Champion Max Verstappen ends F1 season with 15th win

A year after one of the most controversial finishes in the history of Formula One, Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was anything but.

Max Verstappen, as usual this season, was far ahead of the rest on his way to a record-extending 15th win of the season, reports AP.

“Incredible to win again here, 15th win of the season is unbelievable,” Verstappen said. “It’s been really enjoyable to work with the whole team and to be able to achieve something like this, this year.”

At the track where he beat Lewis Hamilton last year, Verstappen held off his teammate Sergio Perez at the start and didn’t face a serious challenge after that in the season-ending race.

Instead, much of the attention was on retiring four-time champion Sebastian Vettel battling in the midfield pack in his final race, while a hydraulic problem ended Lewis Hamilton’s race for Mercedes as the seven-time champion finished an F1 season without a win for the first time in his career.

Leclerc and Ferrari seemed able to challenge Verstappen for the title at the start of the season, but Red Bull improved its car performance advantage through the season. Errors on track from Leclerc and in Ferrari’s race strategy held them back too.

Carlos Sainz was fourth in the other Ferrari, while George Russell was fifth despite a five-second penalty when the Mercedes team released him from a pit stop into the path of another car.

Lando Norris was sixth for McLaren, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who is without a race contract for 2023 and is likely to be Red Bull’s reserve driver next year.

Vettel placed 10th for Aston Martin as he retires from F1 after 16 years.


Bahrain News Agency

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