Verstappen wins as Vettel scores points in final race

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc beat the Dutchman’s team-mate Sergio Perez to secure second in the championship.

Leclerc, who was Verstappen’s title rival earlier this year before Ferrari’s season imploded in a flood of errors and reliability failures, held off Perez on divergent strategies to take second place.

Sebastian Vettel’s final race ended in disappointment, the four-time champion bemoaning when he felt was a poor strategy from Aston Martin.

Vettel took the final point for 10th place after Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes retired from fourth place with three laps to go.

Hamilton’s result means he has finished a season without a win for the first time in his career – ending a record only he held.

Verstappen’s win was his 15th of 2022, extending the new record he has set this year for wins in a single season.

Sebastian Vettel overcame a poor strategy to score a point in his 299th and final Grand Prix

He dominated the race and his victory was never in doubt but the fight between Leclerc and Perez made for a tense finish to the race.

Ferrari chose a one-stop strategy for Leclerc, the same as Red Bull with Verstappen, while Perez stopped twice.

That left the Mexican to come back from a 23-second deficit in the final 24 laps if he was to beat Leclerc in a fight that would be decided on whoever finished ahead, as they went into the race tied on points.

Perez closed on the Ferrari at a second or so a lap and more for a while, but Leclerc measured his tyres with skill to cross the line 1.3 seconds ahead.

Many will feel he deserves second in the championship, as he has driven an outstanding season, winning three races to Perez’s two, and has had an inferior car to Perez for the vast majority of the year. (BBC)

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