A dominant Lewis Hamilton rounded off his world-championship winning campaign in style with an 11th win of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton led from start-to-finish in a commanding display as he secured the 84th win of his career and moved to within seven of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished runner-up following a fine move on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who took the chequered flag in third. Verstappen's drive to second ensured he finished the season as the best of the rest behind Mercedes duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas, who started last following his grid penalty for an engine change, took the flag in fourth. But the Finn could yet be promoted one place with Leclerc's podium under threat following a fuel irregularity. The Monegasque has been summoned to report to the stewards.
Sebastian Vettel passed Red Bull's Alex Albon for fifth with two laps remaining. Vettel's race was thwarted by a slow pit stop.
Hamilton ended a nine-race pole position drought on Saturday, and his win under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit was never in doubt after he beat Verstappen to the first corner.
Such was the ease of Hamilton's win that he even had time to ponder over the radio with his team what might happen if the safety car was deployed.
There would be no such concerns for the 34-year-old Briton - his Mercedes team performing a routine one-stop strategy midway through the 55-lap season-concluding race - as Hamilton took the chequered flag 16.7 seconds clear of Verstappen, lapping the entire field up to sixth.
Hamilton, who claimed his latest world title with two races to spare, is the only driver to score points at all 21 races this term. His total of 413 is the greatest any driver has ever recorded, beating his previous record from two years ago by five points.
Verstappen bemoaned a series of technical issues throughout the second half of the race, but that did not stop him from passing Leclerc to take second.
On lap 32, Verstappen drew alongside Leclerc on the run down to the left-handed Turn 8 before stamping on his brakes later than his Ferrari rival and making the move stick. Leclerc had a nibble back at Verstappen four corners later, but the Red Bull man saw off his rival's advances to keep the place.
Leclerc deserves great credit for finishing above Vettel in the standings in his first year with the Scuderia. But Leclerc's campaign could yet end on a sour note if the stewards decide to take action.
McLaren's Lando Norris kept Sergio Perez at bay to finish the final race of his debut campaign in seventh, while his fellow British rookie George Russell was 17th.
Russell's team-mate Robert Kubica, who escaped action for banging wheels with Antonio Giovinazzi, took the flag in 19th on his final appearance in the sport.
That's it from me for today
Thanks for joining me today and for the entire season. Keep an eye on telegraph.co.uk/sport for more end-of-season round-ups, ratings and analysis in the next few days. Enjoy the rest of your weekends.
Team radio of the season?
Hamilton celebrates his 11th win of 2019
Final team standings
Final driver standings
Hamilton ends the season with his highest ever points total. Sainz secures sixth place. Verstappen a very creditable third place and Norris and Perez end the season strongly to finish P10 and P11 respectively. Perez ended the season with this run of form: 6th, 7th, DNF, 7th, 8th, 7th, 10th, 9th, 7th.
Hamilton ends the season speaking to David Coulthard with his usual spiel about his fans and inspiration.
Unrivaled this season. He does have some nice words for the youngsters on track behind him, though.
Sainz secures sixth in the championship.
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE 2019 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Nice one. Never in doubt.
Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz passes Hulkenberg for P10 and to get sixth in the championship and WE DID NOT SEE IT ON TV! Sergio Perez completes a brilliant race and overtakes Norris for P7 and WE DID NOT SEE IT. COME ON! KVYAT GOT PAST HULKENBERG AND SAINZ AND WE DID NOT SEE IT.
Perez on Norris. Sainz on Hulkenberg. Ricciardo on Sainz. Bottas on Leclerc (less so). CAN WE SEE CARLOS SAINZ AND NOT LEWIS HAMILTON ON TV PLEASE? SAINZ IS RIGHT ON THE BACK OF THE RENAULT BUT NO, NO PICTURES! COME ON!!!!!! HE'S ABOUT TO OVERTAKE HIM! DIRECTOR?! PLEASE?!
