The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE hosted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 1, 2019. However, it was the last race of the season, marking the twenty-first round. Since its entry into the F1 calendar, the venue has hosted 11 races so far.
The circuit covers a length of 5.554 kilometers with 55 laps. Lewis Hamilton, with his remarkable racing skills, witnessed the checkered flag at the end of the race. He achieved the fastest lap in the race, and crossed the finish line before Max Verstappen, further followed by Charles Leclerc.
It was a race fueled with extremely dramatic moments. It was a neck-to-neck fight among Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and Charles Leclerc from the pole position.
However, the fight for the dominant position by Mercedes, Red-Bull, and Ferrari did not go unseen throughout the weekend. Lewis Hamilton aced the qualifying too, followed by his teammate, and further by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc at the fourth position.
On the final day, the FIA let out an investigation on Leclerc’s cockpit after the completion of the race for a breach of FIA law. It was on air that Leclerc’s cockpit had a different fuel level than what the team stated. However, the Monacan racer luckily got to keep the third position he achieved in the race.
The Technical Delegate of FIA, Jo Bauer stated, “The fuel declaration of car number 16 was checked before the car left the pit-lane.”
He further added, “There was a significant difference between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car. As this is non in compliance with TD/12-19 I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”
The seven-time World Champion, unstoppable from the beginning of the race, maintained the highest speed throughout the entire course of the race. Along with his striking strategies and tactics, he became the first bird to touch the finish pole.
The stern battle for the second rank between Verstappen and Leclerc was a gala watch for the audience. At turn seven and eight, Leclerc gained on Verstappen to push him to the third position. However, by the end of the match, Verstappen regained his position and claimed the second rank on the podium.
The race in the early laps witnessed Pierre Gasly get into a car wreck. The collision of Stroll’s cockpit with Gasly’s AlphaTauri further let it clash with Perez’s cockpit, leading to the crash.
The DRS went off on the fourth lap for technical faults. On the 18th lap, the DRS resumed.
However, through later revelations, the actual reason came to light. It was a decision made by the race director to keep a check on the racing pattern after a server problem that led to disruptions of communications. Subsequently, to keep a check on the racers and avoid the use of DRS in the restricted zone.
Race Director Michael Masi stated, “A data server crashed.”
He continued, “The timing was still operating as we all saw. But that crashed, [so] immediately we disabled it.” Masi further added,
” [We made] sure it was back up and running, and back up and running in a stable condition that we were confident with what was being sent was being sent equally and correctly. And once we were happy with that between us, we reactivated it and enabled DRS.”
Another event worth mentioning is the Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica collision, for which both suffered a fall in the racecourse. Valtteri Bottas did a magnificent job in the grid to stand high in the score chart. He started off from the back and finished in rank four.
Multiple overtakes took place in the last two laps. Ferrari received a fine of 50,000 euro for the fuel problem; however, Leclerc got the podium finish. Amidst all the drama and hyped up moments in the race, Hamilton earned the victory. He recorded his sixth “grand slam” in the race, following his last one in 2017 British Grand Prix.