Abu Dhabi 2018 – Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 21
Rate the race: Mean reader score 6.0 Rated 12/21 races.
Well it was a middling score for a middling race. It couldn’t possibly have been lower than last year’s abysmal score of 2.62. Even 2015 when the WDC had already been settled the score was 4.42. So not all bad then.
Lewis took yet another pole and Mercedes locked out yet another front row. Hulkenberg attempted a tumbleweed moment as after touching wheels with Grosjean he rolled several times before coming to a stop upside down in the crash barrier.
It didn’t look good and sounded worse as Hulkenberg was trapped in his car as flames poured out of the back. The stewards deftly righted his car and Hulkenberg walked away unscathed (thankfully). We had Ocon v Verstappen – the sequel, where there was a coming together of both cars (ok Verstappen pushed Ocon out of the way) in a battle which was described as hard but fair.
The best view of Alonso doing donuts. Farewell, legend
Kimi finished his career at Ferrari by not finishing the race, ditto for Ericsson and Sauber. Vettel had a slow pitstop allowing Verstappen to move up the pecking order. There was some lovely wheel to wheel to wheel to wheel driving between Grosjean, Vandoorne, and Ocon in the mid field (lovely photo opportunity with three abreast) slugging it out for P11-13 halfway through the race.
Sadly Ocon retired early from this his ‘last’ F1 race (for a little while) as did Gasly. Sainz finished in P6 and the latest ‘one to watch’ (with future WDC tattooed across his forehead) came in seventh in his last race for Sauber before swapping seats with Raikkonen for next season. The win was never in doubt. Hamilton won it again and (unlike last year,) Bottas didn’t.
Max knocks it for six
Driver of the weekend: Max Verstappen, 47.76% of reader vote.
Well, another season is over and we have a month or three to wait for our next F1 race, so Max Verstappen will have mixed feelings about his race. Finishing on the podium and fourth in the championship overall, this was his last chance to become the youngest ever pole-sitter in F1 (still being 17 days younger than Vettel, when he took his first pole).
There are more than 17 days to the next race, so Max will have to content himself with being our Driver of the Weekend for the SIXTH time this year!!! (more than any other driver and two more than his teammate, Ricciardo). Well done Max!