11/25/2018 10:27:26 PM

Champion Hamilton wins Alonso's final GP

Champion Hamilton wins Alonso

Abu Dhabi, UAE: New five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton kept his cool in a incident-filled final Grand Prix of the season on Sunday to claim his 11th win of the campaign in Abu Dhabi.

The 33-year-old Briton, who started from his 83rd pole position, came home 2.5 seconds ahead of his main title rival, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, on the day Fernando Alonso bade farewell to F1.

Retirement-bound Alonso finished just outside the points positions for McLaren as the two-time champion taking 11th in his 311th and final GP.

Hamilton's win came after a race that began with an horrific opening lap crash from which Nico Hulkenberg escaped unhurt despite his Renault car catching ablaze and barrel-rolling into the track-side barriers.

Hamilton's victory completed a season of total dominance for the Englishman. "I am so happy right now," he said, before praising Vettel. "I know next year he's going to come back stronger."

Vettel responded generously.

"He deserves to be champion," Vettel said. "It's been a tough year and I tried until the last lap."

Dutchman Max Verstappen finished nearly 13 seconds back in third, ahead of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo -- who is moving to Renault after 100th race for Red Bull -- and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.

Carlos Sainz came home sixth for Renault ahead of Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Sergio Perez of Force India, Romain Grosjean, who had tangled with Hulkenberg on the opening lap, and his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

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