Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2019

Hamilton didn’t expect dominant Abu Dhabi victory

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton didn’t expect to dominate the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as emphatically as he did.

The Mercedes driver led from start to finish and was leading Max Verstappen by almost 19 seconds when he backed off at the end of the race.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting to have the pace advantage to that extent,” said Hamilton.

“Our long-run pace was quite good and I was told that we might be a tenth or two ahead. But then in the race we had a bit more of an advantage in that respect.

“Once I got out in the clear I was able to manage my pace pretty well in that first stint and manage the tyres. I just had to go as long, basically, as Max was going. Then we got onto that next set of tyres and for this track the tyre was good.”

Hamilton said it was important for the team to sustain the pressure on their rivals after clinching both titles earlier in the season.

“After winning the constructors’ and the drivers’ championship I think it was really important for us as a team to continue to push,” he said.

“We hadn’t got absolutely everything from the overall perfect package. So we were just trying to push the limits and push the boundaries and yeah, I think this is the perfect way to end the season, on the right foot.”

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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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18 comments on “Hamilton didn’t expect dominant Abu Dhabi victory”

  1. Yeah, that was crazy level of performance, from Mercedes but also from Hamilton. Looking at that FLAP and margin to next best is quite something. That 7th championship looks quite likely at this stage.

  2. Well, on every circuit some teams are above the rest. There are circuits where some drivers can use their driving technique and skills better than the rest. Probably, Abu Dhabi circuit is perfect for Mercedes AND Hamilton. In fact, Hamilton has been on the front row at Abu Dhabi circuit 10 times! (09, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19). But, let’s not forget that in 2020 there will be 22 races and only 1 in Abu Dhabi. Good luck to Mercedes team and Lewis Hamilton!

  3. Great win for HAM, team Mercedes.
    And BOT would have had 2nd easily if the DRS server wasn’t switched off for half the race. Amazing how it takes 1/2 a race to get a backup server working. A backup server is usually up and running along with the primary server as that is the whole point of a backup server.

    1. @jimfromus I doubt having DRS for every lap from lap three onwards would’ve made that big of a difference given the size of the gap to P2 at the end.

  4. good thing for him that he matured to the level in which he can keep interested and win races after clinching the titles, something he did not do in ’15 and ’17.

    1. Maybe, he has also realised that 92 race wins is not just a unreachable dream, but a possibility. I remember Lewis saying that his dream is to have the most wins in F1 history. In 2015 and even in 2017 that really was just a dream. But now, with 84 wins and one more possibly good year with Mercedes… who knows?

  5. And then top a superb performance, he goes and gets the ‘fastest lap’ of the race on lap 53 ??

  6. Yeah sure lol he knew he had pace in hand. What a snoozer of a race, as all Hamilton/Merc dominant wins are.

    1. Had you left out the Ham/Merc bit, you would have easily been right, as indeed most dominant wins aren’t great races @jblank, though now it just reads as biased.

      1. I’m very biased, I think the Merc/Hamilton dominance has been bad for the sport and the races they dominate are boring to the point where they’re a waste of time. I’ve never been shy about my biases against them.

      2. @bosyber, of course, Jason’s stated in the past that he would be happy with that level of dominance if it happened to be his favourite team that was winning instead.

    2. @jblank @bosyber Well, there were battles for a position lower down the field.

      1. Indeed there were @jerejj, and I think yesterday there were more interesting battles behind Hamilton than usual in Abu Dhabi, not helped by the tv direction missing a lot of the best moves from the midfield, but still it was there.

        However, I can agree with @jblank that when the lead seems, and subsequently proves to stay, so very settled already early on in the race(weekend), it does suck quite a bit of the excitement out of it. I still enjoyed the race myself, though it wasn’t one to remember for the ages, it was a better than default race for the track, even with Hamilton being unchallenged, and I certainly, though vaguely, recall more snoozy races over the years.

      2. Yes there were but as I don’t have a true favorite driver anymore since Fernando retired, I am now just a guy that loves F1 racing and roots for great races. There are drivers and teams I like but I can’t get excited about the fight for 10th place.

  7. Well, I guess he did expect it, but just feels it sounds better to say he didn’t.. Alternatively, if he means it, it would mean he has no real insight into whats going on. For all of us it was clear they were miles ahead all weekend.

  8. Let’s hope we won’t hear/read anymore that Ferrari had a title contending car in 2019….

    1. @mg1982 Ferrari definitely had title winning cars in 2017 and 2018. Also who knows what Lewis or Max could have achieved in the 2019 Ferrari. In the second half of the season, Ferrari looked unbeatable especially with that engine/oil trickery.

      1. For sure better than VET (compared to HAM, VET kinda looks like a failure starting with 2017), but having LEC on-board and the way he outperformed VET in those Quali and Races where Ferrari was the best, I think it proves that the car wasn’t that good for real, and it’s not just VET underperforming. Just as I said many races ago, the car’s performance is too ”volatile” for a true title contending car. Yesterday, another proof: with fresh Softs, LEC was barely gaining on HAM and VER, who were on almost 20laps old Hards. After 10 laps, he started to lap a lot slower than those 2, and BOT was lapping faster even by almost 2sec. Plus, alone the fact that the best Ferrari finished +43sec behind HAM… doesn’t look like the performance of a title contending car. So, agree that with HAM or VER on-board Ferrari would have been a lot closer, but I don’t find any real reason to believe any of them could have pushed the title battle to the last race or so.

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