Abu Dhabi Finale

Today’s race marked the end of the season.  It also marked the end of an era.  Sebastian Vettel drove his last Formula 1 race.  He is retiring to pursue other interests and life goals.  His smiling face will be missed in the paddock.  Vettel is dedicated to making the world a much better place.  We all look forward to what he does next.


The Stage is Set

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix held meaning despite being the last race of the season.  Second place for the drivers and constructors’ championship was still up for grabs.  Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez were locked in a tie at 290 points.  Mercedes was pushing hard to overtake Ferrari in the constructors, gaining 19 points last week alone.  It appeared that Checo had the edge as he started second on the grid.   It also appeared that Mercedes would accomplish their goal and overtake Ferrari.  Appearances turned into illusions as the race unfolded.


A Little Drama

At the start of the race, the first three rows were Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.  At the end of turn one, Lewis Hamilton skittered around Carlos Sainz into fourth place splitting the two Ferraris.  As the cars rounded into turn 6, Sainz took the corner and Hamilton flew over the high curb into the runoff, instead of giving way.  Hamilton continued to drive and gained an advantage over Sainz who clearly had the right of way to the corner.  Racing control ordered Hamilton to give the place back, but it didn’t matter because Hamilton overtook Sainz a few turns later heading into lap 2.  This was the most dramatic portion of the race until Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were forced to retire from the race due to engine failure.  Alonso was forced to retire mid-way thru the race.  Hamilton lost hydraulics during lap 56 as he was fighting to maintain fourth place.


Not Enough from Checo

Tire strategy may have affected Sergio Perez’s race result as he executed a two-stop strategy and Leclerc executed a one stop strategy.  Still, by the time the checkered flag flew, there was only a one second difference between the two drivers.  Leclerc fought and maintained his edge.  He was exhausted at the end of the race.  He gave it his all and secured 2nd place in the championship.  Even if Max Verstappen followed team orders last week and let Checo have the better position to end the race, Leclerc would have still secured second in the drivers’ championship given today’s result.  Last week’s drama is nullified.  Finally, Sebastian Vettel’s race story would have ended higher than tenth if he hadn’t been forced to do a two-stop strategy.  He was disappointed for his team, but it was good for him to finish in the points on his last race.


Thoughts and Records

This season of Formula 1 had a few firsts.  Max Verstappen is the first driver to win 15 races in a season.  This year’s season was the longest in Formula 1 history.  It was 246 days start to finish.  Next year will feature two more races and a new record to set.  Verstappen sits on 2 Championships and 36 Grand Prix victories.  He is currently sixth all time in Formula 1 victories, with five wins to go to tie Ayrton Senna.

We have 106 days until the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season in Bahrain.  Ferrari made huge strides last off season.  Mercedes seemed to have dropped off last off season and spent most of this season catching up.  What will next season bring?  Given the engine restrictions and the cap on spending, I think we can expect that the racing will remain much the same.  Ferrari will have to go back to the drawing board concerning strategy and reliability.  Charles Leclerc earned nine poles but only won five races.  Carlos Sainz was also robbed of several podium finishes.  Both drivers suffered from incompetent strategy and unreliable cars.  If Ferrari can improve those two areas, they will give Verstappen and Red Bull real competition.  Mercedes still has work to do.  We will see if Lewis Hamilton’s best days are behind him.   One thing is for sure, if Hamilton was in a Red Bull, he would likely be champion once again.

Sebastian Vettel will be missed.  He leaves Formula 1 a four-time champion with Red Bull.  He also leaves Formula 1 holding the record for the most poles earned in a season.  He earned 15 poles during his 2011 championship run.  He also holds the record for the most consecutive Grand Prix wins with nine.  Lastly, he still holds the record for the youngest champion in Formula 1 history.  With all the accolades Vettel has received, Vettel believes his most important legacy is how he uses the resources he has been blessed with to make the world around him a better place.  We could all take a lesson from the joy he brought to the sport and how he uses his platform to positively affect others.

Leave a Replay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday