The penultimate round of the 2021 F1 Season got held at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia became the 34th country to host an F1 Grand Prix, adding to the roster of night races on the calendar. Although the Jeddah Corniche Circuit was a street track, it boasted average speeds of 252 km/hr, second only to Monza, the home of the Italian GP. With 27 corners and three DRS zones, the drivers needed utmost focus while going full throttle over 79% of the lap.
Leading up to the Grand Prix, PKN Orlen extended its title partnership alongside Alfa Romeo for 2022. Mercedes announced that their chief aerodynamicist, Eric Blandin, would move to Aston Martin Racing in 2022. Meanwhile, Haas presented FDA driver Robert Schwartzman with the opportunity to participate in the young driver's test at Abu Dhabi postseason. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya extended its contract for hosting F1 races till 2026.
The F1 world got hit by the news of the demise of Sir Frank Williams CBE, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, at the age of 79. Tributes poured in from all across the world for one of the most iconic figures of F1. His hard work, passion for racing and innovation was unmatched. He spearheaded Williams Racing's domination of the 80s and the 90s, steamrolling the competition to seven Drivers' and nine Constructors' Championships. All the F1 teams sported a special tribute on their car liveries ( for the weekend ), honouring Sir Frank Williams CBE.
Meanwhile, Jost Capito, the current Team Principal of Williams Racing, tested positive for COVID-19. Aston Martin confirmed that a small fire had broken out in the extraction system of their wind tunnel at one of their facilities in the UK. Thankfully, the situation got contained in time.
Mercedes and Hamilton brought their new ICE unit ( as used in Brazil ) to further reduce the deficit to Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship. Meanwhile, Red Bull looked at options of their own to counter Hamilton's charge. Who reigned supreme through the streets of Jeddah? Was the 2021 Drivers' Champion crowned, or did the title fight continue to the season finale in Abu Dhabi?
Time for a quick recap of the race weekend!
Free Practice 1 got underway in the setting sun, and the drivers took to the track to search for the optimal setup for the race. While Bottas got held up by Mazepin, Raikkonen took avoiding action from grazing the wall on a flying lap. Tsunoda needed a helping hand from his engineers as he tried to manoeuvre his Alpha Tauri out of the garage.
Hamilton topped the timesheets, five-hundredths clear of Verstappen, with Bottas a further two-tenths adrift. Gasly was P4 in his Alpha Tauri, followed by Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo. The Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc were P6 and P7, with Ricciardo, Alonso and Vettel completing the top 10.
Perez led the latter half of the field in the other Red Bull, followed by Ocon and Norris. Stroll was P14 in the other Aston Martin, with Tsunoda and Raikkonen P15 and P16, respectively. Schumacher split the Williams of Russell and Latifi in P18, with teammate Mazepin in P20.
The temperature was cooler under the floodlights at the start of FP2. Mazepin needed a helmet change to tackle the lighting on the track. Mazepin then suffered a spin at turn two while his teammate Schumacher brushed the wall on his flying lap. Several drivers suffered from lock-ups at turn one, while the kerbs at eleven caused sparks to fly as the car skidplates grazed over them. While Russell reported a momentary Brake-by-wire failure, Hamilton got caught up in traffic on one of his Qualifying simulation runs. Verstappen ran wide at turns seven and eight but continued without further incidents.
Leclerc lost control of his Ferrari and hit the barriers at turn 22, ending his Free Practice 2 prematurely. The Monegasque wrecked the rear of his Ferrari. The Stewards decided against restarting the session, and Hamilton topped the timesheets again. Less than a tenth separated Hamilton from Bottas and Gasly, with Verstappen finishing P4. The Alpines of Alonso and Ocon were P5 and P6, with Sainz getting the better of Tsunoda and Perez in P7. Leclerc completed the top 10.
The McLarens of Ricciardo and Norris were P11 and P12, followed by the Alfa Romeos of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen. Stroll and Vettel were P15 and P16 for Aston Martin, with Schumacher splitting the Williams of Russell and Latifi in P18. Mazepin was P20, more than 2.5 seconds slower than Hamilton's time.
Be it the battle at the top or those in the midfield, FP3 and Qualifying promised to be a close affair.
The Final Practice session ( FP3 ) got underway, and Hamilton locked up his tyres at turn one. The Briton was in hot water when he ended up impeding Gasly and Mazepin. It was a lucky escape for Hamilton as Mazepin managed to take avoiding action from rear-ending Hamilton. The incident got flagged for investigation, with Hamilton getting summoned to the stewards. Meanwhile, Stroll had to return to the pits after running over debris on the track. His teammate Vettel went wide at turn nine but was able to continue.
Verstappen ended FP3 the quickest, from Hamilton and Perez. The Alpha Tauris of Tsunoda and Gasly were P4 and P5, with Bottas completing the top 6. Leclerc and Sainz were P7 and P8 for Ferrari, followed by Ocon and Norris.
Alonso was P11 in the other Alpine, with the Alfa Romeos of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen P12 and P13. P14 was the best that Ricciardo could manage in the McLaren, while Russell split the Aston Martins of Stroll and Vettel in P16. Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin completed the rear of the field.
Hamilton also got summoned for failing to adhere to double-waved Yellow flags. The Briton escaped penalty but got a reprimand for impeding Mazepin. Mercedes didn't inform Hamilton ( in time ) about a faster car behind and received a 25000 euros fine from the Stewards.
Mercedes detected a fuel leak on Bottas' power unit at the end of FP3. The Finn got forced to switch to another engine before the start of Qualifying. Thankfully, he didn't incur a penalty.
It was time for Qualifying, and a queue of cars formed up at the pit lane exit at the start of Q1. Soft tyres were the choice for everyone, and as the cars headed out onto the track, Leclerc was concerned about the issue of traffic.
Hamilton went wide at turn one on his first attempt and had to do another lap to set a representative time. With 10 minutes remaining, Hamilton, Verstappen, Perez, Norris, Sainz and Bottas were the top 6, while Raikkonen, Stroll, Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin faced the threat of elimination.
The drivers had fuel for multiple runs and the lap times began to drop as more rubber got laid on the track. Less than a second separated the top 14 drivers going into the final minutes of Q1. Several drivers switched to a new set of soft tyres, and the pecking order was changing rapidly. Meanwhile, Verstappen, on a flying lap, got impeded in the last sector by traffic, one driver being Bottas, who reported a misfire on his engine. The Finn limped back to the pits and ground to a halt, his engine shutting down completely. Thankfully, the Mercedes mechanics wheeled him back to the garage for further assessment.
Perez, Bottas, Ricciardo, Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc ended Q1 as the top 6, while Latifi, Vettel, Stroll, Schumacher and Mazepin got eliminated.
Replays showed that Gasly had allegedly impeded Sainz on his flying lap. The incident got flagged for investigation post-session.
The Frenchman got let off with a formal warning.
Q2 got underway, and the Alpine drivers, along with Giovinazzi, chose to stay put in the early minutes of the session. While Russell opted for the soft tyres, the rest of the drivers switched to the mediums. Perez had his lap time deleted after he exceeded the track limits at turn four. Sainz suffered a spin, clipping the barriers at eleven with his rear wing.
Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez, Bottas, Leclerc and Ricciardo were the top 6, with Russell, Giovinazzi, Ocon, Alonso and Sainz facing elimination halfway through Q2.
Raikkonen, Norris and Verstappen switched to the soft tyres for their final attempts of Q2. Sainz suffered another incident at turn 11 that eliminated him from Q2. The Spaniard notified Ferrari that the car felt "undrivable". Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Alonso and Russell joined Sainz in elimination.
The following drivers made it to Q3 - Hamilton, Perez, Verstappen, Bottas, Tsunoda, Gasly, Norris, Leclerc, Ocon and Giovinazzi.
Incidentally, Hamilton completed four more laps than Verstappen on the medium tyres while Giovinazzi clipped the wall on his final flying lap. Thankfully, the Alfa Romeo driver didn't suffer damage. Replays showed that Bottas and Raikkonen had a coming together, the former clipping the right rear of Raikkonen's car. Both drivers escaped unscathed.
The lights went green for the start of Q3, and the Mercedes, Alpha Tauri drivers, along with Leclerc, emerged from the pits with a fresh set of soft tyres. Hamilton, pushing on his first attempt, almost lost control and had to take to the runoff. Hamilton seemed to have lost the initiative in the battle for Pole Position. Meanwhile, Verstappen headed out onto the track and went four-tenths clear of Hamilton's attempt. Bottas improved to P2 as five minutes remained of Q3.
