Saturday, March 2, 2024

2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix highlights





 

Introduction

 

Max Verstappen confidently converted pole position into victory during Sunday evening’s season-ending 2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, making it 19 wins across 22 races in a remarkable year for the Dutchman and his Red Bull team.

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Verstappen defended from Charles Leclerc on the run to the first corner and across the first lap before cementing his lead and gradually pulling clear, taking the chequered flag comfortably ahead of the chasing pack as the sun set on the 2023 campaign.

Sergio Perez crossed the line in second position for Red Bull. Still, a five-second time penalty for a clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris demoted him to fourth when the results were confirmed, leaving Leclerc second and the Mercedes of George Russell third.

Leclerc had been second on the road until the closing laps when he elected to let Perez pass him and try to generate enough of a gap between the Red Bull and Russell to boost Ferrari’s chances of beating Mercedes to second in the constructors’ standings, but it was not to be.

Norris had to settle for fifth after his run-in with Perez, the position he started thanks to his costly qualifying mistake, with teammate Oscar Piastri taking sixth from the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll made it double points finishes for their respective Mercedes and Aston Martin teams, with Daniel Ricciardo missing out by half a second in team boss Franz Tost’s final race overseeing the AlphaTauri squad.

Alpine pair Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly went unrewarded in the season’s final race, the latter having been involved in a brush of bodywork with Hamilton midway through proceedings, followed by the lead Williams of Alex Albon.

Nico Hulkenberg could not convert his Q3 appearance into points for Haas, dropping down to 15th in another challenging race, with Williams rookie Logan Sargeant and the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu coming home 16th and 17th, respectively.

Carlos Sainz had been running in the points in the closing stages. Still, his alternative strategy required a late pit stop and left him a lowly 18th, as Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen completed the order for Alfa Romeo and Haas.

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:

The race accurately reflected the season as a whole, with Max Verstappen totally dominant. At the same time, a close battle raged for every place behind him, with the hierarchy changing, sometimes significantly, from race to race.

2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

As was generally forecast, the C3 compound was far and away the most popular, while the C5 was only used by Sainz for one lap, which he didn’t even complete at the very end of the race. The difference between the one-stop and two-stop strategies was minimal in our pre-race simulations. Still, in the end, almost everyone opted for the two-stop, mainly for tactical reasons, given that degradation was relatively low. In fact, on a track where the undercut is always very effective, it’s clear that when a driver started the run of pit stops, any other drivers battling with them had to do the same to avoid being passed by anyone exploiting new tyres and a clear track ahead. This was seen amongst the leaders and in those further back. While a few drivers tried to go for something different, some going for a one-stop (Ocon, Tsunoda and Bottas), some, like Sainz, hoping for a Safety Car, others going for a longer second stint, trying to make the most of the difference in grip levels between new and used tyres in the closing stages, in particular Perez and Stroll. Verstappen, from his position of superiority, reacted to the moves of his closest rivals in the first stint and then waited for them to pit again before making his second stop in perfect safety.

2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Graining was a factor, especially for those who spent a lot of time in traffic, but it was far less significant for drivers who could run in clean air, which applied to both the medium and hard.

What’s next?

2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

All the Formula 1 teams are staying in Abu Dhabi for a day’s testing on Tuesday. Each Team can use two cars, one for their race drivers and the other for a rookie. With no new compounds to evaluate, track time will be used to optimise tyre management for next season with the help of the additional sensors they can fit. The data acquired will then be shared with Pirelli. The cars used by the race drivers will have ten sets of tyres available: one C1, one C2, two C5, three C4 and three C3. The young drivers can use a maximum of eight sets: two C4, two C5 and four sets of C4.

2023 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race Results

Pos No Driver Country Team Time Points Overall
1. 1 Max Verstappen Netherlands Red Bull Racing 1:29:08.289 25 549
2. 16 Charles Leclerc Monaco Scuderia Ferrari +2.070s 18 188
3. 11 Sergio Perez Mexico Red Bull Racing +2.241s 15 273
4. 31 Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team +18.665s 12 58
5. 18 Lance Stroll Canada Aston Martin F1 Team +20.067s 10 73
6. 55 Carlos Sainz Spain Scuderia Ferrari +20.834s 8 200
7. 44 Lewis Hamilton Great Britain Mercedes-AMG Petronas +21.755s 6 232
8. 63 George Russell Great Britain Mercedes-AMG Petronas +23.091s 4 160
9. 14 Fernando Alonso Spain Aston Martin F1 Team +25.964s 2 200
10. 81 Oscar Piastri Australia McLaren Racing +29.496s 2 89
11. 10 Pierre Gasly France Alpine F1 Team +34.270s 0 62
12. 45 Alexander Albon Thailand Williams Racing +43.398s 0 27
13. 20 Kevin Magnussen Denmark Haas F1 Team +44.825s 0 3
14. 3 Daniel Ricciardo Australia Scuderia AlphaTauri +48.525s 0 6
15. 24 Zhou Guanyu China Alfa Romeo F1 Team +50.162s 0 6
16. 2 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing +50.882s 0 1
17. 77 Valtteri Bottas Finland Alfa Romeo F1 Team +85.350s 0 10
18. 22 Yuki Tsunoda Japan Scuderia AlphaTauri DNF 0 13
19. 27 Nico Hulkenberg Germany Haas F1 Team DNF 0 9
20. 4 Lando Norris Great Britain Mclaren Racing DNF 0 195

2023 Constructor Standings

Pos Picture Team Points
1. Red Bull Racing 860
2. Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 409
3. Scuderia Ferrari 406
4. McLaren Racing 302
5. Aston Martin F1 Team 280
6. Alpine F1 Team 120
7. Williams Racing 28
8. Scuderia AlphaTauri 25
8. Alfa Romeo Racing 16
10. Haas F1 Team 12

Here are the team-by-team highlights:

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