Red Bull's Max Verstappen ended Mercedes' utter dominance that characterized the 2020 F1 championship at today's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by leading from start to finish.
Red BullMax Verstappen, 1st
“It has been a very enjoyable two days which we didn’t really expect coming into the weekend. Being on pole was already great but to win here is a perfect end to the season for us all. The tyre management was good and the car had a nice balance which made it very enjoyable to drive. I expected a very tough fight today but I think we managed everything very well and there was never really a moment where I felt under pressure which is a pretty good feeling.
„To finish the year off like this I’m of course very happy with and I just hope we can start next season competitively, so we can be there right from the start, as we want to be able to try and fight for the championship but for that we need to start strong. Everyone in the Team and at Honda has worked so hard the whole year to improve the car and this is a really good boost going into the winter and I hope everyone gets to celebrate tonight.”Alex Albon, 4th
“I’m happy and I think if the race was a couple of laps longer I’d be even happier as I feel we could’ve got past Lewis and taken another podium today. I was managing my tyres at the beginning of the stint and maybe I was too conservative as I had lots of life left in them at the end of the race whilst everyone else’s were starting to drop off. But overall it’s a great result for the Team today and I’m happy with my race. I’ve felt very good with the car this weekend and it’s probably been my best in F1.
„There was obviously a lot of pressure coming into this race and my only goal was to focus on my performance and do the best job possible so I’m proud of how I’ve delivered under the circumstances. It feels great to prove to everyone that I’m strong enough mentally to deal with all the external talk and keep improving.
MercedesValtteri Bottas, 2nd
"Congratulations to Max and Red Bull on the win. They were just too quick today and we couldn't quite keep up with them. We expected the race pace to be quite equal heading into today, but they were able to really control the pace and build the gap when they needed to. From my side, though, it was a solid race with no mistakes and I think I extracted everything from our package. So, in that sense, it's been a good race, I finished ahead of my team-mate and it's nice to be back on the podium.
„A huge thank you and well done to the entire team on an amazing year. I'm really proud we could end the season with P1 and P2 in the Drivers' Championship; every single team member has done such an incredible job, so thank you very much. I still have a few commitments to do but then I'll have some time off over Christmas, and then a quick reset, some training and we start from zero again for next year. I'm looking forward to it."Lewis Hamilton, 3rd
"Considering the past couple of weeks, I'm really happy with the weekend and to finish on the podium. Obviously, it's not as good as I'd have liked, but congratulations to Max and Red Bull, they were very quick today and deserved the win. This weekend they were just too far out of reach for us and we couldn't hold onto the pace they had. It was fantastic to see Alex right up there with us, too. From my side, that was a hard race, so I'm definitely glad that it's over.
„But on the bright side I made it through, and I didn't think last week that I'd even be here. So, I'm just grateful for my health and looking forward to recovering over the winter and getting back into training, to get my body back to where it should be. Finally, a huge thank you to the team for their continued support and hard work. They've done a great job all season long and it's fantastic to end the season with two podiums."
McLarenCarlos Sainz, 6th
“A great day for the whole team. I think we managed to put together a very strong weekend from the beginning to the end. We managed to remain focused, solid and bring home this P3 in the championship with a very well-executed race from everyone.
“From my side, it wasn’t the most exciting race. I kept it clean, I made a couple of moves in the middle of the race and managed to finish back in P6, so happy with that. I’m also very happy with finishing P6 in the Championship for the second time with McLaren. I think the last seven, eight races of the year, where things went a bit more our way, I was able to show the pace that we’ve had all season. For me it just shows that, whatever happens, you need to keep pushing and believing in what you are doing.
“I cannot be more grateful to each and every member of the team for these two great years, both at the racetrack and back at the factory. I take with me the best of memories. It’s been an honour to help the team as much as I could and get McLaren closer to where it belongs. I look forward to battling you guys next year! All the best.”Lando Norris, 5th
“Pretty much the perfect day today! I had a good start and we just did everything we needed to do as a team. We executed it perfectly, the Safety Car and the pit-stops, and managed the tyres really well. P3 with the team is awesome and the perfect way to end this season, I couldn’t be happier!
