Lewis Hamilton spoke for all Formula One, saying: ‘They’ve got to change this track.’
The four-time world champion had huffed and puffed down Valtteri Bottas’s neck for lap after lap, but there was no way he could pass and sign off his season mirabilis with a 10th victory.
This Yas Island Circuit was worked with £800million of petrodollars, however in nine years of activity it has arranged less overwhelms than a pedestrianized road.
‘This is one of the most noticeably awful tracks,’ included Hamilton, who completed second behind his Mercedes colleague Bottas. ‘You essentially need to have a 1.4sec speed favorable position to pass. I was never going to surpass Valtteri unless he committed a major error.
‘Abu Dhabi is an incredible place for an excellent prix, and hopefully they will figure out how to enhance the track. There is unquestionably cash to do it.’
Williams’ Felipe Massa completed his 269th and valedictory race with a point, the pitiful crown jewels for tenth place. A decent man leaves, and a bold one, given how he returned from the terrible head damage he endured toward the finish of a flying jolt eight years prior.
Triumph for Bottas — his third of the season and first since July — was insufficient to beat Sebastian Vettel, a removed third here, to sprinters up spot in the table. Yet, the win was particularly vital for Bottas after a season in which he conceded he battled for self-conviction.
ABU DHABI GP RESULTS AND FINAL STANDINGS
1 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1hr 34mins 14.063secs
2 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1:34:17.962
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:34:33.393
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:34:59.449
5 Max Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:35:00.332
6 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:35:39.776
7 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:35:46.125
8 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:35:52.974
9 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren at 1 Lap
10 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams at 1 Lap
11 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas at 1 Lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren at 1 Lap
13 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas at 1 Lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber at 1 Lap
15 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Toro Rosso at 1 Lap
16 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Toro Rosso at 1 Lap
17 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber at 1 Lap
18 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams at 1 Lap
19 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 31 Laps completed, 20 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 20 Laps completed
Fastest Lap: Valtteri Bottas 1min 40.650secs on Lap 52
1 Mercedes 668pts, 2 Ferrari 522, 3 Red Bull 368, 4 Force India 187, 5 Williams 83, 6 Renault 57, 7 Toro Rosso 53, 8 Haas 47, 9 McLaren 30, 10 Sauber 5
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 363pts
2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 317
3 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 305
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 205
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 200
6. Max Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 168
7 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 100
8 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 87
9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 54
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 43
11 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams 43
12 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 40
13 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 28
14 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 19
15 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 17
16 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 13
17 Jolyon Palmer (Gbr) Renault 8
18 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber 5
19 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Toro Rosso 5
20 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 0
21 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Toro Rosso 0
22 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Haas 0
23 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Toro Rosso 0
24 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 0
25 Paul di Resta (Gbr) Williams 0.
Bottas, who is as quiet as the solidified lake at home into which he hops after a hot sauna, admitted to internal bliss: ‘Finns don’t indicate feeling, however that doesn’t mean we don’t have any.’
The victor celebrated with his significant other, previous Olympic swimmer Emilia, and group the previous evening, yet simply in the wake of trading agreeable words with Hamilton, who was as casual as he had been monosyllabic in the wake of losing his battle to Nico Rosberg here a year back.