Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2019-12-02 at 08:03
Lewis Hamilton dominated the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end the season in which he won a sixth world drivers’ title on a high.
The Mercedes driver led away from pole position and cruised off into the distance, untroubled by anyone behind.
In a soporific race, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took a comfortable second after Ferrari slipped backwards.
Charles Leclerc ran second in the early laps, ahead of Verstappen, but slipped back to third.
Leclerc held off an attack from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages, the Finn right on his gearbox on the final lap, after an excellent race from the back of the grid.
Leclerc was at risk of losing third place because governing body the FIA discovered before the race that the amount of fuel Ferrari said was in his car was different from the amount that was when it was checked.
But after a post-race investigation, Ferrari were fined €50,000 for what had been a 4.88kg discrepancy and the result stood.
Hamilton’s victory was his 11th of the 21 races that have been held this season, and equals his previous best performance – in 2014 and 2018.
It also moves his career total to 84 wins, just seven behind the all-time record held by Michael Schumacher.
That sets the 34-year-old Briton up to potentially exceed Schumacher’s win tally and match his all-time record of seven world championships in 2020.
He was in a race of his own from the start, quickly opening a sizeable gap over Leclerc and never looking under any threat thereafter.
Hamilton, who tied up the title last month at the US Grand Prix, said: “I’m proud but just super-grateful for this incredible team and all at Mercedes who have continued to push this year.
“Even though we had the championship won we wanted to keep our head down and see if we could extract more from this beautiful car.”