Hamilton began his final run of Q3 earlier than the rest, setting a personal best time in sector one and going purple in two and three. The Briton was the quickest driver ( provisionally ). Bottas went P2 in the other Mercedes, a tenth adrift. It was time for Verstappen to respond, and although the Dutchman scraped the wall at turn 2, he went the quickest in sector one. He then nailed sector two, going three-tenths clear of Hamilton. Verstappen was en route to a famous Pole Position when he locked up his brakes at turn 27 and got too eager on the throttle at the corner exit. The result was deadly as the Dutchman couldn't control his Red Bull from hitting the wall, damaging the rear right wishbone on his car and bringing him to a halt at the side of the track! Red Bull feared that the impact with the wall could have damaged his gearbox.
Hamilton had inherited Pole Position, with teammate Bottas alongside him on the front row. Despite his error, Verstappen managed to set the 3rd quickest time, followed by Leclerc in P4. Perez and Gasly were on row 3, followed by Norris and Tsunoda on four. Ocon and Giovinazzi completed the top 10.
Mercedes aimed for a front-row lockout on Saturday, and thanks to Verstappen's error, it was mission accomplished. Bottas could now play rearguard to Hamilton if he held onto P2 after the opening lap. Mercedes now had the chance to extend their lead over Red Bull, while Hamilton was favourite to end on the top step of the podium in Jeddah. The only concern for Mercedes was that Hamilton had done four more laps than Verstappen on his race start tyres ( mediums from Q2 ).
As for Verstappen and Red Bull, it was a day of despair and frustration. Verstappen was flying across the track en route to a famous lap for Pole Position when his eagerness to recover lost time cost him spectacularly. Red Bull now needed to check the fitness of the gearbox before the race. If they deemed it necessary to replace the gearbox, then Verstappen would face a five-place grid penalty, adding insult to injury. Meanwhile, his teammate, Perez, did a commendable job to qualify P5 after his struggles in the Practice sessions. He would still need to contend with Leclerc to get alongside Verstappen.
While Sainz struggled to control his Ferrari and qualified a lowly P15, Leclerc bumped up his to the second row of the grid. With Ferrari having a comfortable lead over McLaren in the battle for P3, the goal was to outscore the latter. Leclerc had the perfect opportunity to jump Norris in the driver standings. As for Sainz, he needed to carve his way through the field to break into the top 10. Would he be able to do a better job in race trim remained the million-dollar question?
The Alpha Tauris had been strong over a single lap, and both drivers didn't disappoint in Qualifying. While Gasly remained consistent with another top 6 performance, Tsunoda qualified P8. Alpha Tauri, now chasing Alpine for P5 in the Championship, couldn't afford a poor showing on Sunday.
It was a mixed Saturday for McLaren. Norris qualified P7 but Ricciardo managed P11. With a free tyre choice for the race, Ricciardo hoped to break into the top 10. McLaren had experienced a drop in performances and couldn't afford another mediocre showing if they wished to reduce the deficit to Ferrari.
Ocon and Alonso were P9 and P13 in the Alpines. Strategic calls were pivotal for the French outfit if they hoped to do better in the race. The focus was on outperforming Alpha Tauri, and with Alonso getting on the podium in the previous round, anything was achievable.
Alfa Romeo had a strong showing in Qualifying. A stellar performance by Giovinazzi saw him feature in Q3, the Italian qualifying P10. Meanwhile, Raikkonen set the 12th quickest time. The Finn has been faster in race trim, and Alfa Romeo needed to produce a potent strategy to achieve a double-points finish.
Williams were also in the midfield mix, with Russell outperforming Latifi again. The race pace was a cause of concern, however. Aston Martin had a disappointing Qualifying. Neither Vettel nor Stroll could find the optimal setup for their cars, and the duo faced a long Sunday evening. Aston Martin, with opportunistic strategies, had salvaged similar weekends in the past. As for Haas F1, they looked destined to remain backmarkers.
Red Bull, after extensive checks, announced that Verstappen wouldn't need a new gearbox for the race.
Fifty laps awaited the teams and drivers through the Jeddah Corniche!
