Hamilton Prevails, Hulkenberg Survives In Crash-Riddled Abu Dhabi

Nov 25 - by AFP for sportpesa news

World champion finishes last Formula 1 race of the season top, Renault driver hangs in there like a cow after first lap horror smash

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after taking the pole position in the qualifying session at the Yas Marina circuit on November 24, 2018, in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.PHOTO/ AFP

  •  The win came after a race that began with an horrific opening lap crash from which Nico Hulkenberg escaped unhurt, his blazing Renault car having barrel-rolled into the barriers
  • Dutchman Max Verstappen finished third ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, in his 100th race for Red Bull and 150th overall before moving to Renault, and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes
  • The German driver tangled with Frenchman Romain Grosjean's Haas as they fought for position going into the chicane, Hulkenberg resisting his rival’s challenger for position



ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates- New five-time champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th win of the season on Sunday when he drove his Mercedes to a well-judged triumph in an incident-filled season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 33-year-old Briton, who started from his 83rd pole position, came home 2.5 seconds ahead of his main title rival four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

The win came after a race that began with an horrific opening lap crash from which Nico Hulkenberg escaped unhurt, his blazing Renault car having barrel-rolled into the barriers.

Dutchman Max Verstappen finished third ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, in his 100th race for Red Bull and 150th overall before moving to Renault, and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.

Carlos Sainz came home sixth for Renault ahead of Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Sergio Perez of Force India, Romain Grosjean, who had tangled with Hulkenberg on the opening lap, and his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

Retirement-bound two-time champion Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren in his 311th and farewell appearance.

Hamilton's victory completed a season of total dominance for the Englishman. "I am so happy right now," he said, before praising Vettel. "I know next year he's going to come back stronger. Whatever people say, we always do our best."

Vettel responded generously.

Tough year

"He deserves to be champion," Vettel said. "It's been a tough year and I tried until the last lap.

Hulkenberg climbed out unhurt after barrel-rolling his Renault car into the barriers in a horrifying blazing opening lap crash in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The German driver tangled with Frenchman Romain Grosjean's Haas as they fought for position going into the chicane, Hulkenberg resisting his rival’s challenger for position.

His car was catapulted into the air and rolled at high speed into the barriers where, on impact, flames bust from the rear of the car, which was left hanging upside down.

"Are you ok, Nico," the team asked him.

"I'm hanging here like a cow," he told the Renault team by radio. "There's fire...There's fire...Get me out."

He was soon helped by marshals who had to manually roll the car off the barriers before assisting him in climbing out.

Hulkenberg was able to walk away and talk to marshals and medical staff.

Grosjean asked his Haas team if Hulkenberg was ok and, after being told he was, he added that he had nowhere to go when they crashed.

The race stewards quickly announced they were taking no action and treated the crash as a racing incident.