Bottas beats Hamilton as Mercedes dominate in Abu Dhabi

Published on 26 Nov 2017 15:37

Valtteri Bottas converted his pole position to victory in Abu Dhabi, as he held off teammate Lewis Hamilton for the entirety of the race. The pair were separated by no more than 2 seconds throughout the first 52 laps, but the Finn managed to keep the four-time world champion behind to take his third victory of the season.

The Silver Arrows obliterated the competition around the Yas Marina Circuit, as Sebastian Vettel finished 22 seconds behind in third place to take his 13th podium of the year. Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line in fourth position, a further 15 seconds behind Vettel. 

Max Verstappen was unable to pass Raikkonen and had to settle for fifth place. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the race after suffering from a hydraulic issue midway through the Grand Prix. The DNF was the Australian's sixth of the year.

Nico Hulkenberg drove to a crucial sixth place finish, meaning that Renault overtake Toro Rosso for sixth place in the championship, a position that's reportedly worth an extra $9million for the French manufacturer.

The Force India pair came home in seventh and eighth, with Sergio Perez heading Esteban Ocon. The pair couldn't keep up with Hulkenberg ahead of them, but managed to bring home another 10 points for the Silverstone-based team.

McLaren and Honda's last race together ended with a top ten finish for Fernando Alonso. The experienced Spaniard took the chequered flag in ninth place, ahead of Felipe Massa who closed out his Formula 1 career by taking the chequered flag in tenth position. 

Bottas jumped off the line well and managed to stay ahead of Hamilton who came under a little bit of pressure from Vettel behind. There was a spin for Kevin Magnussen at Turn 3, who seemed to be heavily disturbed by Lance Stroll's turbulent air.

After the first lap, the top 12 remained in the same place they had started and Bottas had pulled out a 1.2-second gap to Hamilton. On lap 4, it was confirmed that Hulkenberg had a 5 second time penalty for cutting the corner and gaining an advantage, making Renault's day much tenser.

However, by the time the German made his pitstop, he had pulled out a five-second lead to Perez behind and emerged ahead after serving the lengthy stop. 

There was an intense battle between Romain Grosjean and Lance Stroll in the early stages as the two went wheel to wheel on a number of occasions. Grosjean was attacking and was struggling to get past until he made the move stick on lap 11.

Verstappen was the first of the front-runners to pit on lap 15, with Ferrari responding one lap later with Raikkonen. The Finn stayed ahead of Verstappen after the duo made their stops. 

On lap 20, Ricciardo pitted after believing he had a puncture. However, on the next lap, he pulled over to the side of the track on the approach to Turn 4, with what was immediately reported as a hydraulic issue.

Bottas made his one and only pitstop on lap 22, but Hamilton decided to stay out longer. It wasn't until lap 25 when he pulled into the pitlane, but couldn't perfect the overcut to get ahead of Bottas. For the next number of laps, Hamilton closed down the gap but failed to get by.

Carlos Sainz joined Ricciardo on the sidelines after he made his pitstop. His pit crew didn't attach the front left tyre properly and he was forced to park the car and end his season in retirement. In the final number of laps, Stroll had an issue and dropped to last place.


Fergal Walsh

26 November 2017 - Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Race
  Driver Team Difference #
1. FI Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1h34:14 55
2. GB Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 3.899 55
3. DE Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 19.330 55
4. FI Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 45.386 55
5. NL Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 46.269 55
6. DE Nico Hülkenberg Renault + 85.713 55
7. MX Sergio Perez Force India + 92.062 55
8. FR Esteban Ocon Force India + 98.911 55
9. ES Fernando Alonso McLaren 54
10. BR Felipe Massa Williams 54
11. FR Romain Grosjean Haas F1 54
12. BE Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 54
13. DK Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 54
14. DE Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 54
15. NZ Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 54
16. FR Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 54
17. SE Marcus Ericsson Sauber 54
18. CA Lance Stroll Williams 54
Did not finish
19. ES Carlos Sainz jr Renault 31
20. AU Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 20
See all results of this event

Replies (4)
SE calle.itw 26 Nov 2017 15:460
Posts: 5666
Must admit I wasnt watching this race very closely. Somehow it didnt catch me. Good on Bottas though.
GB f1fan0101 26 Nov 2017 16:000
Posts: 1316
Wasn't a great race but hey.. it happens
Posts: 533
Fairly boring race, with the Grosjean/Stroll battle being the highlight by default.

Stroll just sucks. Barring his rather lucky podium in Baku, he's had a dreadful season, and it's sad that Williams is so strapped for cash that his seat is safe next year.

Gasly and Hartley are not impressive in any way. It's wild that the Red Bull talent programme can't produce someone more competent.

Interesting that Bottas seems to have rebounded a little bit. But it seems to mostly be because Hamilton has probably backed off mentally after securing the title.
I doubt he'll be a match for Hamilton next year though.
Posts: 116
I know its the end of the season, but I could not believe how unexcited and gloomy, almost sad, Bottas looked on the podium..... I'm not a huge fan of Hamilton's, so would be great to be able to feel good about and get behind the win of at least one Mercedes driver! Instead left feeling a bit flat and ho hum....... Perhaps Bottas might be happier back at Williams, Ricciardo would definitely liven up the podium!!

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