Valtteri Bottas has held off his teammate Lewis Hamilton to take a dominating victory in the final race of the season in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver looked to have control of the race and build the lead throughout the race over Hamilton.
Bottas’s win was not enough to seal the second place in the drivers’ championship after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished a lonely third. It was a good race for the Finn who withstood the pressure from Hamilton after the pit stops.
However, Hamilton was unable to get close enough to his teammate in order to make the move on his teammate. Hamilton did close the gap but the turbulent air prevented him from making the move on Bottas, allowing the gap to increase.
The Mercedes duo looked to have the clear advantage over the Ferrari, who looked to be unable to respond to the pace of the Mercedes as they headed off into the sunset.
Bottas said “It is a really important win for me. Pretty difficult start to the second half of the year, working hard into all the issues and getting better and better. This weekend I couldn’t be happier to end the season like this. I was really managing the pace and that was a nice feeling.”
Hamilton added “Big congratulations to Valtteri, he did an amazing job today to hold me off. It’s very hard to overtake here so once I got to the last sector I struggled a little bit. I want to say a big thank you to the team, what they have produced for us this year is just incredible.”
Vettel never looked after the first few laps to be able to find the pace ending the race almost twenty seconds off the Mercedes. But that was all he needed to seal second place in the drivers championship and beat his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen’s fourth place allowed him to move ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
The Australian was forced to retire from the race on lap twenty because of a hydraulic problem. That followed an extra pit stop earlier in the race after Ricciardo brushed the wall earlier in the race. While Max Verstappen who was the first to stop finished fifth nine tenths off Raikkonen.
Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest for Renault finishing sixth, which allowed his Renault team to seal sixth place in the constructor’s championship. That was despite the German being awarded a five-second penalty in his battle with his former teammate Sergio Perez.
Hulkenberg was awarded a five-second penalty because he ran wide gaining an advantage as he battled with Perez. But, when it came to serving the penalty at his first pit stop he had built an advantage over Perez to get back out in front of the Mexican.
Perez had to settle for seventh place ahead of his teammate Esteban Ocon. The final race for McLaren and Honda saw Fernando Alonso finish ninth ahead of Felipe Massa who finished tenth in his final race.
Massa had been ahead of Alonso in the first stint but the McLaren passed the later-stopping Williams on its out-lap. That means he retires having outscored as well as out qualified team-mate Lance Stroll over the season.
The most exciting battle was between Romain Grosjean, Lance Stroll. But Stroll had the upper hand following the first stop, but the Frenchman stay ahead as they fought for the position.
Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein finished fourteenth ahead of both the Toro Rosso’s with Brendon Hartley ahead of Pierre Gasly, while Marcus Ericsson was ahead of Lance Stroll.
- Notebook – Abu Dhabi Qualifying
- Abu Dhabi GP – Qualifying Results
- ABU DHABI GP – Bottas edges out Hamilton by a tenth to seal his fourth pole of the season
- Notebook – Abu Dhabi Practice
- ABU DHABI GP – Hamilton edges out Vettel by a tenth in second practice
- ABU DHABI GP – Vettel tops first practice by a tenth over Hamilton
- Preview – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix