Lewis Hamilton wins 2018 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton ended his title-winning Formula 1 season by dominating the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which featured a dramatic first-lap crash for Nico Hulkenberg.
Hamilton ran the longest second stint of any driver after pitting under an early virtual safety car period, but he remained comfortably clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the end.
Max Verstappen overcame an early engine scare and resisted his charging Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to finish third and deny the Australian a podium on his final race for the team before switching to Renault next season.
Hamilton held his advantage from pole but the race was neutralised after only half a lap thanks to Hulkenberg’s accident.
The Renault driver attacked Romain Grosjean into Turn 9, the left-hander at the end of the first long back straight, but Grosjean hung on around the outside as he was forced to the edge of the track.
Hulkenberg turned in to the apex of the right-hander that immediately follows and was hit Grosjean’s front-left, which pitched the Renault into a barrel roll.
It came to a rest upside down against the outside barrier, briefly caught fire, and the unhurt Hulkenberg had to wait for trackside staff to arrive and reposition the car before he could extract himself.
Hamilton nailed the restart at the end of the fourth lap to lead team-mate Valtteri Bottas by more than a second over the line.
The leader stopped early, on lap seven of 55, when Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari switched off exiting the final corner and stopped on the start-finish line, sparking a virtual safety car.
Bottas and Vettel stayed out, with only Charles Leclerc – running a stunning fourth after jumping both Red Bulls on the opening lap and passing Raikkonen’s ailing Ferrari – and seventh-place man Romain Grosjean following Hamilton into the pits.
Bottas, Vettel and Ricciardo extended their stint on ultrasofts and Verstappen tried to make his hypersofts last as long as possible.
Ricciardo and Verstappen were given engine warnings early on by Red Bull but these passed and were traced to "unexpected power unit protection", suggesting a failsafe had briefly been erroneously activated.
Bottas pitted nine laps after Hamilton and rejoined nine seconds adrift, and although Hamilton complained about his tyres the Briton maintained a relatively comfortable gap.
Hamilton was still six seconds or so clear of Bottas when his team-mate lost his grip on second place thanks to some problems under braking.
A lock up at Turn 5 and then the end of the first long back straight allowed Vettel to steal second on lap 35, and then three laps later a smaller mistake at the same place let Verstappen get a run on Bottas down the second back straight and pass him – with a bit of wheel bumping – through the little chicane that follows.
One lap later Bottas lost another place to Ricciardo, who had led for a while thanks to extending his first stint to lap 33, and Mercedes decided to pit Bottas for fresh tyres after spotting a possible problem after the Verstappen contact.
Though Bottas’s troubles freed up Vettel to attack Hamilton, and hack the gap down to 2.5s at the flag, he never got close enough to trouble the leader.
Victory was Hamilton’s 11th of the season, matching his best-ever haul from a single campaign.
By keeping Ricciardo at bay for third, Verstappen was able to nick ahead of Bottas for fourth in the drivers’ championship.
Bottas finished his winless season with a distant fifth, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Sainz ended his time with Renault with a best-of-the-rest victory earned by virtue of a long first stint, that allowed him to overhaul Leclerc’s Sauber.
Leclerc had to survive pressure from Racing Point Force India driver Sergio Perez to hold onto seventh, while Haas duo Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.
Fernando Alonso finished just outside the top 10 on his likely final F1 appearance, despite picking up two five-second penalties late on for a track limits offence when he cut the chicane at the end of the first backstraight.
Three drivers joined Hulkenberg and Raikkonen in not making it to the finish.
