ABU DHABI • Lewis Hamilton has made his milestone 250th Formula One start a memorable one, as he signed off his championship-winning campaign in style by winning the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yesterday.
The six-time world champion clinched his 11th victory of the 21-race season and also moved to 84 in total, just seven behind Michael Schumacher's record of 91.
The Mercedes driver, 34, said: "This car is a work of art. I am proud and super grateful to this team, thank you to everybody here and back home.
"I travel around the world to different countries and I get to see people who inspire me and send me messages that lift me up.
"I can assure you I am sweating. What a race, what a weekend. I just want to say a huge thank you. I gotta say... this one's for the fans."
Hamilton was followed home at the Yas Marina circuit by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was nearly 17 seconds behind, with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in third.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth in the other Mercedes, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen said: "I had a few little issues today, but it wouldn't have made a difference to the end result. Lewis and Mercedes were just a bit too quick.
"P3 in the championship is a good result. I'm pretty happy with that."
ABU DHABI GP
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1hr 34min 05.715sec
2 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull +16.772sec
3 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari +43.435
4 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes +44.379
5 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari +1min 04.357sec
DNF Lance Stroll (Gbr) Racing Point
1 Hamilton 413pts
2 Bottas 326
3 Verstappen 278
4 Leclerc 264
5 Vettel 240
1 Mercedes 739pts
3 Red Bull 417
4 McLaren 145
5 Renault 91
Mercedes has had an iron grip on this race, winning every year since 2014. It was also Hamilton's fourth win for the Silver Arrows, adding to his victory for McLaren in 2011.
The German outfit had already won their sixth consecutive double titles ahead of yesterday's race, and it was down to who would take third place behind Hamilton (413 points) and Bottas (326) in the drivers' standings.
With Verstappen's second-place finish, he became the best driver behind the Mercedes duo on 278 points.
Leclerc's third place in Abu Dhabi which gave him 264 points overall, put him ahead of German teammate Vettel (240).
The Monegasque driver, however, was referred to stewards for a fuel irregularity before the race.
The amount of fuel his car was carrying was checked before it left the pit lane to go on to the starting grid.
FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer found a "significant difference" to the amount in the car and that declared by Ferrari.
Stewards deferred a decision until after the race, and he could either escape a penalty or he could be disqualified, meaning that he finished on 249 points but still ahead of Vettel.