The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a thrilling race that saw minor championship battles and emotional farewells. As the season came to a close, drivers gave their all to end on a high note. In this article, we will recap the winners and losers of the race and discuss their performances.
Charles Leclerc: Ending the season on a high
Charles Leclerc had a strong finish to the 2022 season, securing second place in the grand prix and the world championship. Despite the challenges faced by Ferrari throughout the year, Leclerc's performance in Abu Dhabi showcased his determination and skill. He demonstrated improved pace and executed his race strategy flawlessly [[SOURCE 1]].
Leclerc's success in the race not only boosted his own confidence but also highlighted the importance of keeping him satisfied within the Scuderia. His drive reaffirmed Ferrari's ambitions and the need to support Leclerc in future endeavors [[SOURCE 1]].
Lando Norris: The captain of McLaren
Lando Norris continued to impress with another strong performance in Abu Dhabi. He secured the fastest lap and finished as the best of the rest, further solidifying his position as a top driver. Despite McLaren's struggles, Norris consistently showcased his talent and outperformed his teammate. His performance indicates that he will continue to excel as McLaren improves its facilities and design capabilities [[SOURCE 1]].
Max Verstappen: A dominant victory
Max Verstappen, the race winner, displayed a different level of serenity compared to the previous year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This victory sent a clear message to his competitors that they will need to step up their game in the upcoming season. Verstappen's flawless execution of a one-stop strategy demonstrated his skill and determination. He left his rivals behind and showcased his potential for future success [[SOURCE 1]].
Daniel Ricciardo: A positive end to a challenging season
Daniel Ricciardo had a decent result in Abu Dhabi, making it through to Q3 and securing two points. This performance was a welcome change for Ricciardo, who had faced difficulties throughout the season. Despite a three-place grid penalty, Ricciardo managed to maintain a competitive pace and finish ahead of his teammate. This result provided a positive end to his two-year spell at McLaren [[SOURCE 1]].
Sergio Perez: Missed opportunities
Sergio Perez had a mixed race in Abu Dhabi, missing out on potential opportunities. While he showed moments of being quicker than his teammate, Max Verstappen, he struggled to capitalize on his chances. Perez's over-exuberance in the first stint and a suboptimal pitstop hindered his progress. Although he had a quality weekend overall, he missed the chance to secure a higher position in the championship standings [[SOURCE 1]].
Fernando Alonso: A disappointing retirement
Fernando Alonso's final race with Alpine ended in disappointment as he retired due to a suspected water leak. This retirement was emblematic of his season, which was marred by reliability issues. Despite occasional strong performances, Alonso's campaign was plagued by points lost due to technical problems. However, the retirement allowed him to focus on his future endeavors, including driving the "green car" [[SOURCE 1]].
Lewis Hamilton: A challenging season finale
Lewis Hamilton finished the season on a challenging note, with a hydraulic failure forcing him to retire from the race. This result summed up his winless and difficult season, where he finished behind his teammate in the championship for the first time since 2016. Hamilton's fall from grace was evident, and the late retirement symbolized the struggles faced by both him and Mercedes throughout the year [[SOURCE 1]].
Pierre Gasly: A lackluster performance
Pierre Gasly's final race as part of the Red Bull family was far from memorable. He struggled to match the performance of his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, and finished in a lapped 14th position. Gasly's decision to start the race on soft tires did not provide any significant advantage, and his overall performance fell short of expectations. This lackluster end to his time with the team was a disappointment after his previous accomplishments [[SOURCE 1]].
Aston Martin: Missed opportunities for a higher finish
Aston Martin had the chance to secure a higher position in the constructors' championship but fell short in Abu Dhabi. Despite Lance Stroll's strong performance, the team failed to maximize its points haul. With Sebastian Vettel on the same strategy as Stroll, Aston Martin could have achieved a better result. The team's failure to capitalize on the opportunity cost them a higher position in the championship standings [[SOURCE 1]].
Mick Schumacher: Highlighting his potential
Mick Schumacher's performance in Abu Dhabi emphasized his potential and sent a message to Haas. Despite a collision with Nicholas Latifi, Schumacher outperformed his teammate, Kevin Magnussen. This performance showcased his skills and reminded Haas of his value. As he looks ahead to the next season, Schumacher aims to improve and demonstrate his capabilities [[SOURCE 1]].
In conclusion, the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix provided thrilling moments and emotional farewells. Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and Max Verstappen showcased their talent and determination, while others faced challenges and missed opportunities. As the season comes to an end, drivers and teams will reflect on their performances and prepare for the upcoming season.