The 2023 Formula 1 season comes to an end
Singapore - It's been a tumultuous year of high-octane drama on the grid and in the pit lane. But after 22 races, the 2023 Formula 1 season comes to an end under the lights of the Yas Marina circuit. Almost predictably, Max Verstappen of Red Bull emerged victorious in the Abu Dhabi GP bringing home a grand total of 19 grand prix victories in this season alone.
Red Bull's had a strong season all year, clocking 21 wins between Max and Sergio Perez (who won 2 of the 21 races), 14 pole positions, 11 fastest laps and 5 sprint victories. All of which were instrumental in bringing Red Bull to the very top of the leaderboard with a grand total of 860 points. Many have cried foul at RB's victories and dominance, claiming that the 'Flying Dutchman' has made the races more boring... if there is ever such a thing in F1.
But fans and spectators alike love drama on the track. And wherever F1 is concerned, there is drama to follow - along with a crew of Netflix cameramen eager to get the inside scoop for the latest season of Drive to Survive. Further back on the grid, the fight for third in the world driver's championship (WDC) and second in the constructor's championship is still a highly contested battle.
The 2023 Abu Dhabi GP certainly lived up to the hype of the season (albeit on a much less dramatic track) with Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG teams vying for second in the constructor's battle. Prior to the race, Mercedes was leading Ferrari with 392 points against the Italian team's 388 points. At the beginning of the race, things were looking promising for the Tifosi with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in second place and Mercedes's George Russell further down the pack. But as the race wore on, the gap between Leclec and Russell shortened considerably with the Brit just a few seconds shy of the Monegasque driver.
On the 55th lap of the race, the constructor's championship predictions had Ferrari leading Mercedes by one point. But with Sergio Perez (behind Charles Leclerc) being slapped with a 5-second penalty for colliding with McLaren's Lando Norris, Charles was set to finish in second anyway. In a bold move to secure second in the constructor's championship, Charles Leclerc allowed Sergio to pass him on the final laps of the race to hold Mercedes back.
Alas, the Monegasque's sacrifice was not enough to hold Mercedes back as George Russell claimed third place after Perez's penalty. With Ferrari scoring 18 points and Mercedes scoring 17 points in the Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes retained their lead in the constructor's championship and claimed second place with 409 points - ahead of Ferrari's 406.
The 2024 season of F1 will see numerous changes to the grid. Alfa Romeo will be leaving the sport after a six-year partnership with Sauber. AlphaTauri will undergo a name change and they bid goodbye to team principal Franz Tost. Good news: Daniel Ricciardo will come back as a permanent fixture on the grid alongside Yuki Tsunoda at the incumbent AlphaTauri team.
The next season will begin at the Bahrain GP from the 28th of February to the 2nd of March 2024, so we'll all have to make do without F1 for the next 3 months.
PHOTOS F1, Red Bull Racing, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren