• Rhonan Colquhoun

F1: Verstappen dominates to win Abu Dhabi GP

Red Bull's Max Verstappen dominated proceedings at the Abu Dhabi GP after comfortably beating Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to his second win of the season.


13/12/20


The final race of the 2020 season was all about tyre management as an early Safety Car after Sergio Perez retired, prompted the most of the drivers to pit and switch onto the preferred Hard tyre till the end of the race. Despite questions about how long the tyres would be able to last from Verstappen and Hamilton, most of the drivers made it to the end of the race on a one-stop strategy.

Verstappen led from Pole and instantly started to build a gap to Bottas and Hamilton behind. Verstappen's team-mate, Alexander Albon, made his way past Lando Norris and remained fourth until the end of the race, catching Hamilton and finishing less than two seconds behind.


For Verstappen, the win was not enough to overhaul Bottas in the fight for second in the Driver's Championship. The Dutchman's win was his second of the season, the tenth of his career and Red Bull's fist win round the Yas Marina circuit since 2013 - ending a six year winning streak for Mercedes.

Meanwhile, the main fight in the Constructors Championship was between McLaren and Racing Point in the battle for third. Racing Point held a 10 point advantage coming into the race but with Sergio Perez starting on the last row due to engine penalties, McLaren, who had Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr qualifying in fourth and sixth, the advantage was with the Woking team.


With Perez retiring early doors, Lance Stroll was the sole Racing Point in the race. Losing too much time behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, Stroll was unable to make progress and ended up in tenth after being passed on the last lap by Renault's Esteban Ocon.


With a points haul of 18 points, McLaren secured third by seven points. It's the team's best finish since 2012 and it means a difference in prize money they receive heading into next season.


What is likely Daniil Kvyat's last race for Alpha Tauri, the Russian finished in 11th after running in seventh early on in the race.


Sebastian Vettel's last race for Ferrari saw the German end the race in 14th, just one position behind team-mate Charles Leclerc. Both drivers opted not to pit under the Safety Car and had fresher rubber towards the end of the race but could not use this advantage.


Kevin Magnussen's last race in Formula One and with Haas was disappointing. The Dane finished in 18th ending his F1 career with one podium in 118 starts.

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