F1

Formula One: Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi season finale

Valtteri Bottas led from pole to flag from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel finished in third, but ultimately the year ends in disappointment for Ferrari.

Formel 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Getty Images/M. Thompson)

Valtteri Bottas won the season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix from pole on Sunday — but it wasn't enough to snatch second place in the final standings.

Bottas claimed his third season and career win ahead of Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who retained the overall runners-up spot in the dusk race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hamilton, who had clinched a fourth career title with two races to spare four weeks ago in Mexico, finished the 20-race season with 363 points, with Vettel on 317 and Bottas on 305. Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended the season in fourth place after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo retired with hydraulic problems.

Bottas had a much better getaway than two weeks ago in Brazil, where he lost the race to Vettel. The start saw no changes at all in the first 10 spots, with the Finn leading the field from the three-time Abu Dhabi winners Hamilton and Vettel.

Further back, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg received a five-second penalty for cutting a corner in the opening lap while Haas driver Kevin Magnussen dropped to last after spinning out.

Hamilton closed in on Bottas thanks to a fresher engine but the Finn remained top and eventually won by four seconds, clocking 1 hour 34 minutes 14.063 seconds over the 55 laps.

 

As it happened:

Lap 55/55 BOTTAS WINS THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX. Hamilton is second, Vettel third.

Lap 53/55 Vettel is told of Bottas doing a 1m42.0s, and he asks "Why are they so slow?"

Lap 51/55 ... but Bottas is now back to 1.2 seconds ahead.

Lap 49/55 Hamilton is suddenly just half a second behind Bottas... 

Lap 45/55 10 laps to go and Hamilton is stuck just over a second adrift of Bottas.

Lap 43/55 Bottas edges away from Hamilton, who trails by 1.4 seconds now.

Lap 41/55 Raikkonen has a lot of traffic to deal with in front of him right now, giving Verstappen a chance.

Lap 38/55 Closest midfield battle is for 12th. Vandoorne holds it but Magnussen is edging closer.

Lap 35/55 Hamilton does a lot of damage in the first two sectors of the lap, but nearly all of his progress is lost being unable to follow closely through the final sector.

Lap 31/55 Hamilton is now just half a second behind Bottas, and he has DRS down the two backstraights. This is turning into a race to remember.

Lap 29/55 Hamilton's last lap was a 1.41.7, compared with a 1.42.4 for Bottas.

Lap 26/55 Bottas comfortably retains the lead ahead of Hamilton. Will we see a battle between the Mercedes drivers for the chequered flag?

Lap 25/55 Hamilton pits.

Lap 24/55 Bottas's first flying lap after his stop is four tenths slower than Hamilton, the gap is up to 19.8 seconds now — Hamilton should be pitting any time now.

Lap 23/55 It's the end of the race for Ricciardo, who has a hydraulic problem. He has been instructed to pull over and switch the car off.

Lap 22/55 Bottas pits, Hamilton stays.

Lap 20/55 Hamilton is 2.4 seconds behind Bottas, while Vettel is another five seconds back.

Lap 19/55 "What did you do with the front wing?" Perez asks Force India. "Exactly what you asked," the team replies. "And what did I ask?" says Perez. Banter.

Lap 17/55 Bottas and Hamilton both up their pace - fastest lap for the leader, personal best for the world champion.

Lap 15/55 "Verstappen has pitted, it's all going to kick off now," Ricciardo is told

Lap 11/55 Bottas's lead clears two seconds for the first time today - he's 2.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton now, and managing that lead nicely.

Lap 9/55 Hulkenberg is now 4.1 seconds clear of Perez in seventh.

Lap 7/55 The biggest gap among the leaders is between Ricciardo and Raikkonen (3.5 seconds), while the smallest is Raikkonen to Verstappen (1.2 seconds).

F1 Grand Prix von Abu Dhabi - Qualifikation (Getty Images/M. Thompson)

Darkness is falling in Abu Dhabi.

Lap 4/55 Fastest lap for Hamilton brings Bottas's lead down to 1.1 seconds.

Lap 3/55 Hulkenberg is given a five-second time penalty for "leaving the track and gaining an advantage".

Lap 2/55 Bottas is already more than one second clear of Hamilton. Raikkonen attacking Ricciardo.

Lap 1/55 A clean start sees Bottas keep his lead from Hamilton. 

13:59 We're almost ready for lights out...

13:55 The main battle is for fourth place in the drivers' championship between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo...

13:45 CET Welome to live coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. There's not much to race for in this final race of the season, with the title and constructors' title already sewn up.

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