Verstappen caps supreme season with Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes hold off Ferrari

Max Verstappen's fitting 2023 Abu Dhabi GP victory capped an all-conquering season for Red Bull

-

Max Verstappen eased to a record-extending 19th victory in the 2023 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Charles Leclerc and George Russell in an entertaining season finale.

The big championship battles stayed alive until the end of the race, with both Leclerc and Russell staying abreast of the latest developments in the FerrariMercedes battle for fourth.

Leclerc did all he could, but Carlos Sainz finished outside the points meaning Russell‘s third-place finish – just his second podium of the season – was enough to secure the place for Mercedes.

Sainz was running in the top 10 for much of the race but ran hards on his first two stints, meaning he would’ve needed a red flag to save his race.

“What the f**k does that mean? How are we doing in the championship are we good?

George Russell’s team radio

Sergio Perez finished second on the road but had picked up a five-second penalty for colliding with Lando Norris Leclerc even let him by attempting to help him build up a cushion to Russell but ultimately Perez dropped to fourth.

It capped a good recovery drive from the Mexican who was jumped by Lewis Hamilton at the start but fought his way through thanks to a very strong long second stint.

Oscar Piastri faded after jumping Russell early and was just ahead Fernando Alonso in a crucial second place.

Yuki Tsuonda became just the second Japanese driver to lead a race at one point, but was hampered by AlphaTauri selecting a one-stop strategy in Franz Tost‘s last ever race as team principal.

He finished eighth, but needed sixth for AlphaTauri to jump Williams in the constructors’ championship.

Alonso holds on for fitting fourth

Fernando Alonso‘s seventh-place finish means he secured a deserved fourth in the drivers’ championship.

He finished level on points with Leclerc and the pair went to second-countback, both winless in 2023 and with the same number of second-place finishes.

However, Alonso recorded more third-places to clinch the position after Norris led the battle at one point even after suffering a five-second pit stop.

His tumble down the order late-on put paid to that though, while Sainz started the weekend fourth but ends the season in seventh.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton calls for two changes to bring back Monaco GP magic

0
Lewis Hamilton has suggested two major changes that could be made to the Monaco Grand Prix to help reinvigorate...
Fernando Alonso ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola

Fernando Alonso gives candid admission on performance amid Aston Martin struggles

0
Fernando Alonso believes he's not been good enough individually as Aston Martin have struggled to recapture their 2023 form...
Andrea Kimi Antonelli tests the Mercedes W12 in Austria in his first taste of F1 machinery | Mercedes F1 team

Max Verstappen offers Mercedes starlet Andrea Kimi Antonelli advice on joining F1

0
Max Verstappen has given his advice to Andrea Kimi Antonelli on the biggest changes he should expect if he...
Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unwanted Yuki Tsunoda eyes Aston Martin switch as Red Bull say no

0
Yuki Tsunoda revealed he could be tempted to abandon the Red Bull program for Aston Martin ahead of the...
George Russell at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Russell explains how Mercedes are closing gap on Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari –...

0
Mercedes are getting closer to Formula 1's current frontrunners Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari according to George Russell, who...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix weekend | Suderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals Ferrari’s key target to beat Max Verstappen in Monaco

0
Will 2024 be the year that Charles Leclerc finally breaks his Monaco Grand Prix curse? He’s hoping so as...
Max Verstappen during the 2024 Monaco GP press conference | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull to avoid ‘stressful’ repeat at Monaco GP

0
Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull they cannot risk a repeat of what happened at Imola as the team...
Nyck de Vries of AlphaTauri, leads Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

Monaco GP 2024 F1 Schedule and Start Times

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix sees the Formula 1 circus head to one of the one of the most...
Jake Dennis looks on at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Jake Dennis downbeat about Formula E title chances: I need s**t to happen now

0
Reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis isn’t optimistic about the chances of retaining his title, ahead of the 2024...
Formula E will visit the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in 2024 | Formula E

Formula E returns to China as it takes on the Shanghai International Circuit

0
The drivers are certainly being kept on their toes this season. Formula E is heading to yet another new...
- Advertisment -