MAX P5 BUT IT'S DISAPPOINTMENT FOR DANIEL

Highlights

  • Daniel holds P4 starting spot after race gets underway
  • Hydraulic issues force Daniel to retire after 20 laps
  • Max spends most of the race chasing Kimi Räikkönen
  • Max finishes fifth, 0.883s behind Kimi Räikkönen

Max finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a solid fifth place but there was disappointment for Daniel, with the Australian being forced to retire with hydraulic problems after 20 laps while in fourth place.

At the start the front runners got away cleanly with pole sitter Valtteri Bottas taking the lead ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, while Daniel held his starting place of fourth.

Behind them Max, starting from sixth, tried to put pressure on fifth-placed Kimi Räikkönen and made two brave but speculative moves on the Ferrari man. The first was rebuffed and then Max backed out of the second as the position was untenable.

Further back, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was handed a five-second time penalty for going off track but rejoining ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez who had held seventh place.

The race then settled until the first round of pit stops, which was triggered by Max stopping on lap 14 for supersoft tyres. Ferrari responded to the undercut by pitting Räikkönen on the next lap, the result was that the Finn emerged in P6 with Max in P8 behind Force India's Esteban Ocon who had not pitted. Max quickly got past the Force India driver and once again set off in pursuit of Räikkönen.

Hulkenberg was next to change tyres and also to serve his time penalty but there was additional delay as his team struggled to replace his right rear wheel. He rejoined in P12 but he would later climb back to P7 as the stops played out and he eventually took P6, a crucial result that handed Renault eight points, which boosted them above Toro Rosso to sixth place in the Constructors' Championship.

Daniel then arrowed his RB13 towards the pit lane, but it was earlier than expected, as the Australian was concerned he might have suffered a puncture.

He took on new tyres but the true nature of his problem was then revealed as he began to struggle with handling, saying he was losing power steering. He was told to stop the car as a hydraulic problem worsened and he pulled over at Turn 5 to retire.

Once the front three of Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel had made their sole pit stops the race then settled as the field ground out the remaining 30 laps.

There was little action in the second half of the race and though Max pushed hard to chase down Räikkönen he couldn't get close enough to the Finn to mount a meaningful attack and 45 seconds after Bottas had taken his third win of the season ahead of Hamilton and Vettel, Räikkönen crossed the line in fourth place, just 0.883s ahead of Max.

With Hulkenberg sixth for Renault, seventh place went to Perez, with Ocon eighth. Fernando Alonso handed two points to McLaren and Honda in the final race for the team and engine manufacturer as partners. Finally, Felipe Massa scored a point on his final race in Formula 1, with the Brazilian retiring after 269 F1 starts.


Our Race In Numbers

200 – Points for Daniel in total and fifth place in the Drivers' standings. The Honey Badger's retirement at Yas allied to Räikkönen's fourth place means that the Finn finished five points ahead of Daniel. Daniel took one win, in Azerbaijan, and eight other podium finishes during the season.

168 – Points for Max and sixth place in the Driver's Championship. Max scored two wins, in Malaysia and Mexico, and two other podium finishes.

13 – As we prepare to retire the lucky/unlucky slogan it's perhaps fitting that we're stuck on 13 visits to the podium in 2017. Thanks RB13!


 

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Top 10 Result

  1. Valtteri Bottas
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. MAX VERSTAPPEN
  6. Nico Hulkenberg
  7. Sergio Perez
  8. Esteban Ocon
  9. Fernando Alonso
  10. Felipe Massa
    DANIEL RICCIARDO (DNF)