Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton wrapped up the 2018 Formula One season in Abu Dhabi in style on Sunday with his 11th victory of the season. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.
“It has been a real honour and privilege racing against Sebastian,” Hamilton said after performing a series of doughnuts on the main straight.
“He has always been a hard-working racing driver. He did a fantastic job this year. There is so much pressure, so don’t ever just look at our shortcomings. I know he is going to come back strong.
“Fernando is a true legend. Before I got to Formula One, I was admiring what he achieved. I don’t feel like I miss another driver but the sport will miss him.”
Vettel said: “Lewis is the champion and he deserves it. It has been a tough year. I tried everything until the last lap today. I enjoyed catching him a little bit, but he controlled the race.
“It has been a long year. We will try, and our whole team will try, to come back stronger to give him a harder run next year.”
“We’ve missed him and will miss him,” added Vettel in tribute to Fernando Alonso in reference to both the Spaniard’s recent years away from the front and impending F1 exit.
“Fernando is a true legend. It’s been a real privilege to race in the same era as him,” adds Lewis Hamilton.
The race was held up after a huge crash on Lap 1 involving Nico Hulkenberg, who was sent tumbling into the barriers and eventually settled upside down by French driver Romain Grosjean. The Renault driver was unharmed and eventually climbed out.
Veteran Spanish driver Fernando Alonso placed 11th with McLaren in his final F1 race with the team.