Verstappen ended the season with a fifteenth win as Leclerc moved as much as second within the standings Formulation One

After final season’s explosive Formulation One finale in Abu Dhabi it was maybe becoming that this yr’s Yas Marina circuit bowed out with considerably hostile climate.

Max Verstappen gained the season finale with the identical dominant, inch-perfect efficiency that secured his second championship in a very long time however it was one other victory that solely emphasised what an actual battle it’s on the entrance of the grid. How a lot did you miss?

Lewis Hamilton was at his coronary heart’s content material with Verstappen final yr, dropping in a controversial decider in Abu Dhabi. The crushing disappointment is undoubtedly not lessened by an underperforming Mercedes from a tough season. He cannot wait to see the again of the automotive that induced the ultimate embarrassment at Yas Marina, when he was compelled to retire three laps from the top with a hydraulic drawback.

A lot for Mercedes crew principal, Toto Wolff, who introduced his intention to offer the vehicles one closing use. To cover them within the crew’s manufacturing unit and engine plant like Banko’s ghost, “Encouraging others”.

Wolff mentioned: “We will have these vehicles at receptions in Brackley and Brixworth to remind us each single day how robust it may be. It is a season of character constructing. It is tough and it is unhealthy. And it is okay to really feel like that, however subsequent yr we’ll be again.

There’s little of worth for Hamilton to remove from this yr, save for his appreciation of how onerous his crew has labored to get their automotive right into a aggressive state for teammate George Russell. Within the fingers of , lastly managed to win the race. The final spherical in Brazil.

There was no small consolation for Hamilton in Abu Dhabi. Because the season ends, so does his outstanding file of being the one driver to win each season he has competed in F1 since his debut in 2007. An space wherein he won’t be blissful. He completed the title race in sixth, his lowest place and behind Russell, who was fourth and fifth in Abu Dhabi.

In a 16-year profession, that is solely the third time Hamilton has been outscored by a teammate.

There might be no fond reminiscences of his back-to-back W13, with Hamilton describing it as one in every of his three worst seasons. “We began with a automotive we did not need and we ended up with a automotive we did not need,” he mentioned. “I am so blissful it is over and completed with. I gave it every thing, however finally the final race was like my complete season. It summed up my yr.”

Verstappen bore no such grudges along with his equipment. His victory was a pedestrian affair with no challengers however the actual battle within the aftermath. Behind him had been Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Purple Bull’s Sergio Perez of their respective battles for second place within the championship. They took it all the way down to the wire, adopting another technique, however Ferrari’s one-stop lastly paid off. Leclerc brilliantly put his rubber to the flag to seal second with Perez in third. Purple Bull had been as soon as once more denied their first drivers’ title one-two.

The crew will not lose sleep over it. It was all calm for Verstappen, additionally, on observe a minimum of, a good reflection of his and Purple Bull’s season. He closed with 15 wins out of twenty-two races, a file, and his crew gained 17, their greatest return. He goes on high within the shut season and might be favourite when racing resumes in March subsequent yr.

Mercedes have their work minimize out for them to problem however it’s Ferrari who needs to be doing essentially the most soul looking this winter. He left it late within the season to lastly pull off a strategic coup for Leclerc that additionally secured second place for the Scuderia within the Constructors’ Championship. After a yr filled with errors there was little delay and the winter provides the crew an opportunity to reset.

He was final challenged for the title by Sebastian Vettel who bid an emotional farewell in his closing race, retiring after a 16-year profession and 4 world championships. “I am positive I am going to miss greater than I can think about,” he mentioned. “I haven’t got a lot to say, I really feel empty.”

He closed with a tenth place end for Aston Martin on the observe the place he gained his first title in 2010 and was given a standing ovation when he climbed out of his automotive for the ultimate time.

The German is asking his profession simply as a brand new technology is stepping up. Verstappen is primary and in Abu Dhabi, he as soon as once more confirmed his dominance in 2022.

Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo had been sixth and ninth for McLaren, Esteban Ocon was seventh for Alpine and Lance Stroll was eighth for Aston Martin.

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