2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Sunday
The new world champion won again in Abu Dhabi ahead of Leclerc, who sealed second in the championship in front of Perez
“Abu Dhabi provided a worthy finale to this exceptional Formula 1 season. The finishing order at Yas Marina was determined by the choice of different tyre strategies; a further demonstration of how Pirelli’s work has contributed to making this year’s championship so compelling and competitive. As we expected, we saw both one-stop and two-stop strategies today. Generally speaking, degradation was lower than it had been on Friday, which allowed for longer stints. The compound of the race was undoubtedly the hard, which took most of the drivers to the chequered flag. Tuesday will be Pirelli day, with the teams all staying on to test the 2023 tyres for the first time. Even though the cars won’t be the same as those used next year and the set-up not optimised for the new specification of tyre, the teams will still obtain important feedback on the three softest compounds – which are best suited to the characteristics of the Yas Marina track – and the new C1.”
TYRE TALES: HOW THE RACE WAS WON
- World champion Max Verstappen won the final round of the 2022 season, in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman finished ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez. All the drivers on the podium ended the race on the P Zero White hard.
- The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place in partially cloudy conditions and asphalt temperatures that ranged between 31.4 and 34.4 degrees, similar to yesterday’s qualifying.
- The teams chose a variety of different strategies for the race. As a result of the data gathered in the preceding days, 11 drivers went for a two-stopper while eight selected a more conservative one-stop strategy.
- Red Bull split the strategy for its two drivers, both of whom finished on the podium. Verstappen stopped on lap 20 to swap his starting set of P Zero Yellow medium tyre for the hard, whereas Perez stopped twice (on lap 15 and 33), running two hard stints after starting on the medium.
- McLaren’s Lando Norris set the fastest lap of the race on lap 44, thanks to a time of 1m28.391s using the medium. The longest hard compound stint was instead completed by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, totalling 43 laps after starting on the P Zero Red soft.
BEST OF THE REST: THE ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY
The majority of the drivers started the race on the medium compound. Gasly was the only driver to start on the soft, while Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen opted to begin on the hard.
Some teams chose to split their strategies, considering the minimal difference in overall race time between one and two stops in simulations. This was the case for Mercedes, which stopped George Russell twice (on a medium-hard-medium strategy) but Lewis Hamilton just once; who was on a long final stint using the hard tyre before retiring prior to the finish.
Ferrari was another team to adopt split strategies. Carlos Sainz stopped twice (medium-hard-hard) while his team mate stopped only once, going from the medium to the hard.