“Thanks to the boys and girls at McLaren for all their hard work throughout the season, you’ve done an incredible job all year and this result is for you. And finally, best of luck to Carlos for the future. I’m looking forward to battling him again on track next year, and maybe at the golf course too.”
Racing PointSergio Perez, DNF
“I’m really sad that my final race with the team ended so early and with a repeat of the engine problem we had in Bahrain. I really wanted to sign off with a strong race for everyone in the team. I hope people remember winning the Sakhir Grand Prix instead of this weekend! Looking at the bigger picture, it’s a real shame to have retired because we needed to get both cars into the points today to take P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Congratulations to McLaren, but I think we can still be very proud of our season. We won a race, took podiums and were just so unlucky in some situations – especially with both drivers having to miss races. On my side, I’m delighted that we were able to get P4 in the Drivers’ Championship. This season has been really special, but I’m ready for a break now and I’m very much looking forward to the future.”Lance Stroll, 10th
“That was a tough race today and we were on the backfoot once Checo had to retire through no fault of our own. It then caused a safety car, which I’m not totally sure was the right decision, and then there was the incident with Sainz holding me up in the pitlane. That cost us time, but we still struggled at times in the race. There were moments when our pace was strong, but it wasn’t consistent enough. The tyre life and temperature also dropped off significantly at the end, which cost us a place to Esteban [Ocon].
"We need to look into why that was the case. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to take P3 in the Constructors’ Championship because I think everyone in the team deserved it for all their hard work. We’ve had some real highs this year and there’s been missed opportunities too – so there’s plenty to reflect on and improve in the future. It’s disappointing right now, but we need to remember that the team has an exciting future beginning in 2021 as the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team and that there will be more good days to come.”
AlphaTauriPierre Gasly, 8th
“I’m very happy to finish P8 today. It’s been an intense race, with a lot of overtakes and quite a few battles on track. In general, it hasn’t been an easy weekend and I didn’t feel that good in the car, but I managed to make it count in the race when it really mattered. I’m really pleased to give the team a few more points before going into the winter break and I’m glad we made the best out of the last one here in Abu Dhabi. I would like to say a big thanks to the whole team for this season. It has been a real pleasure to work with everyone, I think we took a big step forward in all areas and we're really taking the fight in the midfield battles. Now we have a bit of time to enjoy the great things we achieved together this year and our first great win together. We’ll fully recharge the battery for next season to come back even stronger and try to achieve even better performances.”Daniil Kvyat, 11th
“It’s frustrating as I would have wanted to finish the season with a better result, but unfortunately today I got stuck in a train behind Vettel and that cost a lot of time. I think the key point of the race was during the first stint: on the Soft tyres we expected the degradation to be on the rear but, instead, we finished the front tyres and when you have understeer you’re a sitting duck. I lost a couple of positions to some key cars before the virtual safety car which put me on the back foot.
"It’s a shame to finish just outside of the points as the pace was there, but recovering from the first stint was very hard. The season as a whole was alright, we had some really good races, and others where we should have scored more points, but for one reason or another, it didn’t happen. This is how things go sometimes, but I would like to thank everyone in the team for another intense season together.”
FerrariSebastian Vettel, 14th
"This race is not one I will remember. But what I will remember are the gestures of all the team members, the mechanics, the engineers, the catering guys and so on. I think the energy has been different today and I felt that, and will carry it with me forever. I will miss Charles. Obviously he gave me a headache here and there, and we are at very different stages of our lives and careers. But he’s certainly a good kid and I think he will go a long way, he will be the man of the future. I hope he gets the car he deserves.
"In general, I hope that everyone can have a better season next year. It has been a very tough and tiring one for the obvious reasons. So I hope next year you will see us smile, see us angry and sad, and that it’s not all hidden behind a mask. That’s the main wish I have. I look forward to starting a new journey, but for now I’m happy to be going back home and recharging."Charles Leclerc, 13th
“Today, we just weren’t quick enough. We struggled to overtake and were not very good in low speed corners. So we tried something different with our strategy to put ourselves in a better position. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. It has been a difficult season for us and it’s a shame to end it like this. All the same, we have made some progress over the past few races, and hopefully we can continue doing so over the winter to come back stronger next year.
