Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel’s farewell, HIGHLIGHTS: Verstappen wins; Leclerc and Perez complete podium places

Catch the Live updates from the last Formula 1 race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Catch the Live updates from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel’s final race before retirement.

Catch the Live updates from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel’s final race before retirement. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Catch the Live updates from the last Formula 1 race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Vettel’s last words as a Formula 1 driver

You know how it is. I wish I got couple more (points). It was a good race. We didn’t go for the best strategy. I thought we could have got the championship places around. I’m going to miss (Formula 1) more than I understand now. We opted to stay out and we were going backwards with older tyres. Not so enjoyable in the car. (On his farewell) I feel a bit empty. I repeat, the last two years have been disappointing in term of sport, but plenty to learn. We have a responsibility. Hope to carry it to the other drivers. There are far more important things than racing in circles. Thank you for the support and all the love.

Verstappen after the race

It was a good season. It will be tough to emulate these performances but it is motivation to try and do the same next year.

Leclerc after the race

I was 110% from the start to last. We went with a different strategy. Made the one stop work. Next season I hope I can go one better next season. We need to work in terms of race pace.

Perez after the race

How it is sometimes. I have to be happy. I gave it all. Will come back stronger. We had great moments and battles during the season. We can improve for next season.

Vettel bids farewell

The German driver takes a last lap after the race. He gives the crowd a couple of doughnuts. They chant his name as he appears out of the car. What a fitting farewell for the four-time champion.

Verstappen steals the show

A 15th win of the season for the Dutch driver. Leclerc hangs on for the second place. Perez moves in third. Ferrari are able to get the second place on the constructors championship.

Chequered Flag
  1. Verstappen
  2. Leclerc
  3. Perez
  4. Sainz
  5. Russell
  6. Norris
  7. Ocon
  8. Stroll
  9. Ricciardo
  10. Vettel
Final Lap

Perez has just under two seconds to catch Leclerc as the final lap begins. Leclerc should be able to hold onto the second spot. Latifi retires in the last lap. Zhou moves to 12th on the final lap. Perez closes the gap but still over a second to go. Vettel is making a dash for the ninth place. That could get his team the sixth place.

Lap 57/58

Hamilton is out of the race! That moves Vettel to the points. He is 10th now. Verstappen in a league of his own is eight seconds in the good.

Lap 56/58

Russell goes past his teammate into fifth as Hamilton’s race seems to be over. On the cusp of the end. Perez is under three seconds behind Leclerc.

Lap 55/58

Perez cuts the lead to under four seconds. Gear up for the battle ladies and gentleman. Sainz goes past Hamilton as the Mercedes car seemed to have a hydraulics problem.

Lap 54/58

Hamilton has Sainz just over two seconds behind him. He lets his team know that they should have pitted twice. Bottas moves to 16th place.

Lap 53/58

Perez has cut the deficit to Leclerc to five second now. Still time in the race for the places to shuffle. Perez is informed on the radio that Leclerc is set to defend his position.

Lap 52/58

The gap between Perez and Leclerc continues to shrink with seven laps of racing left. Vettel is trying to make it past Ricciardo in 10th place. Hamiton with another track limit penalty.

Lap 51/58

Stroll moves to ninth place. Hamilton hints that his tyres are giving up. The Brit is six seconds ahead of Sainz now. The Spaniard will catch him at this rate.

Lap 50/58

Leclerc seems confident that he can hold on to the second place. The gap is seven seconds between Leclerc and Perez. Hamilton hanging on to the fourth spot as of now.

Lap 49/58

Stroll is asked to go ahead of Vettel and the German obliges. Leclerc-Perez battle is about to get close in the next few laps.

Lap 48/58

Verstappen assures his team that his tyres are good and he will stay out for a one stop race. Vettel remains in the points at 10th place. Hamilton asks if they are too late to pit now.

Lap 47/58

Perez is now 9 seconds off Leclerc. Hamilton meanwhile has to worry about Sainz who is two seconds faster than him.

Lap 46/58

Verstappen is now seven seconds ahead of Leclerc, and he should be sticking to the one-stop strategy. Perez being stalled by Hamilton plays into Leclerc’s hand. Perez finally goes past him through the inside line.

Lap 45/58

Perez is in place to overtake Hamilton. Russell continues to deliver fastest laps. Perez gets past Hamilton only to lock up and give away the position.

Lap 44/58

Vettel moves to 10th place now. Leclerc and his team are considering another spot. A tricky situation this as his team feels he will be caught by Perez.

Lap 43/58

Perez asks if his pace is enough to catch Leclerc and he gets an affirmative reply. Norris goes to the pit and is still able to come out in seventh place. Vettel in 11th place.

Lap 42/58

Schumacher gets a five second penalty for the collision with Latifi. Russell lands the fastest lap with 1:29.042. Ricciardo continues his ascent and is now eighth.

