Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2019

Hamilton cruises to 11th win as doubt hangs over Leclerc podium

2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton dominated the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and signed off the 2019 season with his 11th win of the year.

The world champion was never headed over 55 laps at Yas Marina, and finished 17 seconds clear of Max Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver started alongside the Mercedes but lost the place to Charles Leclerc at the start. He got backed ahead of Leclerc by running a much longer first stint than the Ferrari driver.

Leclerc made a second pit stop for a set of soft tyres late in the race but came under pressure from Valtteri Bottas, who closed him down over the final laps. But the Mercedes driver, who started last, ran out of time to catch the Ferrari.

However Leclerc’s podium finish remains provisional. The Ferrari driver is under investigation after his car failed a random pre-race fuel weight check. Ferrari’s declared fuel weight was found to be “significantly different” when the fuel was drained and weighed. The stewards will decide Leclerc’s fate.

Sebastian Vettel, who also pitted twice, passed Alexander Albon on the penultimate lap for fifth place. Behind him Sergio Perez passed Lando Norris for seventh place on the final lap.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, who earlier in the race had asked to be waved past his team mate, took the final point for 10th behind Daniil Kvyat. His last-lap pass on Nico Hulkenberg earned him a point which means he will end the season sixth in the championship.

That meant neither Renault driver scored as Hulkenberg, in his last F1 race for the foreseeable future, fell to 12th behind Daniel Ricciardo. Robert Kubica, who is also bowing out of F1 for the time being at least, was the last runner home in 19th. Lance Stroll was the race’s only retirement.

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2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix reaction

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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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41 comments on “Hamilton cruises to 11th win as doubt hangs over Leclerc podium”

  1. Masterclass by Lewis!
    Good race by Max.
    Another race to forget by Ferrari.

    Was it just a recap of 2019?

  2. – New record for most wins in a season starting outside pole position.
    – Only driver to score points in every race this season.
    – Most wins among the grid this season.

    I give him driver of the season straight away. I was amazed as to how much Ferrari needed to do to keep Bottas behind. Imagine if Bottas got 3rd place doing lesser stops and coming from the back of the grid.

    1. Lewis is on 2 behind on all time record for Grand slams of F1.

    2. To be honest, he was rather lucky to get points in germany as he didn’t actually finish it with any.

      1. To be honest he was extremely unlucky to be put on slicks just when it started to rain.

      2. LUCKY in Germany??? Really?

      3. True, no other driver in the whole of the 2019 season has gained so many points by a driver in front of them being penalised. Can’t believe his luck! Glad you pointed that out hogweed.

  3. That gap between Mercs and Ferraris was quite telling.

    1. Finally Mercedes showed their true pace After hiding from mid-season onwards…and next year It ‘ll be the same story. That’s what happens when you let one of the partecipants write the rulebook and have a closer relationship with the tyre manufacturer than anybody else…

      1. Hehehe come on 😂 Just take it like a man.

      2. Yeah because Hamilton and Mercedes don’t want the records for winning the most races of all time, they’d rather be charitable and let the other teams win a few…..

        1. As long as motorsport was born, every engineer’s target has always been to design a car that can crush the opponents and than hide their true pace to non upset the competition or even more the rulers (aka the FIA) avoiding a probabile ban. Anyone with a bit of common sense knows It. It happened with Ferrari, than with RB, now it’s happening with Mercedes. The only way to stop them dominating is to completely rewrite the rulebook from scratch otherwise is Benz domination all over again.

      3. Or is that Ferrari have been caught cheating and held back due to the technical directive regarding the fuel flow? Even at that, they still attempted to cheat today, but were caught. How on earth can you explain a 5kg excess to be a mistake??

  4. Yet again, the stewards screw over the podium…

    1. Well they have good reason this time.

      1. No, they don’t, they had plenty of time before the start of the race…

    2. Stewards have been the wooden spoons this year.
      Everything done after the race, like they have no access to data whatever.
      No other sport has a dumb regulator.
      Charlie we miss you Charlie.

      1. As long as they make the right decision then we shouldn’t complain

        1. Japanese GP has shown they are pets to their overlords at Ferrari(Mafia).

    3. A couple of hours after the race (just after the Sky highlights at this time), there is nothing from the stewards. This is abysmal for F1 to investigate something like this!

      All to often this season the stewards have felt it necessary to play around with the podium, the need a boot where the sun doesn’t shine to make the. Do their job promptly and properly!

