Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas withstood race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to end the season with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Bottas led away from pole position before the two Mercedes cars disappeared into the distance, leaving the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel several seconds adrift in third.

Hamilton looked ready to mount a serious challenge after his pit stop on lap 24, but despite closing to within DRS range on lap 28, never got close enough to attempt a move into one of Yas Marina's overtaking spots at Turn 8 and 10. His attack then faltered on lap 31 when he ran wide at Turn 17 and Bottas extended his lead to several seconds once more.

With six laps remaining, Bottas locked a brake into Turn 4, allowing Hamilton to get close at Turn 8. But as Hamilton closed in on his teammate's gearbox, he once again came up against a wall of turbulent air from the Mercedes in front that prevented him from getting close enough to fashion an overtake. Bottas then extended his lead once more and cruised home on the final lap to take a third career win.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel completed the podium but never looked like a contender for the win, finishing nearly 20 seconds adrift of Bottas' lead Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen secured fourth, moving him up to fourth place in the drivers' championship ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who retired his Red Bull on lap 20 with a hydraulic issue.

Max Verstappen finished 0.9s off Raikkonen in fifth after being the first driver to pit on lap 14. That kicked off a series of pit stops at the front of the field, but with degradation levels low, tyre strategy had no real impact on the result in the top five.

Nico Hulkenberg took sixth for Renault, securing the necessary points for the French manufacturer to beat Toro Rosso to sixth place in the constructors' championship. Hulkenberg secured the place despite a five-second penalty for cutting a corner on lap three when he came under attack from Sergio Perez's Force India. Perez registered his frustration over team radio, but still ended up six seconds adrift of the Renault at the chequered flag.

Esteban Ocon finished eighth in the second Force India ahead of Fernando Alonso's who took the last two points of McLaren's partnership with Honda. Felipe Massa finished tenth in the final race of his career after being passed on track by Alonso midway through the race.

Formula One now takes a three month break ahead of testing at the end of February next year.

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