Leclerc celebrates ‘perfect’ finale to seal second place overall – Motorsport Week

Charles Leclerc says Ferrari pulled off a ‘perfect’ race in Abu Dhabi to ensure he finished second to Max Verstappen in the 2022 Formula One championship.

Leclerc went into the final on points but with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez ahead, meaning whoever finished ahead would seal second place overall.

Verstappen drove away in front, Perez in second and Leclerc in third, but the two challengers pursued different strategies.

Perez opted for a two-stop approach, while Leclerc managed a one-stop effort, eventually holding the Red Bull driver 1.3 seconds clear.

It was Leclerc’s highest overall finish and the first time since 2018 that a Ferrari driver has sealed second place.

“It was really, really tricky,” Leclerc said of his race. “Especially at the end of the stint on the Hard, although to be honest we managed very, very well.

“It’s tricky because at the end of the race the front lockup became a problem so it was very easy to make a mistake. But in the end we got everything under control and managed to keep Checo behind us.

“I think it was a really, really perfect execution on our part.

“I don’t think we had the pace of the Red Bulls yet and our goal from the start was to get Checo to do something different, which we did perfectly.

“And again, with great tire management, we managed everything from a single source, which ultimately brought us second place.”

Leclerc ended the season with three wins and eleven podiums.

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