New five-time champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th win of the season on Sunday when he drove his Mercedes to a well-judged triumph in an incident-filled season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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 German Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
The win came after a race that began with an horrific opening lap crash from which Nico Hulkenberg escaped unhurt, his blazing Renault car having barrel-rolled into the barriers.
Dutchman Max Verstappen finished third ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, in his 100th race for Red Bull and 150th overall before moving to Renault, 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.
Retirement-bound two-time champion Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren in his 311th and farewell appearance. 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. Whatever people say, we always do our best.”
Vettel responded generously. “He deserves to be champion,” Vettel said. “It’s been a tough year and I tried until the last lap.”