Lap 41/58

Hamilton is considering a pit stop. He is eight seconds behind Leclerc. Russell moves past Stroll and is now eighth.

Lap 40/58

Russsell pits and serves the penalty. Sainz also in the pit, and comes out behind Norris. Doesn’t stay that way for long as Sainz gets the slip stream to overtake.

Lap 39/58

Vettel has his eyes on 12th place. Schumacher and Latifi collide. There are yellow flags waved. But the cars are back racing. Damage avoided. Hamilton and Russell are in for a battle.

Lap 38/58

20 laps remaining. Hamilton is in the DRS zone behind Russell. He might take the one stop strategy in the race. For the moment, he stays behind.

Lap 37/58

Perez is given the target of making it to the second place, currently 18 second ahead of him.

Lap 36/58

Perez gets the fastest lap on the fresh tyres at 1:29.212. Leclerc and Verstappen might be switching to a one stop strategy. Ricciardo up to 11th now as Albon pits.

Lap 35/58

Verstappen is asked to be kinder to his tyres. His gap is over 5 seconds up front to Leclerc. Vettel up to 14th now. Albon and Ricciardo in a battle for 11th place.

Lap 34/58

Perez takes the pit stop and the Tifossi decide to keep Leclerc out on the track. He moves to second while Perez comes out in sixth place.

Lap 33/58

Sainz relays the message that he is struggling with the tyres. Leclerc meanwhile is nearing the DRS 1 second range to Perez.

Lap 32/58

Russell is asked his opinion on another pit stop and he clearly refuses. The window is estimated at 32-39 laps for the second stop on the hard tyre. He has a five second penalty to serve to as well.

Lap 31/58

Ricciardo is up to 12th now. Leclerc with another fastest lap. Alonso’s retirement means that Ocon will finish ahead of him in the drivers championship.

Lap 30/58

Red Bull is 1-2, Ferrari 3-4 and Mercedes 5-6. The positions will ensure that Ferrari takes the 2nd spot in the constructors championship. Vettel moves to 15th now.

Lap 29/58

Vettel starts his charge and he takes past Gasly for 16th place. Leclerc just got the fastest lap at 1:29.744. Leclerc is keeping his pace better than Perez. An interesting battle is about to follow.

Lap 28/58

Alonso goes to the pit. He’s the last one to enter the pit. And his mechanical unit has gone kaput. He is out of the race. That’s the end of his season.

Lap 27/58

Leclerc continues to cover the gap to Perez, and the meter says he might be in striking distance in six laps. The difference is over three seconds now.

Lap 26/58

Mick Schumacher overtakes Magnussen. Vettel finally gets his pit stop. Comes out in the 19th position and with Hard compound tyres.

Lap 25/58

Norris takes off in the slip stream with the help of DRS and overtakes Vettel. The German is yet to pit. He is angry about the decision from his team. Ricciardo moves to 16th meanwhile.

Lap 24/58

Tsunoda and Alonso in a battle for the 12th place. The Japanese stays ahead but Alonso gets ahead just on the end of the lap.

Lap 23/58

Hamilton moves to the sixth place with an overtake on Vettel. Bottas falls to 13th place, behind Tsunoda and Alonso.

Lap 22/58

In the bottom half, Ricciardo’s nightmare continues as he is 18th at the moment. Ferrari cars locked in a battle for the third place. Sainz has the DRS but is not able to squeeze past. Russell fifth now.

Lap 21/58

Verstappen takes the pit stop which allows Leclerc to take the lead. Sainz finally gets past Vettel. 5 second penalty for an unsafe release. Leclerc takes the pit towards the close of the lap.

Lap 20/58

Verstappen complains about his front right tyre on the radio. Alonso goes to the pit. Vettel continues to frustrate Sainz.

Lap 19/58

Hamilton in the pit. He is out within 2.3 seconds and there seems to be no floor damage to his chassis. He comes out in ninth place. Sainz overtakes Alonso into the fifth place. Vettel would be Sainz’s next target.

Lap 18/58

Russell lands the fastest lap with a timing of 1:29.864. He moves to eighth, overtaking Ricciardo. Verstappen still choosing to stay on the track.

Lap 17/58

Russell and Norris nearly collided on the exit. Sainz called to the pit by Ferrari - the first among the Top 3 to go to the pit. Vettel is now sixth.

Lap 16/58

Perez, Norris and Russell make an appearance on the pit. Hard seems to be the compound of choice for now. Perez sandwiched between Alonso and Vettel after his pit exit.

Lap 15/58

Ocon takes the pit stop. He comes out with the hard tyres. Vettel and Alonso move one places ahead. Verstappen extends his lead to over six seconds.

Lap 14/58

Stroll takes the early pit stop and joins the grid on the 19th spot. Battle for eighth place still raging. Alonso has also gotten closer now.

