Max Verstappen concludes a triumphant season also dominating the last Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and hitting his 15th success of the season. The news of the day, however, is Charles Leclerc’s second place in the drivers’ championship and the second confirmed in the constructors’ championship by Ferrari. In fact, the Monegasque finishes second just ahead of the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez, despite a comeback finish by the Mexican who stopped once more than his rival. Fourth place for Carlos Sainz with the other Red and fifth for George Russell’s Mercedes, while Lewis Hamilton ends with a retirement a few laps from the finish. Sebastian Vettel, however, greets Formula 1 with a tenth place.
The first three positions remain unchanged at the start with Verstappen in command in front of Perez and Leclerc, while immediately behind Hamilton surprises Sainz by giving life to a good tussle, with the Briton cutting a curve in an attempt to defend himself from a counter overtaking by the Spaniard, returning then the position to avoid any penalties. However, Mercedes seems to be going faster and the seven-times world champion immediately takes back fourth place, but Sainz doesn’t give up an inch and during the eighth lap he responds again, also taking Russell with him who takes advantage of some power problems on the teammate’s car. In the meantime Leclerc makes up for Perez, but the Mexican defends himself by stopping for the first stop: at this point the overcut window would open for the Monegasque, but from the Ferrari wall they prefer to stop Sainz first, thus losing the possibility of gain second position with car number 16. However, Red Bull calls Perez into the pits again during the 34th lap, with Leclerc who then climbs to second place trying to get to the end without stopping again. The Mexican driver tries everything to catch up with the Ferrari driver by lighting up the race finale, but in the end it’s not enough to complete the Red Bull double in the race and in the world championship. Sainz closes fourth, while Hamilton is forced to retire, leaving fifth place to teammate Russell.