Hamilton is cruising to this one. Bottas isn't going to have enough laps to overtake Leclerc. Norris is doing brilliantly at defending from Perez. Sainz is now within DRS range of Hulkenberg...Sainz NEEDS that point to get sixth in the championship over Gasly...tense.
Lap 53 of 55 - Vettel tries one on Albon into the final chicane
But can't quite make it stick. He gets a better exit, though and breezes past and into P5. Hamilton has set the fastest lap. Hello, Lewis. Sainz has trouble, he has to fight Ricciardo behind as well as trying to close in on Hulkenberg ahead...
Lap 52 of 55 - Norris doing well to keep Perez behind as Verstappen is trying to lap them both
Sainz closing in even further on Hulkenberg. He is almost within DRS range with three laps to go.
Lap 51 of 55 - Hamilton coasting to victory
We haven't see anything from the top two on TV for quite some time. Sainz takes another 1.6 from Hulkenberg and is now only 2.1s away from the final points paying position. Ferrari say Bottas will catch Leclerc with two laps to go. This race has not been terrible, actually. Not great, not awful. For Abu Dhabi, anyway.
Lap 50 of 55 - Bottas within 5s of Leclerc now
Could he finish on the podium? I said it was a possibility earlier in the race, he's going to be very close by the last couple of laps. Norris has Perez within a second now and using DRS. I can't see him keeping this place for much longer but he places his car expertly in the middle sector to keep the Racing Point behind.
Lap 49 of 55 - Sainz is taking chunks of time out of Hulkenberg
The gap down to 4.2s, taking three seconds out of him last time round. A point with secure sixth place in the final standings as it stands.
Lap 48 of 55 - Top 10
- VER +17.0
- LEC +39.1
- BOT +47.7
- ALB +59.2
- VER +66.9
- NOR +1L
- PER +1L
- KVY +1L
- HUL +1L
Norris under immense pressure from Perez on fresher tyres. He's told to give it everything. He deserves a good end to a brilliant debut season, given the bad luck he has had. Sainz needs to find 8.5s to get onto the back of Hulkenberg. Could happen...he was 1.6s quicker the last time around.
Lap 47 of 55 - Eyes on the prize
There's still a question mark over whether Leclerc gets DSQd for a fuel level infringement before the race. Kvyat gets Hulkenberg on the back straight as Lance Stroll - who has had a poor weekend - retires from somewhere near the back.
Lap 46 of 55 - Bottas currently holds the point for fastest lap
Would be nice for someone outside of the top three teams get it. Meanwhile, Hamilton has extended his lead over Verstappen to a gigantic 17.1s. Perez brakes late into the chicane and moves past the Renault of Hulkenberg for P8. Perez having a great end to the season. Since we returned from the summer break he has scored 33 points in eight races. On for a few more today...I think he'll finish P7 from here, Norris should be easy meat.
Lap 44 of 55 - Sainz past Magnussen for P12
Two more places to make up to get back into the points. In seconds: 15 or so. That seems too much, though he was 2.2s quicker than Raikkonen ahead of him. Kvyat will be a tougher proposition, though.
Lap 43 of 55 - Now Ricciardo pits
These early stoppers did not have the tyres to last until the end, it seems. Now everyone has stopped, here's the top 10.
Lap 42 of 55 - Sainz the next man up the road for Perez
But the Spaniard pits at the end of the lap. He'll drop out of the points, will go onto the soft tyres until he end of the race. Can he work his way up to the points. He's out in P14, with a fair amount of time to make up to P10. Albon needs to finish P4 to move above Sainz for P6 in the championship, though.
Lap 41 of 55 - Perez gets past Ricciardo for P11
He could be a threat to Norris by the end of this race. The Mercedes engine has a bit more grunt than the Renault. Could he nick P7 from Norris by the chequered flag?
Lap 40 of 55 - The battle for eighth looks tasty
Norris, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Ricciardo and Perez separated by just 5.9 seconds. 15 laps to go.
