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Catching up with Formula One: Abu Dhabi

Written by Sofia Costantino Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Are you ready to dive into the high-speed world of Formula One? Whether you're a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, there's never been a better time to catch up with everything happening on track this year.

This article has got you covered, from the latest race results and driver standings to the biggest shocks and controversies. So buckle up and get ready to experience the thrill of the race like never before!

Image credits: Motorsport Images.

Welcome back! As thrilled as we are to see what the next season has in store, we are extremely sad to see this one end. We are just a few days away from the last Grand Prix of the year: Abu Dhabi! But let's catch up on this past weekend, viva Las Vegas!

What Verstappen initially described 99% show and 1% sport — correctly but hastily — ended up being more sport than what was experienced off the tracks, with an extraordinary, intense and fun race, thanks to a magnificent layout favouring good overtaking, and real field battles for positions.

In the end, Las Vegas turned out to be a sporting spectacle, worthy of the City of Entertainment, and Formula One as an elite sport.

Again, for the eighteenth time this season, Verstappen won (53, matching Sebastian Vettel in third place of the most victories), but was made to work harder for it, due to an extraordinary performance by Leclerc and Ferrari, a team that dominated free practice, qualifying, and even the Monegasque being a firm contender for the victory, eventually finishing behind the Dutchman.

Image credits: motorsport images.

Verstappen on this occasion, had some luck, because after being overtaken by Leclerc, who he had illegally passed on lap one, at turn one, by driving him off the track, for which he was penalised with 5 seconds of time he paid on the first pit stop, he managed to overtake him again when he was favoured by a stop for fresh tyres with Safety Car on track, deployed by a self-collision overtaking George Russell, the latter penalised five seconds, added to his final race time

The first row of the impressive Ferrari, was lost by the absurd penalty of 10 places on the starting grid to Carlos Sainz, for changing elements of the power unit in his SF-23, ensuing from damage sustained while rolling over a top of drain on the long straight of the hotels, that had already been dislodged by Esteban Ocon’s Alpine earlier.

Driving at over 300 km/h, the Madrid driver was saved from a serious accident, as well as bodily injuries, when cutting the metal piece of about 20 centimetres from the floor of the single-seater, and even longitudinally, a part of the seat of the Spanish driver.

Image credits: Motorsport Images.

With the high performance of the Ferraris, the race for the transalpine riders could have been very different, not counting Leclerc with the help of his teammate, who thus started from twelfth place on the grid.

Even so, Charles did an amazing race, and absolutely phenomenal performance, fighting for the lead against Verstappen, and later with Mexican Sergio Pérez, against whom he managed to snatch second place on the last lap, after having lost it laps earlier, when braking on a corner.

For the Guadalajara driver, nicknamed the “Minister of Defense” (for his well-known defensive manoeuvres against Lewis Hamilton in the past), it seems that in the final round he is without fighting energy, because he’d lost out on a last-lap pass for a podium position twice in two races. Remember back in Brazil, Fernando Alonso also beat him on the final lap, to get him out of the top three.

Image credits: Motorsport Images.

With second place achieved by Leclerc, and sixth by Sainz (he came out twelfth, fell to the rear due to a spin in the first corner), Ferrari sits only four points behind Mercedes (hence the refusal) for the manufacturers' runner-up, team looking forward to this weekend, to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, to get rid of the disastrous W14, in what could be the first race since 2011 without at least a win.

Despite the hostile hours for various locations around the globe, including the East Coast of the USA, those of us who enjoyed it live, we certainly witnessed one of the best of the season. Time changes will be requested by the teams themselves, due to the logical fatigue generated by the activity until dawn, although in Las Vegas they are more than accustomed to being up 24 hours a day.

Who would have thought that? The perfect show was on the track, with some mistakes certainly fixable on the outside. With a dazzling setting — even in a desert — that turns out to be entertaining for some and for those who don't, you can watch the race from the red lights out to the chequered flag down.

It was certainly one of the best races of this season, filled with strategy, talent, anger and for sure entertainment. With that said, see you next week for our last catching up of the season.

Justin Bieber waved the chequered flag at the Las Vegas Grand Prix; Image Credits - Motorsport Images.


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