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F1 2022: Verstappen dominates Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton retires to finish first season with zero wins

F1 2022: Verstappen dominates Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton retires to finish first season with zero wins

The longest ever season of Formula 1 has concluded the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today – the 22nd race of the year, with World Champion Max Verstappen cruising to his 15th victory of the season. A second position in the race helped Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc secure the second position in the Drivers’ Championship with 308 points, 3 more than Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
After a good launch, Verstappen and Perez retained their 1-2 positions at the start, with Leclerc on the latter’s tail behind. Lewis Hamilton made an early move on Carlos Sainz, moving on to P4, however, the two drivers came in contact on Lap 2 when Sainz tried to regain his position. Lewis went off the track after hitting the kerb, coming back out on 4th. On Lap 5, the 7-time World Champion was asked by race control to give the place back to Sainz.
Meanwhile there was a long, close battle a few places behind them for the 8th position between Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Ocon’s pit for Hards on Lap 15 let Vettel pass, and was followed by a host of subsequent pit stops. Sebastian Vettel was actually the last driver on the grid to make a stop for new rubber, following a one-stop strategy.
Another driver who followed a one-stop strategy was Charles Leclerc, which helped him finish P2 in the race and secure the second position in the Driver’s Championship. Occupying the final podium position was Sergio Perez, just 1.322s away from the runner’s up spot.
Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez
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Take a look at a list of all point scorers at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix –
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:27.45.914
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.771s
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +10.093s
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +24.892s
5. George Russell (Mercedes) +35.888s
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +56.234s
7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +57.240s
8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +76.931s
9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +83.268s
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +83.898s
Carlos Sainz secured P4, ahead of George Russell and Lando Norris in fifth and sixth respectively. Sebastian Vettel managed to score his last Formula 1 Championship point at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “I enjoyed the race, once the lights go off it was full on race mode. We didn’t go for maybe the best strategy, but overall it was a big day and thank you for the support. So many flags, so many supporting faces,” said the 4-time World Champion after the race.
Sebastian Vettel, 2022 Abu Dhabi GP

“I’m sure I’m going to miss this more than I can think of. I don’t have much more to say, I feel empty, it’s been a big weekend. These last two years have been disappointing to me from a sporting point of view but big for me in my life. I want the other drivers to carry on the good work, I think there are far bigger and far more important things than racing in circles,” he added.
Unfortunately, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton could not complete the race after having to retire their respective Alpine and Mercedes cars. It was actually Mercedes’ first mechanical failure of the entire 2022 race season. The DNF means means that Hamilton ends his has failed to win a race in an F1 season for the first time in his 15 year career. Mercedes’ dream of finishing on second in the Constructors’ Championship ended there and then.
In the end, Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez and Vettel throwed in some celebratory donuts for the crowd on the main straight as the 2022 Formula 1 season came to an end.

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