Marcus Ericsson’s stint with Sauber ended in retirement after running in the points early on, before Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly retired within two laps of each other with smoke coming from their respective cars.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||55||12.706s|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||55||15.379s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||55||1m31.275s|
|9||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|11||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Renault||54||1 Lap|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||54||1 Lap|
|13||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||54||1 Lap|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Renault||54||1 Lap|
|15||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||54||1 Lap|
|–||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||46||Oil leak|
|–||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||44||Oil leak|
E’ chiaro che sono un po’ deluso, non è così che avrei voluto che finisse la nostra ultima gara insieme. Volevamo un buon risultato e penso che avessimo la macchina giusta per farlo. Purtroppo abbiamo avuto un problema elettrico: nel rettilineo opposto ai box ho sentito che mancava potenza e poi si è spento tutto. E’ un peccato, ma è così che vanno le corse a volte. E’ stata una stagione più che discreta, ma i quattro ritiri non erano previsti e non hanno certo aiutato; volevamo di più, questo è certo. Vorrei ringraziare tutti i tifosi della Ferrari che mi hanno sempre dato un grande sostegno. Assieme abbiamo vissuto momenti belli e brutti, e questo rende le cose anche più interessanti. Avremmo voluto finire meglio ma anche questo fa parte dello sport. Conserveremo per sempre il ricordo del mondiale Piloti e dei due titoli Costruttori vinti assieme.
Lewis Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver was fastest on both runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout to take pole by 0.162s from team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Although Bottas had a slight advantage in the middle sector and was up on his team-mate at the start of the final part of the lap, Hamilton was quicker in the first and third sectors to take his 11th pole of the year.
Sebastian Vettel couldn’t improve by enough on his last run thanks to losing time in the final sector and admitted there was maybe half-a-tenth missing, which would not have been enough to get onto the front row.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen – who picked up a reprimand in FP3 for returning to the track after committing to the pit entry – jumped Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for fourth place on the final runs despite the Australian setting a stunning pace in the final sector – fastest of anyone.
Max Verstappen was sixth fastest after abandoning his final run having complained about the tyres being too hot when he left the pits.
Five of the top six will start on ultrasofts having used that compound to set their times in Q2, the exception being Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver wasn’t quick enough on his ultrasoft run in Q2 and reported struggling for grip on turn-in, meaning he had to use hypersofts for his second run to ensure he reached Q3.
Romain Grosjean was best of the rest in seventh place, 0.045s faster than the Sauber of Charles Leclerc.
Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon beat the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg to 10th, with the German failing to improve on his second run and slipping down from eighth place.
Carlos Sainz Jr failed to make Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Verstappen’s late improvement on hypersofts in Q2.
He was a tenth-and-a-half faster than Marcus Ericsson, who beat Haas driver Kevin Magnussen to 12th place.
Force India driver Sergio Perez was 14th fastest, two-tenths ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso – who is making, for now, his swansong F1 appearance.
Toro Rosso pairing Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly were fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th place.
They were shuffled back by improvements by Magnussen, Ericsson and Perez despite both improving on their final laps.
Hartley complained of a lack of entry stability compared, while Gasly suffered an engine problem at the end of his fastest qualifying lap and was ordered to stop on track after reporting smoke from the rear of the car.
Stoffel Vandoorne ended his final F1 qualifying session before heading to Formula E in 18th place, just ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll – the duo separated by less than half-a-tenth.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.401s||0.607s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.589s||0.795s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.540s||1.746s|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.541s||–|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m37.994s||–|
|17||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.166s||–|
Lewis Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi GP final F1 practice
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Saturday’s practice session ahead of the final Formula 1 qualifying of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes driver Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable three-tenths of a second advantage over the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with Sebastian Vettel third.
Ferrari had control of FP3 for most of the session as Raikkonen and then Vettel hit the top of the pile early on.
Vettel’s initial benchmark of 1m38.668s stood until the final 20 minutes of the session, when he lowered it significantly to 1m37.587s on new hypersoft tyres.
Hamilton then blitzed that with a 1m37.176s, before Raikkonen also edged ahead of Vettel by clocking a 1m37.464s.
Raikkonen has been summoned to the stewards for a bizarre pitlane entry incident in which he slowed almost to a stop and then crawled back across onto the track at the last minute.
The Ferrari driver had run wide at the penultimate corner, meaning he failed to get across to the pit entry line in time, and he eventually chose to bail out of trying to head down the pit lane.
