The 2023 Formula One season just concluded at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Sunday. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leveraged on his pole position to win the race while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and George Russell of Mercedes F1 tailed him.
The Yas Marina circuit event saw complete dominance from Max Verstappen as he rallied from the pole to the checkered flag, capping the 2023 season with 19 wins. Although Charles Leclerc geared up to mount a significant offense in the early laps, the three-time champ was able to hold his challenger back for a strong finish at 1:27:02.624, leaving the driver from Ferrari with a 17.993 deficit.
George Russell appeared to have played his cards right and with plenty of caution as he took the podium over two seconds next to his Ferrari rival. Along the way, Lewis Hamilton bagged ninth.
Thanks to a stroke of luck for Mercedes — or misfortune on the side of Ferrari for the failure of Carlos Sainz to finish, the three-pointed star marque narrowly retained its runner-up spot in the Constructors Standings just three points ahead of the Prancing Horse team. The scores in this category tally up to 409 points for Mercedes and 406 points for Ferrari.
Meanwhile, since there were no oppositions on the rankings of Hamilton and Russell in the Drivers Standings, they conveniently kept their P4 and P8 ranks, respectively, at the end of the season. Hamilton raked up 234 points while Russell took 175 points this year.
Previously, Toto Wolff stated that they would give their all in Abu Dhabi as the lead of Mercedes over Ferrari in the Constructors slimmed down to four points.
“Ferrari have closed the gap in the Constructors’ to just four points and we’re ready to give it our all in Abu Dhabi,” the Mercedes F1 team principal and CEO said earlier.
In another interview moments before the Grand Prix, he emphasized that he was already “fed up” with the excuses explaining the subpar performance of Mercedes F1.
“That was what was in the car, but expectations were higher, and I am fed up with having explanations of why it didn’t go well,” he told Sky Sports F1.
Despite not winning the race, the star of Mercedes aligned perfectly this time in the UAE capital as it got to keep the bragging rights of being the second-best F1 team for 2023.