Formula 1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race Recap

BY Sean Loo

Verstappen wins 2023 finale as Mercedes secures second

The Abu Dhabi season finale just wrapped up, and it was a rollercoaster of high-speed drama, unexpected moves, and a dash of controversy that Formula 1 is renowned for.

In this high-octane showdown, Max Verstappen, the maestro of speed, clinched the victory, leaving Ferrari's Charles Leclerc biting the dust.

Leclerc made a thunderous start, elbowing his way alongside Verstappen. It was a tango of Ferraris and Red Bulls, with Verstappen waltzing around the Ferrari soon after, holding his ground and maintaining the lead.

And the plot thickens. Leclerc, refusing to yield, made successive attempts to dethrone Verstappen. But Verstappen, with nerves of steel, widened the gap, leaving Leclerc to fend off the relentless McLaren duo.

Pitstops became the chessboard squares where strategy unfolded. Verstappen, orchestrating his moves with the precision of a grandmaster, dove into the pits, switching to the more durable hards. The undercut was a power move, extending his lead over Leclerc.

Now, here's where the drama takes a twist. Sergio Perez, in a quest for glory, clashed with Lando Norris, sparking controversy. The stewards' eyes were on the mechanics too, possibly caught without the required eyewear during pitstops.

As the night descended over Yas Island, Verstappen dominated the track. His lead stretched, his lap times danced in the 1m26s, leaving everyone else chasing shadows.

Perez, in the spotlight for all the right and wrong reasons, battled Norris, with a side dish of controversy. A clash at Turn 6, a penalty, and a relentless pursuit defined Perez's final stint.

Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly, part of the pack, faced investigations for possible infringements during their final stops. The cause? Mechanics not wearing the required eyewear.

As the checkered flag waved, Verstappen stood tall, Perez in hot pursuit, but fate had other plans. Russell, the dark horse, claimed third, securing Mercedes' edge over Ferrari in the constructors' standings. A tactical move that paid off, leaving Sainz's late pitstop on softs a gamble gone awry.

In the end, the engines roared, the tyres screamed, and the Abu Dhabi finale delivered a decent race. It was a strategic ballet on wheels, a drama-filled crescendo to an unforgettable season.