Hamilton caps season with dominant win at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CMC) — Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton dominated from pole to finish as he capped off the Formula One season with victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix here yesterday.
In a mundane affair at Yas Marina, the Mercedes star hardly put a foot wrong, getting away to a good start to put distance between himself and his challengers, to post his 11th win of the 21-race season and equal his career-best performance for a campaign.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who had a share of front row on the grid, finished 16 seconds behind Hamilton in second with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc third.
“I definitely wasn't expecting to have the pace advantage to that extent,” said Hamilton, who wrapped up the 2019 title a month ago following his second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix in Texas.
“Our long run pace was quite good and I was told that we might be a tenth or two ahead but then in the race we had a bit more of an advantage in that respect. And once I got out in the clear I was able to manage my pace pretty well in that first stint and manage the tyres.
“I just had to go as long, basically, as Max was going. Then we got onto that next set of tyres and for this track the tyre was good.
“I think towards the end of the race I was like 'I want to have some… I've got to push and see if I can extract any more performance from the car'. I do wish that we had some battles.”
Hamilton's success took him to 84 career wins and he is now just seven behind the legendary Michael Schumacher's record.
The 34-year-old Brit, whose paternal grandparents hail from Grenada, ended the season with 413 points — 87 clear of teammate Valterri Bottas who was second. Dutchman Verstappen finished third with 278 points.
“What an incredible year it has been. What an incredible stretch it's been with this team,” said Hamilton.
“After winning the Constructors and the Drivers Championship, I think it was really important for us as a team to continue to push. You know, we hadn't got absolutely everything from the overall perfect package.
“So we were just trying to push the limits and push the boundaries and … I think this is the perfect way to end the season, on the right foot.”