Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
December 13 2020 , 11:55 pm
After a long 17-race season, Formula One came to a close with Max Verstappen’s win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton wanting to complete one final piece of business before Christmas.
The world champion has yet to renew his contract with Mercedes but the deal that will take the sport’s most successful driver into 2021 is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.
Verstappen won with a flawless drive from pole in what was an uninspiring race at Yas Marina, a circuit where passing is difficult and which has repeatedly failed to deliver anything but anodyne spectacles. That should not detract from Verstappen’s exhibition of consummate control; he held his place throughout and unchallenged, and took the flag 15 seconds up on Valtteri Bottas in second and 18 clear of Hamilton in third. Both of the drivers behind him said they were simply unable to match the pace of the Red Bull.
The Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, praised Verstappen’s “most dominant race for us”. It was his 10th career win and his second this season, an enormous boost to end the year.
In the tight and financially vital battle for third, McLaren took the honours, with Lando Norris taking a superb fifth ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz. It was McLaren’s best result since Hamilton left in 2013. Racing Point were fourth and Renault fifth.
For Ferrari, who have had a trying year with a slow, difficult to handle car, the season’s end will be a welcome relief as the Scuderia were in sixth place, their worst season since finishing 10th in the championship in 1980.
Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were seventh and 10th for Renault, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly eighth and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll ninth.