Red Bull slipped back after showing strongly on Friday, although Max Verstappen outpaced the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen was just over half a second slower than Hamilton but he was ahead of Bottas by two tenths to take fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo completed the top six in the second Red Bull, which was the last car to lap within a second of Hamilton’s benchmark.
Ricciardo did not complete the session as he was forced to pull over at the exit of Turn 9, just at the beginning of the second of the two long back straights, with a few minutes to go.
A flurry of late flying laps mixed up the rest of the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg rose to seventh-fastest with five minutes left, but neither Haas nor the Sauber of Charles Leclerc had completed their final qualifying simulation by that stage.
Romain Grosjean jumped to seventh with his effort, a 1m38.304s, but Leclerc – who spun early in the session and broke his rear wing backing his Sauber into the wall on the exit of Turn 19 – could only manage 11th and Magnussen 13th.
That allowed Carlos Sainz Jr and Esteban Ocon to complete the top 10.
Ocon spent most of the session in the garage after identifying a possible engine problem early on.
At the end of the session Grosjean and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly were involved in a peculiar clash at Turn 17.
Gasly pulled alongside the Haas on the entry to the corner and gesticulated at his fellow Frenchman – who was not notified by his team that he needed to get out of the way of the Toro Rosso – just before the two cars made light contact.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.747s||0.571s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.090s||0.914s||11|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.011s||1.835s||7|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.053s||1.877s||15|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m39.074s||1.898s||18|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m39.740s||2.564s||12|
Abu Dhabi GP practice two: Valtteri Bottas fastest for Mercedes
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas topped the second free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Finn hit top spot in the early running with a lap of 1m38.600s using ultrasoft Pirellis, which put him a quarter of a second ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s time on the same compound.
Ferrari was the first frontrunning team to send its drivers out on the hypersofts, with Kimi Raikkonen going fastest just after the 30-minute mark with a lap of 1m37.461s.
Sebastian Vettel then slotted into second place, just over a tenth of a second slower, before the Mercedes drivers completed their performance runs.
Bottas improved his best time to a 1m37.236s to reclaim top spot.
Hamilton was behind him on track and on a quick one but was only able to set a time good enough for second after losing time in the final sector and ended up 0.207s behind his team-mate.
This allowed Verstappen to grab second place with a lap of 1m37.288s despite complaining of running out of battery power for the final two corners. He subsequently improved by 0.008s on his second flier.
Verstappen did have a concerning moment earlier in the session when he ran wide at the exit of the penultimate corner and ground the floor of his car along the sausage kerb, but was sent back out again after checks.
Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo also managed to get two fast laps out of the hypersofts, jumping from the back of the top six up to third with his final attempt.
This shuffled Hamilton down to fourth, ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean emerged as the midfield leader in seventh place with a lap half a second off Vettel.
That put him 0.170s ahead of Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, with the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen in ninth.
Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon completed the top 10, 1.166s off the outright pace.
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly showed strong pace on the ultrasofts earlier in the session, but slipped down to 11th place ahead of the second Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr after his run on hypersofts.
Fernando Alonso ended his final Friday in F1 – for now, at least – in 13th place.
Running a special livery on the engine cover of his McLaren that replicates his helmet colours, Alonso set a best lap of 1m38.725s to beat the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Sauber driver Charles Leclerc was 15th, also complaining of possible floor damage after a wide moment into the complex that leads onto the long back straight, with Brendon Hartley 16th in the second Toro Rosso and admitting to a couple of errors on his fast lap.
Marcus Ericsson took 17th ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, who had an extended stay in the pits mid-session but went out on hypersofts late on.
Williams pairing Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin brought up the rear in 19th and 20th place respectively.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.280s||0.044s||32|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.428s||0.192s||31|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.402s||1.166s||33|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.506s||1.270s||32|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.806s||1.570s||31|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.957s||1.721s||35|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two
Max Verstappen used hypersoft tyres to lead a Red Bull one-two in opening practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable advantage over team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to top the practice one times by almost half a second.
