November 26, 2018 / 4:09 AM / 6 months ago

Motor racing: Team by team analysis of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix (listed in championship order):

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 25, 2018 McLaren's Fernando Alonso crosses the line in his last Formula One race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 5)

Five times champion Hamilton, starting on pole, took his 11th win of the season and 73rd of his career, becoming the first driver to score more than 400 points in a year. Bottas started second but struggled with the brakes and had a slow puncture after banging wheels with Verstappen, pitting twice. Bottas ended the season with the most fastest laps. Mercedes had already won the constructors’ title for a fifth year in a row.


FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 2, Kimi Raikkonen retired)

Vettel gained one place from the start to finish the season as runner-up. Raikkonen retired with a power failure after seven laps, triggering a virtual safety car, in the 2007 champion’s last race for Ferrari before joining Sauber. The Finn ended up third overall in the standings.


RED BULL (Max Verstappen 3, Daniel Ricciardo 4)

Verstappen started sixth, made a strong pass on Bottas but struggled to see in the closing laps after oil from Gasly’s smoking engine streaked his visor. He said it was like driving through fog. Ricciardo, in his final race for Red Bull before joining Renault, started fifth and led for a long stint after Hamilton made an early pitstop.


RENAULT (Carlos Sainz 6, Nico Hulkenberg retired)

Hulkenberg retired on lap one after being pitched into the tyre wall by Grosjean, the Renault resting upside down and with marshals dousing flames at the rear while the safety car was deployed. The German emerged unscathed once the car was righted and finished the season seventh and ‘best of the rest’. Sainz’s points meant Renault’s final score of 122 more than doubled last year’s tally. It was his last before joining McLaren.


HAAS (Romain Grosjean 9, Kevin Magnussen 10)

A double points finish for Haas, who have made a big jump from eighth overall in the last two years to fifth. Magnussen finished a career-best ninth overall. Grosjean’s car was slightly damaged in the contact with Hulkenberg.


MCLAREN (Fernando Alonso 11, Stoffel Vandoorne 14)

Double world champion Alonso bowed out, just missing a final point and picking up three five-second penalties for gaining an advantage by going off. Vandoorne, also exiting for a new start in Formula E, had a strong race from 18th place.


FORCE INDIA (Sergio Perez 8, Esteban Ocon retired)

Ocon’s race ended on lap 44 with a suspected oil leak, his smoking car seizing up as it entered the pit lane and having to be pushed out of the way. The Frenchman now faces a year on the sidelines as a Mercedes reserve. Perez’s four points kept them ahead of Sauber in the standings.


SAUBER (Charles Leclerc 7, Marcus Ericsson retired)

Sauber confirmed their progress by moving up to eighth from last overall in 2017. Leclerc now signs off, replacing Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, while Ericsson heads to IndyCar. The Swede retired with a mechanical issue on lap 26 while in the top 10.


TORO ROSSO (Brendon Hartley 12, Pierre Gasly retired)

Gasly retired with a smoking engine on lap 48 while challenging for points. He now moves to Red Bull for 2019. Hartley, whose future is uncertain, hit debris and damaged his front wing on the opening lap. He pitted and did the rest of the race on one set of tyres and an old specification wing.

Slideshow (2 Images)


WILLIAMS (Lance Stroll 13, Sergey Sirotkin 15)

The only way is up for the former champions who scored just seven points all season. Sirotkin has been replaced by Poland’s Robert Kubica for 2019 while Stroll is set to move to Force India, with F2 champion George Russell taking his place.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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