The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was an emotional race, which saw Fernando Alonso participate in a race session for the final time, for now, at least.
Fernando Alonso qualified in 15th place for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in 18th position.
The Spaniard chose to start on ultra softs, while the Belgian would pick the super softs.
Alonso’s start, although being conservative, was good – overtaking Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen into the first corner.
But the Spaniard understeered into turn one and was going side-by-side with fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz on the exit, Alonso oversteered on the dirty side of the track and lost places to Perez, Sainz, Ericsson and Gasly.
Nico Hülkenberg had a nasty together coming with Romain Grosjean on the exit of turn 9, his Renault flipped upside-down and trapped him, until track marshalls were able to flip the car back, the right way round.
Fernando Alonso gained a place in all the chaos, as he was 14th at the end of the first lap. The Safety Car was deployed, until Hülkenberg’s Renault was cleared off the track.
Racing resumed on lap 4. Alonso was stuck in 14th place until lap 7, where Kimi Räikkönen retired from 5th place, moving up Fernando Alonso up to 13th place. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed.
Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Romain Grosjean pitted for their only stop of the race under the Virtual Safety Car. Alonso moved up into 11th place, although without a stop, ofcourse.
Esteban Ocon pitted on lap 19, moving up Alonso into 10th position. Charles Leclerc, who already stopped earlier, caught up to Alonso, but he wasn’t able to overtake the Spaniard, despite having fresher tyres and the helping hand of DRS.
Marcus Ericsson, who also drove in his last Formula 1 race, retired on lap 25 from 8th place. The retirement of the Swede helped Leclerc, as he was able to finally get past Alonso.
Fernando pitted on lap 28 from 9th place, he ended up in last, 17th place, after he came out of the pitlane.
Sergey Sirotkin in 16th place was in the clutches of Alonso, who overtook him on the first DRS straight, but the Russian, who also raced in his last race, tried to get the place back, unsuccesfully though.
Lap 35 and Fernando Alonso catched up with the Honda powered Toro Rosso’s, he overtook Brendon Hartley for 15th place on the same lap.
Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne pitted on lap 36, which moved the Spaniard up a place to 14th. Lance Stroll stopped also, on lap 42, moving up Alonso into 13th.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly both had smoke coming out of the back of their cars, which meant retirement from the race – for both, after their engines seemingly gave up. Alonso moved up into 11th, just one place shy off points.
Fernando Alonso gave it all in the final five laps, to catch Magnussen in 10th place, but he fell just short by 2s, finishing his last race in Formula 1 in 11th.
The FIA did not forget about Fernando Alonso, giving him one last five seconds penalty, but luckily, it didn’t change the result in the end.
Fernando won the driver of the day award as well, for the first time, since the Australian Grand Prix.
Hear from Fernando, Post-Race:
|2018 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Race Results|