It’s not unusual for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to come with a lot of pressure. Typically, it’s where championships are decided and drivers’ contracts for the following year hinge on finishing position.
This year, however, Lewis Hamilton claimed the championship 3 weeks prior in Mexico and silly season wrapped up before the final GP. This left nothing on the line and allowed fans and drivers to simply enjoy the last race of the 2019 season.
LAP 1: Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton took the lead at the lights. Second-place starter, Max Verstappen, lost position to Charles Leclerc, who stormed past on the outside.
LAP 2: After making contact with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez on the opening lap, Pierre Gasly pulled straight into the pits for a new front wing. Stroll sustained damage as well but was able to continue.
LAP 10: Valtteri Bottas, who started in 20th place due to an engine penalty, had already made his way into the points after passing Kevin Magnussen for 10th position.
LAP 18: The stewards announced that drivers were finally allowed to use DRS in the 2 designated straights. DRS is usually permitted as of the 3rd lap in a race, however due to a technical issue with scoring and timing, DRS was not enabled until the 18th lap.
LAP 27: Stretching his window as long as possible, Hamilton pitted from the lead. The pit stop came after Hamilton gapped second place by such a significant margin that he made his stop and still came out of the pits with 11 seconds over Charles Leclerc.
LAP 32: Max Verstappen, after many attempts, passed Leclerc in Turn 8 to reclaim 2nd place.
LAP 47: Lance Stroll retired from the race just 8 laps before the checkered flag due to damage following the lap 1 incident with Gasly.
LAP 55: Hamilton crossed the line 17 seconds ahead of Verstappen to close out his 6th-championship season with a victory. Leclerc held onto third despite major penalities handed down by the stewards. Ferrari was fined €50,000 after the stewards found the Italian squad had given an inaccurate fuel declaration before the race.
- Lewis Hamilton
- Max Verstappen
- Charles Leclerc
- Valtteri Bottas
- Sebastian Vettel
- Alex Albon
- Sergio Perez
- Lando Norris
- Daniil Kyvat
- Carlos Sainz
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Kimi Räikkönen
- Kevin Magnussen
- Romain Grosjean
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- George Russell
- Pierre Gasly
- Robert Kubica
- Lance Stroll (DNF)