Lap 39 of 55 - Running order
As Bottas passes Albon for P4. Leclerc just 2.1s up the road but on much fresher tyres.
Lap 38 of 55 - Perez stops
And comes out in P12, just three seconds down the road from Ricciardo. Perez onto the hards. Leclerc is brought in by Ferrari and goes onto the soft tyres. Vettel is going to come in again behind him and go onto the mediums, in the hope of defending that fourth place from Bottas. Or rather, retaking it with fresher tyres.
Lap 37 of 55 - Hamilton leads Verstappen by 15.6s
As Bottas hunts down Albon and Vettel. He is within 1.5s of Albon and will be pretty close to him within a lap or tweo. Vettel is a further 1.5s up the road. Perez and Kvyat stay out. I wonder if either are considering a move onto the soft tyres for the final stint.
Lap 36 of 55 - Daylight update
Lap 35 of 55 - Battles to keep an eye on
Bottas vs Albon and Vettel. Currently just over five seconds between them. Norris vs Hulkenberg vs Sainz and Ricciardo.
*yet to stop
Lap 34 of 55 - This race...
...is not a classic. Leclerc has a pit stop in hand to Albon behind, pretty much, so they should have stopped him. But they haven't.........
Lap 33 of 55 - Perez is doing a Perez
And has yet to stop, currently in P7. He'd drop back somewhere down to P13 were he to stop now but he'd have much fresher tyres than those around him. What a race driver he is.
Lap 32 of 55 - Verstappen passes Leclerc for second!
That was easy. Easily done into the chicane. Leclerc fights back and tries to go around the outside into the third chicane but cannot make it stick. Leclerc didn't fight too hard in the first instance, perhaps sensing his best chance was to retake the position on the next straight. But no, Verstappen keeps the place and is swifty a couple of seconds ahead of the Ferrari. 15s behind Hamilton, though...
Lap 31 of 55 - Hamilton extends his lead to 12s
Verstappen is within DRS range now. Nothing wrong with his power unit at the moment as he sets the quickest time in sector one. I think this is going to be done and dusted in the next lap, the Red Bull has a big tyre advantage. I don't think he's going to die wondering. The pair are about to approach backmarker George Russell.
Lap 30 of 55 - Bottas completes a quick pit stop
And comes out in P6, ahead of Perez. He's just 13s behind Albon and with much fresher tyres. Podium-wise, he has 38 seconds to make up in 25 laps. That looks difficult unless Verstappen's problems get worse.
Lap 29 of 55 - Hamilton the quickest man on track at the moment
Verstappen's pace is okay, whatever his power unit issues. Hamilton leading Leclerc by 10.5s. Leclerc, though, is losing a lot of time to Hamilton at the moment. Bottas is about to pit for the first time...
Lap 28 of 55 - Top 10
*yet to stop
It has not been a brilliant race so far but we could have an interesting finish.
Lap 27 of 55 - Verstappen told to go to a different engine mode
He claims he has a massive "handbrake-effect". Worrying. His last lap was around the same pace as Bottas so it isn't having too much of an effect at the moment.
Lap 26 of 55 - Hamilton stops from the lead
It's not a brilliant stop - 3.2s - but he has PLENTY of time to play with. He comes back out in the lead, 6.3s ahead of Leclerc but with a huge tyre advantage. Meanwhile, Verstappen complains about the lag out of the corners. What's his pace like? We wait for him to cross the line on his first full lap on the new tyres...
Lap 25 of 55 - Verstappen pits from second
He will go onto the hard compound tyres. Neat and quick stop but Leclerc resumes second place, some 29 seconds behind leader Hamilton, who has yet to stop. Verstappen only five seconds behind, though and with a giant tyre advantage. Would be surprised if Verstappen finished third...
Lap 24 of 55 - It was a collision between Giovinazzi and Kubica
What's happening out there? Not a great deal at the moment. Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc are lapping at similar speeds. Leclerc and Verstappen in clean air, though, Hamilton passing traffic. Hulkenberg taking on the McLaren of Norris for P9. Would be good for the Hulk to finish his career strongly.
