The curtain closed on the 2022 Formula One season as Max Verstappen took the chequered flag at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to seal his 15th win of the year, with second place in the race and the drivers’ championship secured by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Despite a late charge, Sergio Perez finished just under 1.4 seconds behind the Monegasque driver, as he rounded off the podium positions in third place. Sebastian Vettel battled back to finish in 10th place in the Aston Martin to earn a world championship point on his final F1 outing.
Verstappen started the race on pole position, with Perez alongside him on the front row. Both the Mexican and Leclerc were level on championship points going into the race.
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The Dutchman led into the first corner and fended off his team-mate, and from then on, controlled the remainder of the race in what was a faultless display by the two-time world champion.
He opted to go for the one-stop strategy as he swapped his mediums for a set of hards on Lap 20, and he maintained them until the end of the race to take a record-extending victory.
It meant that the main battle on-track was between Perez and Leclerc, who opted for differing strategy calls. The Mexican chose to go with the two-stop strategy, whereas Leclerc went with the one-stop.
There was a dramatic finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, as Perez made up ground on Leclerc on his fresher tyres, but despite the Red Bull driver pushing hard, he was not able to get past the Ferrari before the finish.
Carlos Sainz, who also two-stopped, finished in fourth for Ferrari. He got past the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton - who was attempting a one-stop - with four laps to go, as the Briton reported hydraulic issues on his car and was forced to retire. It promoted his team-mate George Russell up to fifth.


Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) beendet seine Karriere in Abu Dhabi

Image credit: Getty Images

The German, who started in P9, will be thinking that he could've finished higher in this race if it were not for his team's call on strategy. However, he recovered from dropping back to P17 after his solitary pit stop to finish in a respectable tenth for Aston Martin as he bids the sport farewell.
He leaves F1 cementing his position as one of the greatest drivers to ever grace the track. His four world championships, 53 race victories, and 57 pole positions means that his place in the folklore of this sport will never be in question, and he can bow out with his head held extremely high. Danke, Seb.


LAP 1/58 - We are underway here in Abu Dhabi! Verstappen gets well off the line and leads into Turn 1 despite pressure from behind by his team-mate. Leclerc tries to get past Perez into the hairpin before the back straight, but he cannot get the move done. Hamilton then tries to get past Leclerc into the chicane, with Sainz lurking behind. Both Sainz and the Mercedes touch, leaving Hamilton to take avoiding action and going off track!
LAP 4/58 - Hamilton is told by his engineer, Peter Bonnington, that he has to give the place back to Sainz after that off-track excursion at the chicane. Hamilton drops down to P5 briefly, but manages to get back past the Ferrari on the track into the long-left hander of Turn 9 after the second back straight.
LAP 34/58 - Perez and Red Bull have reacted and decided to come in. Leclerc and Ferrari have decided to stay out, and that will mean if he can maintain the pace on these tyres, they can push for their final stint. Perez may be in trouble here, and might have to manage his tyres. He is now in P6.
LAP 55/58 - Sainz gets past Hamilton for P4 at the end of the first back straight, as Hamilton reports losing shifts! His engineer tells him that he has a hydraulic problem and he is going very slowly stuck in seventh gear! He crawls back to the pits and he has to retire the car!
LAP 57/58 - Two laps to go - Perez still has a huge amount to do on the final lap as the gap to Leclerc ahead of him in P2 is at 1.6 seconds. Hamilton's retirement has shaken up the running order, and currently both Aston Martin cars are in the points.
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