Max Verstappen won the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi with a great and peaceful ride in his Red Bull! Second and third place were taken by Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who could not attack the young Dutchman in the fight to win today's race.
Fourth place was won by Alex Albon in the second Red Bull, and fifth and sixth place were won by McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, who with this result won third place in the constructors' standings ahead of Racing Point.
Seventh place went to Daniel Ricciardo in Renault and eighth to Pierre Gasly in AlphaTauri. Esteban Ocon in the second Renault and Lance Stroll in Racing Point close the circle of the ten fastest Before the start of the race, we saw the thanks of all drivers to Chase Carey, who will be replaced by Stefan Domenicali in the position of Formula 1 CEO from next season.
This was a farewell race from their teams for Ricciardo, Sainz, Vettel, and Perez, and for Magnussen, this was probably the last race in Formula 1 at all and we heard several team radios with thanks on the eve of the race.
The start of the race went smoothly for all drivers and there were no incidents in the first lap. Most of the drivers kept their positions, and Vettel managed to pass Leclerc in the first direction without DRS. Ocon and Gasly had a duel in two directions in the second round and Gasly managed to be ahead of Renault.
The first 11 drivers kept their positions from the start after 5 laps, and bigger shifts were only at the rear where Perez broke through several positions after the start from the rear. The two Renaults were 10th and 11th and an order came from the pits to have the two drivers swap positions as the Ocon was obviously slower.
A lap later Ocon came under threat from Vettel, and Ricciardo approached Gasly who was in ninth position. In the 8th lap, there was a problem with the car of Sergio Perez, who had a new engine in his Racing Point and had to give up in the last sector.
The Virtual Safety Car was shown first and all the drivers except Ricciardo, Vettel, Leclerc, Giovinazzi, and Magnussen went to change tires into pits.
After two laps, a real safety car had to come out on the track to remove Perez's car from the track.
Meanwhile, Hamilton inquired where he was losing on the track in relation to Verstappen and Bottas, and he also complained about the fact that his car was not turning well and that he had some problems. The restart of the race went smoothly, with no incidents, and we saw the first overtaking in the back when Sainz passed Leclerc who was not in the pits.
After a few laps, Sainz managed to get into the DRS and Vettel and passed him for the seventh position, but it was at that moment that he was informed that he was under investigation for driving too slowly in the pits during the safety car period.
Stroll, meanwhile, also attacked the first Ferrari, that of Leclerc, and came in ninth position. Two laps later, Esteban Ocon did the same, as did Pierre Gasly. In the 22nd lap, Ferrari decided to withdraw the move and invite Leclerc to the pits to change tires.
He returned to the hard tire component and was in the last position. The moment Stroll caught up with Vettel and prepared to attack the German in the back, Gasly took advantage of the carelessness of the Racing Point driver and passed Stroll.
Two laps later, he overtook Vettel and reached the eighth position. Yet after that, Vettel bravely resisted Stroll who tried to get past him in all possible ways but failed. In the 36th lap, Vettel went to the pits and returned to the 15th position on medium tires, and the only driver who was not in the pits until then was Daniel Ricciardo who held the fifth position.
After two laps the same move was made by Ricciardo who returned to the seventh position behind two McLaren. At the entrance to the last ten laps, the leading drivers started to enter the traffic, and the most problems, as usual, was Valtteri Bottas and he lost a few seconds compared to Lewis Hamilton who approached him in less than two seconds.
Magnussen went to the pits five laps before the end for the last tire change of his career. By the end of the race, we didn’t see any major changes on the track so Verstappen ‘cruised’ until the end of the race in the first place and took another win.
Bottas simply could not keep up with the pace of Red Bull and had to settle for second place, and Hamilton was in a bit of a traffic jam and Albon approached him. However, by the end of the race he had failed to make an attack on the track and Hamilton finished third and Albon fourth