  5. A perfect race for Lewis, rounding off a perfect year. Max 3rd in the final standings. A solid year in the 3rd fastest car on average.. Massively helped by Ferrari’s habit to snatch defeat from jaws of victory.

  6. Grats to Lewis on a well deserved and overpowering win.

    I’m not happy about the Stewards leaving their decision on Charles until after the race though.
    They should have made a decision as soon as they had the facts. Letting the guy race whilst knowing he may be kicked from the result is disgraceful and potentially dangerous.

    1. @nullapax They apparently don’t have all the facts & didn’t have time to properly investigate before the race. By holding the investigation after the race they have time to properly look at everything & Get all the facts together as well as talk to the team.

      If they penalized him before the race & later found there was actually no issue that would have been a lot less fair. Doing it after gives time to investigate fully, Get all the facts together & not affect his race result if they end up finding Ferrari did nothing wrong.

      1. They also allow two Ferraris to run in the home of ‘Ferrari World’…

  7. José Lopes da Silva
    1st December 2019, 15:15

    Stroll hit an F1 driver on the first lap, which caused contact with his teammate, which is also an F1 driver.

  8. Interesting tactics by Ferrari.

  9. and yet again the tv feed was directed by a knob. Seriously, sometimes I think these people have 0 interest in the sport and just turn up for the GP day to screw with us. Not seeing how Perez got past Norris was criminal.

    1. Kimi got by KMag once or twice…unseen.
      Graphic on distance differential comes and goes willy nilly.

      Anyone remember the good old simple ITV days?

      1. Yup, sure do, this is from an old F1Fanatic article:- “Damon Hill’s shock pass on Michael Schumacher at the Hungaroring in 1997? ITV missed it. The puncture that ended Schumacher’s title hopes at Suzuka in 1998? ITV missed it. The gearbox glitch that ruined Lewis Hamilton’s title bid at Interlagos last year? ITV missed it.

        This is just a handful of examples. One of the most infamous occurred in 2005 – not long after I began this site. ITV made such a botch of the San Marino Grand Prix coverage the tense final laps as Fernando Alonso battled to keep Schumacher at bay were largely missed.

        Based on 2007 figures*, ITV have missed so much live action during live Grands Prix it amounts to over 31 races worth of footage.”

  10. Perfect strategy from Mercedes, perfect racing from Hamilton. Grand Slam for Hamilton! 10/10 from me to Mercedes team!

  11. I am very happy for Max as he drove quick and clever today. 3rd place in Drivers Championships is a huge achievement for Red Bull this year.

  12. Congrats Lewis!

  13. Great drive from Lewis. One of.those days he showed you why he is the world champion (though obviously also a great car and great team behind him).

    Next year it will be more challenging however, Bottas, Ferrari and Red Bull will get their act together and have better cars.

    1. People have been saying this for six years

  14. Hamilton and Mercedes masterclass today, league of their own. The others need to seriously up their game if they’re going to prevent the same in 2020.

    Good fight between McLaren and Renault, hoping they can be on the tail of the big 3 next year.

    One of the most interesting things this race was seeing the effect of no DRS, wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be tbh!

  15. A memorable year
    HAM: I’m beginning to warm to him, almost
    BOT: gets more boring by the day. God help us
    VER: gets my vote as the future of F1
    LEC: endless PR tuned talk is not appealing
    VET: wrote him off earlier in the year, but he ain’t done yet, not by a long way
    Kimi: still the most appealing personality, but 2005 will never come again alas

  16. Lets hope there is a shake up in teams next year tired of seeing merc, red bull and Ferrari winning

  17. I love the “stewards are gathering facts” BS.
    The facts were known before the race.
    Ferrari declared X amount of fuel. During a random check, the officials found Y amount of fuel. X-Y was a significant amount. The rule states X must equal Y yet X was not equal to Y and X was significantly different than Y.

    Can’t wait for more BS from the stewards about what was found during the after race “facts” gathering.

  18. Dire race, history won’t be kind to Lewis, as most of his wins have been in such ba dominant team. Roll on 2021..

  19. So is Ferrari misrepresenting the fuel amount in Leclerc’s car even more proof that they are doing something shady?

    1. @f1osaurus, I think that many are more are thinking that it is more appropriate to ascribe it to incompetence rather than to malice, given that Ferrari have come in for quite a bit of criticism for their operational performance – or rather perceived lack of it – over the course of the season.

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