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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022

How Leclerc can deny Perez Red Bull F1 history

The fight for second place in the Drivers' standings will be decided in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Here's how it will be won or lost.

XPB 1180168 Hi Res
To news overview © XPBimages

Unlike 2021, it's been pretty clear where the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship would be heading in 2022.

Max Verstappen has been in a class of one this season, breaking records for most wins and most points in a single season (14 and 429 and counting for those keeping score).

Attention has thus turned onto who will finish as runner-up: Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez or Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

It will go down to the final race with nothing separating the two, and only 0.040 seconds advantage in Perez's favour in qualifying at Yas Marina as they line up second and third.

Should Perez claim it, he will secure Red Bull's first ever 1-2 in the Drivers' Championship, which is just about the only thing the team haven't achieved in F1.

Below is how P2 in the standings will be won – or indeed lost.

Runner-up in the standings

Heading into the finale in Abu Dhabi, Leclerc and Perez are locked level on 290 points apiece.

As it stands, Leclerc is ahead by virtue of most wins – three to two.

Essentially, it is a replay of the 2021 title decider between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, in that whoever finishes ahead will claim the position in the standings.

Should Perez finish ahead of Leclerc, second place is his and vice versa if Leclerc sees the flag before Perez.

In the scenario that one finishes ninth and the other 10th with the fastest lap bonus point, Leclerc will still finish ahead as he would have that extra Grand Prix win that is used to separate drivers when they are tied on points.

Standings ahead of Abu Dhabi

Driver Points
Max Verstappen 429
Charles Leclerc 290
Sergio Perez 290
George Russell 265
Lewis Hamilton 240
Carlos Sainz 234

What about Russell?

There is an outside chance of George Russell sneaking in and claiming second place in the standings, although this is unlikely.

For this to happen, Russell needs to win and claim the fastest lap bonus point, as well as hoping that both Leclerc and Perez fail to finish.

Elsewhere, Hamilton needs to finish within six points of Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari to avoid his worst ever finish in the standings.

He has finished fifth twice – in 2009 and 2011 – and has never been outside the top five in his career.

In the fight for second in the Constructors', Ferrari hold a 19 point advantage over Mercedes, meaning a 1-2 for the eight-time champions plus fastest lap (44 points) would not be enough if Ferrari took a three-four (27 points).

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Also interesting:

Video: Bottas takes RacingNews365.com on F1 hot lap of Abu Dhabi!

Editorial Director Dieter Rencken joined the Alfa Romeo driver for a hot lap of the track, which has hosted Formula 1 since back in 2009.

Along the way, Bottas reveals the secrets of the venue.

F1 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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