Belfast Telegraph

Another record for Hamilton as he finishes the season in style

 

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

By Philip Duncan

A dominant Lewis Hamilton rounded off his world-championship-winning campaign in style with an 11th win of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton led from start-to-finish in a commanding display as he secured the 84th win of his career and moved to within seven of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished runner-up following a fine move on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who took the chequered flag in third. Verstappen's drive to second ensured he finished the season as the best of the rest behind Mercedes duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Leclerc deserves great credit for finishing above Vettel in the standings in his first year with the Scuderia.

Bottas, who started last following his grid penalty for an engine change, took the flag in fourth. But the Finn could yet be promoted one place with Leclerc's podium under threat following a fuel irregularity. The Monegasque has been summoned to report to the stewards.

Sebastian Vettel passed Red Bull's Alex Albon for fifth with two laps remaining but his race was thwarted by a slow pit stop.

Hamilton ended a nine-race pole position drought on Saturday, and his win under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit was never in doubt after he beat Verstappen to the first corner.

Such was the ease of Hamilton's win that he even had time to ponder over the radio with his team what might happen if the safety car was deployed.

There would be no such concerns for the 34-year-old Briton - his Mercedes team performing a routine one-stop strategy midway through the 55-lap season-concluding race - as Hamilton took the chequered flag 16.7 seconds clear of Verstappen, lapping the entire field up to sixth.

Hamilton, who claimed his latest world title with two races to spare, is the only driver to score points at all 21 races this term.

His total of 413 is the greatest any driver has ever recorded, beating his previous record from two years ago by five points.

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