Checo Pérez endured what he could to Hamilton, which earned him thanks from Verstappen; unfortunately no the Red Bull could not stand the distance
Checo Pérez experienced a sad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he was unable to finish the last race of the season, despite marching in third position and having practically secured the podium with Max Verstappen, who was crowned world champion.
Checo Pérez had a good start to the race when he overtook Lando Norris in the first corner, who went long and lost his position against the Mexican.
Then, the tapatío was firm from the first moment in his third place and leaving enough space in front of his partner in his fight against Lewis Hamilton.
Pérez had an 8.5-second lead over Carlos Sainz, who couldn’t catch up with Guadalajara.
Checo began leading the race on lap 15 after Max and Hamilton entered the pits, so the man from Guadalajara was in the lead for seven laps.
Checo Pérez lived a show at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by having an intense fight against Lewis Hamilton, who was fighting for the first position, while the Mexican sought to delay the Englishman for the benefit of Max Verstappen, who was seeking his first world title.
From lap 20, the Red Bull man lived a direct duel with the Mercedes member, who tried to pass Checo on more than one occasion, but he gave a fierce defense and held his position for two laps.
Checo caused Max to regain a seven-second deficit to Hamilton and could eventually come within two seconds.
Pérez was clearly outlined on his way to the podium, but everything changed in the final laps with the crash of Nicholas Latifi, allowing Red Bull to enter the pits and make a final tire change.
However, everything fell apart for Checo, as with only four laps remaining he was called to the pits to pick up the car, as he suffered some problems and the RB16B was not able to complete the agreed laps.
Checo Pérez missed the podium, but he was able to celebrate the crown with Max Verstappen and the Mexican was an important piece in the last races.
The one from Jalisco finished in second place in the voting for “Driver of the Day”, only behind Kimi Raikkonen, who retired from F1 after two decades of experience.