Lewis Hamilton secures fifth world title and McLaren look to fly into last-16 of championship

Lewis Hamilton is certain to retain his world title after avoiding a one-stop penalty at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton, the reigning two-time champion, was ruled to have infringed the rules by changing his tire in second practice, meaning he would have been forced to finish the race out of the points. But he was quick off the blocks at Yas Marina, seizing the lead and remaining there until his race teammate and rival Nico Rosberg ended up pitting first.

Rosberg then pitted second and allowed Hamilton to take over the lead on lap 42, before the Mercedes pair pitted again and set the first two pit stops of the race. Mercedes then ran four cars to finish in second place with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas third.

Max Verstappen was quickest in both practice sessions this weekend, but he placed fourth at the start of the race. It was Fernando Alonso who led the way in practice, followed by Rosberg and Hamilton, in second and third, respectively.

Hamilton will go into the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi knowing he’s guaranteed to win this year’s title for the second time in three years. Sebastian Vettel finished second in Abu Dhabi last year, 15 points adrift of Hamilton, but the German has only managed to score points in two of the last five races.

McLaren have proven their worth this season, with four consecutive races coming from the second-tier hopes, with Stoffel Vandoorne finishing second on three occasions. However, Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne will go into Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi in ninth place overall.

There are 17 drivers in the race for the remaining 10 points, but two cars — Ross Hagg for Williams and Fernando Alonso for McLaren — are set to retire on Sunday.

Rubens Barrichello can become the first black driver to win a F1 race, with the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix. He remains the only black driver to have won a grand prix.

Renault will attempt to take advantage of Haas dropping out of the championship, which would give the French team 10 points should they win at Abu Dhabi and clinch sixth spot.

Meanwhile, engine powerhouse Mercedes team will be determined to close the gap on Ferrari. They are, after all, 2 points ahead of Red Bull at the start of the race.

Leave a Comment