Max Verstappen controlled and dominant in F1 Abu Dhabi GP win ahead of Charles Leclerc and George Russell despite tactical attempts.

It was a good start from Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari in F1 Abu Dhabi GP but pole-sitter Max Verstappen retained his lead in his Red Bull despite multiple attempts from the Monegasque, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in third.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was up to fourth from Mercedes’ George Russell as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda fend off to be sixth ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly after multiple cars tried to each other on the couple of straights.

This left Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in ninth from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, where the Mexican was passed by the Brit at Turn 1 on the run-off. But the Red Bull driver eventually got the Mercedes driver and also Gasly to be eighth with Alonso pitting to make it seventh.

While Verstappen led Leclerc, Piastri came under pressure from Norris who passed him at ease. It wasn’t easy for Russell to pass the Australian. He made multiple attempts in the double DRS zones but the McLaren driver held on to the position.

But it wasn’t for whole lot as Russell finally got through for fourth. Piastri came under pressure from Tsunoda, with Perez a bit at a distant in sixth. Hamilton started to make inroads on Gasly and a lock-up for the Frenchman, left the Brit in a vulnerable place.

Hamilton hit the back of Gasly which damaged his front wing and also the rear of the Alpine. The pit stop game started at the front which put Tsunoda in the lead of the F1 Abu Dhabi GP for a handful of laps where AlphaTauri decided to stop late.

Once he pitted, Verstappen was back in the lead from Leclerc but there was a change for third. A slow stop for Norris dropped him behind Norris, with Piastri in fifth from Alonso and Perez. The Mexican, though, came alive to pass both of them to be fifth.

Piastri was sixth from Alonso at around mid-way in the grand prix, while Hamilton gained places in the pit stop to be eighth ahead of Tsunoda and Ricciardo in the Top 10. A long first stint for Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll helped him to be 11th ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

The one to lose was Gasly who feel behind Hamilton and Ocon both which upset him hugely. The grand prix started to get straight up until the second stop which was kick-started by Norris where Russell and Leclerc followed along with others.

But Leclerc held on the track position from Russell and Norris, with the McLaren driver not in contention for third as much as the Ferrari and the Mercedes drivers. Behind, there was a moment between Alonso and Hamilton where the stewards were involved.

Alonso seemingly brake-tested Hamilton where he wanted the Brit to pass him before the DRS. The stewards noted but stated that no investigation was necessary with the Spaniard ahead of the Mercedes driver with Ocon involved in the fight too.

There was another investigation for Hamilton for pit infringement, with Gasly also to be investigated. At the front, Verstappen led well from Leclerc and Russell, while Norris had to defend hard from Perez in the fight for fourth place.

There was a clumsy moment between the two in the left-hander with Norris on the outside and Perez not turning enough on the inside. The move was put under investigation, but the Mexican driver came back at him on the next lap to take fourth.

Piastri was sixth from Tsunoda, with Alonso in eighth from Hamilton and Sainz in the Top 10, where the Spaniard too had to stop again. The pit stop infringement saw Verstappen, Williams’ Logan Sargeant and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu too.

It was down to mechanics not wearing protective googles. Perez, meanwhile, was handed a 5s penalty for causing a collision which baffled the Mexican who started to chase Russell. He passed him for third as Leclerc started to play a tactical game.

He let Perez through to put himself in between him and Russell but all in vain. Verstappen was dominant to win F1 Abu Dhabi GP by 17.993s from Leclerc and Russell as Perez who ended up second dropped to fourth eventually after his penalty.

Mercedes retained second in the standings from Ferrari after Hamilton also scored points unlike Sainz, who seemingly retired on the final lap. Behind Perez, it was Norris in fifth from Piastri, as Alonso passed Tsunoda to end up seventh.

The Spaniard helped himself to be seventh in the drivers’ standings with 206 points – same as Leclerc. The Japanese driver’s efforts ended up in vain too after Williams retained seventh by three points over AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship.

Tsunoda had to fight for eighth after Hamilton tried a last lap pass, but the Japanese driver came back to be eighth as Stroll rounded out the Top 10 very closely ahead of Ricciardo. Behind him was Ocon and Gasly, with Albon in 14th and out of points.

Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was 15th from Williams’ Logan Sargeant, Guanyu and Sainz, who was classified despite pitting to retire. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was 19th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen where the last three drivers ended up one lap behind Verstappen.

UPDATE: The FIA reminded teams about the safety gears in the pitlane during grand prix and especially during pit stops after finding multiple teams in offence of it. Here: