Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 10

A domineering, pitch-perfect display from Lewis Hamilton to close out the season. He was well clear of the field in qualifying and never looked like losing the race, eventually crossing the line 17 seconds clear of Max Verstappen in P2. He spent the race trying to refine areas for 2020, such as working on tyre management, as he cruised to an 11th win of the year.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes – 8

Valtteri Bottas was always facing an uphill struggle, starting from the back of the grid due to his engine penalties. But he was able to scythe through the field well and recover to P4, needing another couple of laps to grab third from Charles Leclerc at the end. He’d probably have done so had he cleared Nico Hulkenberg in the first stint, but without DRS and, after his clash with Romain Grosjean in FP2, he probably thought twice about going for a lunge.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari – 5

An underwhelming end to an underwhelming season. Vettel was off the pace in qualifying and never looked like hassling the front-runners in the race. A slow stop risked dropping him into Alexander Albon’s clutches, but he was able to keep fifth in the end thanks to a late pass on the Red Bull man, even if he did finish over 20 seconds behind his teammate.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 8

Ferrari was the third-fastest team in Abu Dhabi, making P3 a decent result for Leclerc. He started well to jump Verstappen, but was powerless to stop the Red Bull driver reclaiming the pace following his long first stint. Leclerc showed good tactical nous to make Ferrari switch him to a two-stop, but even with fresh tyres, he only just about had the pace to keep Bottas back.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 9

Verstappen closed out the season strong, taking a comfortable second-place finish. He completed a good first stint on the Softs to give himself the tyres to retake P2 from Leclerc, and, even with some turbo lag strife, was able to ease clear of the Ferrari driver en route to the flag.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull – 6

Albon struggled in qualifying, finishing more than half a second off Verstappen, but enjoyed a nice battle with Vettel through the race. With fading tyres, Albon was powerless to keep Vettel back in the closing stages, dropping to sixth, with the gap to his teammate standing at 53 seconds by the chequered flag.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault – 6

A tough race for Ricciardo to close out his first season with Renault. He dropped behind Carlos Sainz early on, and couldn’t get the undercut on the McLaren driver. Another place was lost to Nico Hulkenberg, putting Ricciardo at the back of the midfield train. A late switch to a two-stop gave him a final chance to fight, and while he could pass Hulkenberg, it was only enough for 11th.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault – 6

A sign-off from Hulkenberg that reflected his career to date: promising, but ultimately falling short. He did well to keep Bottas, Vettel and Albon back as they struggled to pass without DRS, giving him the overcut on Sainz and Ricciardo, but committing to a one-stop left him unable to keep those on fresher rubber back at the end, causing him to fall to 12th on the last lap.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas – 6

A season Haas will be glad to see the back of. Magnussen started well, rising from 14th to ninth on the opening lap, but then endured his traditional fall down the order. After moving to Hards, Magnussen was left a lowly 14th, unable to progress as the drivers ahead kept things clean.

Romain Grosjean, Haas – 5

Grosjean’s FP2 crash with Bottas set the tone for the rest of his weekend. The Haas driver dropped out in Q1 and started poorly, falling back to P17, and was always a long way off the points. He eventually came home nearly 20 seconds back from Magnussen, just one place ahead.

Carlos Sainz, McLaren – 7

Carlos Sainz said he was treating the fight for P6 in the standings like a fight for a world championship – and boy, did he fight. Undercut by Norris and overcut by Hulkenberg in the first stint, Sainz made a late switch to a two-stop in a last-ditch attempt to grab a point – something he took on the very last lap, diving past Hulkenberg with a bold move. A deserving Formula 1.5 champion!

Lando Norris, McLaren – 7

Norris was the midfield leader for the majority of the weekend in Abu Dhabi, heading them in qualifying and leading the train after the first stint. But by sticking to a one-stop strategy, he was left open to an attack from Sergio Perez, who made a super pass through the chicane to take seventh. P8 was still a decent way to end the year all the same.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point – 9

Racing Point’s strong end to the year continued thanks to Perez in Abu Dhabi. He narrowly missed out on a place in Q3, but the free choice of starting tyre meant he could go long on Mediums before fitting a set of Hards to go on a late charge with, picking off Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Norris with his fresh rubber en route to seventh.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point – 5

Stroll looked decent in qualifying, reaching Q2, but undid any hopes of reaching the points in the clash with Pierre Gasly at Turn 1. It left Stroll with damage that forced him to pit, dropping him out of any real contention, before retiring due to a brake issue.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo – 5

A disappointing end to the year for Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo, who have fallen way off the midfield fight in recent months. Raikkonen ran a good strategy, going long on Mediums before taking Hards for a late charge that gave him a hope of points, only to wind up 13th.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo – 5

Giovinazzi gambled on a two-stop strategy to try and recover from his Q1 exit, starting on Softs, but didn’t have the pace to make it work, leaving him behind both of the Haas cars at the flag.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso – 7

A really good drive from Kvyat to close out the season. Starting on Hards was a risk, but they held up well towards the end of his long first stint as conditions cooled, allowing him to then go on a late charge on Mediums, rising to ninth at the finish. Two hard earned points to cap off a very mature season.

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso – 6

Oh what could have been. Gasly missed out on P6 in the championship by just a single point, and was unable to put up any kind of fight to Sainz after being hit at Turn 1 by Stroll, leaving him with damage that forced him to pit and drop a lap down.

George Russell, Williams – 6

Russell completed his 21-0 qualifying sweep over Robert Kubica on Saturday before spending the early part of the race trailing his teammate. It wasn’t until early in the second stint that Russell passed, after which he had far better pace, eventually finishing half a minute up the road.

Robert Kubica, Williams – 5

Kubica’s F1 swansong held promise as he led Russell early on, but floor damage meant he was unable to keep pace with his teammate through the second stint. A tough end to a tough season.

 

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