Max Verstappen closed out the 2022 season with a record 15th win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix while Sebastian Vettel closed his career with one last point.
It was an emotional final race with Vettel retiring and several drivers getting one last race in with their teams, but the focus was on the final battle of the Championship with Charles Leclerc preventing Red Bull from going 1-2 in 2022.
Last week's rankings are in brackets.
1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing (1)
A few more records tumbled for Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi with the 25-year-old taking out his 15th win of the season bringing him two clear of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher's record-breaking seasons. Verstappen also secured the record for most points scored in a single season scoring 454 points in 2022, which equated to 76.17 per cent of the maximum points the Dutchman could earn.
The two-time World Champion started on the pole on Sunday and didn't look back quickly creating a three-second gap between himself and Perez, who was running in second. There was just one lap that the Dutchman wasn't in the lead, with Leclerc briefly hitting the front on lap 21 but it didn't last long and Verstappen kept his commanding hold on the race from that point on.
Verstappen has no plans to leave Red Bull any time soon and now looks to claim his third consecutive World Championship in 2023.
2. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari (4)
Charles Leclerc and Ferrari finally have something to be happy about from the second half of the 2022 Formula One season with the 25-year-old locking in second place in the championship with a P2 finish in Abu Dhabi.
It wasn't a flawless strategy or driving performance from Leclerc and Ferrari but the gamble to stay on the one-stop strategy paid off, keeping the distance between Perez despite the other putting in better lap times over the final 10 laps.
Fans will see Charles Leclerc at Ferrari again in 2023 and they'll be hoping to see the team more competitive than just the opening races of the season next year.
3. George Russell - Mercedes (2)
George Russell kept up his Mr Consistent title to the bitter in finishing in fifth in the final race of 2022, just off the pace of Hamilton and Sainz in the last stint of the race.
Russell's final time was deceiving with Mercedes pitting the Brit on the second last lap to go after the fastest lap on soft tyres, however, he just missed it unable to pick up the extra point for himself and Mercedes.
One of three drivers that can claim they've beaten Hamilton in equal machinery George Russell and Mercedes' relationship is here to stay with big things expected for the team in 2023.
4. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes (3)
Leclerc might want to send Lewis Hamilton a thank you card as the seven-time World Champion was instrumental in keeping Sergio Perez at bay in a late stint of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton's defensive work was incredible despite the troubles with the car that ultimately saw him retiring the car with two laps to go due to a hydraulics issue in a race he would have been disappointed to miss out on the podium in considering his performance.
Hamilton may have had one of the toughest seasons of his career and have zero interest in jumping back in the W13, but the seven-time World Champion isn't going anywhere anytime soon ready to move on to greener pastures in the W14 for Mercedes in the 2023 season.
5. Sergio Perez - Red Bull Racing (6)
Red Bull may want to pretend like the team tried everything to ensure Sergio Perez finished ahead of Leclerc and second in the championship but the truth is far from it.
Stuck behind Verstappen in dirty air without the assistance of DRS Perez wasn't able to create a wide enough gap between the Red Bulls and the rest of the field and when Perez came out behind Hamilton on lap 38 it was going to be a tall order for him to get ahead of Leclerc, only getting within spitting distance of the Monegasque driver on the final lap.
Perez still has a place at Red Bull in 2023 however, his future beyond that already seems to be in question and will hinge massively on his performance next season, especially if the prodigal son is waiting in the wings.
6. Carlos Sainz - Ferrari (5)
Carlos Sainz did very little wrong on race day but wasn't able to keep pace with the podium and Hamilton for most of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Caught in a battle with Hamilton in the opening exchanges the Spaniard squeezed the seven-time World Champion off the track in an attempt to overtake. The battle between the pair kept the early laps of the race interesting with Hamilton and Sainz trading places a few times before Hamilton took off.
Sainz will drive under Ferrari in 2023 looking to close in on both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships but will need to not have the same issues that plagued the team in 2022.
7. Lando Norris - McLaren (8)
The best of the rest for 2022 Lando Norris proved that once again at Abu Dhabi only finishing behind the three lead teams. Norris put together one of his better races in the back end of the season holding off the rest of the field but managing to earn the fastest lap despite McLaren's struggles with single-lap speed this season.
Norris continues on at McLaren for another year in 2023 and will be joined by another Australian when Oscar Piastri makes his Formula One debut.
8. Esteban Ocon - Alpine (9)
Starting in P8 and finishing in P7 Esteban Ocon's performance might not have seemed spectacular but the Frenchman finished off his 2022 season in style taking on Vettel in an early stint in the race and hunting down Norris in the dying stages but unable to make the pass on the McLaren driver.
Instrumental in Alpine's fourth-place finish in the championship Ocon's back half of the season was a consistent one that made up for the reliability issues of the other car.
Ocon continues at Alpine for another year, finally earning his place as the number-one driver at the team in his third driver pairing at the French team.
9. Sebastian Vettel - Aston Martin (10)
Sebastian Vettel's final race was emotional for everyone involved with the 35-year-old putting together an incredible drive even if it was just for one point.
Battling against the Alpines and Ricciardo, Vettel wasn't going out quietly and did everything he could to finish inside the points one last time, helped on by Hamilton and Alonso both having to retire their cars.
If your name is Lewis Hamilton you might be convinced Vettel will be coming back just like many drivers before but for now the four-time World Champion says goodbye to Formula One looking to get to work on the causes that matter most to him.