Ricciardo, Sainz and Vettel ( used ) opted for the hard tyres, while the rest outside the top 10 persisted with the mediums.
The five lights went out, and it was a clean getaway for the top 3 drivers. Perez tried to pressure Leclerc for P4 but locked up his tyres and almost hit Verstappen. Hamilton led the field, followed by Bottas and Verstappen. Further down the field, Ocon and Tsunoda made contact while Tsunoda fell back to P12.
Ricciardo was up to P9, Alonso P11, and Sainz got the better of Raikkonen for P13 on the opening lap. Hamilton was the fastest driver on lap 3, while Sainz got past Tsunoda for P12. The Mercedes duo exchanged the fastest laps as Giovinazzi overtook Alonso for P10 ( lap 7 ). Ricciardo got past Gasly for P8, while Sainz relegated Alonso to P12 on lap 8.
Disaster struck the Haas F1 team when Schumacher lost control of his car and careered into the barriers. The car was a wreck, and the Safety Car got deployed ( lap 10 ). Sainz got past Giovinazzi for P10 just before the Safety Car period got enforced. Russell and Stroll were the first to switch to hard tyres. Mercedes decided to do likewise with Hamilton and Bottas on lap 11. As the team prepared to double stack, Bottas slowed down to give himself a buffer to Hamilton. Verstappen, getting impeded, made his displeasure known over team radio. Meanwhile, Norris and Alonso also switched to the hard tyres.
Verstappen now inherited the lead of the race. The top 10 after the pit stops were - Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas, Ocon, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Gasly, Perez, Sainz and Giovinazzi.
The marshalls needed more time to repair the barriers where the Haas had crashed, and the stewards decided to Red Flag the race! Verstappen got free tyre choice as a result of the stoppage. Hamilton wasn't pleased with Mercedes' decision to pit him, having a radio exchange with the strategists. He asked them about the possible scenarios to salvage a victory.
The stewards announced a standing start for the race. Ricciardo, Perez and Latifi chose new mediums, while Sainz and Vettel got used sets. Verstappen wasn't happy with the Safety Car going "too slow" since he struggled to get his tyres up to temperature. To make matters worse, Verstappen alleged that Hamilton wasn't maintaining the car cars gap at the back, riling Verstappen even more.
It was a clean getaway, but Hamilton had the better start from P2. Verstappen tried to go around the outside at turn one, and both got compromised into the next. While Verstappen retained the lead, Ocon got past Hamilton to take P2. Bottas locked up his brakes at turn one and dropped to P5. Further down the field, Perez and Leclerc made contact, which sent Perez into the wall. The Mexican lost his front wing and suffered terminal damage. Mazepin arrived at the incident and left without a racing room. The Russian rear-ended Russell, the latter's Williams getting wrecked by the resulting contact.
The stewards had to Red Flag the race ( again ) due to the debris on the track and to extricate Perez, Mazepin and Russell's stricken cars. While Leclerc and Perez's incident got flagged for investigation post-race, the Stewards ruled out penalties. Leclerc, however, suffered "floor damage" on the right side. As for the Verstappen-Hamilton incident into turn one, Verstappen faced the threat of a time penalty.
Michael Masi, the Race Director, offered Red Bull the option to start P3 behind Ocon and Hamilton. Red Bull complied reluctantly. The race would restart with a standing start, and the drivers opted for different strategies with their tyre choices. Verstappen ( new ), Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Vettel, Tsunoda and Stroll opted for the mediums, while the rest of the field stuck to the hards.
Racing got underway again on lap 17. Ocon, from P1, had a clean getaway, but Hamilton responded to the lights quicker. Meanwhile, Verstappen from P3 made an opportunistic move on the inside of turn one. With three drivers abreast at the first turn, there was contact between Hamilton's front wing and Ocon's rear tyre, but thankfully, neither driver suffered extensive damage. Verstappen led the race, again!
Further down the field, Tsunoda got past Ocon for P9, and Hamilton retook P2 from Ocon on lap 18. Hamilton and Verstappen continued to exchange the fastest laps.
Verstappen, Hamilton, Ocon, Ricciardo, Bottas, Gasly, Giovinazzi, Vettel, Tsunoda and Leclerc were the top 10 at the end of lap 20.
