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Max Verstappen emerged victorious in the Abu Dhabi GP, bringing an end to the 2023 Formula 1 season – here’s how it all unfolded.

Otherwise, that concludes another F1 season for us. It has been an incredible season, with Max Verstappen and Red Bull showing unmatched dominance. It is highly likely that this will continue into the next year. However, in the world of F1, 97 days is a significant amount of time. So, let’s meet again in Bahrain as we begin the new season. Until then, farewell.

Here is the race report by Giles Richards.

Wolff commends Leclerc for not obstructing Russell in an attempt to support Perez’s pursuit, and also applauds his own driver’s performance. When asked about the upcoming year, he acknowledges that Red Bull has a head start on the new mechanical specifications but anticipates that they will even out; his main concern is constructing a more reliable car that instills confidence in the drivers.

The racers receive their awards, celebrate with champagne, enjoy the fireworks, and envision the immense sense of achievement that Verstappen must be feeling tonight. It is rare for any athlete to display such dominance. However, I have a feeling that if he ever gets the chance, he will take even more pride in winning without needing assistance from an official on the final lap.

However, they are arriving at this moment and the Dutch national anthem is playing – marking the 19th time it has been played this season. I assume that at this point, we are all familiar with the words.

Our winners are sitting on a couch that seems intentionally uncomfortable – why would someone create a piece of furniture without proper back support for the back, head, and neck?

In this F1 season, there were a total of 23 races. Max Verstappen emerged as the victor in all but four of them, which is incredibly unbelievable that even my fingers hesitated to type it.

Verstappen with more silverware.

What else is happening for you?

On the final lap, Verstappen experienced strong emotions as he drove his car for the last time. This car has brought him a great deal of happiness. He anticipates that it will be difficult to have another season like this and while they always strive to improve, success doesn’t always mean more race wins. Unspoken but felt, it seems easier for his competitors to catch up than for him to widen the gap. We only have 97 days until we return to Bahrain.

  1. Red Bull 860

  2. Mercedes 409

  3. Ferrari 406

  4. McLaren 302

  5. Aston Martin 280

  6. Alpine 120

  7. Williams 28

  8. AlphaTauri 25

  9. Alfa Romeo 16

  10. Haas 12

Russell is thrilled to have secured second place for Mercedes, admitting that he has disappointed the team this season. The final moments were quite intense and his tires were wearing out, but they plan to have some drinks tonight to commemorate their second place finish and third place overall. However, he is dissatisfied with his performance throughout the season.

  1. Verstappen (Red Bull) 575

  2. Perez (Red Bull) 285

  3. Hamilton (Mercedes) 234

  4. Alonso (Aston Martin) 206

  5. Leclerc (Ferrari) 206

  6. Norris (McLaren) 205

  7. Sainz Jr (Ferrari) 200

  8. Russell (Mercedes) 175

  1. Verstappen

  2. Leclerc

  3. Russell

  4. Perez

  5. Norris

  6. Piastri

  7. Alonso

  8. Tsunoda

  9. Hamlton

  10. Stroll

  11. Ricciardo

  12. Ocon

  13. Gasly

  14. Albon

  15. Hulkenberg

  16. Sargeant

  17. Zhou

  18. Sainz Jr

  19. Bottas

  20. Magnussen

Max Verstappen, though. Nineteen wins in a season. “All missions complete, Horner tells him. “What a year … you’ve smashed it out of the park, it’s a privilege working with you … take your time, enjoy this last bit.”

Perez is currently in second place, followed by Leclerc in third. However, Perez’s podium finish will be taken away once his five-second penalty is applied, dropping him down to fourth place.

Race winner Max Verstappen takes the flag.

On the 58th lap of the race, Max Verstappen takes the lead and completes his 1000th lap of the season. This is quite impressive. At the same time, Leclerc relinquishes second place to Perez, with the intention of slowing down Russell in hopes that Norris can make up ground from behind.

At lap 57 out of 58, Perez is currently in the lead with a 3.031 second advantage over Russell. Barring any unforeseen issues, Mercedes is on track to secure second place.

On lap 56 out of 58, Verstappen continues to race without stopping. It is rare to witness such determination and ruthlessness.

