Red Bull’s Max Verstappen signed off his championship-winning campaign with his 15th victory of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dutchman finished comfortably clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who used a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez to both second on the road and in the championship standings.
Verstappen led away from pole ahead of team-mate Perez and Leclerc at the start, while Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took fourth away from the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.
Sainz then dived back up the inside at turn six on the opening lap, with Hamilton bouncing over the kerbs after being forced wide before rejoining in front.
Hamilton was subsequently ordered to hand the position back to the Spaniard, having been deemed to have gained an advantage by leaving the track.
After obliging, Hamilton swiftly used his DRS to move ahead once more, with his team-mate George Russell recovering from a bad start to close in on Sainz, having earlier dispatched McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Sainz soon found more pace to get back past Hamilton, who then also dropped behind Russell after complaining of a loss of power.
Perez and Russell were the first of the leading cars to make their first pitstops, switching from medium to hard compound tyres.
Russell had a slow stop, and then was released into the path of Norris by his team, and was handed a 5s penalty for an unsafe release.
Verstappen retained the lead after making his stop, while Leclerc emerged from the pits just ahead of Sainz in third.
The order remained the same until Perez stopped for a second time and a fresh set of hard tyres, with Sainz and Russell doing the same, the latter also serving his penalty.
Verstappen, Leclerc and Hamilton opted to run to the end without making a second stop, leaving Perez having to fight back from behind on his fresh tyres.
After dispatching Hamilton at turn six with 12 laps to go, the Mexican eradicated most of an 9s deficit Leclerc by the final tour, but had to settle for third.
Verstappen, meanwhile, was comfortably out in front, sealing victory by 8.771s.
Hamilton retired with three laps to go from fourth after his car slowed with an issue, with Sainz inheriting the position, coming home 15s behind Perez.
Russell was a further 11s adrift in fifth, while Norris edged Alpine’s Esteban Ocon to sixth by a second.
Lance Stroll was eighth for Aston Martin, while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel just missed out on beating McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo to ninth at the chequered flag. But the German still finished his final F1 race in the points, having earlier ran higher up on a one-stop strategy before being picked off by drivers on fresher tyres.
Fernando Alonso retired with an issue for Alpine, as did Nicholas Latifi, who suffered car damage in his final race for Williams after being hit from behind by Mick Schumacher, who came home 16th in his final race for Haas ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen.e
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