By Abhishek Takle
ABUDHABI (Reuters) – Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton ended a triumphant Formula One season in style on Sunday with a dominant victory from pole position for Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his 250th race.
Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen was second to cement third place in the championship, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third on track but in danger of disqualification for a fuel irregularity.
Valtteri Bottas finished fourth for Mercedes from last placed on the grid.
Hamilton’s 84th career victory, fifth in Abu Dhabi and 11th of the season meant the Briton equalled his own Formula One record of 33 consecutive finishes in the points. He also set the fastest lap.
The 11 wins in a season matched his personal best for a campaign.
Mercedes had already won both championships for an unprecedented sixth season in a row.
“Even though we had the championship won, I just really wanted to keep my head down and see if we could learn and extract more from this beautiful car that’s a piece of art,” said Hamilton.
“I feel so happy with today, man.”
Hamilton, 34, gazed across to the two 22-year-olds completing the podium places and looked forward to more battles in the future.
“I really feel privileged to be in the period of time when they are here,” he said. “I hope it gets closer for us next year.”
Hamilton led every lap of the day to night race, finishing 16.7 seconds clear of Verstappen who was never able to get close enough to challenge.
“It looks like you didn’t even break into a sweat with that mate,” the Briton was told by his race engineer as he took the chequered flag.
(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)