On lap 55 out of 58, Perez is currently in the lead with a 1.841-second advantage over Russell. This means that Russell has a significant amount of catching up to do if he wants to secure third place. As a result, Mercedes is in a good position to secure second place overall, especially since Sainz will lose a point when he makes a pit stop and drops out of 10th position.

On lap 54 out of 58, Perez has a full battery and gains a significant boost, allowing him to catch up to Russell. With the assistance of DRS, he overtakes Russell on the inside. He now has three laps remaining to create a five-second lead in order to secure a podium finish ahead of Russell. This could potentially help Ferrari surpass Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, but it is unlikely.

It is currently lap 53 out of 58 and we are approaching the end. Sainz has yet to make a pit stop, which leads me to believe he is waiting for a potential safety car. However, even if one does occur, he is in 10th place and too far behind to make any significant moves.

  1. Verstappen

  2. Leclerc

  3. Russell

  4. Perez

  5. Norris

  6. Piastri

  7. Tsunoda

  8. Alonso

  9. Hamilton

  10. Sainz

On lap 52 out of 58, after reviewing the footage, it appears that Perez could have made more effort to avoid colliding with Norris. It’s a tricky situation because he was in the lead and maintained his position, but I don’t think he has any justification to be upset.

On lap 51 out of 58, Verstappen laughs as he sets the fastest lap, extending his lead by over nine seconds. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Perez, who is currently in fourth place, will receive a five-second penalty for forcing Norris off the track. This should solidify Russell’s position in third and secure second place for the team in the constructors’ standings.

At lap 50 out of 58, the most recent update from the pit lane is that some mechanics were wearing incorrect goggles. As a result, Alpine and McLaren are being investigated. Verstappen is currently in the lead by 8.772 seconds, but the focus is on Perez who is trying to catch up to Russell with a gap of 3.724 seconds between them.

On lap 49 of 58, Perez overtakes Norris and is now being reviewed for his maneuver. I am uncertain if he made any errors, as he simply made the necessary move.

On lap 48 out of 58, Perez makes a move on Norris, causing him to go off the track. Despite this, Norris manages to hold on. Meanwhile, Hamilton quickly overtakes Sainz and it seems like Mercedes is in a good position for second place overall.

On lap 46 out of 58, when will Sainz make another pit stop? Hamilton is currently trailing closely behind him in 10th place, indicating that not only will Ferrari lose a position, but their competitors Mercedes will also make some progress.

On lap 45 out of 58, Russell is gaining ground on Leclerc who is currently leading by a margin of 3.056 seconds. Russell may have a good chance of getting close enough to overtake. After the race, Hamilton will be examined for a violation in the pit lane, indicating that the issue was not related to speeding.

On lap 44 out of 58, Verstappen’s lead has been reduced to only 5.170 seconds. Alonso attempts to pass Sainz and move into eighth place, but Sainz manages to hold his position. However, it is likely that this won’t be the last attack that Sainz will have to defend against.

On the 43rd lap out of 58, Stroll enters the pit as Norris overtakes Tsunoda to take fourth place. Verstappen also makes a pit stop, while we are informed that Hamilton may have committed a pit stop violation by possibly speeding.

On lap 42 out of 58, Sainz will need to make another pit stop, giving Mercedes a sense of assurance.

On lap 41 out of 58, Verstappen will have to give up the lead in the next three laps if he wants to break the record for being in front for over 1000 laps in a season. Meanwhile, Sainz’s climb to ninth place has boosted Ferrari’s position above Mercedes in the current constructor’s championship standings. His teammate Leclerc is in fifth place, while Russell and Hamilton from Mercedes are in fourth and 12th place respectively.

On the 40th lap out of 58, the track has become darker. Piastri experiences a lock-up but is able to hold onto his position in front of Sainz who is chasing him from ninth place.

Verstappen currently holds the lead by 16.441 seconds on lap 39 out of 58. It appears likely that he will emerge as the winner.

On lap 38 out of 58, Russell sets the fastest lap while Leclerc overtakes Tsunoda, who is on a one-stop strategy in an attempt to maintain his sixth position and secure sixth place for Alpine in the constructor’s championship.

Source: theguardian.com