F1 – Abu Dhabi GP – Race
The final race of the 2018 FIA F1 World Championship takes place in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Both championships were already decided heading into the weekend, but there are positions left to play for in both championships lower down the field. It’s also worth mentioning that several drivers are exiting F1 after this race; Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon being the most notable.
Crashes are always expected into turn one of the final race, but as they released the cars the drivers were all very well behaved during the first few corners – good driving. However, later on during that opening lap, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean would get together causing Nico to barrel roll in a dramatic incident. The German driver was okay, and the collision would go down as a racing incident.
As the safety car came out to neutralise the race following that crash, the top four would remain as they started with Lewis Hamilton leading Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Charles Leclerc had made it up to 5th place with Daniel Ricciardo 6th. Max Verstappen had dropped down to 9th after a slow getaway from the grid.
When the safety car came in, Kimi Raikkonen would be disappointed as a mechanical failure meant that the Finish driver would not finish the race; his last for Ferrari as he joins Sauber in 2019. Speaking of Sauber, Marcus Ericsson would also not finish following a loss of power. The Swede moves to IndyCar next season. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly would also retire later in the race as the cars reached the limits of their useable life.
A virtual safety car was deployed for Raikkonen’s stricken Ferrari, and that would cause a mixture of strategies out there with some drivers taking the opportunity to pit. No doubts about the winner though, Lewis Hamilton controlled the race today with relative ease – the perfect way to sign off his championship winning season. Sebastian Vettel finished 2nd; it’s very fitting that the two primary title contenders of 2018 finished the final race in that order. Max Verstappen completed the podium ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo. Valtteri Bottas came home 5th ahead of Carlos Sainz who took a very impressive 6th. 2019 Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc came home 7th. Sergio Perez would finish 8th in Force India’s last race – and that’s a result that would secure them 7th overall in the constructors’ championship – ahead of the two Haas drivers with Romain Grosjean ahead of Kevin Magnussen.
So that’s the end of the 2018 season. Thankfully, we have season five of Formula E to tide us over until the 2019 F1 season begins. You’ll be able to catch all the Formula E action right here with us at MinE Drivers.