2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Santa Swami, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    The curtain comes down on F1 2018 this weekend at Abu Dhabi, not one of the finer new additions to the calendar in recent years. As a circuit it is rather mediocre to say the least.

    But the transition from dusk to night-time gives it a different dimension.

    Swami
     
  2. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Abu Dhabi GP: Valtteri Bottas fastest as Red Bull show pace
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Listen to final practice and qualifying on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 10:00 GMT
    Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas headed Red Bull's Max Verstappen in second practice at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    The Finn, who has yet to win this year while team-mate Lewis Hamilton claimed a fifth world title, was just 0.044 seconds quicker than Verstappen.

    The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was third, 0.192secs off the pace, ahead of Hamilton and the Ferraris.


    Kimi Raikkonen headed Sebastian Vettel, who has not won a race since August.

    The German wants to finish the season on a high after a title challenge slipped through his fingers as a result of errors from driver and team.

    Vettel said that winning would be "difficult", adding: "Today we were not fast enough, so we see. We need to find quite a bit of pace. For one lap we should be able to improve quite a bit. The conditions came to us. The car was definitely quicker this evening than this afternoon."

    A close fight come race day?
    But on the evidence of Friday, such as it is, the top three teams will be closely matched - only 0.333secs separated all their six drivers on a relatively long lap.

    Verstappen is the form man as the season comes to an end. He would have won in Brazil two weeks ago had he not tangled with a lapped car, did win in Mexico two weeks before that, and climbed from 18th on the grid to finish second the race before that in America.

    On race pace, Hamilton, Verstappen and Raikkonen also looked closely matched on the hyper-soft tyres, which will need careful management if teams start the race on them.

    But the softest tyre in Pirelli's range was again proving fragile and it may be that some of the leading teams will try to get through second qualifying on the harder ultra-soft tyre to give themselves a more comfortable race.

    [​IMG]
    Bangers and smash: Max Verstappen was the latest victim of the sausage kerb
    There were no major incidents in the session, after Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun and dinked his front wing in the earlier first 90 minutes.

    Off track, Haas, whose drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were seventh and ninth fastest have lodged a protest against Force India.

    Their claim is that Force India are technically breaking the rules because they are racing cars they did not design, which is a requirement in F1.

    This follows Force India's collapse into administration in the summer and rescue by the Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll. Although the same people are working for the team now as before, the rescue package involved Stroll buying the team's assets and being allowed an entry as a new team, starting from zero points.

    Haas are upset because Force India have been allowed to keep their entitlement to a significant part of the prize money fund, which is only available to teams that have finished in the top 10 in two of the previous three seasons.

    Who will win in Abu Dhabi?
    Choose your top three drivers from the list below

    Hamilton ran on Friday the engine that he used in the last race in Brazil, and which at one point there the team felt was within one lap of failing.

    Mercedes said the problems was with the variable valve system and that settings were changed during the race to "contain the risk of failure/maximise performance".

    Mercedes say they have "made hardware changes outside the sealed perimeter and we are running that engine today".

    Mercedes will analyse the engine at the end of Friday's running. If it is not fine, they face the choice between running one that has already done seven weekends - and therefore would be over its planned life - or fitting a new engine.

    Fernando Alonso, in his final race, was 13th fastest for McLaren.

    Swami
     
  3. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton: Abu Dhabi pole for British world champion
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    By Andrew Benson

    /46328354
    Read more about sharing.
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    Sunday's race is live on 5 live and the BBC Sport website at 13:10 GMT
    Lewis Hamilton has ended the season in which he won a fifth world title with his 11th pole of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    The Mercedes driver was 0.162 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and 0.331secs ahead of erstwhile title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

    Kimi Raikkonen locked out the second row for Ferrari, ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.


    "It was emotional because it is the last time in this car," Hamilton said.

    "The emotional rollercoaster I have been through with this car, I am probably closer to this car than any other. It has not been easy, it has been a struggle, but I am so grateful to the team for putting it all together for me.

    "Today was so much fun, to be able to go out and express yourself was a great feeling."

    Hamilton has taken it as a point of pride this season to keep winning after clinching the championship, the first time he has done that in his career.

    He was fortunate to take victory in Brazil two weeks ago, after leader Verstappen collided with a backmarker, but he wants to end what many believe has been his greatest season on a high.

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    Hamilton said after 83rd career pole: "I'm so grateful for the mechanics who put this [car] together for me."
    A nice ending of sorts for Alonso
    Beyond the battle at the front, which is about little more than honour and a positive feeling going into the winter, the other focus of the weekend is McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who is bowing out of Formula 1 after this race.

    The two-time champion had as good a qualifying session as could be expected in his difficult car, making it into the second knock-out session and 15th on the grid.

    In the process, the Spaniard completed a whitewash of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying this season, the only driver to achieve it.

    Alonso's engineer Will Joseph described his lap, nearly 0.7secs quicker than Vandoorne's, as "magic". But the McLaren did not have the pace to do any more than be last in the second session.

