Verstappen ends the F1 season with 15 wins, as Leclerc and Ferrari hold on to second place in the championship
Max Verstappen dominates from pole to take record winning 15th win of the season, but Charles Leclerc held off Perez to second in the race and championship. Mercedes struggled with Hamilton suffering mechanical failure and George Russell penalised for an unsafe release.
Max Verstappen won a record breaking 15th race of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday to conclude one of the most dominant seasons in Formula One history.
A year on from Verstappen's tense and controversial win over Lewis Hamilton to seal his first title, there was little drama at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Verstappen stayed ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez at the start and was never seriously challenged after that on his way to the win.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc held off Perez’s challenge on old tires to finish second and clinch second place in the championship standings, thwarting Red Bull's bid to have its drivers place first and second.
Leclerc and Perez came into the final race locked on points and the Ferrari was the big underdog behind the Red Bulls, although a two stopping Perez could not catch Leclerc, who like Verstappen was one stopping, in time.
"We had the perfect race," said Leclerc. "I knew the only way for us to beat Checo was with a different strategy."
Lewis Hamilton was running just ahead of a charging Sainz on the penultimate lap before suffering a hydraulic issue. Mercedes' first mechanical failure of the year. That sealed what was inevitable, Hamilton failing to win a race in a season for the first time in his 22 year career.
George Russell did finish the race, in fifth, although only after having to serve a five second penalty for an unsafe release in the pits.
In his final race of a glittering F1 career, Sebastian Vettel scored a point in the Aston Martin although wanted more after a one stop strategy saw him fall back behind his teammate, and Alpine's Esteban Ocon.
He finished the race just behind Daniel Ricciardo, who is also leaving the sport potentially permanently as he exits McLaren but may be confirmed to a move back to Red Bull as a development driver.