Max Verstappen wins F1 Abu Dhabi GP as Charles Leclerc secured second after fending off Sergio Perez in the battle for second.

It was a clean start from the drivers at the front with Max Verstappen leading F1 Abu Dhabi GP from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was third from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton fourth after a run-in with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

The Spaniard tried an inside move as Hamilton went off to keep the place. There was no further investigation in two separate investigations but the Brit gave up fourth with the Brit in fifth. McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth from Mercedes’ George Russell.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was seventh from Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel as Alpine’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the Top 10. While the leaders were ahead, the fight between Sainz, Hamilton, Norris and Russell continued on for fourth and sixth place.

Having given up the place, Hamilton came back on Sainz to retake fifth as Russell cleared Norris for sixth. The Brit then tried a move on the Spaniard but it didn’t work. They continued to tussle as Ocon and Vettel started their battle for eighth.

The German took the Frenchman but he came back on him with Alonso joining in. Just ahead of them, Sainz stayed on Hamilton’s tail and eventually passed him to retake fourth with Russell also clearing his teammate who seemed to be suffering a bit.

The pit stop game started but the order remaining the same with Verstappen leading Perez and Leclerc. There was a slow stop for Russell which turned into an unsafe release after he was released in front of an incoming Norris to pit.

Russell was handed a 5s penalty for it with teammate Hamilton keeping him in check. Vettel went long on his first stint as Alonso retired due to a problem with a potential water leak. It was another reliability issue which he has been talking about all-season long.

Verstappen kept his F1 Abu Dhabi GP lead from Perez but Leclerc kept the Mexican in check, with Sainz in fourth from Russell, Hamilton, Norris, Ocon, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in the Top 10 points position.

Perez pitted the second time to drop to sixth but Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz were trying for a one-stop which left the Mexican to not only catch them but also pass. At the back, Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi had a coming together.

The German went for an inside move but a minor touch led to them spinning as Schumacher was handed a 5s time penalty for causing a collision. Sainz and Russell pitted for a second time with Verstappen and Leclerc trying to do a one-stop.

It started to get tasty with Hamilton trying to keep Perez off for third. The Mexican eventually got around to pass him in his chase of Leclerc. Hamilton was fourth with Sainz and Russell catching him as Norris was a lonely seventh from Ocon.

Stroll passed both Vettel and Ricciardo to ninth with the Australian being chased by the German along with Tsunoda for the final point. Up front, Hamilton was forced to retire due to a hydraulic problem after he was caught by Sainz and eventually passed too.

Verstappen held off well to win F1 Abu Dhabi GP from Leclerc who secured second after keeping off Perez in the Top 3. Sainz was fourth from Russell with Norris in sixth ahead of Ocon, Stroll, Ricciardo and Vettel in the Top 10, as the German scored the final point.

Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo tied on points in the championship but the latter’s fifth place finish helped them to keep the position. Tsunoda ended up 11th with Guanyu behind him in 12th from Williams’ Alexander Albon, Gasly and Bottas in the Top 15.

Schumacher 16th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen as both Hamilton and Latifi were classified despite not seeing the chequered flag. Everyone from Tsunoda onward ended up a lap down on the leaders to end the 2022 F1 season.

More to come