Red Bull’s Max Verstappen bookended a record-breaking season with his 15th win at the Abu Dhabi GP to cap off one of the most dominant F1 seasons ever.
The Abu Dhabi GP was the place of controversy last year when Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the world title in dubious circumstances.
There was no controversy this time as the Dutchman, who had already sealed his second world title in Japan, led from the very start from the pole to finish 8.7 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who managed to finish second in the driver’s standings after getting home ahead of Max’s teammate Sergio Perez who finished third.
The pair went into the final race at Yas Marina Circuit, level on points with the Monegasque outlasting the Mexican after going for two different strategies.
Perez went for a two-stopper but Leclerc managed to get home on a single pit stop.
Finishing second comes as a moral victory for the 25-year-old who was in contention for a title momentarily before his bid went off the rails due to a multitude of factors.
Carlos Sainz finished 4th ahead of George Russell who had to serve a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release.
Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, in his last race for McLaren, and the retiring Sebastian Vettel completed the points finishers.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton suffered a hydraulics failure which ended his record of winning a race every season since his debut.
His retirement also handed the second place in the constructor’s championship to Ferrari.