Published on 20 Nov 2022 5:17 pm (UK Time)
Last year the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was filled with controversy, this year it was filled with waves of emotion. With an icon of the sport retiring and 3 other drivers on the grid leaving the sport, it was a tough weekend for the fans to take in.
As well as all the drivers leaving the sport, we also had constructor battles come down to the wire, with Mercedes losing out to Ferrari and Aston Martin losing out to Alfa Romeo by just 1 point!
However, many people may argue that losing out on the position may not be the end of the world, those teams that lost out have certainly not gained an advantage in the financial industry, but have gained an advantage over the other team in terms of wind tunnel time. The lower you finish in the Constructors Championship, the more wind tunnel time you get to develop the car.
Who knows, maybe losing out on the position may not be as harsh as people believe, I’m sure Mercedes wouldn’t mind the opportunity to have more wind tunnel time developing the car than Ferrari and Red Bull.
Hamilton Déjà Vu!
Hamilton had a tough day in the office today and indeed couldn’t wait for this season to be over, it would be fair enough to say that the W13 has undoubtedly been one of Mercedes’ worst cars they’ve ever had. Despite how bad the car has been performance-wise, Mercedes have always had a relatively reliable car. They hadn’t had a reliability DNF this entire season which is a remarkable achievement, however, that would all come to an end after the race today.
Hamilton suffered his retirement supposedly due to hydraulic issues. These issues may have occurred through various different methods, however, it is speculated that this issue may have started or occurred via the shunt Lewis had on Lap 1 with Carlos Sainz.
After a relatively decent start from Hamilton, Carlos Sainz made a move down the inside and ended up forcing Hamilton wide, he then was jolted in the air by the curb causing major floor damage.
At first, the jolt appeared to not have caused much damage, it looked to be that it was just an uncomfortable incident. Later on, Hamilton ended up going on the radio saying “I think the floor is broken”. He would then go on to question a plethora of issues with the car such as gear syncing and engine power.
Towards the closing laps of the race, Hamilton would be forced to retire due to supposed Hydraulic issues, this would see him drop out of P4 and into retirement.
Many have speculated that the issue was caused by the accident with Sainz, however, that is far from 100% with the issue perhaps occurring from something completely different, I’m sure we will find out soon enough.
Second Comes To A Close
The Championship fight for P2 was close and came down right to the last race, unfortunately for Perez, Leclerc managed to clinch second place just about and secure his first-ever second-place finish in the Championship.
It was an extremely close fight with Perez having fresh tires and Leclerc having older tires, but a significant gap that would end up preventing him from catching him.
Both drivers did know that at the beginning of the race it was simply whoever would finish ahead of the other would claim second place. Both drivers were determined to achieve this, yes it isn’t the same as winning the championship, but a nice statistic to look back on at the end of your career.
Next season both drivers could end up fighting again, with how car development looks, it is apparent that Red Bull and Ferrari may potentially be fighting again, so we could see another likely battle for position in the Championship next season.
Sebastian And Others Wave Goodbye
The emotional send-off of Kimi Raikkonen last year, and now Sebastian Vettel this year.
Vettel after today completed his final race in Formula 1, along with him, it was also Mick Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo, and Nicholas Latifi’s last race, those 3 not having a seat next year but hopefully, a return in the future could see them race again.
Daniel Ricciardo with a rumored Red Bull return could hopefully be back on the grid sooner than we all expect, we would all love to see the Honey Badger back driving, maybe in a year or two it could become a reality.
He scored points for McLaren in his final race claiming P9, along with the retiring Sebastian Vettel getting the last points position for P10, extremely fitting for him to score points in his final race and an ideal send-off.
Mick Schumacher didn’t have an amazing race, colliding with Nicholas Latifi and also getting a 5-second time penalty. He finished P16 and said his goodbyes to Haas. However, he too is also rumored to have a reserve driver role, but at Mercedes.
This could be a good move for his career as hopefully he can find his way back into F1, similar to Alex Albon who took a reserve driver role and then found his way back into F1 with a seat offer from Williams.
Albon’s teammate, Nicholas Latifi also said his goodbyes as he was replaced at Williams with F2 rookie Logan Sargent.
Latifi’s future plans are very unknown and we aren’t too sure what he wants to do in the future, potentially a move away from F1 to another driver series could be his preferred choice, or maybe he too will attempt to get a reserve driver role for next year.
Nevertheless, it is heartbreaking to see so many admired drivers leave the sport all at the same time and again hopefully we will be able to see a return of them.