Formula One

Verstappen Turns Pole Into a Season Finale Victory in Abu Dhabi

Max Verstappen. ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 12. Image from Red Bull Content Pool.

Max Verstappen with Red Bull won the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which became his 10th career victory to date. His Mercedes rivals Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Mercedes lacked pace throughout the entire race and could not challenge Max or even each other at all. Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon finished in P4 and very close to Hamilton. Albon, however, run out of laps to comfortably attempt any overtakes for the last steps on the podium.

McLaren also did a fantastic job today. Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz placed 5th and 6th, which gave them enough points to jump the Racing Point team in the standings and finish the season off in 3rd place. Carlos will be joining Ferrari next season. Daniel Ricciardo with Renault and Pierre Gasly with AlphaTauri finished in P7 and P8, respectively. Daniel will parter Lando Norris at McLaren in 2021. Riccardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon placed 9th, ahead of Lance Stroll with P10 for Racing Point.

Daniil Kvyat with AlphaTauri missed on the points today. Today’s race was probably Kvyat’s last in his Formula One career, as his chances for a contract renewal are pretty slim at this point. The Russian debuted in 2014 and has stepped on the podiums three times ever since. Kimi Raikkonen with Alfa Romeo placed 12th, ahead of the two Ferrari drivers.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel had their race compromised by an alternative pit stop strategy. While most of the grid stopped for new tires just after 10 completed laps, Ferrari chose to stay out and hope for the others to experience problems towards the end of the Grand Prix. This, however, did not work out well for them and they finished 13th and 14th, respectively. Today’s race was Vettel’s last race as a Ferrari driver. Throughout his six-season-long run with the Scuderia, Vettel achieved 14 race victories and 55 podiums. He will be joining Aston Martin (currently Racing Point) next year.

After replacing Hamilton at Mercedes for last week’s Bahrain GP, George Russell came back to his ordinary team – Williams. Today he finished 15th, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in P16. Russell’s teammate Nicholas Latifi finished 17th ahead of the two Haas drivers.

Kevin Magnussen placed 18th for Haas today. This was Magnussen’s last Formula One race, as he will be debuting in the IMSA American championship with prototypes in 2021. Kevin also joined the sport back in 2014, and has achieved only 1 podium and 2 fastest laps ever since. Pietro Fittipaldi drove for Haas today, as well. Fittipaldi joined the team last week to replace Romain Grosjean after the French driver received slight burns on his hands following his horrific Bahrain GP accident. He finished last today in P19.

On lap 10, last week’s winner Sergio Perez lost power in his Racing Point and he pulled over to the side of the track. This was supposed to be Sergio’s last race with the team, as well as, potentially his last in Formula One until 2022. After receiving multiple penalties, Perez started this race from 19th earlier today, and he was running 14th when his car broke down. This caused an early safety car, which turned out to be crucial for most teams’ pit stop strategies.

Fastest lap: Daneil Ricciardo (Renault) – 1:40.926

Complete official race results car be accessed HERE.


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