Team by team analysis of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Nov 20 (Reuters) – Team by team analysis of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix (listed in final championship order):
RED BULL (Max Verstappen 1, Sergio Perez 3)
Verstappen led from pole position for a record-extending 15th victory of the season and 35th of his career. It was also Red Bull’s 17th from 22 rounds. The Dutch driver was one of eight to opt for a one-stop strategy (on lap 20) while Perez, who ended the season third overall, pitted twice (laps 15 and 33). Both started on medium tyres, switching to hard.
FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 2, Carlos Sainz 4)
Ferrari held on to finish second in both championships, with Leclerc runner-up for the first time in his career. The team also split the strategy, with Sainz pitting twice (17 and 39) and Leclerc once (21). Both ended on the hard tyres. Sainz lost a place to Hamilton at the start but the Briton gave it back.
MERCEDES (George Russell 5, Lewis Hamilton 18)
Russell had a five second penalty for an unsafe release after a long first pitstop on lap 15. Hamilton retired on lap 55 of 58, after a long second stint on hard tyres, due to a loss of hydraulic pressure but was classified. Hamilton had an early battle with Sainz, damaging the floor in contact with the Spaniard. Mercedes finished 39 points behind Ferrari.
ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 7, Fernando Alonso retired)
Alonso retired on lap 27 from his last race with Alpine, his car suffering a suspected water leak. Ocon pitted on laps 14 and 41 for hard tyres and was chasing Norris at the end, crossing the line a second behind the McLaren.
MCLAREN (Lando Norris 6, Daniel Ricciardo 9)
Ricciardo scored points in his last race with the team after starting 13th due to a three place grid penalty from the previous round in Brazil. The Australian had to defend from Vettel at the end. Norris started seventh and took the extra point for fastest lap (set on lap 44).
ALFA ROMEO (Guanyu Zhou 12, Valtteri Bottas 15)
Alfa ended the season level on 55 points with Aston Martin but ahead on a countback. Sixth is the team’s highest standing since 2012. Bottas was one of only two drivers to start on the hard tyre. Zhou made three stops, finishing on softs.
ASTON MARTIN (Lance Stroll 8, Sebastian Vettel 10)
Four times world champion Vettel ended his F1 career in the points, although he had hoped for more after starting ninth but doing a one-stop strategy (lap 25). Stroll started 14th and opted for two stops (13 and 40).
HAAS (Mick Schumacher 16, Kevin Magnussen 17)
Mick started his last race with the team in 12th place and pitted on lap 14 and 35. The German collected a five second penalty for causing a collision with Latifi on lap 39. Magnussen started on hard tyres and pitted for mediums on lap 28.
ALPHATAURI (Yuki Tsunoda 11, Pierre Gasly 14)
Alpine-bound Gasly bowed out, the only driver to start on the soft tyres and then doing the longest stint of anyone on the hards (43 laps). Tsunoda said his tyres lost performance at the end and he could not make it into the points.
WILLIAMS (Alexander Albon 13, Nicholas Latifi 19)
Latifi was unable to complete his last race for the team, retiring with an electrical issue a few laps early but still classified. The rear of his car was also damaged in the collision with Schumacher, leading to a long pitstop for inspection. Albon lost a place right at the end.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris
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