Lewis Hamilton Just Raced into Abu Dhabi Folklore...
It seems fitting that Lewis Hamilton won the 10th anniversary race of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The man who has won more times on this circuit than any other F1 driver (this was his fourth win), took his season’s points total to 408, cementing the fifth world title he won last month in Mexico – and ending his season in winning style.
But while the five-time world champion held off a late push from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to take home victory – Max Verstappen and Red Bull completing the podium line-up – it was Nico Hulkenberg’s 40-second crash that almost took the gloss off the day, his Renault somersaulting into the barriers following a turn nine, first lap collision with Romain Grosjean. Thankfully the German came away uninjured.
But while Hamilton was busy sealing his place as an assured F1 great – only Michael Schumacher has more world titles that him with seven – greatness of a different type was being guaranteed in the Etihad x GQ Paddock Club. Located just above the driver’s garage, this was the most sought after spot on the track – unless, perhaps, your ultimate aim is a seat in the car. Attended by the great and the good, this weekend – in honour of the 10th anniversary – it even included a royal seal of approval courtesy of Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE's Armed Forces.
So as the dust settled on the final race of the season, what have we learned? Lewis Hamilton is the stuff of racing legend? Yes. Should Ferrari have pushed Mercedes-GP a little harder this year for the title? Probably. Could Max Verstappen be a future world champion? Perhaps. Is Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the best three days in the UAE calendar? Absolutely.