Hamilton dominates F1 Abu Dhabi GP, Verstappen beats Leclerc to P2

Lewis Hamilton ended his title-winning 2019 Formula 1 season by dominating the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen overcame a power problem to pass Charles Leclerc and finish second

Hamilton dominates F1 Abu Dhabi GP, Verstappen beats Leclerc to P2

Hamilton's 11th victory of the year, his joint-best haul in a single campaign, was never in doubt as he comfortably led from pole position, aided by Leclerc getting ahead of Verstappen on the first lap.

Verstappen executed a long first stint, then caught and forced his way past Leclerc to secure second and finish a career-best third in the drivers' championship.

Hamilton streaked clear immediately at the start, as Leclerc used the slipstream to get ahead of Verstappen on the second of the two back straights.

The race remained stagnant until the two Ferraris pitted on lap 12, with Leclerc far enough ahead of Sebastian Vettel not to hold up his team-mate in the pitbox but Vettel subsequently lost time to a slow change of his left-rear tyre.

That meant Vettel rejoined behind Valtteri Bottas, who was running long after starting from the back of the grid, and Vettel lost further seconds as the Mercedes struggled to clear the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg due to a technical issue that meant no drivers could use the DRS through the first third of the race.

At the front, Hamilton and Verstappen ran extremely long on their medium tyres, with Verstappen stopping on lap 25 and Hamilton coming in a lap later.

Verstappen complained of "massive lag" when he rejoined and would continue to ask for a solution to the problem with his power unit despite showing no lack of pace and slowly closing on Leclerc.

Red Bull told Verstappen it could not fix the issue, which did not stop Verstappen using the DRS to attack at the end of the first back straight and squeeze by on the inside.

Leclerc tried to fight back with an aggressive, late-on-the-brakes pass on the outside at the end of the following straight, but Verstappen was able to rebuff the attempt.

With Vettel dropping back in fourth and eventually pitting, and neither Alex Albon or Bottas within a pitstop, Ferrari switched Leclerc to 'Plan C' and brought him in for a second time to set the fastest lap - which he failed to earn.

That left Verstappen free to secure a comfortable second place, 16.7 seconds behind race winner Hamilton, who pumped in the fastest lap on his penultimate tour to clinch a bonus point for good measure.

Leclerc completed the podium, but his third place is in doubt as Ferrari faces a stewards' inquiry into a "significant" pre-race fuel declaration discrepancy.

That means Bottas may yet be rewarded with a podium, after he cleared Albon in the final third of the race to recover to fourth.

His progress from the back was slow early on because of the issue with the DRS, but strong pace thereafter eventually left him only missing out on a podium to Leclerc by less than a second.

Vettel recovered some ground after his second stop by passing Albon for fifth with two laps to go.

Sergio Perez's long first stint paved the way for a late charge to best-of-the-rest in seventh.

The Racing Point driver started 10th but a later stop than his midfield rivals allowed him to charge past five cars over the last 17 laps and pass the McLaren of Lando Norris on the final tour.

Daniil Kvyat finished ninth for Toro Rosso, beating its constructors' championship rival Renault, but the Red Bull junior team's two-point haul meant Renault still secured fifth place in the constructors' championship.

Nico Hulkenberg looked set to sign off his three-year spell with Renault, and potentially his F1 career, with a point for 10th but was passed by the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr on the very last lap.

Sainz's last-gasp move secured him sixth place in the drivers' championship by just one point, ahead of Pierre Gasly.

Results - 55 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 1h34m05.715s
2 Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Honda 16.772s
3 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari 43.435s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 44.379s
5 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari 1m04.357s
6 Alexander Albon Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Honda 1m09.205s
7 Sergio Perez SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team Racing Point/Mercedes 1 Lap
8 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team McLaren/Renault 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Toro Rosso/Honda 1 Lap
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren F1 Team McLaren/Renault 1 Lap
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team Renault 1 Lap
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 Team Renault 1 Lap
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
18 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Toro Rosso/Honda 2 Laps
19 Robert Kubica ROKiT Williams Racing Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
- Lance Stroll SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team Racing Point/Mercedes Brakes

Drivers' championship

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 413
2 Valtteri Bottas 326
3 Max Verstappen 278
4 Charles Leclerc 264
5 Sebastian Vettel 240
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. 96
7 Pierre Gasly 95
8 Alexander Albon 92
9 Daniel Ricciardo 54
10 Sergio Perez 52
11 Lando Norris 49
12 Kimi Raikkonen 43
13 Daniil Kvyat 37
14 Nico Hulkenberg 37
15 Lance Stroll 21
16 Kevin Magnussen 20
17 Antonio Giovinazzi 14
18 Romain Grosjean 8
19 Robert Kubica 1
20 George Russell 0

Constructors' championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 739
2 Ferrari 504
3 Red Bull/Honda 417
4 McLaren/Renault 145
5 Renault 91
6 Toro Rosso/Honda 85
7 Racing Point/Mercedes 73
8 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 57
9 Haas/Ferrari 28
10 Williams/Mercedes 1

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