- The sun sets on the 2017 season (Pic: Sutton)

2017 F1 season ends with a whimper in Abu Dhabi

2y ago


Whatever the rule makers do to try to ensure otherwise, not every Grand Prix can be a thriller.

And sadly, the season closer in Abu Dhabi was the motor racing equivalent of a dull 0-0 draw as the 2017 season was brought to a close.

After what has been a thrilling year of racing, the season finale turned into a procession as pole man Valtteri Bottas led home Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for a podium that was unchanged from the start of the race.

"It is really important win for me after having pretty difficult start to second half of the year," Bottas said afterwards.

"Working hard on all the issues and getting better and better with everything. This weekend, pole and win, couldn't be happier to end the season like this.

"Again, congratulations to Lewis for the title and congrats to Sebastian for second in the championship. I'm third this year and hopefully better next year.

Bottas crosses the line to win in Abu Dhabi (Pic: Sutton)

Bottas crosses the line to win in Abu Dhabi (Pic: Sutton)

"I was managing the pace and the race and that was a nice feeling. I had a lockup when approaching one of the lapped car but otherwise no issues. The last five laps I managed to go quicker and build the gap.

"The car was so good and to the team, thank you very much."

With overtaking very much at a premium at the Yas Marina Circuit, Hamilton said he "gave it everything" to get past Bottas but simply didn't have the speed.

"Big congratulations to Valtteri, he did an amazing job today to hold me off.

"It's very hard to overtake here so once I got to the last sector I struggled a little bit.

"I want to say a big thank you to the team, what they have produced for us this year is just incredible, it's just an honour to race with them."

With both the drivers' and constructors' championships wrapped up ahead of the race there was no repeat of last year's drama when Nico Rosberg sealed the title despite Hamilton's victory.

Sebastian Vettel's third place was enough for him to confirm his second place in the championship, but it will be scant consolation for the German who was looking odds on to take the crown earlier in the season.

"In the beginning I tried very hard. I had a good start but then nowhere to go and locked up. After three, four or five laps I couldn't go any faster and they pulled away. From there onwards, it was pretty lonely," he said on the podium.

"On the second stint I really got into the car, got into the rhythm and had stronger pace but we couldn't match those two guys.

"Congrats to Valtteri and very much congratulations to Lewis on his season. He deserves to win the championship this year. I hate to say it but he was the better man. We will do our bit over the weekend and hopefully come back stronger."

There was still a battle among the teams in the midfield and Nico Hulkenberg's drive to sixth place proved absolutely crucial for Renault who leap-frogged Toro Rosso to finish in sixth place in the constructors' championship - once place below their pre-season stated target of fifth.

Renault were not helped in their quest by the pit crew sending Carlos Sainz out without properly fitting his left front tyre. It started to come off in the pit lane and he was forced to retire on lap 31.

Elsewhere in a race lacking drama there was some for Daniel Ricciardo who went out on lap 20 with a hydraulic failure on his Red Bull.

And spare a thought for Felipe Massa, who managed a points finish by coming home 10th in his final Grand Prix appearance.

It was also time to say goodbye to the old F1 logo as new owners Liberty Media decided to reveal their replacement.

The jury is still out on that one.

And that is it for the 2017 season - the next race will be the 2018 season opener in Melbourne on March 25th. Set your alarm clocks now!


Final driver standings

Final constructor standings

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