Lap 23 of 55 - Bodywork flying off the Williams of Kubica
What was that, I am not sure...is the debris lying on the track? Can't see it.
Lap 22 of 55 - We are waiting for the race to unfold at the front
Hamilton lost six tenths to Vettel and eight tenths to Leclerc on the last lap. Not sure if he was lapping cars or not, I suspect he was.
Lap 21 of 55 - Top 10
*yet to stop
Lap 20 of 55 - Hamilton leads Max Verstappen
Both going reasonably well on their medium tyres but the Mercedes is in a class of its own at the moment. As is its driver. Bottas, in the other Mercedes and in clean air too, is lapping a few tenths behind.
Lap 19 of 55 - Hulkenberg pits from P4
And comes out in P13. He comes out ahead of his team-mate but behind both McLarens, but not by much. That stint worked out quite well for the German. Leclerc's pace has started to drop off now, as has Verstappen's. Hamilton is looking rather racy at the moment. Leclerc now 30 seconds behind him. Verstappen 13. I think Bottas could have a decent shot at a podium here.
Lap 18 of 55 - DRS is back online
Finally. Bottas puts it to good use down the back straight to pass Hulkenberg into turn 11. Up to Vettel and Albon to do the same on the rest of the lap.
Lap 17 of 55 - Vettel has a go at Bottas
But can't make it stick through the chicanes and then the straight. He's now looking vulnerable to Albon behind him. Nico Hulkenberg is at the head of this train and is holding them up a bit.
Lap 16 of 55 - Top 10
*yet to stop
DRS is still ofline. Most of the overtaking has been done by Bottas scything through the field in his Mercedes. He's up to P5 but 44 seconds off the lead. Hamilton extends his lead to 10.8 over Verstappen and 28.3 over Leclerc. So, Leclerc is closing the net gap to the leader, just about.
Lap 15 of 55 - Hamilton leads Verstappen by 9.7s
As Leclerc sets the fastest lap of the race on fresh tyres. Hulkenberg up into P4 but has not stopped. His race pace is not great but he's only a few tenths behind the pace of Bottas on the mediums.
Lap 14 of 15 - Albon comes out behind Vettel
How did that happen? I thought he was looking likely to jump Vettel there after the slow stop for Ferrari but no. Sainz has stopped - he came out behind both Norris and Ricciardo.
Lap 13 of 15 - It's all going wrong for Vettel now
He comes out in P8 behind Sergio Perez, who he spends half the lap fighting with after locking up. He gets through in the end and into P7. He is now 14 seconds behind Leclerc. Albon about to stop, too...
Lap 12 of 55 - Ricciardo pits for Renault
And goes onto the hard compound tyres. He comes out in P15, just behind Lando Norris. If Sainz pits now it'll be interesting to see where he emerges. Bottas gets Perez on the first back straight and moves up to P8. Ferrari are out in the pit lane for...Leclerc. And Vettel! They're double stacking...both onto the hards. Vettel has an incredibly slow stop. He has lost five or six seconds there, at least.
Lap 11 of 55 - Vettel's soft tyres are not working
He was 0.6s slower than Leclerc the last time around. As well as Albon.
Lap 10 of 55 - The closest action in the top 10
Is between Sainz and Ricciardo. That's less than a second. Bottas is closing up on Perez for P9 as well. This Mercedes has great pace - can Bottas make it to the podium? It's not out of the question.
Lap 9 of 55 - Top 10
Bottas into the top 10.
Lap 8 of 55 - Leclerc quick in the first sector
But the third sector is where he is taking a lot of pain. He has dropped to five seconds behind Hamilton now. Verstappen dropping back as well a little. Norris stops from P6 and moves onto the hard tyres. Not a brilliantly quick stop, though.
Lap 7 of 55 - Leclerc going to plan A
Whatever that is. Presumably a one-stopper. Bottas now past Magnussen at the same place he passed Giovinazzi to move up to P11. 1.5s away from Perez ahead. Leclerc has dropped to 4.5s behind Hamilton now.
