Lewis Hamilton leads the way. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Verstappen: "Lewis was too quick. To be P3 in the championship was a nice ending. We are all working hard, but good to take some time off and be with family and friends and come back stronger next year."

Hamilton: "Honestly I'm proud, definitely, but super grateful for this incredible team and all the people at Mercedes who have continued to push this year - and who would've thought at the end of the year we had the strength and we've learned and tried to extract more out of this beautiful car. I'm so grateful to Team LH. I travel around the world to different countries and I get to see people who inspire me and send me messages that lift me up. Thank you for watching, thank you for supporting. I feel so happy today, man. These guys... there's a lot youngsters coming through... it's great to be in a period of time wheres there's lots of youngsters coming through and I'm privileged to be here while they come through."

Time for the anthems as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton take centre stage. Nearly drops the trophy as he does his traditional tossing of the silverware. Could have been embarassing and expensive, but he just about holds on to it and it is safely back on the podium. 

Win No. 11 of the season for the six-time champ Hamilton. He just doesn't look like slowing down any time soon. 

The top 10











Can't beat a bit of last-lap drama!!!


Briton claims his 84th F1 win, as Verstappen takes second and Leclerc third. What a drive from Bottas to finish fourth, having started dead last in 20th spot. 

Heart-in-mouth time as Vettel overtakes Albon for fifth. But not without a scare as he had to jump on the brakes to avoid a collision. 

Gap between Leclerc in third and Bottas in fourth is down to 3.6 seconds... Three laps to go. 

Meanwhile, Hamilton is concentration personified.

Plenty of action all over the track. Kvyat overtakes the Hulk as Lance Stroll retires.

As it stands


Verstappen +14.3s

Leclerc +42.9

Bottas +47.5

Albon +50.6

Vettel +67.4

Kvyat +82.1

Norris +93.3

Hulkenberg 95.6

Sainz +97.3

With Hamiton bossing things up front, eyes are being drawn to Bottas, six seconds back from third-placed Leclerc. 10 laps to go...

Bottas barges his way past Alexander Albon into fourth place as Leclerc remains third behind Verstappen. Another anonymous day for Vettel down in sixth... Oh, and Hamilton leads by 14 seconds.

If it remains like this, the final drivers' championship standings will be Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, with Leclerc being denied a spot on the podium by the Red Bull Dutchman.

And right on cue, Verstappen roars past Leclerc to retake second place.

Bottas finally comes in and drops down to sixth. Will be interesting to see how those Ferrari tyres hold up. 

Lewis in and safely out in first place on new rubber. Leclerc leads Verstappen but the Dutchman will fancy his chances of hunting down the Ferrari man. 

Max Verstappen boxes for fresh tyres. Leclerc up to second, having pitted already, but it looks like he is on the two-stop strategy while Verstappen could make his tyres last until the end. 

Hamiton enjoying a comfortable 13 second lead over Verstappen, with both drivers still to pit. Hamilton wants to get a fair distance over Leclerc in third before he boxes. And with Bottas flying, the Mercedes main man is keeping it careful nothing goes wrong to claim the win. 22 laps gone. 

Make that fourth as Bottas moves past Hulkenberg.

As you were with Hamilton as he looks to get distance out of his tyres. Bottas overtakes Vettel to move up to fifth. Mental driving from the Finn. 

So Ferrari blink first as both Leclerc and Vettel pit. 

Lots of chat from Leclerc to his team in the Ferrari pit lane. He is eager to hunt down Hamilton but needs to conserve his tyres if he is to keep Verstappen at bay. First pit stops coming up soon. 

Lewis Hamiton is stretching his legs out in front as he continues to extend his lead.  Nearly 4 seconds now. . Leclerc looking solid ahead of Verstappen. Hamilton's teammate Bottas has launched up to 11th place from 20th already. 

A coming together from Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly goes down as a racing incident, but Gasly comes off worst and has to pit. 

And we are off. Poor start for Verstappen as Ferrari's Leclerc leapfrogs him into second. No probs for Hamilton out in front as he gets away safely. Mercedes' Bottas, starting from the back is up to 14th already. 

Always a spectacle at twilight in Abu Dhabi. The title may be won already, but the race has so much riding on it for so many of the drivers. 

The drivers are out on the grid and ready for the procession lap as the sun goes down. 

Sebastian Vettel's father Norbert in conversation with Timo Glock in the Ferrari paddock. Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News
Piero Lardi of Ferrari visits the team paddock. Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News
The entertainiers in full swing at Yas Marina Circuit. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
There are many flamboyant fans in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The shadows are getting longer, which means we are not far away from the lights going out on the big race in Abu Dhabi.

It is tantalisingly close between the front four drivers. Lewis Hamilton (pole) looks like a man on a mission. Charles Leclerc (third) has declared he has Max Verstappen (second) in his sights, but the Ferrari man will still need to keep an eye on his teammate Sebastian Vettel, who starts fourth.

A 1990 Ferrari and a Benetton were among the classics on display at Yas Marina. Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Qualifying is settled and the guys are ready for the Formula One 2019 season finale in the UAE.

The Etihad Airways F1 Abu Dhabi Grandi Prix takes place this afternoon with world champion Lewis Hamilton geared up to show why he is a six-time title winner, beginning the twilight race from pole position ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the front row.

A fascinating second row sees Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc — who is aiming to finish ahead of Verstappen to take third place in the final standings — lining up in their Ferraris. Many eyes will be on the Italian marque’s duo after a collision last time out ended both of their races and a botched qualifying by Vettel hindered Leclerc’s ambition of taking pole position in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas will attempt to fight his way through the pack as he starts from the back of the field due to grid penalties for engine upgrades.

With a Silver Arrow at the top and the bottom of the 20-man field, plus ‘Mad Max’ Verstappen and the two Ferraris going for season-ending glory, a thrilling evening of racing is guaranteed.

Buckle up for the ride as we update you throughout the event.