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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton second in season finale, Valtteri Bottas takes win

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Hamilton second in season finale, Bottas takes win

26/11/2017 at 14:25Updated 26/11/2017 at 15:34

There were plenty of celebrities on show, but little excitement on track as the curtain fell on the 2017 season, with Valtteri Bottas claiming victory in Abu Dhabi.

WHERE THE RACE WAS WON

An anticlimactic end to the season. This was an odd race from the outset, really, with no championships at stake and a track that doesn't exactly encourage overtaking. The start was a quiet one, with Bottas and Lewis Hamilton firing off the grid and holding their places, and so it remained.

The Ferraris nestled in, Sebastian Vettel once more in third behind the Mercedes, and Kimi Raikkonen, lacking some pace, taking fourth.

Red Bull came in next, with Max Verstappen taking fifth; Daniel Ricciardo, who could have mixed things up a bit given half an opportunity, had to retire midway through the race due to a hydraulics issue.

And a wave farewell to Williams' Felipe Massa, finishing in the points as he took P10 in his final F1 race.

HAMILTON-WATCH

Three stars (out of five). A very low-key end to the season for the champion as his team-mate took the win. Still, the two Mercedes were so far ahead of the rest of the pack they had to keep themselves entertained, and did do a bit of racing. A slip on the brake meant Hamilton failed to take the lead from Bottas halfway through, having edged to the front briefly when the Finn took his pit stop first, and after that they settled into their positions.

PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE DAY

Lots of good work over the airwaves today, adding a spot of entertainment to a less-than-enthralling race.

"What did you do with the front wing?"

"Exactly as you asked!"

"...What did I ask?"

Thanks, Sergio Perez and the Force India team.

There was also some exceptional work from Fernando Alonso, bemoaning the limitations of his car in his own inimitable style: "I would love to go quicker, I would love to have more deployment, I would love to have many things. But this is what we have."

Still, he endeared himself a bit more to McLaren and their fans when he checked in on his team-mate: "Where is Stoffel? Is there anything we can do to help him get in the points?" (There wasn't.)

MOVE OF THE RACE

Bottas hasn't always been entirely reliable at lights-out, but he did very well under pressure from Hamilton today, holding position sensibly.

Race winner Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP

Race winner Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GPGetty Images

BEST OVERTAKE

Limited choice in an uneventful race. Romain Grosjean's move past Lance Stroll to take P13 was pretty impressive, a demonstration of wheel-to-wheel racing.

TACTICAL MASTERSTROKE

Bottas's nip in to the pits while the double-yellows were being waved for Ricciardo's departure was a smart call from Mercedes, giving him and the team a bit of breathing space.

UNSUNG HERO

Let's give a nod to Toro Rosso's newest boy, Brendon Hartley, starting last and with grid penalties yet again, but shifting five places up the pack and enjoying a spot of duelling with the Saubers.

FACEPALM OF THE DAY

Renault's pit stop for Carlos Sainz was less than successful - one tyre was not on properly, and it gave way even as he drove back on to the track.

Still, the team would have been happy overall - Nico Hulkenberg's sixth place secured sixth in the constructors' championship for them.

STAR-SPOTTING

An odd mix of people in Abu Dhabi for the end-of-term bash. Maria Sharapova was there for qualifying.

Liverpool legend Sami Hyppia popped in.

And the world of music was represented by, er, Mumford and Sons!

Last year's champion was there too, just to bid 2017 farewell.