DRS got enabled on lap 22, and Tsunoda tried overtaking Vettel but collided with him instead. The resulting contact caused both to spin and, Tsunoda lost his front wing. Further behind, both Ferraris were battling for track position and had to take avoiding action from hitting either Tsunoda or Vettel. Meanwhile, Tsunoda tried to get rid of his front wing, which got stuck on the underside of his Alpha Tauri. He limped back to the pits for a new front wing and the hard tyres.
The stewards deployed the Virtual Safety Car period, which lasted till lap 24. On lap 25, Alonso made an error that spun him around and allowed Norris and Latifi to move up to P13 and P14, respectively. Another Virtual Safety Car period got enforced when Raikkonen tried an opportunistic overtake on Vettel. Both suffered damage, but Vettel got asked to continue. Meanwhile, Raikkonen pitted for a front wing change and switched to the mediums ( lap 27 ).
Alonso reported the presence of debris on the track and requested the Race Director to enforce a VSC period to clear them. After a lengthy period, the race finally returned to full speed on lap 33. Alonso got past Vettel for P13, while Hamilton, with his fastest laps, was within the DRS range of Verstappen. He tried to challenge Verstappen for the lead on lap 36, but Verstappen caused both drivers to run wide at turn one. The incident got flagged for investigation.
Red Bull tried to hand Hamilton the lead of the race, albeit in a "strategic manner". Verstappen slowed down before the 3rd DRS zone, but Hamilton, unaware of Verstappen's intentions, couldn't take avoiding action in time. The Briton ended up hitting the back of the Red Bull and lost more downforce on his front wing. The Mercedes garage was livid! Verstappen, after "brake testing" Hamilton, continued with his race. Meanwhile, despite the collision, Hamilton continued with his stricken front wing. The incident got flagged for investigation ( lap 37 ).
Meanwhile, Giovinazzi got overtaken by both Ferraris and was down to P9. After a failed attempt, Bottas finally got past Ricciardo for P4. At the front, Red Bull instructed Verstappen to allow Hamilton to overtake him. The Dutchman complied but immediately, with DRS assistance, retook the race lead. However, the Dutchman's chances for victory took a hit when the stewards decided to punish him with a five seconds time penalty for "going off track and gaining an advantage" at the turn one incident on lap 36.
Hamilton wanted to win this race on the track and took the race lead on lap 43. Meanwhile, Vettel retired from the race after extensive damage suffered to his car. Alonso switched to the soft tyres on lap 46. Verstappen began to lose grip and slowly fell backwards.
Hamilton, Verstappen, Ocon, Bottas, Ricciardo, Gasly, Sainz, Leclerc, Giovinazzi and Norris were the top 10 on lap 47.
Bottas was honing in on Ocon for P3, while Hamilton continued with his blistering lap times. Leclerc retook P7 from Sainz on the final lap ( 50 ).
Hamilton took the Chequered Flag and victory at the Saudi Arabian GP! He also bagged the point for the fastest lap. Verstappen came home in P2, getting the "The Driver of the Day" award.
Bottas, despite Ocon's dogged defence, managed to snatch P3 on the finish line, a tenth separating the duo. Ricciardo was P5 for McLaren, followed by Gasly and the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz. Giovinazzi and Norris completed the top 10.
Stroll finished P11 for Aston Martin, with Latifi P12 for Williams. Alonso could only manage P13, followed by Tsunoda and Raikkonen, who completed the classified finishers.
After reviewing the footage from lap 37, the stewards deemed it appropriate to give Verstappen a penalty of ten seconds, added to his race time. The result remained the same, however.
Hamilton was now level on points with Verstappen, the latter ahead courtesy of an extra victory. The Briton had to play the hunter after the two stoppages, and despite the damage sustained to his front wing, Hamilton not only won but also set the fastest lap of the race. He didn't mince his words when asked about the incidents with Verstappen. However, experience over youth came to the fore as the defending World Champion continued his unrelenting charge. As for Bottas, it was a recovery drive after getting bumped down to P5 at the restart. The Finn secured P3 in the Drivers Championship!
The double podium helped Mercedes open a 28 points gap to Red Bull, the Constructors' battle almost over.
