Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton sign off 2019 with dominant win

Lewis Hamilton has wrapped up the 2019 season with a dominant win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The six-time world champion did it in style with a Grand Slam, leading from lights to flag and setting the fastest lap of 1:39.283, a new record on the Yas Marina Circuit.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished some 16s behind in second place followed by Charles Leclerc. Leclerc though, was subject to an investigation by the stewards for a breach of fuel declaration discrepancy. The Monegasque keeps his podium but Ferrari have been fined €50,000 for the offence.

Valtteri Bottas came from last to finish fourth ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Albon in fifth and sixth respectively.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez beat Lando Norris on the final lap for P7 with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finishing ninth. Carlos Sainz overtook Nico Hulkenberg on the final lap for P10 and seal sixth in the driver’s championship.

A brilliant start set Hamilton off to cruising mode as the sun set over Yas Island. Leclerc his power advantage to sweep past Verstappen for P2 at Turn 8. Pierre Gasly wrecked his front wing in a three-way collision with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez, forcing an early trip to the pits.

The Ferrari’s were the first to pit in a double stack on lap 12. Vettel was compromised as it took long for the left front and rear tyres to be bolted on his car. The came back on track down in P7 in traffic behind Perez, Bottas and Hulkenberg.

Hamilton was happy to extend his opening stint until lap 26 when he pitted and comfortably retained his lead; Verstappen had come in a lap earlier with an 8s gap to make on Leclerc. Within six laps, Verstappen was in range to battle the Monegasque for P2. The two youngsters went wheel-to-wheel with the Dutchman edging the duel on his fresh hard compound.

It is Hamilton’s 50th win from pole position which also earns him a record points tally of 413. Bottas completes his best season in F1 thus far with 326 points for second in the championship and Max Verstappen 278 points in third. Leclerc becomes the first driver since Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 to beat Vettel as a teammate, the Ferrari’s finishing the season fourth and fifth respectively.

Constructors’ champions Mercedes amassed a total of 739 points with closest rivals Ferrari on 504. Red Bull in their first year with Honda bagged 417 points in third, McLaren finish with 145 for fourth place. Renault with 91 points are fifth followed by Toro Rosso on 85.

Racing Point had 73 point for seventh place, Alfa Romeo with 57, 28 for Haas and Willliams finish another tough year with a single point.

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