Lewis Hamilton ended this Formula 1 season with a dominating victory. He took Pole Position, Fastest time and the win during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He was followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton got his 11th victory this season, which makes this season the best of his career so far. Verstappen executed a long first stint then caught and forced his way past Leclerc to secure second and finish a career-best third in the drivers’ championship.
The race remained stagnant until the two Ferraris pit on lap 12, with Leclerc far enough ahead of Sebastian Vettel not to hold up his teammate but Vettel subsequently losing time by a slow change of his left-rear tire.
That meant Vettel rejoined behind Valtteri Bottas, who was running long after starting from the back of the grid, and Vettel lost time as the Mercedes struggled to clear the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg due to an issue that meant nobody was able to use the DRS through the first third of the Grand Prix.
At the front, Hamilton and Verstappen ran extremely long on their medium tires, with Verstappen stopping on lap 25 and Hamilton coming in a lap later.
Verstappen complained of “massive lag” when he rejoined and would continue to ask for a solution to the problem despite showing no lack of pace and slowly closing on Leclerc. Red Bull told Verstappen it could not fix the issue, but that did not stop Verstappen using the DRS to attack at the end of the first back straight and squeeze by on the inside.
This made sure Leclerc got on the podium, but his third-place is in doubt as Ferrari faces a stewards’ inquiry into a “significant” pre-race fuel declaration discrepancy. That means Bottas may yet be rewarded with a podium, having cleared Albon in the final third of the race to recover to fourth.