The final race of the 2018 F1 season went to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton as well in Abu Dhabi GP with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ending up second.
It was more relaxed atmosphere in the 2018 season finale at Yas Marina Circuit with Hamilton taking pole and the race win to end his fifth title-winning year on a high and break more records in doing so.
A strategic race from Mercedes ensured Hamilton’s win as Vettel had to clear Valtteri Bottas to finish second as the Finn lost further ground to be only fifth, even behind Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz ended his stint with the French manufacturer on a high in sixth with Sauber’s Charles Leclerc ended his with the Swiss team in seventh – all of the drivers outside the Top 5 gaining a place due to Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement.
Here’s a statistical highlights from the final race of the season:
- Hamilton scored his 73rd career win, 47th from pole and 11th of the season. It was his fourth Abu Dhabi GP – the most by a driver, going one better than Vettel.
- Hamilton equaled his previous best of 11 wins in a season when he did it in 2014. He joins Vettel (2011) and Michael Schumacher (2002) with 11 in a season. Vettel and Schumacher still head the standings with 13 wins each.
- Mercedes took their 87th win and their fifth Abu Dhabi GP victory – by far the best manufacturer at Yas Marina Circuit. This is the first time since 2012 that all of its race wins in a season was scored by a sole driver. They only scored one in 2012 with Nico Rosberg and did 11 in 2018 with Hamilton.
- Hamilton scored his 83rd pole and 11th of the season. That is the fifth best in a year – the same was achieved by Mika Hakkinen (1999), Schumacher (2001) and Rosberg (2014). The record is held solely by Vettel of 15 with Hamilton’s best is 12.
- Vettel only had five wins in 2018 which was same as in 2017. He scored his 111th podium and recorded his career’s 36th fastest lap. Verstappen scored his 22nd podium and 11th of the season
- Hamilton scored his 134th career podium and 17th of the season – it is the third time that Hamilton has achieved the feat after 2015 and 2016. He is the only one to do it three times but has Vettel and Schumacher, who have done it once each.
- For the first time a driver has scored 400+ plus points in a F1 season with Hamilton scoring 408 in all. He is also the first driver to score 3000+ career points with 3018.
- Fernando Alonso ended his career – for now – with 1899 points to be third in the all-time list. He has entered in 314 races, starting in 312 to be the second highest in the all-time list which will be beaten by Kimi Raikkonen in two years time.
- Five retirements in Abu Dhabi GP – for the eighth time there has been five or more retirements in a race this year.
- Sergio Perez gained the most places of any driver in the points, starting 14th and finishing eighth. Lance Stroll gained the most of any driver out of the points, starting 20th and finishing 13th.
- Verstappen took fourth in the drivers’ championship in ABu Dhabi GP – the highest he’s been all season. He missed third by just the two points which went to Raikkonen.
- Carlos Sainz gained two places in the drivers’ championship as he moved to 10th to displace Alonso. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg ended up as a the best of the rest in seventh. Charles Leclerc gained one place to move to 13th.
- Haas scored its fifth double points of the season and registered its best finish of fifth in the constructors’ championship.
- Four penalty points were given out after the Abu Dhabi GP, all for gaining advantage off track, three for Alonso (three separate offences) and one for Ocon – they both have six points in all.
[Check: Brazil GP]