Lap 6 of 66 - Bottas now into P12
As he breezes past Giovinazzi on the straight between turns 10 and 11. Without DRS, which is still offline.
Lap 5 of 55 - Hamilton leads Leclerc by 3.0s
The Ferrari has decent pace, Leclerc is two seconds ahead of Verstappen by two seconds. It's no match for Mercedes at the moment, though. Bottas is finally up into P13 ahead of Stroll, who has pitted. He was complaining of a damaged car that was "undrivable".
Lap 4 of 55 - DRS disabled due to technical issue
It doesn't affect any drivers at the front apart from Verstappen, who is less than one second ahead of Vettel. Leclerc is nearly 2.5s behind Hamilton now. Bottas is up to P14, just behind Lance Stroll. Gasly is about to be lapped by Hamilton.
Lap 3 of 55 - Top 10
The contract between the two McLarens was not major, I don't think any bodywork was lost. The incident between Stroll and Gasly was being investigated but no further action will be taken. Gasly took a big hit from behind from one Racing Point and then lost his front wing hitting the other in front. It was a racing incident, in my opinion.
Lap 2 of 55 - Hamilton leads by 1.6s
Gasly into the pits, he ran into the back of Perez or Stroll and lost his front wing. It takes ages to replace his front wing and that means his chances of finishing sixth in the championship is all but gone. Hamilton extends his lead to two seconds at the end of the lap. This is not what we wanted...
THE 2019 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX IS GO!
Hamilton gets the best start, Verstappen isn't able to challenge off the line. He's closer into the chicane and hairpin but it's going to be difficult to challenge from there. Yellow flags as a few drivers go off the run off. Verstappen is gobbled up by Leclerc on the back straight, though. Wow, that was easy.
Verstappen under pressure from Vettel immediately and the two McLarens hit each other in the middle of the lap! The Red Bull looks particularly slow as Hamilton leads Leclerc at the end of the first lap.
Formation lap is go!
Everyone away cleanly. It's approaching dusk in Abu Dhabi and will be fully dark in an hour or so.
Starting tyre type
Mediums for the top three and Albon. Vettel and Norris-Hulkenberg on the softs. Perez down to Stroll on the mediums. Kvyat, Russell and Kubica on the hards, everyone else but Giovinazzi on the mediums, who is on the softs. A bit of a mixed bag, then.
This is likely to be the last of his F1 races. Shame never got a go in one of the top cars. He would have been a good choice for many teams at various points but it never really worked out.
This race really needs Verstappen to jump Hamilton at the start
I just cannot see anyone challenging Hamilton in the race if he leads at the end of the first lap. Them taking each other out would be interesting too. We saw that in the last race there were a lot of drivers who took no prisoners. Things I'd also like to see: Albon podium, Russell points, Norris getting into the top 5.
Looks like another simple one-stopper then
Leclerc's fuel issue to be looked at after the race
Great. Just great.
Team standings after 20 rounds
Ferrari adrift of Mercedes in second.
You wonder what they could have done without their mistakes. Mercedes are a better all-round outfit but they were under zero pressure from Ferrari in the first part of the season and that made it easy for them. The choices they took had little consequence in the championship standings.
Driver standings after 20 of 21 rounds
Probably not much movement here today but sixth place is up for grabs.
Oh, and if Hamilton wins he can reach his highest ever points total in F1.
30 minutes until lights out...
Here is the provisional starting grid. TBC, given Leclerc's issue being investigated.
- Lewis Hamilton
- Max Verstappen
- Charles Leclerc
- Sebastian Vettel
- Alexander Albon
- Lando Norris
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Carlos Sainz
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Sergio Perez
- Pierre Gasly
- Lance Stroll
- Daniil Kvyat
- Kevin Magnussen
- Romain Grosjean
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- Kimi Raikkonen
- George Russell
- Robert Kubica
- Valtteri Bottas
How bad is the Yas Marina circuit?