Lap 13/58

Hamilton again says there is something wrong with the car to his team on the radio. His pace has been degrading with every lap as well. He already has two strikes for track limits.

Lap 12/58

Verstappen in cruise control mode. He is more than three seconds ahead his teammate Perez. Leclerc is third, another three seconds behind second-placed Mexican. Ocon and Vettel again go at each other. Ocon hangs on for the eighth place.

Lap 11/58

Hamilton suspects damage to the chassis from when he went off track. His team assures there is none.

Lap 10/58

Vettel still behind Ocon. Alonso is also hanging around in 10th place to grab the spoils. Russell goes more than a second ahead of his teammate.

Lap 9/58

Russell was told he is free to race. He picks the slip stream and takes over his teammate. The battle not over yet as Hamilton remains within one second. “I’m losing power man,” Hamilton tells on the radio.

Lap 8/58

Mick Schumacher leaps past Gasly to the 16th spot. Gasly seems to be struggling on the soft tyres. Sainz goes past Hamilton. Mercedes occupy 5th and 6th now. Vettel and Ocon too vie for the eighth place.

Lap 7/58

Sainz and Hamilton in a nice battle for the fourth position. The Mercedes man hangs on for the moment. Hamilton went off the track on the lap

Lap 6/58

Vettel remains in the ninth place and Ocon is ahead of him. Alonso makes the Top 10 for the moment. Russell tries to attempt an overtake on Sainz on Turn 8 but the move yields nothing.

Lap 5/58

Hamilton takes the DRS advantage to make an advance on the Ferrari ahead of him. Sainz holds on the first attempt but had to cede on the next one.

Lap 4/58

Stewards investigating the Leclerc-Hamilton event in the opening lap. And it seems like the British driver has been asked to give the position back to Sainz. Hamilton had gone out of the track to get in the fourth place. He now is fifth.

Lap 3/58

Lando Norris has moved one place to the sixth position. The Drag Reduction System is active now. Some overtaking moves between the top two but positions remain unchanged.

Lap 2/58

The first three is Verstappen, Perez and Leclerc. The midfield is tight and competitive. Ricciardo has dropped multiple places and is 13th at the moment.

Lights Out! Off we go

Perez got the better start but Verstappen sticks to his line to maintain his position. Hamilton managed to squeeze into the first three only to be pipped by Leclerc. He had to go off the track to prevent a collision. Sainz sits fifth Russell has slipped down to seventh.

Warm Up for the drivers

The cars are on their way for the formation lap. The drivers usually do this to test their tyres and the working of the entire car. Just the final one-lap run before the race.

Tyres for the race

The tyres in use at the Yas Marina Circuit will be C5, C4, and C3 compounds.

Moments away from Lights Out!

The race will begin at 6:30 PM IST. The drivers are in their cars at the moment, and surrounded by the frenzy of the team crew preparations.

Drivers Standings

Max Verstappen leads the championship with 429 points. He has already won the title. Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez are tied on 290 points and will be vying for the 2nd place. Russell and Hamilton complete the Top 5 with 265 and 240 points, respectively.

Race Grid
  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Sergio Perez
  3. Charles Leclerc
  4. Carlos Sainz
  5. Lewis Hamilton
  6. George Russell
  7. Lando Norris
  8. Estaban Ocon
  9. Sebastian Vettel
  10. Daniel Ricciardo
  11. Fernando Alonso
  12. Yuki Tsunoda
  13. Mick Schmacher
  14. Lance Stroll
  15. Zhou Guanyu
  16. Kevin Magnussen
  17. Pierre Gasly
  18. Valtteri Bottas
  19. Alex Albon
  20. Nicolas Latifi
Some of Vettel’s records

Most consecutive race wins - 9

Most poles in a season - 15

Vettel’s farewell

The German racer, a four-time world champion will bow out of Formula 1 after Sunday. From 298 starts, Vettel managed 53 wins and 122 podium finishes.

PREVIEW

Max Verstappen seized the final pole position of the year with a blistering lap in qualifying for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday ahead of team mate Sergio Perez, who completed a front-row lockout for Red Bull.

Verstappen lapped the floodlit track in one minute 23.824 seconds.

Perez was 0.228 seconds off the double world champion’s pace but pipped Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc, with the pair level on points and locked in a hard-fought battle for second place in the standings.

Carlos Sainz will line up fourth on the second row alongside Ferrari team mate Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton in fifth led team mate George Russell in a Mercedes third-row lockout.

The spotlight will, however, be on Sebastian Vettel. The German will be featuring in the final race of his career. Vettel was among the stars of the evening, and took ninth for Aston Martin on his qualifying swansong.

WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 will be telecast on the Star Sports Network and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar from 6:20 PM IST on Sunday.

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