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Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP commentary and updates

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix reaches its climax on race day.

The curtain falls on the 2023 F1 season with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc share the front row of the grid with Oscar Piastri and George Russell tucked in behind. 

FP2 was the only practice session to take place in representative conditions but was interrupted by over half an hour of red flag delays, meaning teams have minimal long-run data heading into the finale. 

While Leclerc and Russell start up the order, the constructors' battle between Mercedes and Ferrari was complicated with Lewis Hamilton starting P11 and Carlos Sainz P16. 

The Yas Marina race will get under way at 1pm GMT. 

By: Sam Hall, Haydn Cobb, James Newbold

Summary

Summary
  • Max Verstappen caps dominant 2023 Formula 1 season by winning Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after fending off two attacks from Charles Leclerc at the start
  • Win 19 of the season for Verstappen comes after he becomes the first driver to lead 1,000 laps in a season
  • Leclerc allows Sergio Perez through into second on the road, knowing the Mexican has a five-second penalty for earlier clash of wheels with Lando Norris - this demotes Perez to fourth behind George Russell
  • Mercedes seals second in the constructors' table by three points over Ferrari, as AlphaTauri falls three points shy of nabbing seventh from Williams 
  • Stewards don't take action against Lewis Hamilton for clipping Pierre Gasly at Turn 6; Hamilton goes for a final lap move on Yuki Tsunoda but slides wide at Turn 9 
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Russell, Mercedes
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Norris, McLaren
  6. Piastri, McLaren
  7. Alonso, Aston Martin
  8. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  9. Hamilton, Mercedes
  10. Stroll, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
And with that, it's time to bring our final live commentary of the season to a close. Thank you for your company this year and we'll see you to do it all over again in less than 100 days! 
https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-abu-dhabi-gp-verstappen-wins-2023-finale-as-mercedes-secures-second/10552137/ 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field at the start

"It was a bit emotional on the in lap," says Verstappen. He praises the RB19 for giving him a lot and thanks the team for their efforts. Standard stuff really.
Leclerc claims there was 'no one thing' Ferrari could have done this weekend. That may be true of his side of the garage. The other side with Sainz however, may have a different story to tell.
On finishing second in the constructors', Russell says, "It means a lot."

He also thanks Leclerc for not backing him up at the end and "keeping it clean".
On go the sponsors' caps and here come the interviews on the Yas Marina grid.
Highlighting the struggle that Russell has endured this season, this is only his second podium appearance of the season.
After thanking Franz Tost for his impact on his career, Verstappen performs the obligatory Abu Dhabi doughnuts, clambers from his RB19 and takes in the cheers. 

Just three races he hasn't won this season. Incredible. Dominant. Simply lovely, as he might say.
19 wins, over 1000 laps led. He might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Verstappen has had an unbelievable year and is a deserving world champion.
Norris and Piastri are fifth and sixth for McLaren with Alonso seventh, Tsunoda eighth, Hamilton ninth and Stroll 10th.
Sainz, oddly, didn't return to the track after his pitstop so he retired on the penultimate lap to drop to 18th.
Perez crosses the line in second but drops to fourth. Leclerc wasn't able to hold up Russell enough, meaning Mercedes clinch second in the constructors' championship from Ferrari.
Tsunoda holds off Hamilton on the final lap to take eighth place! Hamilton moves ahead into Turn 9 but couldn't make the overtake stick and Tsunoda charged back by!
Verstappen wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
Leclerc suggests he will drop back to help Perez make progress. That would mean he would then hold up Russell in the final sector to ensure a five second margin!
Final lap time!
Perez is rapidly pulling the gap he needs on Russell, moving three-seconds clear with two laps to go!
Sainz pits on the penultimate lap so that's his bid for points over. He comes out in 15th.
Alonso overtakes Tsunoda for seventh place, diving up the inside at Turn 9. That gives the Aston driver fourth place in the drivers' standings as it stands.
Sainz, still yet to pit again, is also under pressure from Stroll for the final points place. The fight for second and seventh in the constructors' championship go down to the final three laps.
Here comes Perez on Russell. He closes in on the first DRS zone and makes his move through the second and into Turn 9. 

If Perez can build a five-second gap, Ferrari may secure second in the constructors'.
Alonso is within DRS range of Tsunoda with four laps to go. It might not be the dream result for the Japanese driver but he's put in a superb showing so far.
Tsunoda, currently seventh, needs to find another point to lift AlphaTauri above Williams in the F1 teams' standings. As it stands, the team would be one point short.
Even before Sainz pits for the second time, Mercedes are now two points clear of Ferrari. 

Russell is informed about Perez's penalty, but he's told that the Mexican "cannot finish ahead of us".
Stroll overtakes Ocon to move into 11th place, sniffing the final points position with Sainz in 10th needing to pit again.
A five-second penalty for Perez for causing a collision with Norris.
Now Verstappen, Sargeant and Zhou have all been put under the spotlight for the pitstop infringements. Naughty, naughty.
So, if Mercedes and Alpine are found guilty of not wearing ear protection at the stops, it'll most likely be a fine rather than a time penalty.
Perez is now under investigation for causing a collision in the first instance with Norris. We'll keep you posted!
A cleaner repeat between Perez and Norris this time, as the Red Bull driver gains the position.
From the FIA on the pitstop investigations for Hamilton and Gasly: "The pitstop infringements are relating to pitcrew potentially not wearing the required eye protection during a stop."
Hamilton goes around the outside of Sainz at Turn 9 to take ninth place. 10 laps to go.
Contact between Perez and Norris as the Red Bull driver throws his car down the inside into Turn 6. 

Norris uses the runoff to retain his position but will almost certainly have to hand over the position.
Hamilton's pitstop infringement will be investigated after the race - but it still isn't clear what it is about. Gasly has also been given the same treatment, he will be investigated after the race too.
Alonso rejigs his attack and dives up the inside at Turn 5 of Sainz to take eighth place.
Alonso, with the slowest car on the straight according to the driver himself, pulls alongside Sainz with DRS but doesn't have the legs to get by the Ferrari into Turn 6. He remains ninth with 12 laps to go.
"Downshifts are pushing a lot. Can we do something on that?" asks Verstappen. 

Red Bull are looking into the issue.
Making progress already, Perez charges past the one-stopping Tsunoda.
Hamilton has now been noted for a pitstop infringement. It is all going on for the British driver today.
A second stop for Verstappen. Hard tyres again and a nice 15-lap cruise to the flag for the champion.
Stroll pits from eighth to drop to 13th, while Hamilton overtakes Ocon for 10th place.

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