"I want to thank Seb for everything he has given to the team. He is an amazing person and a fantastic driver. He pushed me to perform better and to improve. It’s been great to have him on the other side of the garage for the past two years and I wish him all the best for the future. I am also happy that Carlos is joining the team next year. He is very quick, solid, and consistent as a driver. It’s going to be a big challenge for me and I’m already looking forward to it."
“Considering we started eleventh I’m really satisfied with seventh position tonight. My stint on the Hard tyres at the beginning was really strong and the car felt good the whole time. The Safety Car changed things slightly, but we couldn’t progress fast enough to catch the cars ahead. I know we didn’t manage to finish third in the Constructors’ Championship but, overall, it’s been a strong season for the team and compared to last year it’s a great step forward. My last lap in the car was the fastest on track and I was pushing hard for that. Very nice! Merci beaucoup to the team for an awesome two years!”Esteban Ocon, 9th
“It was a challenging race for us today, but I was happy with how it ended with the last lap overtake on Lance [Stroll]. We fought to the end and we can be pleased with that. We have some things to review, it wasn’t an easy first stint and we got stuck behind some cars. Towards the end, though, the car came alive and that was very fun. I think today’s race actually tells the story about our year: we didn’t start so great, but we ended it very well! We know the areas we can improve. A big thanks to everyone at the team and at the factories in Enstone and Viry for their hard work this season and also thanks for Daniel as my team-mate this year. I wish him the best for his next journey.”
Alfa RomeoKimi Raikkonen, 12th
“It was a positive race with good pace, especially compared to the last couple of weeks. We were quite close to the guys in front of us but couldn’t really get any more out of tonight. It has been a good way to close a season that was obviously a bit disappointing in terms of results: we knew after testing we’d have a difficult one, but the team made a good recovery and in the end we made some good steps forward. Hopefully we can continue on this trajectory next year, but first let’s enjoy some time off, back home with our families.”Antonio Giovinazzi, 16th
“It was not the easiest of races, with not much happening after the start. We chose to stay out on mediums when the Safety Car came out, hoping to capitalise on some other neutralisation later, but that never came and this compromised our race. Now a tough season is ending and I think we did all we could. We made good progress in a relatively short time but there’s still much to improve: hopefully we can do more in 2021, so that we can have more fun and fight for the points with a faster car. On the personal side, I am happy with my improvement as a driver, which was my main target for the season, and I want to continue like this next year.”
HaasPietro Fittipaldi, 19th
“I was a lot more confident coming into this race from qualifying – where we had been very competitive. It was a crazy start to the race, but we raced a lot better. We started picking up pace in the beginning, I was able to overtake Kevin (Magnussen) and I was catching Latifi there in the first half of the race. Unfortunately, I think we then had an overheating issue, which required a pit stop to fix ultimately ruining our race. But I was really happy with how we had progressed and with the early pace we had. The team have done a great job with me in such a short space of time, they really helped me get ready. I’ve been very happy for this opportunity and I’m very grateful for it.”Kevin Magnussen, 18th
“Mixed emotions today. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to have raced in F1, it was my childhood dream. I’m sad to be leaving on such a bad performance. At the end of the day though, we had no expectations coming into this race. Off track it’s been a great weekend for me – I’ve really felt the love of the whole team, the atmosphere’s been good. We’ve really finished off in a really good way behind the scenes. I’ve really enjoyed my time with the team, it’s been a pleasure. I’m sad to be saying goodbye to everyone but I’m looking forward to what’s coming next for me.”
"I’m proud of the season we’ve done here at Williams. The team have worked their socks off to make the most of it, it’s been a massive step forward and we have to be grateful for that. It’s still not where we want to be, but everyone is working really hard to improve the car. It’s been an emotional and intense season on and off the track and everyone now gets some well-earned rest. Today, we made the most of it too. It was an optimised race and we did the best we could, keeping some faster cars behind us."Nicholas Latifi, 17th
"It was a very difficult Grand Prix, as a team we didn’t have the pace today and we weren’t as competitive as we have been in other races. I was struggling a lot with the balance in the opening stints, but as the race went on it settled down. The last stint was fun putting on a fresh set of medium tyres and pushing flat out to the end. It is a shame as it’s not how we wanted to end this season but coming into this weekend we knew that this track didn’t suit our car. That is my first full season in Formula 1 done and it’s been a big learning year; I can’t wait to get started next year."