The Dutchman burst clear in the second half of the session on a 1m38.491s that left him 0.454s clear of Ricciardo, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was the only other driver to lap within a second of Verstappen.
Red Bull’s one-two was earned as the team completed two sets of fresh hypersoft runs, while Mercedes and Ferrari switched from the softest-available compound to the hardest for the second half of the session.
Bottas used supersofts to lap 0.961s slower than Verstappen, but outpaced world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton by under a tenth.
Hamilton made a modest improvement on ultrasofts, having led the running early on using hypersofts.
While the Mercedes drivers were able to make gains on the hardest of the three Pirelli compounds in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari did not improve.
That allowed Esteban Ocon to steal into fifth place for Racing Point Force India and Kevin Magnussen to take sixth for Haas.
Ocon was 1.6s off the pace, just over a tenth quicker than Magnussen, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel relegated to seventh and eighth.
Their early hypersoft efforts stood as their best times despite the Ferraris conducting laps on supersofts that were not part of a long run.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and the second Haas of Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.
The 90-minute session passed with minimal drama, although Marcus Ericsson caused yellow flags with a half-spin in his Sauber exiting Turn 1 early on and slid nose-first into the inside barrier.
Newly-confirmed 2019 Williams race driver and F1 returnee Robert Kubica completed the 20 runners, standing in for the driver he will replace full-time next year Sergey Sirotkin.
Kubica lapped 4.5s off the pace, 1.5s slower than Lance Stroll, but had already made clear on Thursday he would not be pursuing lap times in practice and would instead complete evaluation work for next season.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.491s||–||27|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.945s||0.454s||19|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.102s||1.611s||26|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m40.671s||2.180s||17|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.075s||2.584s||23|
|14||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m41.137s||2.646s||26|
Lo so, lo so.
Abu Dhabi 2018.
L’ultimo Gran Premio in Rosso di KR7.
All things must pass.
Let it be.
The long and winding road.
La mia opinione sul conto di Kimi Raikkonen è stranota.
Non starò qui a ripeterla.
Conosco alla perfezione anche il parere dei detrattori in servizio permanente effettivo.
A ciascuno il suo, ci mancherebbe.
Semplicemente, io sono felice di averlo conosciuto ed ammirato. Ripensando ad una carriera che ancora non è conclusa, non riesco a rammentare nemmeno un episodio all’insegna della slealtà.
E questo, insieme al suo splendido attaccamento alla Ferrari, spiega la stupefacente popolarità che lo circonda ovunque.
Come dicono gli argentini (anche se Interlagos 2007 era in Brasile) “nessuno ci toglierà quello che abbiamo ballato”.
Sapete, nel mestiere che faccio io mi sono accorto che la cosa più bella è narrare storie che ti piacciono. Succede di rado.
Beh, è stato un privilegio raccontare l’avventura Ferrari (in due…rate) di Kimi Raikkonen.
Me la ricorderò.
E per quello che ho potuto intuire in tempi vagamente recenti, sarò in buona compagnia.
Da Blog Turrini
Q: Kimi, after eight seasons, this is your final race with Ferrari. What does this team mean to you and what will you miss most about it?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I don’t know. Obviously I had this leaving them once already so it’s not a new thing. I’m not sad because I don’t see why we need to be sad. We will stay as friends. We’re going to see a lot of us anyhow in the paddock so not an awful lot changes. We’ll both go for new things and I think it’s exciting but we’ve had good times with the team, great people. We’ve had some difficult times, but that’s part of business and I think that’s how it should go: sometimes it needs to be a bit hard. No, obviously I won the championship with them, as a driver. We twice won the team (championship) so I’m very happy to be part of it because there’s not many people who have done it. We will happily go different ways. We’re not that far away from each other and we will keep doing what we do.
Q: And just looking at this weekend, you’re in a tight battle with Bottas, just 14 points separating you in the championship. How important is that third place for you?
