Lewis took his 73rd career victory today, his eleventh of the 2018 season and fourth at the Yas Marina Circuit, Sebastian Vettel was forced to play second at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale as the Mercedes driver took his 11th win of the season, enjoying a serene performance that perfectly reflected his majestic run to his fifth title this year.
Behind Vettel the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, Ricciardo unable to claim that podium he so dearly wanted in his 100th and final race for Red Bull before he moves to Renault. Bottas ended up fifth.
Nico Hulckenberg started from P10 on the Ultrasoft (purple) tyres, but an incident with Romain Grosjean on the first lap pitched him into a series of barrel rolls. He came to rest upside down on the barriers, but left the car uninjured.
Lewis Hamilton This has been a great year and I’m so thankful for so many things – for my health, for my team, for all the hard work everyone’s done non-stop at the factory and on the road. I also want to say thank you to all the fans who’ve saved up and travelled and came to the races and those supporting us from home and who’ve been sending their positive energies and their prayers – a big, big thank you to everyone. This year has been a very uplifting experience for me. I wanted to come here and make sure that I left no stone unturned; the team did an exceptional job all year long, so I really wanted to deliver for them and end the season off strong. I think I was able to do that and I’m really grateful for all the support throughout the entire year. I’ve been able to be a better me all year long and I will continue to try to work on that and try to work on the energy that I’m projecting to people. I had a lot of fun in the car today – I love driving, I loved driving every minute today and I hope I have many more days to go.
Sebastian Vettel. I think today’s race sums up the year pretty well: a few ups and downs and in the end just being close, but not close enough. Today, I really tried to hang on as long as I could, but it was tough being behind Valtteri. I believe I was a little bit quicker, but it was very difficult to get close, especially in the last sector, until he had some issues and I managed to get past. We were strong in the straights and we had speed, but we were struggling in the last sector to keep up, especially in the last two corners. At one point, I had hopes of winning the race, so I was pushing as hard as I could, but in the end it was not enough. It has been a very intense year and I think we have to look at ourselves, as there are many things that we can do better and the potential this team has is still huge.