Hamilton closes 2018 campaign with Abu Dhabi triumph

Sunday, 25 november 2018, 09:53 , by Matthew Scott

Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end his fifth title-winning campaign on a high. Hamilton dominated the race from pole, with likely 2019 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen joining the Mercedes man on the podium.

There was plenty of action behind the five-time world champion, but his was a serene outing.

A 11th victory of 2018 matches his best ever haul in a single campaign and leaves him with a record points haul for an F1 season - 408.

Vettel kept his nose clean to take second as Valtteri Bottas faded badly – the Finn becoming just the second driver of the 21st Century to fail to win a race in a championship-winning car.

Verstappen was aided by a pair of early safety cars to take the final podium spot despite starting on an unideal strategy and dropping to P10 after stalling off the line.

The race began with fireworks as Nico Hulkenberg was pitched into a scary tumble by contact with Romain Grosjean. The Renault landed upside down in the barriers, but the German walked away unscathed.

VIDEO: Hulkenberg flipped upside down in horror crash!

Fernando Alonso drove his last F1 race (for now), Kimi Raikkonen bade farewell to Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo raced in a Red Bull for the last time. How did all those moving on fare?

THE FAREWELLS

Fernando Alonso: Finished P11, just unable to sneak into the points in his final F1 race.
Kimi Raikkonen: His final Ferrari race ended on lap seven due to an electrical shutdown.
Daniel Ricciardo: P4 for the Australian, just unable to sneak onto the podium.
Carlos Sainz: A brilliant P6 for Renault's Spaniard, who will move to McLaren next year.
Charles Leclerc:
Esteban Ocon: Was due to finish in the points on his last Force India outing, but suffered a failure late on.
Marcus Ericsson: Another farewell DNF. Sauber's Swede will move to IndyCar in 2019.
Pierre Gasly: And yet another engine to go pop. The Frenchman will hope it's not foreshadowing for next year with Red Bull.
Stoffel Vandoorne: Probably offered his best moment of the year in a battle with Ocon and Grosjean, but still finished outside the points.
Lance Stroll: P13. Will be expecting better at Force India next year.
Sergey Sirotkin: Finished dead last after being dropped by Williams.

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