Max Verstappen turned in an imperious drive to win the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and claim his and Red Bull’s second victory of the 2020 Formula 1 campaign.

The Dutchman converted a shock pole position at the Abu Dhabi finale into a commanding win as he comfortably beat Valtteri Bottas and world champion Lewis Hamilton, with both Mercedes drivers running with their engines turned down after discovering an MGU-K “gremlin” ahead of the race.

In a season in which Mercedes has utterly dominated, Verstappen capped off the season in perfect fashion by taking just the third non-Mercedes powered win of 2020, adding to his previous victory at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Bottas had no answer to Verstappen’s pace as he crossed the line over 15 seconds adrift, with teammate Hamilton complaining of handling and balance issues in his W11 as he completed the podium in third place.

The seven-time world champion admitted that he was still suffering the after-effects of contracting coronavirus on his return to action for Mercedes, having missed the first race of his F1 career at the previous round in Bahrain.

Alex Albon finished just 1.5s behind Hamilton in fourth for Red Bull with his future beyond the end of the season set to be decided after this weekend as Sergio Perez continues to be linked with his seat for 2021 alongside Verstappen.

McLaren clinched third place in the constructors’ championship - and the millions of pounds of prize money that comes with it - as Lando Norris headed teammate Carlos Sainz in fifth.

The strong result helped the Woking outfit successfully overhaul nearest rivals Racing Point at the final round, with Lance Stroll only 10th and Perez retiring following a loss of power.

In his final race for Renault before making the switch to McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo took a solid seventh, ahead of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and teammate Esteban Ocon, who pulled off a last-lap pass on Stroll to snatch ninth place. 

Outside of the points-paying positions, Sebastian Vettel could only take 14th behind teammate Charles Leclerc in his last race for Ferrari following a six-year tenure at the Scuderia, which suffered its worst season in F1 since 1980 by finishing sixth in the championship. 

FULL RACE RESULTS FROM THE F1 2020 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX.

 

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