Lewis Hamilton put on a show for the last time this season as he sealed a dominant win on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Leading from lap 1 all the way until the end, there was no one even relatively close to the six time World Champion, and the Mercedes driver got the car home one last time this year.

Beginning of the Race:

With lights out, Hamilton started strong from the get go. It was a relatively clean start from the front-runners. The first incident of the race came into turn 1 however with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly finding himself in what looked like a Racing Point sandwich. As most would assume, the Frenchman couldn’t come out of that unscathed and was forced to pit at the end of lap 1 for an entire new front wing.

Disappointment for Toro Rosso who were battling Renault for P5 in the constructors championship heading into this final race.

Back towards the front however, with no drastic position changes apart from Ferrari’s Leclerc overtaking Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in sector 2 of lap 1, Hamilton was slowly slowly building up a gap to the drivers behind him.

As expected, with the new spec Mercedes engine fitted, Valtteri Bottas was plowing his way through the pack from the back, getting up to P11 within the first 9 laps of the race showing good promise for what could be more of the same again next season.

Ferrari’s strange strategy:

We are onto lap 13 now, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen are breaking away from the rest of the pack on one strategy, with supposedly Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc trying to mirror them compared to his team-mate Vettel who was on a completely different plan.

Ferrari however decide to double stack their drivers, with most fans questioning the decision to pit Charles so early considering the other front runners on the same strategy were planning to go another 15 laps the very least, but it’s not just once that we have seen such bold moves from the Maranello team.

The double pit worked out fine for Charles who was first, but his team mate Sebastian was held for 6.9 seconds as the team saw problems fitting the front left tyre on.

The result of this pitstop meant that Hamilton would comfortably lead from Verstappen, followed by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg non surprisingly as he was one of the few not to have pitted yet at the time and then came Charles.


The end of the race was as straightforward as the whole weekend for Lewis Hamilton, who led all 55 laps un-bothered by what’s going on behind him. Verstappen having faced some mechanical issues finished through in second, also with lots of free track behind him making it a bit easier to manage his difficulties.

Charles Leclerc found himself sweating towards the final laps as he had a fast coming Valtteri Bottas trying to stake a claim to P3, however the Ferrari driver just about managed to stay ahead given the lack of laps left.

Amazing recovery drive for Bottas, taking P4 but who expected any less regardless from the fastest car on the grid. Sebastian Vettel settled for P5 after he took that spot from a slow and struggling Alex Albon on the second to last lap due to his fresh set of tyres.

To conclude the year, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz squeezed into the points finishes picking up 1 point for being in 10th, meaning that he would overtake Pierre Gasly to take P6 in the drivers standing cementing himself as ‘best of the rest’.

Renault failed to get a driver into the top 10, with Ricciardo and Hulkenberg finishing P11 and P12 respectively but it was enough to secure P5 over Toro Rosso in the constructors standings. At least one positive for the end of Nico Hulkenberg’s F1 career, for now at least.

Looking ahead:

That’s it for the 2019 F1 season folks, join us once more for the new season round March next year, to see who will come out on top following the exciting new regulation changes.

Key dates to look forward to:

  • December 2-4 for the traditional end-of-season test.
  • February 19 2020, when testing for next season begins.

(Picture by Rob Alter, under Creative Commons license).