Five Key Moments from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a tale of two halves for the team. While not everything went our way, our never-say-die attitude ultimately prevailed – both on track and in the pit lane.
Bite into the key moments that made our evening in Abu Dhabi…
1. Perfect Pit Stops
Even at the end of a long and grueling season, the crew maintained superb levels of operational performance – completing the 10th fastest pit stop of the race by swapping Lance’s Hard compound tyres for a set of Softs in only 2.68s.
The Canadian’s race was hampered as early as the first corner, after contact with Pierre Gasly necessitated a front wing change while separate braking issues followed later in the race. But the team never lost their cool – pulling out all the stops to keep him running until he could fight no more.
This reflects the hard work and dedication that our team puts week in week out to give the drivers the best possible chance of competing at the sharp end on track. Kudos, guys!
2. Battling Bottas
In the early stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we found ourselves in direct competition with six-time Formula 1 World Champions Mercedes out on track.
When Valtteri Bottas fought his way from the back of the pack following a pre-race Power Unit change, a battle was bound to emerge as he came across first Lance and then Checo – particularly with DRS not enabled in the opening phases of the race.
Although it was the Finn who came out on top on this occasion, it is always a pleasure scrapping against the Champions and we can’t wait to do it again at the first available opportunity next season.
3. Checo vs. Lando
After performing an impressive 37-lap stint on the Medium-compound tyres at the start of the race, Checo found himself in the middle of an intense scrap to finish as best of the rest behind the top three teams.
Beating the Renault boys out on track and gaining extra positions when Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat boxed for fresh rubber, Lando Norris was the only driver standing between Checo and P7 – with the added incentive of a top 10 Championship finish at stake for our man.
Dueling with the 20-year-old Briton lap after lap, Checo saved his best until last – overtaking the McLaren driver around the outside of Turn 11 on the final lap of the season in a move that the man himself has called one of the best of his illustrious career!
4. Out with a Bang!
The Yas Marina Circuit holds a welcome spot as Formula 1’s season finale, with the state-of-the-art facility undoubtedly one of the most impressive venues that we visit over the course of the year.
With a unique paddock set against the beautiful marina backdrop, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix allows us to end each year with a touch of glamour after 11 months on the road. And, as the sun set over Abu Dhabi, the season drew to a close with a bang – quite literally!
As Checo delivered a spectacle of his own on track with some red hot overtakes, the skies above the circuit illuminated with the now traditional fireworks display that signals the end of term for Formula 1 – and what a way to sign off!
5. End of a Decade
When the chequered flag waved on the 55th lap of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this not only marked the conclusion of the season but also the end of a decade of Formula 1 competition, as the 198th Grand Prix of the 2010s came to an end.
But this is not the end… in fact, it’s only the beginning!
Our first full season of Formula 1 competition under the Racing Point name was certainly one of transition – but as the second half of the campaign proved, we’re going from strength to strength and are already excited to hit the ground running in 2020 where we intend to show what we’re made of! Bring it on!