Leclerc ends the second year after resisting the harassment of 'Checo' Pérez
Carlos Sainz finishes fourth and Fernando Alonso says goodbye to Alpine with an abandonment
Ferrari achieves Constructors' runner-up in Vettel's last race
MADRID, 20 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Dutch driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has prevailed this Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last round of the Formula 1 World Cup, a race in which the Monesgascan Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) has tied the runner-up of drivers and Ferrari , that of Constructors, while the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) finished fourth and Fernando Alonso said goodbye to Alpine with an abandonment.
In the fifteenth victory of the season for 'Mad Max', current world champion, Leclerc resisted the harassment in the final stretch of the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), with whom he arrived at Yas Marina tied at 290 points overall, to finish second and confirm his second final position in the World Cup.
Ferrari also achieved second place in the Constructors' World Championship, partly thanks to the work of Carlos Sainz in his fight with the Mercedes of the British Lewis Hamilton, who could not finish the race after being advanced three laps from the end by the man from Madrid.
For his part, Alonso consummated his sixth retirement of the year after his engine said enough on lap 28, a sad farewell to his third stint at Renault, now as Alpine. The Asturian, who next year will run for Aston Martin, could not return the German Sebastian Vettel to the hall of champions that he gave him along with Hamilton in his first withdrawal from Formula 1.
The duel between Sainz and Hamilton marked the first laps at Yas Marina, in which the two Red Bulls tried to break away. The Briton passed the man from Madrid at the start, a tense fight sharpened after the seven-time world champion flew through the chicane, just like last year against Verstappen, to return to the lead on the second lap.
Hamilton returned the position to him two laps later, but he recovered it after a poor line-up by the Spaniard, who managed to confirm his fourth place by overtaking him definitively on lap 8 to return Ferrari to the fight for the runner-up spot in the Constructors' World Championship. .
Meanwhile, Alonso, who started tenth, tried to climb positions, weighed down by the prohibition of his team to overtake his teammate Esteban Ocon. After going through the pits and falling to fourteenth place, the Spaniard overtook Valtteri Bottas and Yuki Tsunoda in search of points, but his engine broke and ended his options.
The Ferraris, meanwhile, tried to hunt down 'Checo' Pérez, who entered the garages to avoid the melee with Leclerc when the Monegasque was walking 1.5 seconds behind. The one from the 'Scuderia' stood out as the fastest driver on the track when an accident between Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi threatened to bring out the 'safety car', at which point Sainz decided to enter the garages.
Ahead, after coming out of the pits, Pérez got rid of Hamilton to go for Leclerc, and Sainz tried to do the same with the Briton. "He had to have stopped," lamented the seven-time champion before the Spaniard overtook him three laps to the checkered flag and he had to retire due to a breakdown.
Just over two seconds separated Leclerc and Pérez with two laps to go, a fight for the second place that the 'Prancing Horse' pilot finally won. Both completed a podium that Sainz, fourth, could not get on, all in a 'Top 10' that closed the German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), who is retiring from Formula 1.