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Lewis Hamilton on top in final race of the season

Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a dominant and masterful drive, to take the record points tally in a season.

With the record prior at 408, Hamilton needed the race win to overtake such haul and he did it in dominant fashion, as he led every lap of the race to finish the season on 413 points – he now equals his own all-time record for most consecutive point finishes at 33.

Max Verstappen then took a lonely second with Charles Leclerc taking the final podium spot, but the Ferrari driver is under investigation for a fuel discrepancy.

Hamilton on the top step has been a regular sight this season with 11 victories, the world champion now just needs 8 more race wins to set the outright, all-time record. Photograph: AP

There was a significant difference between the amount of fuel in his car when it was measured by the FIA governing body, to how much Ferrari said was in it.

Therefore, if Ferrari are deemed guilty then he will be disqualified from the race with Valtteri Bottas taking his podium place – Bottas had a valiant race starting from last.

Not much of a title race but still a tremendous season 

Heading into the season, the world of Formula One was full of excitement with the prospect of a title fight between Mercedes, Ferrari and potentially Red Bull.

However that isn’t how it turned out, Hamilton dominated the driver’s standings to take a sixth world title, whilst Mercedes comfortably won yet another constructor’s championship.

But whilst both fights were relatively ‘non-existent’, there has still been races which delivered the drama and excitement that the fans would want.

Although the first half of the season will seem a long time ago, who can forget the German Grand Prix? It was an all-time classic.

The ‘heavens opened up’ and the rain poured down to deliver a classic.

Verstappen took the victory despite spinning in the race, whilst Vettel fought from last to second and Daniil Kvyat gave Toro Rosso their first podium since Italy 2008.

Top drivers such as Bottas and Leclerc both retired, as drama was delivered from start to finish.

Austria also delivered with Verstappen overtaking Leclerc in the closing laps to take the win, as it was the first time Formula One got to see the two future world champions go head-t0-head for a race victory.

Italy with Leclerc taking Ferrari’s first win there in nine years will live fond in memory, but so will the races in Brazil, Great Britain, Bahrain, Canada and Hungary .

However, it was also a season of sadness.

In the build-up to the opening race in Australia, Formula One’s race director Charlie Whiting, sadly passed away as did the triple world champion, Niki Lauda, a week before the Monaco Grand Prix.

The influence both had on the sport and the lasting legacy they will have cannot be understated.

But on the whole, it was an exciting season and one that led to yet another title for Hamilton, who will be fighting in 2020 to tie Michael Scumacher’s elusive tally of seven world championships.

Yet it shouldn’t be straight forward for him, as Red Bull continue to make positive progress with their Honda engine and Verstappen continues to impress, whilst now having a season under his belt at Ferrari, it should be expected for Leclerc to take his driving to another level.

No racing until March now, but time always flies and it’ll be back before you know it.

 

By Edward Hardy

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