Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in Abu Dhabi
Valtteri Bottas has won the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina to head a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas led from pole, only ceding top spot during the pit sequence, before absorbing Hamilton’s pressure for the remainder of the race to claim his third win of the year.
World champion Hamilton crossed the line 3.8 seconds adrift, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completing the podium in third.
Once Bottas got through Turn 1 in the lead, he quickly opened up a one-second lead over Hamilton before gradually building it up to two seconds before the stops.
He was the first of the Mercedes drivers to pit, swapping the ultra-softs for super-softs and rejoining in second place.
Hamilton stayed out for three further laps, clocking the fastest lap in the process, but couldn’t make up enough ground and rejoined behind Bottas.
The world champion attacked his team-mate, briefly getting within DRS range, but locked up at Turn 17, running off track before rejoining.
Hamilton kept up the pressure and even got within 0.5s after Bottas had a lock-up of his own, but his team-mate responded by putting the hammer down and pulling away.
The result was Mercedes’ third one-two of the season.
Vettel had a quiet race in a lonely third place ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was on course to finish fourth, but pulled off track and retired the car with a hydraulic problem shortly before the halfway point.
His team-mate Max Verstappen finished fifth, just 0.8s behind Raikkonen with Nico Hulkenberg sixth to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship for Renault.
Hulkenberg escaped with a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage when battling Sergio Perez on the first lap.
By the time Hulkenberg took the penalty at his pitstop, he had comfortably built enough of an advantage to negate it.
His team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr retired for the fourth time in six races after the team did not attach the front-left tyre properly at his pitstop.
But for the incident, Sainz had been on course to leapfrog Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa into ninth place by running long before pitting.
Perez finished seventh, 6.8s clear of Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Alonso signed off the McLaren-Honda partnership with ninth place, securing the team’s third consecutive points finish.
Massa completed his 269th and final grand prix in the points in 10th and celebrated with a few doughnuts after the chequered flag.
He had been ahead of Alonso in the first stint but the McLaren passed the later-stopping Williams on its out-lap.
Romain Grosjean was involved in the race’s most entertaining battle, squabbling with Lance Stroll over 13th in the first stint and eventually coming out on top after multiple passes and repasses.
The Haas driver finished 11th, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, with Kevin Magnussen recovering from a first lap spin that dropped him to the back of the field to finish 13th.
Stroll ended up making three pitstops on a day everyone else stopped once and fell to last.
Results: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||46.269|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.062|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.911|
|9||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1 lap|
|10||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1 lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||1 lap|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||1 lap|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||1 lap|
|14||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||1 lap|
|15||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 lap|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 lap|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 lap|
|18||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||1 lap|
|19||Carlos Sainz||Renault||24 laps|
|20||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||35 laps|