Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2017

Hamilton hopes last race ‘won’t be a train’

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he hopes the final race of 2017 won’t be a procession after being beaten to pole position by his team mate.

The Yas Marina circuit has a reputation for producing processional races. But Hamilton is hoping for a lively Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which he will start alongside Valtteri Bottas.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2017
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice in pictures
“I just hope it’s not like a train tomorrow,” he told the media after qualifying. “That there’s some sort of battle. Whether it’s degradation or pit stops or whatever.”

Hamilton admitted he had made too great a compensation for falling track temperatures when choosing his set-up for qualifying.

“Practice had gone good this morning,” he said. “I was really comfortable with the car.” Hamilton had been over a quarter of a second faster than Bottas in final practice.

“This track gets cooler in the afternoon so you make some changes to counteract it,” Hamilton explained. “I may have gone too far, I have gone too far. I was fighting the car the whole time.”

The closest Ferrari was half-a-second slower than the quickest Mercedes in qualifying which Hamilton said he “wasn’t expecting” before the session began. “But generally when it gets cooler that bodes well for us,” he admitted.

Bottas took his fourth pole position of the year and set a new track record for the Yas Marina circuit with his lap of 1’36.231. “Valtteri did an exceptional job today,” Hamilton added. “He deserved to have pole.”

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    7 comments on “Hamilton hopes last race ‘won’t be a train’”

    1. I don’t think Bottas will ever attempt to holding Lewis back and create a train by doing it.

      1. Bottas received a reward for his services this year. He can win this race.. not real fight from Lewis. Like Greg Armstrong in his best years, you sometimes have to invest in human relations to receive a even bigger reward.

    2. Don’t we all?

    3. Judging from past experience Botas lead will not last till first corner. Hamilton and probably Vettel are going to be ahead by then already.

      1. The only races where Bottas got successfully overtaken before the first corner was in Canada and Mexico. And even in Canada, as Vettel fell behind, Bottas didn’t loose a place.

        So out of all 19 races, the only one where Bottas has lost a position before the first corner was Mexico. So I don’t know what past experience you are basing this from.

    4. I’d rather a train that keeps the top 6 tight together then forces some interesting varied strategies for undercut / overcut…

      Instead of Hamilton leading after the first corner and running away with it for a boring unchallenged win.

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