USA Today via Reuters

The final race of the season in Abu Dhabi was an emotional one for F1 fans across the world. It was the last race of retiring 4X champion Sebastian Vettel, whereas Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher, and Nicholas Latifi also raced for the last time in the foreseeable future. Moreover, the race was attended by multiple high-profile celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, will.i.am, Patrice Evra, etc.

Max Verstappen won the race comfortably ahead of anyone else. He won his 15th race of the season, quite an extraordinary record. However, it was the Monegasque who split the two Red Bulls and finished P2 in both – the race and the WDC. The Ferrari driver executed his 1-stop strategy to perfection as he clinched his career-high finish in the driver’s championship.


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The fans enjoyed the race, which had plenty of entertainment. From the very first lap to the last one, fans were on the edge of their seat. Among the high-profile guests present in the Yas Marina Circuit, it was fan-favorite Shaquille O’Neal who stole the show.

The NBA legend would have certainly enjoyed his time in the Abu Dhabi GP. He is a big fan of the sport and has been presenting the winner’s trophy in the US GP for two years running now.

F1 Twitter reacts to Shaquille O’Neal watching the race in Abu Dhabi

Let’s face it, where there’s Shaq, there’s entertainment. If the crowds didn’t find the race intriguing enough, the former Laker would have completed the missing puzzle. Fans on Twitter shared their excitement of spotting the $400M man in the stands.

One fan also joked about buying an expensive ticket to watch the race and being the unfortunate guy sitting behind the 7-foot-1-inch NBA Hall of Famer.

Other fans spotted his childish excitement whilst watching the race.


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F1 will return with the Bahrain GP next year, as teams will take this period to assess this season and move forward to the next one. Max Verstappen and Red Bull will be challenged by Ferrari and Mercedes next year, especially with the penalty for breaching the budget cap last year. Do you think we’ll see a new winner in Formula 1 in 2023?

Written by

Tanmay Khanna


One take at a time

Tanmay Khanna is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. He has always been an avid sports fan, with F1 and soccer being his two favorites. Due to his inherent love for sports and competition, he has been able to understand the world of F1 inside out.
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Edited by

Ranvijay Singh