Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had F1 Abu Dhabi GP under control to take the win as Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was P2 and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc P3.
Pole-sitter Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton made a good start to F1 Abu Dhabi GP at Yas Marina circuit as he led the way in the front but Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc got second after passing Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen with Sebastian Vettel looking through as well.
Even though Leclerc started the race well, the Monegasque is under investigation by the FIA after they found discrepancy in their fuel level with the number they mentioned and the number found were different. It is to be looked at after the race.
The other Red Bull of Alexander Albon was fifth with McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz slotting in sixth and seventh ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg in the Top 10.
Behind, there was an incident between the two Racing Point drivers and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, where the Frenchman was tagged by Lance Stroll in the left-hander which sent him into Perez as the Toro Rosso had its front wing dislodged, needing a pit stop.
It was all smooth sailing then until Ferrari decided to double-stack on Lap 12 as they both switched to the hard compound despite that Leclerc started on the medium and Vettel on the soft. The stop for Leclerc was fine but not so much for Vettel.
Both the front and rear left were slow to be fitted but fortunately he didn’t lose any place, especially to Albon. Things settled down behind the leading teams as well with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas already up to sixth in the first of the Abu Dhabi GP.
Racing Point’s Perez and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat went deep in the race as they kept McLaren and Renault behind, who were fighting for the points positions with Norris leading Hulkenberg, Sainz and Ricciardo – with the German making up the most.
There was also a collision between Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Williams’ Robert Kubica in the left-hander as both banged wheels but the move wasn’t penalised despite being put under investigation by the FIA stewards.
As Hamilton headed the way in the front, Verstappen caught Leclerc and passed him with the two engaging in a small duel for few corners before the Dutchman was cleanly ahead. Verstappen also complained of front wing issues after his initial stop.
Ferrari, meanwhile, decided to double stack again for their second top but this time it was clean with Leclerc getting the soft compound and Vettel opting for the medium. While the Monegasque did not lose any places, Vettel dropped behind Bottas and Albon.
Just before that, the Finn made a move on the Thai racer to get ahead of the Red Bull racer and have track position. With the late stop for Perez and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat helping them attack drivers, Sainz and Ricciardo decided to pit for the second time.
Their idea was to close in and catch the guys in front to score points. The biggest gainer of the lot was Perez, who made his way up to eighth behind Norris. Their tussle went on until the chequered flag like two more battles up ahead.
The idea was for Leclerc to catch Verstappen but it didn’t happen as he came under pressure from Bottas instead, who was flying in his stint. At the same time, Vettel managed to clear Albon for fifth despite a bit of fight from the Thai racer.
But at the front, Hamilton had no troubles, whatsoever, to win the Abu Dhabi GP and end the 2019 F1 season on a high with 11 wins from the 21 races. Red Bull’s Verstappen was second as he was able to secure third place in the drivers’ championship.
Ferrari’s Leclerc ended up third, fending off Mercedes’ Bottas but his result will be determined in the stewards room. Vettel was fifth with Albon sixth as Perez finally passed Norris for seventh to end up as the best of the rest in the final race of 2019.
Kvyat was ninth as Sainz made it up to 10th with Ricciardo just behind. The Australian had his teammate Hulkenberg on his tail with the German ending his F1 stint by being voted as the ‘Driver of the Day’ as Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was 13th.
The two Haas cars of Magnussen and Romain Grosjean lined up 14th and 15th with Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi 16th, Williams’ George Russell 17th, Toro Rosso’s Gasly 18th and Williams’ Kubica 20th. Everyone from Perez until Russell were a lap down with Gasly and Kubica finishing two laps down.