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2023 F1 Abu Dhabi GP results: Max Verstappen wins finale

Verstappen beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and George Russell of Mercedes, fending off an early challenge from Leclerc but, as per usual, his dominance was unchallenged thereafter.

His team-mate Sergio Perez finished second on the road but dropped to fourth due to a 5s penalty after a clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris.

2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix results

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Time 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 58 -
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 58 -17.993
63 George Russell Mercedes 58 -20.328
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 58 -21.453
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 58 -24.284
81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 58 -31.487
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 58 -39.512
22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 58 -43.088
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 58 -44.424
10  18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 58 -55.632
11  3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 58 -56.229
12  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 58 -1'06.373
13  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 58 -1'10.360
14  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 58 -1'13.184
15  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 58 -1'23.696
16  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 58 -1'27.791
17  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 58 -1'29.422
18  55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 57 -
19  77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 57 -
20  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 57 -

How the 2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix unfolded

Polesitter Verstappen just held his advantage over Leclerc on the short sprint to Turn 1, with Oscar Piastri’s McLaren running third from team-mate Norris, who passed Russell’s Mercedes around the outside of Turn 2.

Leclerc almost passed Verstappen at the end of the back straight but the champion again just did enough to hold him off through Turn 6.

Further back, Perez passed Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) for ninth on lap three after Hamilton had moved ahead of him off the track at Turn 1 straight after the start.

Norris DRS-ed past Piastri to take third on lap four. Russell attacked Piastri on lap seven, almost getting ahead into Turn 9, and tried again two laps later with the same result.

Piastri locked up at Turn 6 on lap 11, allowing Russell to ease past him on the following straight to reclaim fourth. Perez overtook Pierre Gasly (Alpine) for eighth on lap 12.

Piastri was the first of the leaders to pit on lap 14, just holding off Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin as he rejoined, which had pitted a lap earlier.

Norris pitted a lap later and lost third to Russell due to a slow stop.

Hamilton hit Gasly at Turn 6, after the Frenchman locked up and overslowed for the apex. Gasly was then furious to be undercut by his team-mate Ocon in the opening pitstops.

Verstappen pitted on lap 17, promoting Leclerc to the lead for a lap until he too stopped. Verstappen held a 3s lead after the pitstop cycle played out, but Leclerc had Russell much closer behind and had to push on his fresh rubber after running longer.

Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) was the last of the medium-tyred starters to pit, enjoying a handful of laps out front before stopping on lap 23.

By half distance at dusk, Verstappen extended his led to over 6s ahead of Leclerc, while Perez passed Alonso and Piastri to snatch fifth by lap 28.

The second round of stops occurred from lap 34, with Norris the first of the top five to pit. Russell covered that on the next tour, while attempting to undercut Leclerc, who likewise responded, and was aided by Russell getting stuck behind Lance Stroll’s Aston.

Hamilton passed Alonso with 20 laps to go, claiming that Alonso brake tested him during his out-lap on the run to Turn 5, but Alonso got him back a tour later.

Perez ran in second until lap 43 before making his final stop, rejoining in sixth. Alonso and Hamilton passed Ocon in the lower reaches of the top 10.

Verstappen then made his second stop and rejoined 5s clear of Leclerc. Perez eased past Tsunoda for fifth and chased down Norris, banging wheels with him at Turn 6 on lap 47. Perez passed him cleanly at the same place a lap later but received a 5s penalty for causing the earlier collision.

Perez passed Russell at Turn 9 and had just over four laps to build a 5s gap over Russell. Alonso passed Tsunoda for seventh on the penultimate lap with a bold move at Turn 9.

Verstappen won his 19th race of the season, racking up over 1000 laps led in 2023, by almost 18s from Perez, who Leclerc let past to attempt to ensure Ferrari finished second in the constructors’ championship – a bid that ultimately failed as Perez dropped to fourth.

Mercedes beat Ferrari by three points.

Norris finished fifth from Piastri, Alonso, Tsunoda and Hamilton, the latter pair swapping eighth position on the last lap at Turn 9.

2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Kp/h 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'26.993   218.541
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'27.493 0.500 217.292
23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1'27.845 0.852 216.422
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'28.050 1.057 215.918
81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1'28.138 1.145 215.702
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'28.164 1.171 215.639
63 George Russell Mercedes 1'28.187 1.194 215.582
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'28.199 1.206 215.553
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'28.256 1.263 215.414
10  44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'28.372 1.379 215.131
11  3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'28.571 1.578 214.648
12  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1'28.580 1.587 214.626
13  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'28.746 1.753 214.224
14  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'29.016 2.023 213.575
15  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'29.217 2.224 213.093
16  22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'29.256 2.263 213.000
17  55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'29.452 2.459 212.534
18  77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'29.863 2.870 211.562
19  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'29.934 2.941 211.395
20  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'30.033 3.040 211.162
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