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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023: All the Highlights of the Final Race of the Season

Photo: Instagram.com/f1

From Friday to Sunday, Yas Marina Circuit was flush with the thrill that always comes with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race weekend, the final one of the season.

 

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After power-packed practice sessions on Friday and Saturday that saw different drivers come out on top, the qualifying session ended with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen taking his fourth consecutive pole of the season. Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari in second place, while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri saw a great beginning to the end of his rookie season in third position.

On Sunday, stars descended in the UAE capital to take in all the action, with models Irina Shayk, and Naomi Campbell spotted walking down the grid just before the race start, as well as actors and brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth supporting team Mercedes. A clean yet exciting start saw Verstappen have a close battle with Leclerc, before pulling away into the lead, and eventually converting his pole position to a win. The Dutch driver’s final win this year brought his incredibly dominant season to a brilliant end after having already won the 2023 World Championship title in Qatar.

 

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While his Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez crossed the finish line in second, a five-second penalty imposed due to a clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris dropped him down to fourth. As a result, Leclerc was able to hold on to his second place, and earned a spot on the podium just before Mercedes’ Geroge Russell in third.

Photo: Instagram.com/f1

“An incredible season,” said Verstappen after the race. “It was a bit emotional on the in lap, the last time I was sitting in the car that has, of course, given me a lot. I’m very proud to win here also at the last race. I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull, it’s just been an incredible year. It will be hard to do something similar again, but we definitely enjoyed this year.”

Formula One will soon return for 2024 with four races taking place right here in the region, starting with season-opener in Bahrain from February 29 to March 2.

 

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