KR: I don’t think it’s changing my world any way. If I end up third, I think we need to go wherever the prize giving is so it’s a negative thing in the end, you know, more travelling but we’ll see.
Q: Can I just throw this to the Ferrari drivers? Sebastian and Kimi, what are your thoughts on what happened between these two drivers in Brazil?
SV: We can go? Now? I don’t know. I have an opinion. I’m not sure I should say what I think.
KR: Not really. I saw it afterwards. Boys and boys and that’s how it goes. I don’t think anything bad happened in the end it’s probably in many eyes, if you take the whole picture, maybe it’s not the greatest thing in many aspects but it’s not the end of the world. That’s how it goes.
Q: (Marco Privitera – LiveGP.it) Kimi, after your long experience with Ferrari, what will be the next target for next year and the rest of your career?
KR: I haven’t really thought (about it). We’ll see once we start driving the new cars next year where we are roughly, purely by feeling and then we go from there. Obviously it’s a different challenge but I enjoy also, that’s why I (inaudible). We’ll see. If you ask many people there are lots of different opinions how it’s going to go but we’ll find out next year and we’ll do our best. I think we have a good change to do some great things. Where that’s going to take us, who knows? We’ll find out but we’ll see what happens once we start next year and then after that, I haven’t even thought about it.
Q: Sebastian, can you name something that you will miss about Kimi next year?
KR: Short meetings from my side.
Q: (Abhishek Takle – Mid-Day) Kimi, just to follow up from what you said earlier: like you said, it will be a new challenge next year at Sauber. What do you think you will enjoy most about driving for Sauber next year?
KR: Obviously I don’t know yet because… I’m pretty sure it’s a much smaller team than where I’ve been now, at Ferrari, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be different in many ways but the aim is still the same, do well in the races. I think it’s more pure racing and less the other stuff in there. Hopefully it will turn out to be good for both of us and that’s our aim. I think it’s what we can do, but obviously I might be completely wrong but we’ll find out. I have a good feeling about it and I’m excited to go there. But it’s close to my home which is obviously a bonus.
SV: Didn’t you tell me that you’re really looking forward to the simulator.
KR: Yeah, but I have it at home. I told them don’t spend the money on it because I have on at home.
MV: So you will do the set-up work for them for the Friday, for the first practice?
KR: Yeah. That’s easy. No worries. Do it once well and it should be fine.
Raikkonen: ‘Boring’ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ‘like endurance racing’
Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1’s fuel limits meant the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was "more like endurance racing" because he had to save so much fuel.
The Ferrari driver finished fourth, fending off Max Verstappen for the whole race and gaining a position when Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull retired ahead of him.
But Raikkonen said he did not enjoy the race, as the Yas Marina track requires significant fuel-saving.
"The car was most of the time pretty good, but to be honest it was not a lot to do with racing because the fuel saving was a lot," he said.
"I tried to keep the guys behind, but tried to be on the limits that you’re allowed to use so it was a kind of boring race.
"But this is what the rules are and some races it’s more and others not. It shouldn’t be like that. It’s more like endurance racing. But that’s how it is.
"It’s the rule and we have to respect it. But as racers, nobody’s happy because we want to race."
He said the whole field would have been in the same situation and it was not a case of Ferrari needing to improve its fuel economy.
"I don’t think it’s just us. For sure, it’s the other teams also," Raikkonen added.
"Maybe some teams have to do less than others and there are always a lot of things to do with how you run the cars and this and that, but I don’t think we are any worse than other teams."
Raikkonen said his battle with the Red Bulls was entirely governed by fuel-saving.
"You were thinking ‘should I go after him?’ because you knew at some point it was going to have to be painful to get back under the limit that we have," he said.
"It’s not a lot of fun. I think Max was more or less the same story.
"As we were close to each other it looks OK but if you look closely you were lifting off 200 metres before the corners."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel said he had to save fuel at the beginning of the second stint, which meant he lost touch with the Mercedes drivers ahead, eventually finishing 19 seconds behind race winner Valtteri Bottas.
