Max Verstappen Brings 2020 F1 Season to A Close with Commanding Abu Dhabi GP Win – Race Report

Published 12/13/2020, 9:52 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


On a cool, breezy evening at the Yas Marina Circuit, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen continued his momentum from qualifying to win the Abu Dhabi GP. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas joined him on the podium, in what was a good race for them as well.

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The race got off to the right start for all 20 drivers, with no incidents occurring on the opening lap. Verstappen utilized the Honda power to the fullest, even pulling away two seconds clear of second-placed Bottas in the first few laps.

In the fight for P4 in the race, McLaren’s Lando Norris fended off Albon for a few laps. Eventually, the Thai driver came out a little strong and overtook Norris to claim P4.

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Sergio Perez had to retire from the 2020 season finale with a mechanical issue

Racing Point received a huge blow to their hopes to retain P3 in the Constructors’ table when Perez lost power in his car. Driving from the back of the grid, he had made up places. However, an unfortunate transmission issue forced a retirement for the Mexican, in what was his last race for the team.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during practice Kamran Jebreili/Pool via REUTERS

The safety car ensured cars got an opportunity to get in their pit stops, with Red Bull undercutting Mercedes. The latter executed a double-stacked pit stop just like the Sakhir GP, but there were no hassles this time around for the defending champions.

Ferrari electing to stay out on their original set of tires, but paid the price of it 22 laps into the race. With Gasly and Stroll on fresher tires, they were able to easily overtake the Monegasque on the DRS zones. Meanwhile, Vettel bid farewell to Ferrari in his last race with the team with a P14 finish.

Max Verstappen was dominant in the entirety of the 55 lap-race

With most teams taking a two-stop strategy, Red Bull and Mercedes comfortably sealed their positions in front. Max’s teammate Albon took home a P4, giving the Red Bull management something to think about ahead of their 2021 seat decision.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

It was not the dominant 1-2 performance for Mercedes, but both Hamilton and Bottas got to the podium yet again. Their early strategy might force them to rethink in hindsight if it was the right call to bring in both drivers. However, with both titles already sewn up, there was not a lot of incentive for them in the race.

Both McLaren drivers finished in respectable positions and helped by Racing Point’s failure, as the Woking-based outfit claimed P3 in the Constructors’ standings.

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Overall, it was a straightforward race for everyone in F1 to close out the 2020 season. They will now look forward to the new season with a short break and renewed optimism to do even better next year.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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