Max Verstappen finishes the 2022 F1 season in style as he comfortably won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after taking the pole on Saturday. Charles Leclerc finished the race in P2, denying Red Bull a 1-2 finish in the driver’s table after executing a risky one-stop strategy. Sergio Perez finished P3 behind Leclerc in the race and at the driver’s table. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso suffered DNF in the race.
Table of Contents
- Bottas, Magnussen and Gasly started on different tyres than the rest of the grid.
- Max Verstappen maintained his lead at the start.
- Hamilton asked to return the position by Mercedes.
- Hamilton struggled with his Mercedes car.
- Ferrari opted for a one-stop strategy.
- Perez tried but couldn’t catch Leclerc in the end.
- Schumacher and Russell were given 5-second time penalties.
- Hamilton and Alonso got DNFs in the race.
- Verstappen maintained his lead and won the final Grand Prix of the 2022 season.
- Alfa Romeo finished ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructor’s table.
- Alpine beats Mclaren for P4 in the Constructor’s table.
- Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez and Vettel performed doughnuts after the race.
- Final Classification
Bottas, Magnussen and Gasly started on different tyres than the rest of the grid.
Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen started the race on Hard compound tyres, while Pierre Gasly opted to start the race on Soft compound tyres. The rest of the grid opted for Mediums. Daniel Ricciardo qualified P10 on Saturday but started the race at P13 after carrying a 3-place grid penalty from last week’s Brazilian Grand Prix accident with Kevin Magnussen.
Max Verstappen maintained his lead at the start.
Verstappen started the 2022 Abu Dhabi GP on pole. Max Verstappen got off the line well enough to maintain his lead after Turn 1. Lewis Hamilton managed to overtake Carlos Sainz at the start. The Mercedes driver was looking to attack the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc next, but Sainz managed to close the gap between himself and Hamilton.
Sainz tried to overtake Lewis and defend his position; Hamilton ran wide of the track and ended up on the top of the rumble strips. His car bounced in the air quite viciously, and he rejoined the track ahead of Sainz. Sainz complained to his team that Hamilton gained an unfair advantage and the Ferrari pit wall banged the doors of the steward’s office immediately to complain about the incident.
Hamilton asked to return the position by Mercedes.
Eventually, on Lap 4, Hamilton was told by his team to return the position to Sainz. Hamilton regained the place on the very next lap. This seesaw battle continued till Lap 8 when Sainz retook the position from Hamilton. From there on, the Mercedes experienced a dip in their car performance, and neither Hamilton nor his teammate George Russell could catch the Ferraris and the Red Bulls for most of the race.
Hamilton struggled with his Mercedes car.
Immediately after being overtaken by Sainz, Hamilton saw his teammate catching up to him quickly. In the next lap, Russell overtook Hamilton, who complained to his team that he was suffering from some floor damage and could not maintain his pace.
He also complained about losing engine power, but the Mercedes team replied that they had looked over the data and that there were no problems with the car.
Ferrari opted for a one-stop strategy.
While most of the field ran a two-stop strategy, the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz opted for one-stop. Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were also placed on a one-stop approach, as was the race leader Max Verstappen. Vettel later complained that running the race on a single stop caused him to lose many positions. However, in the end, he managed to finish the race in points, as did his teammate Lance Stroll.
Perez tried but couldn’t catch Leclerc in the end.
Sergio Perez was put on a two-stop strategy by Red Bull. After his second pitstop, Perez found himself behind Leclerc. With all his might, the Mexican driver tried to close the gap to Leclerc but eventually ran out of laps in the end. Verstappen, during his stint, told the team to relay the information to Perez that he could push his tyres to the limits and not suffer from significant degradation. However, Perez found traffic on several occasions during the race’s closing stages and, in the end, couldn’t catch up to Leclerc in time.
Schumacher and Russell were given 5-second time penalties.
On Lap 16, George Russell pitted for hard tyres. He had a slow stop as the pit crew on the rear right side of the car couldn’t take out the tyre cleanly. Russell was stationary for 5.2 seconds. To go out on the track immediately, the team released him dangerously close to the incoming McLaren of Lando Norris. Norris had to slam hard on his brakes to avoid contact. The stewards then gave Russell a penalty for an unsafe release in the pitlane.
In a separate incident on Lap 39, Mick Schumacher made contact with the Williams of Nicholas Latifi. Schumacher was fighting Latifi for position. In an overzealous attempt to overtake Latifi, Schumacher clipped the rear of the Williams car, causing himself and Latifi to spin around.
Latifi suffered damage to his left rear tyre, and Schumacher was handed a 5-second time penalty for causing an accident.
Hamilton and Alonso got DNFs in the race.
Fernando Alonso’s final race for Alpine ended in a DNF. The Spaniard was asked to retire his car on Lap 28 due to a suspected water-leak issue. Alonso will be driving for Aston Martin in the 2023 season.
Lewis Hamilton also retired from the race very close to the end. On Lap 55, Hamilton reported suffering from Hydraulic issues and went slowly around the track before going into the pits to retire the car.
Hamilton’s DNF also meant that this was the first time the 7-time world champion failed to win a single race in an F1 season.
Verstappen maintained his lead and won the final Grand Prix of the 2022 season.
Max Verstappen kept his composure throughout the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race. He led the race from the start and faced no competition from Perez or Leclerc. He was one of the few drivers to stop only once. Yet, his pace was consistently faster than those around him, and in the end, he comfortably won the final race of the 2022 season.
Alfa Romeo finished ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructor’s table.
Aston Martin scored 5 points collectively in the final race, whereas Alfa Romeo failed to score any. This meant that Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo finished the season with the same points (55) in the Constructor’s table. However, Alfa Romeo was placed 6th on the Constructor’s table thanks to Valtteri Bottas’ 5th-place finish in the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Alpine beats Mclaren for P4 in the Constructor’s table.
Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished P6 and P9, respectively, for McLaren. However, more was needed to overcome their large gap to Alpine. Even though Estaban Ocon finished P8 and Alonso retired from the race, Alpine had built a sufficient margin after last week’s Brazilian GP to ensure they finished the season in 4th place.
Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez and Vettel performed doughnuts after the race.
After the final race of the 2022 season, the top 3 drivers provided fans with a spectacle of doing the traditional doughnuts on the track. Sebastian Vettel, who drove the final race of his F1 career, was also allowed to join the top 3 drivers. Vettel was also, rightfully, given the driver of the day award by the fans.