Max Verstappen is back to winning ways, dominating the race from start to finish, ahead of the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. It wasn’t the most exciting display, but it was a crucial one for the season’s verdicts.
Max Verstappen – 10
Flawless as ever, the Dutchman got a surprising, though deserved pole position on Saturday, narrowly beating Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. His race was a fabulous show, always controlling the gap from the back and lapping faster than everyone to win by over 15 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas – 8.5
Hamilton wasn’t at his best, but the Finn stayed ahead of him in both qualifying and the race. A much-needed breath, just as the season ends. It was a shame for him that Verstappen and the Red Bull were unreachable, but Bottas finally offered a convincing performance.
Lewis Hamilton – 7
Lower determination or precarious physical condition? The Briton’s weekend was very unusual, often being the slower Mercedes and not managing to top a single session. He was close to Bottas for the whole race, but never gave the impression of being able to overtake or being faster. An acceptable end-of-season slip.Embed from Getty Images
Alex Albon – 7
Once again, decent performance for the Red Bull man, who gave a shot to the podium and was error-free, but what about the gap from his teammate? Verstappen dominated, while the Thai-Brit finished 20 seconds adrift. Yes, it was a good performance for his likings, but nowhere near the full potential of the car.
Lando Norris – 9
His qualifying lap was sensational, just two-tenths off pole in a McLaren. It was a shame he couldn’t fend off Albon in the race, but he was often the fastest driver of the midfield group. He drove a commanding race, leading Carlos Sainz to the end for a great P5 that gave his team the third place in the constructors.
Carlos Sainz – 8.5
Starting from P6, Sainz’s race was all conducted behind his teammate, being unable to find his way through. He had a clean start, but after the VSC, he had to get past both Ferraris. He tried to close in the gap on Norris, but had lost too much time. Smooth performance to get home with eight big points, finishing in the top six for the second year running.Embed from Getty Images
Daniel Ricciardo – 8
His first stint on Hard tyres was impressive, lapping with quick and consistent times for 40 laps. Esteban Ocon beat him in qualifying, but the Australian always manages to make the difference in the race. He was great after the VSC, remaining in P5 for most of the race, but wasn’t able to make good use of the tyre delta at the end, finishing behind the McLarens.
Pierre Gasly – 7.5
Not a great qualifying, nor an awesome start, but the Frenchman quickly picked up his pace, overtaking his teammate and getting on the charge. He also got past Lance Stroll, with an assertive dive on the inside. Good race day to help finish a great season on a high.
Esteban Ocon – 6
It’s difficult to say if he could have matched Ricciardo had he been on free track, but it’s also true that he was overtaken by his teammate on track despite being on quicker tyre. He spent most of the race behind Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, only getting past the Racing Point on the last lap for P9.
Lance Stroll – 5
With Sergio Perez’s retirement, the defence of the third place in the constructors was all on his shoulders, but the Canadian was disappointing. It wasn’t his best qualifying, but he was in the mix, even overtaking Daniil Kvyat after a few laps. However, his pace was very inconsistent, struggling to overtake the slower Ferraris and dropping down to P10.Embed from Getty Images
Daniil Kvyat – 5.5
P7 was a very promising grid position for the Russian, but he couldn’t replicate himself in the race. He got a clean start but ended up losing position after position, remaining in P11 until the end. In what is likely to be his final race, it’s a shame he lost the fight for points.
Kimi Raikkonen – 8
Unlike recent shows, finally, the Finn gave something to be proud of. It was just a P12, but the car couldn’t allow him to do better. Antonio Giovinazzi out-qualified him again, but Raikkonen was protagonist in the race, driving away from his group and keeping ahead both Ferraris with some thorough defence.
Charles Leclerc – 6.5
The Monegasque’s race wasn’t memorable but was enough to finish ahead of Vettel. He struggled on the opening stint with medium tyres but stopping earlier allowed him to overtake Vettel. He charged through from last place to P13, but his come-back stopped behind Raikkonen, as despite multiple attempts, Leclerc couldn’t get past.
Sebastian Vettel – 6.5
It looked like he wanted to finish his Ferrari adventure on a high, overtaking Leclerc at the start and appearing slightly quicker. With slower tyres, the German only lost the position to Sainz after the VSC and remained in a solid P8. However, after his stop he couldn’t get back to the points, only settling for P14.Embed from Getty Images
George Russell – 6.5
The Williams appeared particularly slow in Abu Dhabi, but Russell did the job like always, He beat Nicholas Latifi and was able to remain in front of Giovinazzi. Fair race, as he hardly could have done anything more.
Antonio Giovinazzi – 5
Good qualifying, as usual, but this time the Italian was quite disappointing in the race. He finished some way behind Raikkonen and couldn’t pass Russell’s Williams.
Nicholas Latifi – 5.5
Over the season he has made some progress with respect to Russell, being closer, as in today’s race. However, he was beaten in every qualifying session and was very often behind when the race ran without chaos.
Kevin Magnussen – 5
An anonymous ending to his Formula 1 career, fighting in the struggles like most of the season. He was in the mix and tried to gain places, but stopped twice and ended a long way off.
Pietro Fittipaldi – 5.5
Compared to last weekend he was a lot closer, making part of the progress expected. He still finished in last place, but it was harsh to demand more, also considering the car’s struggles.
Sergio Perez – 6
Hard to judge his weekend as he barely took part in qualifying, considering he was set to start last with an engine penalty. His race only lasted a few laps, having to retire, ironically, with a mechanical failure. He was making his way through and was very unlucky to not being able to show what could have been.
You can also check out our driver ratings from last week by clicking here.