With a final recap from the Yas Marina Circuit following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Crash.net F1 Digital Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- Lewis Hamilton closed out his fifth championship year by taking a dominant race victory on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. It marked Hamilton’s 11thwin of the season, meaning that – just as with his number of poles – he took more than the rest of the field combined.

- Hamilton’s victory ensured he won the F1 title by 88 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. It marks his biggest margin of victory in any F1 championship.

Fernando Alonso - An F1 Career In Pictures

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- Hamilton dropped just 37 points between his DNF in Austria and the end of the season, taking 213 of a possible 250 in that period.

- Vettel took P2 for Ferrari to ensure he tied with teammate Kimi Raikkonen for 12 podiums this year. Raikkonen retired early in his final race for Ferrari ahead of his move to Sauber for 2019.

- Max Verstappen clinched fourth place in the drivers’ championship by finishing P3 in Abu Dhabi, leapfrogging Valtteri Bottas, who struggled to P5 on Sunday. Verstappen recovered from an early engine overheating issue to take his 11thpodium of the year, finishing two points shy of Raikkonen in the final standings.

- Bottas ended the year as the only driver in the top three teams not to win a race, failing to record a finish any higher than fifth in any of the last four races.

- Mercedes confirmed after the race that Bottas’ race engineer, Tony Ross, will leave its F1 operation in order to take up a new role in Formula E as its chief race engineer from Season 6, when Mercedes will enter the series.

- Daniel Ricciardo signed off from Red Bull with a run to P4 in Abu Dhabi as a long first stint failed to pay dividends in the second half of the race. Ricciardo finishes the year with just two podiums to his name – his race wins in China and Monaco – ahead of his exit from Red Bull.

- Also departing from Red Bull after Sunday’s race was Renault, with the pair’s decadelong partnership coming to an end.

- Renault itself secured P4 in the constructors’ standings as Carlos Sainz Jr. finished sixth in his final race for the team. Sainz was able to leapfrog Charles Leclerc of Sauber with a long first stint.

- Despite missing out on P4, Haas secured its best F1 constructors’ championship with fifth place, capped off by a doublescore for Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in P9 and P10 respectively.

- McLaren held on to P6 ahead of Force India, who ultimately finished only four points clear of Sauber. Had Force India not had its points wiped at Spa, it would have finished the season P5 in the constructors’ with 111 points, 11 behind Renault.

- Brendon Hartley’s race was compromised after hitting debris on the opening lap that caused damage to his front wing, forcing him to switch to an oldspec wing as the team had no spares of the new-spec version. Hartley also hit the wall after a mistake on the Safety Car restart, leaving him to struggle to 12thplace overall.

- Fernando Alonso signed off from F1 with a spirited drive to P11, but was denied the chance to pit for fresh tyres and try to score the fastest lap in the closing stages due to the possibility of points. Alonso told his engineer “I have 1,800 points,” to which his engineer said: “We want you to score 1,801 then!” Alonso did in fact finish his F1 career on 1,899 points.

- McLaren and Red Bull both held guards of honour ahead of the race for Alonso and Ricciardo respectively. Alonso was honoured in the team photo as all members wore tshirts coloured the blue used in the flag of his home town, Oviedo.

- Mercedes replaced the Energy Store and Control Electronics on Lewis Hamilton’s power unit ahead of the race in Abu Dhabi. As these parts were previously used, there was no penalty.

- Toro Rosso did the same with the ICE, MGUK, MGU-H and Turbocharger on Pierre Gasly’s power unit, using parts already in the pool, thus avoiding a penalty.

- Sunday’s race marked the last appearance for the Hypersoft, Ultrasoft and Supersoft tyres in F1. All three names will be discarded next year as F1 switches to a simplified Soft/Medium/Hard naming system.

- It was also the last race that will be shown live on freeto-air television in the UK, with Sky Sports set to take over exclusive rights to show the sport live in 2019. Channel 4 will show only the British Grand Prix live, carrying highlights only for the remaining races.

- Besides Alonso, the race marked the final grand prix starts (for now at least) for Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericsson, Sergey Sirotkin and Esteban Ocon. Brendon Hartley’s future remains uncertain for 2019 at Toro Rosso.

- Valtteri Bottas was presented with the DHL Fastest Lap award in a pre-race ceremony, having finished the year with the most fastest laps (7). He set the fastest lap in Bahrain, Azerbaijan, France, Belgium, Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

- Lewis Hamilton was awarded the Pirelli Pole Trophy, taking the form of a race tyre with each of his 11 poles from 2018 written on them. Upon receiving the trophy, Hamilton said: “What am I meant to do with this massive tyre? Maybe give it to one of the fans or something." He then rolled the tyre away into the path of the photographers shooting the ceremony.



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