    McLaren have painted the car in a special livery reflecting Alonso, and he is wearing a unique helmet design and overalls for the occasion.

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    Alonso's one-off livery for his final F1 race turned heads, even if his McLaren's performance did not
    Split tyre strategies
    The top six have split tyre strategies for the race.

    Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel all chose to go through second qualifying on the more durable ultra-soft tyre for a better race strategy, but Raikkonen will be on the hyper-softs after Ferrari decided to split their choices.

    Red Bull also ended up split, with Ricciardo on the ultra and Verstappen on the hyper, but only because of an unusually messy session for Verstappen.

    The Dutchman's ultra-soft run went awry in Q2 so he had to take the hyper. His first lap in the top 10 shoot-out was 0.188secs slower than Ricciardo's and he aborted his second.

    Haas' Romain Grosjean took seventh, ahead of Sauber's Charles Leclerc - who is moving to Ferrari to replace Raikkonen next season - Force India's Esteban Ocon and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

    [​IMG]
    Sparks fly for Max Verstappen but the record of youngest F1 polesitter stays in the hands of Sebastian Vettel for this year
    What they said
    Vettel said: "They looked very competitive all weekend. Qualifying it has been a bit up and down. Q2 was not representative. Lewis had a very strong lap on the ultra-soft. We tried everything and gave it everything we had.

    "It was very close after the first run. I thought half a tenth was in reach. I was quite happy with the second lap but dropped back to third."

    Swami
     
  4. Santa Swami

    Santa Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton ends season with Abu Dhabi win
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    By Andrew Benson

    /46336162
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    Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end the season in which he clinched his fifth world championship on a high.

    It was the 11th victory of the year for Hamilton, who dominated the race with a controlled drive.

    Hamilton performed 'doughnuts' after crossing the line, before himself and former title rival Sebastian Vettel flanked the retiring two-time world champion Fernando Alonso - before all three performed more doughnuts on the start-finish straight.


    The three drivers hold 11 of some of the most recent world championships won in a golden era for driving talent in the sport.

    Vettel took second after Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas faded to fifth, which means the Finn ends the season without a victory.

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo took third and fourth.

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    A sweet moment: Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso indulge in a triple donut
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    Hamilton goes topless on the podium, and we thought Raikkonen refusing to remove his sunglasses was controversial...
    It started with a bang
    Renault's Nico Hulkenberg emerged unhurt from a frightening-looking accident in which he was pitched into a roll and landed upside down in a first-lap clash with Romain Grosjean's Haas.

    Hulkenberg sounded scared as he said to the team: "I'm hanging here like a cow. Get me out. There's fire."

    But once the fire was extinguished and the car righted, he was able to climb out unaided.

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    Hulkenberg appeared trapped in his car as it caught fire
    Not as easy as it looked for Hamilton
    Hamilton's evening under the lights of the attractive but characterless Yas Marina circuit was complicated when Mercedes pitted him earlier than expected during a caution period caused when Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari stopped on the pit straight.

    That was on lap seven of 55 - nine laps earlier than Bottas' first stop - but Mercedes were covering one of their rivals potentially doing the same thing.

    It meant a race of careful driving and tyre management, but Hamilton handled it well, to re-claim the positions he had lost one by one as his rivals pitted.


    Media playback is not supported on this device

    F1 Breakdown: Was Fernando Alonso a pantomime villain?
    Red Bull showing racing potential for 2019
    Behind him, the race came to a tense climax as the differing strategies of Vettel and the two Red Bull drivers converged.

    Max Verstappen was closing on Vettel as the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo closed on the Dutchman.

    But both Red Bull drivers lost time when they came upon the lapped car of Pierre Gasly as it was suffering an imminent engine failure with smoke pouring out of it.

    That gave Vettel breathing space and locked the Red Bulls in their positions.

    It was a disappointing end to a bold attempt by Ricciardo and Red Bull to benefit from a different strategy by running very long to their first pit stops, but in the end it made little difference.

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    Will Smith was guest of honour of Lewis Hamilton as part of his 50th birthday bucket list - and filmed it all for social media
    A low-key end for Alonso
    Fernando Alonso's illustrious career ended with an 11th place, just out of the points. The McLaren, which started 15th, was just not quick enough for him to do any more.

    There was time for one more bit of radio magic, though, when his engineer in the closing laps said: "Go and get a point."

    Alonso, 37, replied: "I've already got 1,800."

    Actually, he has 1,899 so it would have made a round 1,900, but he could not catch Kevin Magnussen's Haas - not helped by a five-second time penalty for cutting a chicane when he missed his braking point pushing while chasing the Dane.

    Driver of the day
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    Max Verstappen did a great job in keeping his hyper-soft tyres alive for a longer first stint than either Mercedes on the ultra-softs, pressured Bottas and took a third place that lifted him to fourth in the championship.
    What happens next?
    Lots of hard work designing and building new cars, pre-season testing and then a new season starts in Melbourne, Australia in March next year. It'll be there before you know it.

    Swami
     

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