Going into Sunday’s race, Max Verstappen never led a lap at Yas Marina Circuit.
When the lights went out, he put on a clinic in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and took the final checkered flag of the season.
The driver of the No. 33 Red Bull Racing Aston Martin started from pole and led all 55 laps to score his 10th career victory in 120 starts.
Valtter Bottas brought his car home to a runner-up finish, while Lewis Hamilton, back from a week off due to COVID, rounded out the podium.
Alex Albon and Lando Norris rounded out the top-five.
Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll rounded out the points.
Max Verstappen led the field to green at 8:13 a.m. ET (5:13 p.m. GT). It was an uneventful first lap, as he pulled away from Bottas and Hamilton.
Very little overtaking took place in the opening laps. Aside from Ocon, everyone who started in the top-10 remained in the top-10.
Sergio Perez, coming off a win last Sunday, lost power out of Turn 17 and stopped his car off-track in Turn 19. This brought out the virtual safety car, which turned into a full-blown safety car period. The top-10 cars pitted under the slowdown and changed onto hard tires. The Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc didn’t pit, however, and moved up to seventh and eighth.
Back to green on Lap 14, Verstappen repeated what he did on the opening laps. He pulled away from the Mercedes duo.
The race ran clean after the restart and Verstappen took the checkered flag.
What else happened
Aside from Perez’s power failure, not much else happened. It was a relatively clean race, which is normal for Yas Marina.
Nuts and bolts
The race lasted one hour, 36 minutes and 28 seconds, at an average speed of 118.050 mph.
There was zero lead changes among zero different drivers and one safety car period.
Formula 1 goes on offseason hiatus for 96 days. It returns to action March 21, 2021, in Australia.
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