10. Fernando Alonso - Alpine (7)
Reliability issues continued to plague Fernando Alonso at Abu Dhabi, forced to retire the car on the 27th lap due to a water leak, Alonso and Alpine continued to bleed points in a season that would be labelled as a disappointment.
The two-time World Champion missed out on Q3 by three-hundredths of a second but was able to start in 10th due to grid penalties. Another driver that got to battle with Vettel, Alonso wasn't able to get his man but he played an important part in the driver of the day's final send-off.
Alonso might be relieved that his time at Alpine the grass is always greener on the other side but that can be deceiving, especially when you're headed to Aston Martin, with the Spaniard finding his new home alongside Lance Stroll
11. Lance Stroll - Aston Martin (14)
Lance Stroll hasn't gotten enough credit for how consistent he's been in 2022 and in the final race of the season Stroll put together his second-best race this year to finish in eighth 20 seconds behind Ocon.
The Canadian had another great start, finding the right line and gaining a few places in the opening corners, something he specialised in the back half of this season.
As the safest driver in Formula One Stroll will be back in 2023 at Aston Martin looking to put together another consistent albeit better season.
12. Zhou Guanyu - Alfa Romeo (12)
Zhou Guanyu's consistent end to the season concluded with yet another 12th-place finish after another solid performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Starting in 15th, Zhou went with a risky two-stop strategy, making his second stop on lap 23 and maximising the final stint on the hard compound tyres.
China's first Formula One driver isn't one and done, with another year at Alfa Romeo locked in for Zhou after helping the team secure sixth in the championship.
13. Valtteri Bottas - Alfa Romeo (11)
Valtteri Bottas' 200th Formula One race wasn't a particularly memorable one with the Alfa Romeo driver finishing in 15th behind Gasly. Off the pace in qualifying, Bottas was unable to make it out of Q1 and sat behind the Frenchman for a large part of the race.
Bottas closes out his worst season since his rookie year with 49 points to finish 10th in the championship and fans will be seeing plenty more of the Finnish star in 2023 with his seat at Alfa Romeo safe for a few years.
14. Daniel Ricciardo - McLaren (15)
Unbothered by the three-place grid penalty, Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren made the most of the two-stop strategy putting the Australian on the hard compound tyres early and going into the pits a second time six laps before Vettel.
Ricciardo also had his hand in the best battle of the race taking it to the line with Vettel to finish in ninth, finishing the season with 37 points equal with the German but just ahead due to his fifth-place finish in Singapore.
The Australian will be taking a break in 2023 with a potential development driver spot at Red Bull if team boss Helmut Marko is to be believed. Ricciardo plans to return to the sport in the coming years but this could be the last fans have seen of him for a while.
15. Pierre Gasly - Alpha Tauri (13)
Pierre Gasly's final race at Alpha Tauri went by without any controversy or summons from the stewards in what was a breath of fresh air for fans of the Frenchman.
Unable to put in a good enough lap in qualifying Gasly started 17th on the grid and put in a strong enough performance on Sunday to get ahead of both Haas' early and held off Bottas in the late stages of the race to finish in 14th.
Gasly has a new home in 2023 at Alpine completing the all French lineup with Ocon in what could be a contentious season for the pair that historically are not on the greatest terms.
16. Yuki Tsunoda - Alpha Tauri (16)
On the two-stop tyre strategy, Alpha Tauri seemed to just miss the mark in what was a solid performance by Yuki Tsunoda that saw him climb up to 11th sitting a few seconds behind the Vettel-Ricciardo battle.
The Japanese driver looked in touch all weekend starting where he finished and pulling off several overtakes but it wasn't enough to finish in the points for the third weekend in a row.
Tsunoda stays at Alpha Tauri in 2023 and will be joined by Nyck de Vries, earning Alpha Tauri the title of the shortest team on the grid.
17. Alex Albon - Williams (19)
Alex Albon continued to squeeze the most out of his Williams with another 13th-place finish in Abu Dhabi, looking good in the straights but unable to close in on Zhou Guanyu or unlap himself from the lead cars. However, the 26-year-old once again proved that Williams doesn't need to settle for being a back marker and could challenge for more points next season.
Williams will still be Albon's home in 2023 but he'll be joined by American Logan Sargeant, hoping to take more than a handful of positives away.
18. Kevin Magnussen - Haas (17)
The last to meet the chequered flag after the late retirements of Latifi and Hamilton Kevin Magnussen and Haas were simply off the pace and struggled to find a way past Schumacher and Bottas.
Magnussen's future in F1 looks like more of the same with at least one more season at Haas.
19. Mick Schumacher - Haas (18)
Mick Schumacher briefly thought he was at a different Grand Prix this weekend, colliding with Latifi on lap 39 with the two cars spinning in sync, trying their hand at something more akin to ice dance.
Schumacher looked strong in qualifying starting 12th on the grid after making it through to Q2 but he didn't have the race pace and then had a five-second penalty hanging over his head following the previously mentioned collision.
After the German's last race at Haas, it's unclear what Schumacher's future is in Formula One but Audi is set to enter the championship in 2026 and claims to be interested in taking on a German driver in the team lineup.
20. Nicholas Latifi - Williams (20)
Nicholas Latifi's career in Formula One ended not with applause but with a quiet retirement with just two laps to go. It was a tough weekend for the Canadian and Williams, coming in 20th in qualifying yet again and being spun by Schumacher on lap 39 through no fault of his own.
Latifi's time in Formula One ends after 61 race starts with nine career points and while it's unlikely this is the last fans will see of him in motorsport it's clear he'll be missed by the Williams team.
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