Lewis Hamilton determined to end season on a high with victory in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton determined to end season on a high with victory in Abu Dhabi
Thumbs up from the Briton after he stormed to pole in the UAE capital. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2018

Lewis Hamilton determined to end season on a high with victory in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton determined to end season on a high with victory in Abu Dhabi
  • Five-time world champion sets lap record at Yas Marina Circuit.
  • Hamilton now out to have a good time during final Grand Prix of the season.

ABU DHABI: Lewis Hamilton is determined to go out and have fun around the Yas Marina Circuit today after he secured pole position.

The Briton goes into today’s race having already landed his fifth world title and very much the man to catch. It was the 83rd pole of his career, extending his record, 11 of which have come this season. As if to further emphasize his dominance smashed the lap record beating Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas into second as the Silver Arrows secured another front-row lockout.
In a scintillating performance, the Englishman clocked a best lap in one minute and 34.794 seconds to outstrip Bottas by almost two-tenths of a second.
Having once again showed why he is a five-time world champion and can now be talked about in the same breath as all-time greats Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio, the Briton said he would make sure he enjoyed today’s race in the UAE capital.
“I’m so grateful for all the support we’ve had here. It’s so emotional for me because it’s the last lap I’ll do in this car. I’ve been so emotionally attached to this car,” Hamilton said.
“I’m so grateful for the mechanics who put this together for me. To just go all out and put a performance like that is a special feeling.
“It’s been a privilege to work in this team with the mechanics who have given it to me. Their diligence I’m so grateful for everyone and its so much fun to go out there and express yourself and push your car the way you want.
Bottas, still seeking his first win of the season back at the track where he last tasted victory, was again left frustrated by the imperious Hamilton’s unbeatable pace.
“For sure, I was aiming for pole — I had a good race here last year, but I couldn’t repeat that. It wasn’t what I expected, but is still good for us because — even though we have secured the championship – we can still be one-two for the final race.
“I was performing well, but I couldn’t beat his time. He did such a great job.”
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was third ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Sauber-bound Kimi Raikkonen, Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
But while he did not manage to make it onto the front row Vettel, like Hamilton, is determined to go out and end the season on a high.
“Obviously it didn’t go my way and Lewis enjoyed it a little more, but I’m looking forward to getting in the car tomorrow for the last time this season and giving it a real go,” the German said.
“I enjoyed it and it didn’t go my way. I’m looking forward to it as the last race and to give it everything we have.”
Today sees the last time two-time world champion Fernando Alonso takes to the grid having decided to leave F1 — at least for the time being. The Spaniard will start in 16th place and he said: “My priories are to finish the race to see the chequered flag. If we can be in the points that will be in the dream, we are five places away now.
Speaking on his future he said: “I needed a break and I need to find something else to do, but I’m open after that maybe I do another F1 season, or somewhere else.”