F1: Hamilton Dominates To Win Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton celebrating his eleventh win of 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Image sourced from @F1 via Twitter.

Lewis Hamilton Took A Dominant Victory In The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Equalling A Legend

Hamilton’s win brings his grand total of wins in 2019 to 11, despite only taking 4 pole positions.

The six-time world champion took pole, led from lights to flag and claimed the fastest lap.

Hamilton: I am proud and super grateful to this team, thank you to everybody here and back home. This car is a work of art.”

The Brit’s performance puts him on equal footing with Ayrton Senna’s record of 19 Grand Chelem.

Behind was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who came home in second, sixteen seconds behind Hamilton’s W10.

Verstappen: “I had a few little issues today, but it wouldn’t have made a difference to the end result.”

“Lewis and Mercedes were just a bit too quick. P3 in the championship is a good result and I’m pretty happy with that.”

Verstappen’s 2019 campaign ended on a high as he secured third in the drivers championship. Image sourced from @Max33Verstappen via Twitter.

After retaining his second place off the start, Verstappen struggled to get his tyre temperatures up.

With the Dutchman vulnerable, Charles Leclerc pounced on the Red Bull, passing him at start.

Some laps later, Verstappen & Leclerc made their first pit stops in close succession. Both drivers fitting the hard tyre.

Verstappen Hits Trouble

However, as soon as Verstappen left his pit box he felt a power discrepancy from before his stop.

After complaining on the radio, it was later clarified by the team he was suffering from turbo lag.

Although, that didn’t stop Verstappen as he soon flew past Leclerc, reclaiming second despite his issues.

With Red Bull’s Verstappen having a clear pace advantage over them.

The Scuderia opted to pit Leclerc for a second time, in an attempt to hold off Valtteri Bottas.

As the Finn, who started from the last place, sliced his way through the field. In the final laps, Bottas put Leclerc under extreme pressure in the fight for third place.

Luckily for Ferrari, Leclerc managed to fend off Bottas and secure the final podium place.

Leclerc: I’m extremely happy about this year, it’s been a realisation of a dream since I was a child. I have learned a lot this year thanks to Seb.

Ferrari Controversy

However, before the race even began Leclerc’s result would be in danger.

Doubts came after the FIA found that their was a “significant difference” in the amount of fuel declared by Ferrari pre-race & what the FIA measured in scruttineering.

An error from Ferrari pre-race left Leclerc vulnerable to a disqualification. Image sourced from @ScuderiaFerrari via Twitter.

FIA ‘Technical Delegate’ Jo Bauer alerted the stewards, who waited to give a verdict post race in order to give the team a chance to explain.

Post-race the FIA confirmed that there was a 4.88kgs difference in the amount declared by Ferrari and their measurement.

The stewards then announced that Ferrari would be hit with a 50,000 fine due to the inaccurate information they received.

On the opposite side of the garage, Sebastian Vettel took fifth after overtaking Red Bull’s Alexander Albon on the penultimate lap of the grand prix.

Vettel suffered with MGU-K issues for the majority of the race leaving him down on power.

Vettel: “We didnโ€™t have the year we were working for. The lessons are clear.”

“As a team we must perform stronger. As an individual I must perform stronger. I have to.”

Perez Leads The Mid-Field

Sergio Perez brought his Racing Point home in seventh place after overtaking Lando Norris on the final lap.

Also meaning Perez beats Norris in the championship by 2 points.

Smooth Operator

With his team-mate in eighth ,Carlos Sainz passed Nico Hulkenberg on the final lap for tenth.

The Spaniard leap frogging Pierre Gasly, whom he shared a podium with in Brazil, in the drivers championship as a result.

Gasly was unable to defend his championship position after being hit by Lance Stroll on the opening lap of the race.

Contact which sent him into Perez, subsequently ripping his front wing off.

A gruelling lengthy pit stop effectively ended Gasly’s campaign for points.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly had a race to forget, costing him a chance at fighting for sixth in the championship. Image sourced from @ToroRosso via Twitter.

The Frenchmen finishing in seventeenth, just ahead of Williams’ George Russell & Robert Kubica respectively.

Gasly: “Unfortunately, my race was over on the first lap when I got hit from behind and pushed into the car in front and my front wing broke.”

Hulkenberg’s Farewell

On Sunday Nico Hulkenberg made his final start for the french outfit.

Both Renault’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Hulkenberg failed to score during Sunday’s grand prix.

However, they were still ableย to hold onto fifth in the constructors’ championship.

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