Verstappen's tactics in the race were questionable. The Dutchman completed a couple of great overtakes and led for several laps. However, Red Bull's decision to switch him to the medium tyres left him with heavily degraded rubber at the end. Nevertheless, the Dutchman refused to yield, which led to the collision on lap 37. Due to his driving standards, Verstappen got a fair amount of criticism from many in the F1 world. He was in no mood to celebrate and stormed off the podium after the National Anthems. For many, Verstappen had crossed the line of racing ethics. He now had to outscore Hamilton if he wanted to be Champion in 2021. As for Perez, a racing incident with Leclerc prematurely ended his race. The Mexican's DNF cost Red Bull valuable points in the Constructors. Christian Horner, the Team Principal said, their focus was on the Drivers Championship, which was a matter of prestige rather than the money earned in the Constructors. Red Bull had given up the fight against Mercedes, or so it seemed.
Ocon's P4 was instrumental in helping Alpine open up a 29 point gap to Alpha Tauri in the Constructor Standings. Alpine had all but secured P5 in 2021. The Frenchman had driven a flawless race, and despite being on "pole position" at the restart, he was wise to pick his battles en route to a fine P4. As for Alonso, a spin cost him track position and time, which eventually saw him finish a disappointing P13.
After the disappointments of the previous few races, McLaren finally secured a double-points finish with Ricciardo and Norris. Ricciardo charged through the field to bag P5, while Norris was unfortunate to get bumped down the grid due to the Red Flag from Schumacher's crash. Nevertheless, he recovered to P10 for the solitary point. 38.5 points separated McLaren from P3 in the Constructors' standings. The fight was all but over.
Gasly's consistency in 2021 has been unmatched, and once again, the Frenchman ensured that Alpha Tauri remained in the fight for P5 in the Championship. After his heroics on Saturday, Tsunoda faltered in the race and wrecked a top 10 finish following a collision with Vettel. The rookie was disappointed, his performances repeatedly costing Alpha Tauri precious points.
The Ferraris had been in a battle of their own. The duo of Leclerc and Sainz was inseparable on the track, and the 10 points haul helped Ferrari maintain a comfortable cushion to McLaren. A P7 finish allowed Leclerc to open a 4 point lead over Norris ( P6 ). Ferrari's resurgence in 2021 continued!
A stellar race featuring some wholesome wheel-to-wheel battles saw Giovinazzi finish P9! The Italian kept it clean, maintaining his focus through the tight and twisty and blazingly fast turns of Jeddah to bring Alfa Romeo closer to Williams by two points. As for Raikkonen, it had been a lacklustre weekend for the Finn, the incident with Vettel ending the chances of a top 10 finish. Alfa Romeo now trailed Williams by 10 points and needed a miracle in Abu Dhabi to secure P8 in the Constructors Championship.
It had been a weekend to forget for Aston Martin. After making up places, Vettel's race got cut short by collisions with Tsunoda and Raikkonen, while Stroll couldn't match the pace of those ahead, eventually finishing just outside the points in P10. 2021 had been a baptism by fire for Aston Martin, and they wouldn't go better than P7 in the Constructors.
Latifi finished P12 for Williams, while Russell got rear-ended by Mazepin, who himself had no space after Perez got tagged by Leclerc. Ideally, Williams Racing would have hoped for both cars to finish the race in memory of Sir Frank Williams, but destiny chose otherwise. As for Haas F1, a driver error by Schumacher and a high-speed collision for Mazepin left Haas with a double DNF. They now had to contend with extensive repairs on both cars before the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi beckons next, a race in the setting sun. Abu Dhabi would witness the crowning of the 2021 World Champion. After 21 races, the contenders for the crown remained inseparable. Both Hamilton and Verstappen had been in a league of their own throughout the season. The events that unfolded in Jeddah revealed that the Championship fight had taken an ugly turn. There have been titanic battles throughout the sport's history, some unforgettable. The duel through the Jeddah Corniche circuit was controversial, and it showed how determined the protagonists were for the victor's crown.
Would experience triumph over youth eventually? Abu Dhabi would reveal all!
More importantly, the sport would also say farewell to a legend, a World Champion and one of the most loved in the world of Formula 1..., KIMI RAIKKONEN! While the Iceman would say his farewells with a style he knows best, those who adore him know that there will never be another.
Abu Dhabi will be memorable yet painful for some.