Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix
Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix Image Credit: AFP

Lewis Hamilton spins his donuts on the Abu Dhabi track
Lewis Hamilton spins his donuts on the Abu Dhabi track Image Credit: Reuters

But truly the star of the show is Lewis Hamilton after a season like no other. We have had COVID-19, cancelled races and racism - but one man battled it all and came out on top. He beat his competitors, squared-up to hatred and and even fought off coronavirus to emerge as a seven-time world champion to go down in history as one of the greatest.

Well done Max! The Dutchman lifts the trophy and the boys do their party on the steps as the teams and dedicated pit crews applaud below. I don't think I know this one... the Dutch national anthem.

And Mr Dominant today - Max Verstappen of Red Bull - will take top step and the national anthem to claim his maiden Abu Dhabi title and he will enjoy the moment  - and announce himself as the real threat in Hamilton's pursuit of next year's crown - one that would make him the most decorated of all time.  

Donut time from Lewis Hamilton - he didn't light it up in Abu Dhabi to his usual standard but third still ain't bad. He said he was feeling weak after is recent spat with COVID-19 but he still got the old podium spot as usual. A sensational season to go with a sensational career so far for the Mercedes man to celebrate a seventh world title.

Wow! Renault's Daniel Ricciardo nabs the fastest lap from Verstappen on the final spin around the track. Party in the McLaren pit as they secure third in the team championship.  


Valtteri Bottas takes second for a little bit of redemption to finish ahead of seven-time champion and teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Three laps to go and Max is looking good for the win and the fastest lap for a healthy 26 points. Not enough to overhaul Bottas in second place in the Drivers' Championship. In the Constructors', it is looking good again for McLaren, with Lando in fifth and Sainz in sixth, both ahead of Renault's Ricciardo - regardless of any after-race penalty for Carlos. 

Anxious faces in the pit-lane from Red Bull and Mercedes alike as they urge their boys to make the tyres last. Six to go ...

No one seems to know if the tyres of Verstappen, Hamilton or Bottas will last the final 10 laps. If only one of these guys get to the line on these tyres, they will win. Verstappen will be nursing the rubber like a baby right now, given his nine-second advantage. Hamilton is complaining of a flat spot and Bottas is waiting for an error from the leader... 

It was good while it lasted for Vettel, but his shoddy Ferrari, tired tyres (is that a thing?) and creaking bones seem to have caught up with him as he drops behind Leclerc and into 14th.

20 laps to go and it is all looking good for Verstappen up front. He is eight seconds ahead of Bottas, and Hamilton is neutralised by the dirty air in third and cannot get past his equally fast teamate Bottas. 

Carlos Sainz will be investigated for a pit-lane violation after the race. That may have ramifications on the Constructors' race as McLaren - on a brilliant season - could lose out on third spot. They are 10 points behind Racing Point as it stands, but were looking good with Perez out and both boys in orange ahead of Lance Stroll.  

Leclerc finally pits and drops to the bottom. Not a great decision to keep him out on knackered tyres, Ferrari... Bottas starting to struggle as Hamilton looms in the wing mirrors. All of this is playing into Verstappen's hands as he stretches his lead at the front. 

Hello! Carlos Sainz, who will be replacing Vettel at Ferrari next season, makes a cheeky move on Leclerc. Not the best day so far for the Monaco boy...

That safety car means we are out a while longer before those tyres start to blister and degrade. Verstappen is up to 4secs ahead of Bottas, but Hammy is right behind his teammate in third. 

Verstappen holding a consistent three-second lead over Bottas, with Hamilton two more back. A gap opening to Albon in fourth, Ricciardo is fifth and the brilliantly named Lando Norris is sixth ahead of Sainz and the Ferrari pair. 

Go Seb! Vettel up to seventh on his last Ferrari ride

Under way again as Perez's car is off the track. As you were at the top as Verstappen leads from Bottas and Hamilton. 

The cars are keeping those new tyres warm by zig-zagging under a real safety car now as we get into proper twilight time. They launched the Merc to take place of the virtual car as Perez's car is still marooned at the side of the track in a dangerous spot. 

Woah! Last week's winner in Sakhir - Sergio Perez - pulls over with an engine fail. Tragic for the Mexican and he has his head in his hands. Mayhem in the pit-lane as everyone pits under the virtual safety car. 

Vettel is fighting tooth-and-nail in his final Ferrari run down in 12th spot. Teammate Leclerc is all over him but the German is holding him off so far. 

Also, the pit-lanes will be chocka come first pit-stop time, when they come in for one of the key strategies of this race - tyre management and degradation.  

With all 20 away safely there are battles for position all over the track as they string out. Fascinating tussle between Ferrari teamates Vettel and the young Leclerc. 

Max is opening up a +2s gap over Bottas as the Dutchman leads for the first time ever at Yas Marina Circuit. 

We are away for the final race of the year. Top three get away in order, and remarkably all 20 get through the first turns and the hairpin safely. Verstappen from Bottas from Hamilton at the top. And breathe! 

The boys set off on their procession lap as the sun dips down to the horizon and the lights come on at Yas Marina Circuit.

We are minutes away from lights out. Max Verstappen on pole remember, with Bottas second and Hamilton third. Many have been talking about how the start will be key to this one. Let's see.. 

You can hear the echoes of the assembled teams on the starting grid, due to the coronavirus-enforced empty stands. There may be no fans but the UAE national anthem and traditional flyover by the Etihad Airways flagship monster of the sky and escorting Al Forsan jets painting the UAE colours across the sky still gives me goosebumps.

Lewis Hamilton makes his way to the starting grid
Lewis Hamilton makes his way to the starting grid Image Credit: AFP

The teams are up to their pre-race preparations, and Ferrari's outgoing four-time champ Sebastian Vettel has been given a guard of honour by his pit crew are he drives out onto the grid for the last time in the famous red car. 

Drivers assemble ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Drivers assemble ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Image Credit: AFP

As the shadows get longer and we approach lights out (5.10pm, UAE time) for the twilight race in Abu Dhabi, get your teeth into all things F1 here in our interactive special report.

Hamilton qualified third behind Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on Saturday evening and afterwards admitted he was still feeling the after effects of the COVID-19 illness. However, defiant as ever, he vowed to give it his all to finish the season on a high in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during FP3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during FP3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Image Credit: AFP

Lewis Hamilton has already tied up his record-breaking seventh Drivers’ Championship title, but there is still plenty to chew over on this sunny Sunday in Abu Dhabi.
Firstly there is the man himself. It was touch-and-go as to whether he would be driving at all after testing positive for coronavirus in Bahrain two weeks ago and had to skip the Sakhir Grand Prix last week — the first time in his career he missed an F1 race.

The wait is over... Welcome to our live coverage of the season-ending Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in the UAE capital.