It’s the podcast you’ve been waiting to hear – a long chat with newly-named Red Bull Racing third driver for 2023, Daniel Ricciardo. Daniel joins hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to talk about the emotions of returning to the team he left in 2018 (02:14), interest from Mercedes (07:07), the difficulties of seeing out his time at McLaren after being sacked (13:13), not trusting his instincts over his two years at McLaren (15:32), the awkwardness of fellow Australian Oscar Piastri taking his seat (19:25), falling out of love with aspects of F1 (22:49) and why missing the thrill of competition could dictate his return (31:48).

Max Verstappen ends his season on a high with a record-extending 15th victory as Charles Leclerc snatches second in the standings from Sergio Perez. Michael reviews the race and the season with Edd Straw from The Race.

We wrap up the season by reminiscing about the year 2010 and revelling in another great victory for Robstradramus.

Pure’s F1 fanatics, Matt Oostveen and Mark Jobbins, are joined by former F1 driver Alex Yoong and F1 journalist Michael Lamonato to dissect all the action on the track and what it all means for the championship.

After 246 days, the 2022 Formula 1 season reached its conclusion with an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix full of small intrigues and big farewells.

Sebastian Vettel dominated Yas Marina off track on the final weekend of his Formula 1 career, but on the circuit it was Max Verstappen resumed regular programming after his Brazil blip.

The non-existent battle for first wasn’t the story of the race, however. That minor accolade belonged to the fight for second on the road and in the drivers standings between Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.

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Max Verstappen took a comfortable victory at the grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi ahead of a nail-biting battle for second place between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Verstappen controlled the race from pole with ease, managing his tires to perfection to make it to the checkered flag with a single pit stop when he’d originally intended to make two.

It was the Dutchman’s 35th career victory and extended his record for most wins in a season to 15.

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The 2022 season is at its close, but before the sun sets literally and metaphorically on the campaign, there’s some unfinished business needing addressing.

The top three teams are arranged in pairs on the grid in championship order, but after a year of development, they’re all roughly within striking distance of one another. And given all three teams — and of course Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez in particular — have title skin in the game, this will be no simple dead-rubber fixture to end the year.

The same goes for the entire grid in fact. Only first and last in the constructors championship are set in stone, with all other places up for grabs.

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Max Verstappen lead Sergio Perez in a Red Bull front-row lockout for the Abu Dhabi grand prix.

Red Bull’s qualifying supremacy never looked in doubt throughout the hour-long session, the only hiccup in Verstappen’s run plan was his car suddenly switching itself off at the beginning of Q3, delaying him joining the session.

But the interruption didn’t perturb the Dutchman, who was in sparkling form in the final pole shootout of the season.

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Sergio Perez led a Red Bull one-two in final practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a close contest with Mercedes.

In a quiet session in unrepresentative daytime conditions Perez set the benchmark at 1m 24.982s on a set of soft tires to beat teammate Max Verstappen by 0.152s.

Lewis Hamilton was a close third for Mercedes at 0.24s off the pace. The Brit set 17 laps for the session, among the most of any driver, as he sought to verify overnight fixes targeted at an unbalanced W13 on Friday.

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Anyone hoping for a repeat of the unpredictable São Paulo Grand Prix ought to reset their expectations.

With a regular grand prix weekend format at a well-manicured circuit with stable and predictable weather, Red Bull Racing was back at its best ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in both single-lap pace and during the race simulations at the end of second practice.

Max Verstappen, despite missing first practice to give rookie Liam Lawson a run, was right on the pace from the moment he jumped in the car for the twilight session, sweeping from minds the memory of Mercedes’s one-two finish in first practice — and the team’s strong result one week ago in Brazil.

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Daniel Ricciardo will rejoin Red Bull Racing as the team’s third driver in 2023, according to team motorsport adviser Helmut Marko.

The team hasn’t formally confirmed the news, but Marko told Sky Sport Deutschland on Friday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that the Australian would be returning to Milton Keynes in a promotional and ambassadorial role next season.

“Ricciardo will be our third driver,” Marko said. “We have so many sponsors, we have to do show runs and the like, so of course he‘s one of the most high profile and best suited.”

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Max Verstappen has ended Friday practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with he fastest time after rocketing to top spot in FP2 in Yas Marina.

Verstappen took control of the time sheet a quarter of the way through the session on his first soft tire run but improved that time twice more, including with another fresh set of tires, to secure top spot with a time of 1m 25.146s.

It gave him a 0.341s buffer over George Russell’s Mercedes, which was suffering significant cuts in engine power down the straights before switching to race runs in the second half of the session.

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Lewis Hamilton led teammate George Russell in a Mercedes one-two in opening practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Both drivers surged on soft tires to take the top two spots with around 15 minutes remaining, with Hamilton 0.22s ahead of Russell.

Charles Leclerc was a close third, 0.035s adrift in his Ferrari, while Sergio Perez was 0.334s off the pace for Red Bull.

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The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could be Daniel Ricciardo’s last race in Formula 1.

Whether or not this is his final drive is predicated on an enormous gamble with a slim chance of success.

You know the story by now. Ricciardo’s two years and McLaren have been so battering and bruising that the team will pay him not to race next year.

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The last race of the season is finally upon us, and while we don’t have the tense showdown of last year — some may say thankfully so given the aftermath — the sport arrives in Abu Dhabi with a surprising number of loose ends to tie up.

The battle for second in both championships has attracted renewed interest after the chaos of Brazil. Red Bull Racing has done its best to prevent an internal feud from forming after Max Verstappen denied Sergio Perez a chance to take the upper hand over Charles Leclerc for second place, and this weekend we’ll find out the extent of the damage done last weekend.

But while Ferrari is on the attack in the drivers standings, it’s on the defensive against Mercedes in the teams championship. The German marque is on the move and Ferrari has been caught out focused on 2023. Could it really slip to third after such a dominant start to the season?

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Earlier this month Mercedes principal Toto Wolff said he’d rather win a grand prix than finish second in the constructors championship.

Victory, he said, would be a bigger achievement for a car that’s proved so troublesome all year.

But why not both?

Nico Hulkenberg will return to Formula 1 next season with the Haas team, ousting Mick Schumacher from the sport.

The 35-year-old German last raced in F1 in 2019 for Renault, and despite not racing in any category since then, he said he felt like he’d “never really left”.

“I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023,” he said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their trust.

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