Sunday, 25 november 2018, 10:36 , by Matthew Scott
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel paid tribute to Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard saw out his Formula 1 career at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alonso brought his McLaren home in 11th place, before joining Hamilton and Vettel for a few crowd-pleasing donuts on the pit straight.
Alonso will switch his sights to the 'Triple Crown' at next year's Indianapolis 500 after 17 years in F1.
Although the past few years at McLaren have been underwhelming for Alonso, he was given a rapturous reception by the Yas Marina crowd as he joined the top three in their post-race celebrations.
Hamilton said of his former teammate: "Fernando is a true legend. It's been a privilege to race when he is racing.
"I was asked all weekend if I will miss him. I don't feel I will miss another driver, but the sport will miss him and I will miss him from the sport."
And Vettel added: "Well done to Fernando [Alonso]; we will miss him."
Turning attention to his title foe for the past two seasons, Hamilton reserved praise for Vettel and predicts a renewed challenge in 2019.
He said: "It's been a real honour and a privilege racing against Sebastian.
"I've known him since our Formula 3 days and he's an honest driver who has always raced his heart out. There's so much pressure on us guys, so don't judge us by our faults. I know he's going to come back stronger next year."
Vettel was happy to admit that Hamilton's fifth title was well-earned.
"He's the champion and he deserves to be the champion. It's been a tough year. I tried everything until the last lap.
"He controlled the race at the front. I would have liked it to be a bit more wheel to wheel. We will try to give them more competition next year."