Love him or not, none can deny that Lewis Hamilton's season has been imperious, unquestionably his greatest to date. As with Michael Schumacher, the statistics long ago ceased to register - that tends to happen when a driver wins more than he loses - but what has most impressed me this year, what has been different about it, is that, while his team-mate has been quicker the odd time, Lewis has shed those mysterious 'off' weekends that had previously been a hallmark of his career. At no stage in 2018 has he gone missing, even winning races after clinching the world championship; in times past, he didn't bother.
Hamilton's 11th victory of the season came in Abu Dhabi, and if the race was a pretty humdrum affair that was no surprise, for in 10 years Yas Marina has produced little in the way of memorable racing - in Formula 1, anyway. As at so many tracks, the relatively simple aerodynamics of Formula 2 provide a better show, to the point that a friend recently questioned the wisdom of running the series at grand prix weekends.
"You wouldn't have thought the Liberty lot would want to remind people of how racing can be, would you?" he said. "It's the same with the F1 two-seater - whenever I've heard it out on the track it unsettles me, because it brings back how engines used to sound. Then the current cars go out, with their anaemic sound, and it hits you again what we've lost..."