Published date24 November 2023
Publication titleSports Tab
The 22nd round of the season ends at floodlit Yas Marina on Monday after an American leg that culminated in a gruelling Las Vegas spectacular last weekend

There will be some farewells, although fewer than usual, and plenty of looking forward with hope to a more competitive future after a year in which Red Bull have won everywhere bar Singapore.

Verstappen, who secured his third championship with six grands prix to spare, will be hoping to check out with an unprecedented 19th win of the season and Red Bull’s 21st of the campaign.

That would leave the Dutch 26-year-old, who has won in Abu Dhabi for the past three years and is on a roll of six successive victories, solo third in the all-time list of winners with a career 54.

Only Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91) have won more.

Red Bull retained their constructors’ crown long ago and are also sure of a one-two finish in the drivers’ standings for the first time after Sergio Perez finished third in Las Vegas last weekend.

That leaves the spotlight on the battle for second place between Mercedes and Ferrari, separated by just four points, and McLaren’s fight to stay fourth with Aston Martin only 11 points behind.

‘‘We have a good understanding of our car and we know it won’t be as competitive in Abu Dhabi as it was in Las Vegas,’’ Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur, who had Charles Leclerc finish second from pole position in...

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