Lewis Hamilton led from lights to flag in dominant fashion at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc avoiding a penalty for fuel discrepancy!
Hamilton comfortably fended off Max Verstappen at the start and from there onwards, the Brit didn’t look back. He managed to extend his tyre life to pit on lap 27 and execute the one stop strategy -as did Max Verstappen who finished P2-
Ferrari decided to go for the two stop strategy after Charles Leclerc was passed by Verstappen on fresher tyres. On both stops, Ferrari decided to double stack on both pit stops. However, Sebastian Vettel’s first stop was well over 6 seconds dropping him out of the podium fight.
Instead, the podium fight was between Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas -who started from dead last thanks to taking a new engine- but the Ferrari driver just managed to fend off the Flying Finn. However, just under an hour before the race began, Ferrari and Leclerc were under investigation for a “significant” fuel discrepancy. Despite the investigation for the whole race, Ferrari recieve a 50,000 euro fine and Leclerc keeps the podium.
In the midfield, Carlos Sainz managed to make a late two stop strategy work and in the process take 6th in the drivers championship. The Spaniard managed to pass the departing Nico Hulkenberg on the final lap to get the point he needed to ensure he beat Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon to that P6 finish.
Sainz’s teammate Lando Norris lost out to Sergio Perez on the final lap but managed to still come home in P8 ahead of Danill Kvyat and Sainz.
Elsewhere Hulkenberg finished P12 on his potential final F1 race with the other departing driver of Robert Kubica finishing in 19th.
Article by Ollie Cassidy