WATCH: Enjoy the race start at Yas Marina as Verstappen surges into the sunset and Hamilton takes to the air
Max Verstappen maintained his pole position advantage as the lights went out to kick off the 2022 season finale in Abu Dhabi, keeping Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc at bay.
While the top three maintained their positions – Leclerc’s look at Perez into Turn 5 coming to nothing – Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz went wheel-to-wheel over fourth place, culminating in a dramatic moment at the Turn 6/7 chicane.
With Sainz fighting back from an initial Hamilton move, the Spaniard braked late at the chicane to get his nose ahead, prompting the seven-time world champion to take to the run-off, launch over the kerbs and maintain P4.
“He did exactly the same last year with Verstappen,” Sainz remarked as he jumped on the radio to the Ferrari pit wall, before Hamilton was told by his Mercedes team to give the position back – with the battle recommencing thereafter.
Enjoy the race start at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the video player above.