Max Verstappen converted his pole position yet again as he dominated at Yas Marina to secure his fourth consecutive win at the circuit, a feat he had never achieved before today at any circuit.
Verstappen managed to fend off any challenge from Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc on the first lap as the Dutchman cruised to win by 17.9 seconds over the Monegasque driver.
Sergio Perez crossed the line in second place for Red Bull, but a five-second penalty he was awarded earlier in the race for a collision with McLaren driver Lando Norris meant that he was demoted to fourth place.
Charles Leclerc made a bold tactical decision late on in the race, allowing Perez to overtake him in order to try to allow the Mexican driver to pull a large enough gap to ensure he finished above George Russell in the Mercedes, attempting to help Ferrari beat the Silver Arrows in the Constructor’s Championship.
Leclerc’s tactics did not pay off, however, as although he took second place, Russell managed to keep close and secure third place in the race.
With this result and with Lewis Hamilton finishing in ninth place, Mercedes secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship by just three points over the Scuderia.
Sainz’ chances of getting into fourth were ruined right at the end of his race, as despite running in the points for most of the race, his botched strategy left him finishing in 18th place.
With Leclerc and Norris finishing in the top five, it put the pressure on Alonso in the Aston Martin. However, the experienced Spaniard held his nerve and with a seventh-place finish, he secured fourth place as he equaled Leclerc’s 206 points total, with Norris just one point behind the pair.
With Norris in fifth and his teammate Oscar Piastri in sixth, it ensured that McLaren secured fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship over Aston Martin. A brilliant redemption after their torrid start to the 2023 season.
Yuki Tsunoda helped ensure that Franz Tost’s last race overseeing the Alpha Tauri team was a success, as the Japanese driver drove excellently to take eighth place in the race. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo missed out on the points by just five-tenths as he was unable to complete the fairytale ending for Tost with his team.
Nico Hulkenberg could not follow up his brilliant qualifying performance in the race, as the Haas driver fell all the way down to 15th by the end of the race as Haas could not get any extra points to finish off their season.
Alpine also suffered the same fate, as their drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished 12th and 13th respectively as they could not improve on their points total for the season. Although they had already secured sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship before the race had begun.
Despite Tsunoda’s heroics in the Alpha Tauri, Williams’ previous performances in the season meant they did enough to secure 7th place in the Constructors’ Championship. This was especially helped by Alex Albon’s incredibly impressive season in the Williams, with 27 of their 28 points coming from the Thai driver.
As another season closes it sets the tone for what we can expect for the 2024 season. Red Bull have been nothing short of unstoppable this season. With team principal Christian Horner adamant that they are only going to improve next year, will we see yet another dominant year for the team? Or will a new team finally take control of the grid?
McLaren showed exactly what they’re capable of in the second half of this season. With the team looking like they have finally found the formula of success, it is hard to see a reality where they are not much further up the standings next season. Especially with the young talent they possess in their driver lineup.
As the curtain closes on the 2023 season, it will be a long few months without sport for Formula One fans. With all the drama, collisions, new venues and resurgences, it provided great entertainment throughout the year.
See you all in 2024!