of a departure for Ferrari—given their strategy struggles this season—they managed to convert Leclerc to a one-stopper and took second in the race and in the driver’s championship.
Sergio made a valiant effort to catch and pass Charles but ran out of laps in the end. In the closing laps, I was curious as to if Red Bull would ask Max to back off and then back Charles up into Sergio’s attack zone. I texted Paul and I think his reply is right, the team, after facing a lot of criticism in recent weeks, probably wanted to avoid the drama and controversy as well as public perception. That was mainly echoed by Max Verstappen himself when asked about it.
“No, there was not. But also, that is quite a tricky call to make.
“You also don’t want to end up… of course you can possibly block, but is that fair racing?
“It’s, I think, not the nicest way going out of the season, you know?”
Despite that, the race was also the final race for the retiring Sebastian Vettel and the series put on a great sending-off party all weekend for the German 4-time champion. It also was a race that will see the backs of Nicholas Latifi, Daniel Ricciardo, and Mick Schumacher.
A win for Red Bull and Max Verstappen for their race win and for their domination of the season. After breathing exhaust fumes of the Mercedes for eight years, Red Bull came back to secure the constructor’s title and in a dominant fashion with a win at Abu Dhabi.
A win for Ferrari and Charles Leclerc who fought off the attack from Mercedes for second in the constructor’s championship and for Charles to keep Sergio behind him for second in the driver’s championship.
A win for Alpine and Esteban Ocon for a strong finish in strong 7th to help the team secure best-of-the-rest in 4th for the constructor’s championship ahead of McLaren. The battle between the two teams all season long was fun to watch and Alpine is moving in the right direction after spending time at the back.
A win for Lando Norris who finished P6 and took the fastest lap for his efforts. While his team missed out on 4th in the constructor’s championship, it’s hard to blame Lando for the missing points as he’s delivered a terrific effort this year.
A fail for Alpine with another DNF for Fernando Alonso and it probably has a lot to do with why he is leaving the team to go to Aston Martin.
A fail for Sergio Perez who missed out on second in the driver’s championship and while Brazil was a missed opportunity for Max Verstappen to give him a position, in the end, Sergio has been in the best car all season and it really was up to him to make his mark on the championship. Even if Max would have given Sergio the place in Brazil, it wouldn’t have been enough to take second in the driver’s championship.
A fail for Alpha Tauri who finished out of the points and lost out to Haas F1 for 8th in the constructor’s championship.
Ultimately a fail for Aston Martin who ran the wrong strategy for Sebastian Vettel because Seb finished P10 but had he been able to finish a place higher, it would have moved the team ahead of Alfa Romeo in the constructor’s championship, worth $12m, into 6th place.
A WTH for the season being over. It seems like just yesterday we were firing Michael Masi and crowning Eddie Everywhere the new FIA president. Having said that, for 17 years our season has always started now…at the end of the year. We carry on doing what we do all winter long and while the lack of Ferrari’s Wrooom event hurts as far as content goes, we still manage to talk about F1 all winter long so see the dial tuned to The Parc Fermé.
Pirelli Tire Story:
- World champion Max Verstappen won the final round of the 2022 season, in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman finished ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez. All the drivers on the podium ended the race on the P Zero White hard.
- The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place in partially cloudy conditions and asphalt temperatures that ranged between 31.4 and 34.4 degrees, similar to yesterday’s qualifying.
- The teams chose a variety of different strategies for the race. As a result of the data gathered in the preceding days, 11 drivers went for a two-stopper while eight selected a more conservative one-stop strategy.
- Red Bull split the strategy for its two drivers, both of whom finished on the podium. Verstappen stopped on lap 20 to swap his starting set of P Zero Yellow medium tyre for the hard, whereas Perez stopped twice (on lap 15 and 33), running two hard stints after starting on the medium.
- McLaren’s Lando Norris set the fastest lap of the race on lap 44, thanks to a time of 1m28.391s using the medium. The longest hard compound stint was instead completed by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, totalling 43 laps after starting on the P Zero Red soft.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Results:
|Pos||Name||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||58||57||1h27m45.914s||1m29.392s||1||25|
|3||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||58||0||+10.093s||1m28.972s||2||15|
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||58||0||+24.892s||1m28.879s||2||12|
|8||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||58||0||+1m16.931s||1m29.62s||2||4|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||58||0||+1m23.898s||1m30.312s||1||1|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||58||0||+1m29.371s||1m29.489s||2||0|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m29.6s||2||0|
|13||Alex Albon||Williams-Mercedes||57||0||+1 lap||1m29.939s||2||0|
|14||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||57||0||+1 lap||1m31.081s||1||0|
|15||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m30.352s||1||0|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m29.833s||2||0|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m31.158s||1||0|