Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
By Kenneth Melheim
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen exceeded his all-time winning record to 15 victories as he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in the season ending of the 2022 Formula 1 world championship.
Verstappen led pretty much the entire race after starting on pole as he won the qualifying the day before. The race still delivered some drama even though Verstappen was unbeatable, as the battle for the silver medal in the championship was wide open between Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Verstappen’s Red bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Both drivers were on 290 points before the race, so whoever finished higher would also secure second in the championship.
It was drama to the end as the two drivers had different strategies, with Perez going for a two-stop and Leclerc for a one-stop. Leclerc emerged victorious as he managed to hold on to his lead even though Perez closed in massively by the end on his fresher tiers.
Mercedes who won the previous GP in Brazil was far off repeating their success in Abu Dhabi, with Russel finishing in fifth place and Hamilton being forced to retire right before the end. They had a chance of catching Ferrari in the fight for second place in the constructer’s championship, but they would have had to make up 15 points in order to do so.
But with Leclerc finishing second and Carlos Sainz overtaking Hamilton after his mechanical issues Ferrari instead extended their lead and secured second the constructor’s championship as well.
The race also marked the end of an era as it was legend Sebastian Vettel’s last race in formula 1. The 4-time champion bowed out by getting a point after an intense battle with Daniel Riccardo for ninth spot. His impressive drive also got him voted as driver of the day by the fans.
Ricciardo also may have driven his last F1 race as he finds himself without a seat for next year. The Australian’s McLaren teammate Lando Norris secured sixth and also got the fastest lap.