Well, I ranked it 21 out of 21 earlier in the year. It's baffling to me why we have the season finale here. It's even more perplexing why they put that chicane before the hairpin in the first sector. This was my summation:
How many truly memorable races has Yas Marina held? Not many. By far the most noteworthy was when Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari was stuck behind Vitaly Petrov’s Renault in 2010, allowing Sebastian Vettel to take the title. The fireworks and all that terribly overblown showy stuff that comes with a season’s climax (or not) are one thing, but the on-track action is too regularly dreadful.
If you want to see which track I rated as the best, then click here.
This, from Crash.net's Luke Smith sounds ominous
Leclerc could be in trouble. FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reports there is a "significant difference between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car", breaching a TD. Matter referred to the stewards #F1#AbuDhabiGP— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) December 1, 2019
Hamilton's pole lap from yesterday
Only his fifth of the season and first since the German GP in July.
Moments of the 2019 season?
The championship itself has not really been one to remember, with Mercedes and Hamilton leading the way from moment one. But the races themselves have been enjoyable. Difficult to pick a particular moment but here's a few of my favourites.
- Hamilton vs Verstappen at Monaco
- Vettel's meltdown in Canada
- The chaos in the wet at Hockenheim
- Verstappen chasing down Leclerc for the win in Austria
- Hamilton chasing Verstappen in Hungary
- Leclerc's emotional win for Ferrari at Monza
- Pure madness in Brazil
Ah, yes, this is better...
There will only be two changes on this grid for next year. Kubica makes place for Latifi at Williams and Hulkenberg leaves Renault to be replaced by Ocon.
It's the end-of-season drivers' photo
Couldn't somebody have used a longer lens?
The final qualifying head-to-heads
Poor reading for Stroll and Kubica (and whoever partnered Verstappen), the rest are around one-third to two-thirds.
Final times after qualifying
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 34.779secs
- Valtteri Bottas* (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:34.973
- Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:35.139
- Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:35.219
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:35.339
- Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:35.682
- Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:36.436
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:36.456
- Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:36.459
- Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:36.710
- Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:37.055
- Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.089
- Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:37.103
- Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.141
- Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:37.254
- Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:38.051
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:38.114
- Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:38.383
- George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:38.717
- Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:39.236
*Bottas will take a 20-place grid penalty and will start the race from the back of the grid
Good afternoon F1 fans
And welcome to the final liveblog of the 2019 season. I am not personally that taken with having Abu Dhabi - and in particular the Yas Marina track - as the season-ending venue but here we are nevertheless. At least the title is already decided, I guess.
Mercedes have, again, bossed the season, winning 14 of the season's 20 races so far and taking a driver and constructor double championship for the sixth consecutive season. And yesterday they completed their sixth pole position in a row at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton was in a class of his own at the front, although it was his first pole position since the German Grand Prix back in July.
Here's what he had to say after taking pole position yesterday:
It was a very good qualifying session for us. Qualifying hasn't been the easiest this year, but it's been something we've just been chipping away it. Yesterday was a bit difficult for me, I had to re-centre myself for today. But it's the best thing when you get to Q3 and you pull out two good laps. A big thank you to the entire team for their continued effort.
Even though we have both titles won, we continue to push and strive to be better and that's so inspiring to me. It's been an incredible journey with this car this year, so to finish the year off with a pole is a great feeling. It's not even half the job done, but this result puts us in the best position possible for tomorrow when we've got to battle with the Ferraris and Red Bulls.
Valtteri Bottas finished second, just under two tenths of a second behind his team-mate, but will start from the back after taking a grid penalty. Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, just over three tenths behind Hamilton with Charles Leclerc a fairly distant fourth.
It seems unlikely that anybody is going to stop Hamilton winning this race but the best chance would be to gain track position at the start. If Hamilton ends the first lap in first position then we may be set for a predictable race. As ever, I'll be here for the next few hours with all the build-up, live updates and reaction from the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.