Bottas Beats Hamilton to Abu Dhabi GP


Valtteri Bottas held off team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes cruised to a dominant one-two in the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton, who won his fourth world championship two races before the end of the season, appeared quicker in the second part of the race.
But he could not get quite close enough to challenge for the lead in a drab and largely action-free finale.

Sebastian Vettel was outclassed in third place to underline the anti-climatic way in which Ferrari have ended a season that had for so long promised so much.

Hamilton and Vettel had both wanted to end this season with a victory, for different reasons – Hamilton to prevent his former title rival from winning the last two races; Vettel to give Ferrari a boost going into the off-season.

He set a fastest lap on lap 21, but Bottas lowered that mark on lap 24, suggesting that had Hamilton extended his run, he would have lost ground rather than gained it.

Hamilton reduced Bottas’ lead by 0.7 seconds on his first flying lap on his new tyres, getting to 1.1secs behind his team-mate, where he stayed for four laps before running wide at Turn 17 and losing a little time.

For the rest of the race, Hamilton was within 1.5secs of Bottas but the stalemate remained to the end.
A lock-up by Bottas at the Turn Five hairpin on lap 49 allowed Hamilton to close up, but again he lost ground in the twisty final sector as his car’s aerodynamics were disrupted by the dirty air behind the leading Mercedes.