While it was a disappointing way for Ferrari’s season to end, Vettel said the team could be pleased with the way it took the fight to Mercedes this year.
"You saw today we weren’t quick enough," said Vettel, who finished 25s ahead of Raikkonen.
"I don’t think it’s a shame to come second [in the championship] in the way that we did, but it’s not what we want.
"Overall we had a very good run – I don’t think there was an awful lot more to grab."
Daniel Ricciardo: Kimi Raikkonen should’ve outscored me by miles
Daniel Ricciardo shrugged off losing fourth in the 2017 Formula 1 championship to Kimi Raikkonen at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he feels Raikkonen should have outscored him comfortably.
Ricciardo arrived at Yas Marina seven points ahead of Raikkonen in the F1 drivers’ standings and was on course to beat him to fourth place in the race too.
But a hydraulic failure on Ricciardo’s Red Bull and Raikkonen’s fourth place finish meant the Ferrari driver took fourth in the championship by five points.
When asked how disappointed he was to lose fourth in the standings, Ricciardo told NBC: "If I’m brutally honest, with that car he should have been a long way in front in the championship. So, yeah, I don’t think it’s a big deal." […]
Valtteri Bottas resists Lewis Hamilton to win Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas held off Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina.
Bottas retained the lead from pole at the start and though he lost it briefly when he pitted first, he absorbed pressure from Hamilton to secure his third win of the season.
World champion Hamilton crossed the line 3.8 seconds adrift, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completing the podium in third.
Once Bottas got through Turn 1 in the lead, he quickly opened up a one-second lead over Hamilton before gradually building it up to two seconds before the stops.
He was the first of the Mercedes drivers to pit, swapping the ultra-softs for super-softs and rejoining in second place.
Hamilton stayed out for three further laps, clocking the fastest lap in the process, but couldn’t make up enough ground and rejoined behind Bottas.
The world champion attacked his team-mate, briefly getting within DRS range, but locked up at Turn 17, running off track before rejoining.
Hamilton kept up the pressure and even got within 0.5s after Bottas had a lock-up of his own, but his team-mate responded by putting the hammer down and pulling away.
The result was Mercedes’ third one-two of the season.
Vettel had a quiet race in a lonely third place ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was on course to finish fourth, but pulled off track and retired the car with a hydraulic problem shortly before the halfway point.
His team-mate Max Verstappen finished fifth, just 0.8s behind Raikkonen with Nico Hulkenberg sixth to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship for Renault.
Hulkenberg escaped with a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage when battling Sergio Perez on the first lap.
By the time Hulkenberg took the penalty at his pitstop, he had comfortably built enough of an advantage to negate it.
His team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr retired for the fourth time in six races after the team did not attach the front-left tyre properly at his pitstop.
But for the incident, Sainz had been on course to leapfrog Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa into ninth place by running long before pitting.
Perez finished seventh, 6.8s clear of Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Alonso signed off the McLaren-Honda partnership with ninth place, securing the team’s third consecutive points finish.
Massa completed his 269th and final grand prix in the points in 10th and celebrated with a few doughnuts after the chequered flag.
He had been ahead of Alonso in the first stint but the McLaren passed the later-stopping Williams on its out-lap.
Romain Grosjean was involved in the race’s most entertaining battle, squabbling with Lance Stroll over 13th in the first stint and eventually coming out on top after multiple passes and repasses.
The Haas driver finished 11th, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, with Kevin Magnussen recovering from a first lap spin that dropped him to the back of the field to finish 13th.
Stroll ended up making three pitstops on a day everyone else stopped once and fell to last.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||55||46.269s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||55||1m32.062s|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||55||1m38.911s|
|9||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||54||1 Lap|
|10||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||54||1 Lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||54||1 Lap|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|14||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|15||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||54||1 Lap|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||54||1 Lap|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||54||1 Lap|
|18||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||54||1 Lap|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||20||Hydraulics|