Abu Dhabi GP 2019
DECEMBER 1, 2019
Race Notes - Hamilton makes clean-sweep at Abu Dhabi
By Mark Karp
Polesitter Lewis Hamilton took a clean sweep at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, leading every lap and taking fast lap in his Mercedes GP. Max Verstappen finished in second place in his Red Bull-Honda, 16.772 seconds behind the winner. Charles Leclerc was third in his Ferrari, 43.435s behind the winner.
Lewis Hamilton took his 11th win of the season, and 84th of his career. Mercedes takes it’s sixth consecutive drivers and constructors World Championship to cap the end of the season.
Valtteri Bottas (44.379s) in the second Mercedes was fourth, followed by Sebastian Vettel (1m04.357s) in the Ferrari was fifth, Alex Albon (1m09.205s) in the second Red Bull was sixth, Sergio Perez (1 lap) in the Racing Point-Mercedes was seventh, Lando Norris in the McLaren-Renault was eighth, Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso-Honda was ninth, and Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren took the final point in tenth place.
Before the start the sun went down, with Hamilton starting from pole. Bottas, with a power unit change will start from the back of the grid. Leclerc Verstappen starts alongside on the front row,
At the appointed time the grid comes around, the lights go out and the race begins with Hamilton taking the lead from pole, Verstappen, Leclerc and Vettel.
Later in the first lap, Leclerc overtakes Verstappen for second. Vettel and Verstappen battle for third place, Verstappen keeping the position.
Gasly and Stroll come together at the start, Gasly pits for a new front wing and continues.
On lap 4 Bottas is up to 14th place, Hamilton leads Leclerc by 2.9 seconds.
There is a technical problem with DRS, and it is not enabled for the drivers.
On lap 5 Bottas passes Stroll for 13rh, Stroll reporting damage from his first lap contact.
On lap 6 Stoll pits for hard tyres. Bottas passes Giovinazzi for 12th place. Perez passes Magnussen for tenth.
Ferrari tell Leclerc, “we are going for plan A.”
On lap 8 Bottas passes Magnussen for tenth place. Norris pits for hard tyres.
Leclerc reports some “weird vibrations” from his tyres.
At lap 10 Hamilton leads Leclerc by 5.6 seconds, followed by Verstappen (8.1s), Vettel (12.3s), Albon (17.4s), Sainz (31.7s), Ricciardo (32.9s), Hulkenberg (34.2s), Perez (35.9s) and Bottas (37.2s) in tenth place.
Ricciardo pits for hard tyres.
On lap 12 Bottas passes Perez. Sainz pit for hard tyres. Lelerc pits for hard tyres. Vettel double pits behind his team mate for hard tyres. Albon pits the next lap for hard tyres.
Hamilton leads Verstappen, Leclerc, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Vettel, Albon, Perez, Magnussen and Raikkonen.
On lap 14 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m41.938s.
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 10.9 seconds, the two front-runners on medium tyres yet to pit.
Vettel battles with Bottas, but the Finn keeps the position.
On lap 18 it is announced that DRS is now enabled. Bottas passes Hulkenberg for fourth.Hulkenberg makes his first stop for medium tyres and rejoins in 12th.
At lap 20 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 13.2 seconds followed by Leclerc (30.4s), Bottas (50.9s). Vettel (52.8s), Albon (54.9s), Perez (1m00.1s), Magnussen (1m11.1s), Raikkonen, Kvyat in tenth place.
Magnussen pits for hard tyres.
Giovinazzi and Kubica touch, but both continue.
On lap 25 Verstappen pits from second for hard tyres and rejoins in third place behind Leclerc.
The next lap leader Hamilton pits for hard tyres and keeps the lead.
Verstappen reports, “something is not correct”, complaining about his engine.
On lap 29 Bottas pits for hard tyres and rejoins in sixth place.
At lap 30 Hamilton leads Leclerc by 11.5 seconds, followed by Verstappen (13.0s), Vettel (34.6s), Albon (38.1s), Bottas (49.5s), Perez (57.7s), Kvyat (1m04.2s), Norris (1m14.6s) and Hukenberg (1m15.5s) in tenth place.
Verstappen is closing down on Leclerc and passes him for second place under DRS, Leclerc tries to battle back, but can’t get the position.
Bottas is slowly closing on Albon in fifth place.
On lap 38 Perez pits for medium tyres. Leclerc pits as well for soft tyres and rejoins still in third. Vettel pits the next lap for medium tyres and rejoins in sixth.
At lap 40 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 14.3 seconds, followed by Leclerc (43.0s), Bottas (47.4s), Albon (50.3s), Vettel (1m06.9s), Kvyat (1m23.0s), Norris (1m34.5s), Hulkenberg (1m37.1s) and Sainz (1m38.8s) in tenth.
On lap 41 Kvyat makes his first stop for medium tyres and rejoins in 12th.
On lap 42 Sainz pits for medium tyres and rejoins in 14th place.
Ricciardo pits again for soft tyres and rejoins in 14th place.
Sainz passes Magnussen for 12th place.
Perez is closing on Hulkenberg in eighth, and on lap 45 passes Hulkenberg.
On lap 46 Sainz passes Raikkonen for 11th. Kvyat passes Hulkenberg for ninth place.
On lap 47 Stroll retires in the pits.
Ricciardo passes Magnussen for 13th place.
At lap 50 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 16.8 seconds, followed by Leclerc (40.7s), Bottas (45.3s), Albon (1m01.4s), Vettel (1m05.3s), Norris (1 lap), Perez, Kvyat and Hulkenberg in tenth. Sainz in 11th is closing on Hulkenberg. Can Bottas catch Leclerc by the finish?
On lap 53 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m39.283s.
On lap 53 Vettel passes Albon for fifth place.
At the finisb Hamilton takes the win over Verstappen and Leclerc to finish the 2019 seeaon.
Perez passes Norris for seventh place on the last lap.
Lewis Hamilton said, "I'm so grateful to the team. Even though we had the championship won I just wanted to get my head down, and see what we could learn from this beautiful car. Thank you for watching, thank you for supporting. I feel so happy today man!"
Max Verstappen said, "Our pace was quite decent, but Mercedes and Lewis were too quick. Overall it's been a positive season and to be P3 in the championship is encouraging.”