OVERTAKE OF THE RACE
HE: Alonso (vs Massa) - it looked like Alonso would be following Massa for the entire race once again. However, an early pitstop allowed Alonso to get close enough to make a Late Braking move into Turn 8. It was fitting that the two drivers had one final battle before Felipe retired.
BH: Grosjean (vs Stroll) – This battle for 13th place was possibly the most exciting thing that happened all race, which says a lot to be honest, but Grosjean’s tenacity was a great matchup for Stroll’s straight line speed. He did give the place back on the next straight, but Romain’s pass on Stroll into turn 8 was slick.
SS: The rest of the field (vs Magnussen) – I love a Roley Poley. Magnussen single handedly removed himself from any form of competition by spinning right round baby right round like a Danish Pastry.
OVERACHIEVER OF THE DAY
HE: Pascal Wehrlein - Got to agree with Ben here. Not a massive fan of Pascal but he put in a stellar driver with what is the worst car on the grid. With a little more grunt in his engine he may have been able to overtake Magnussen.
BH: Pascal Wehrlein – If this does end up being his final race in F1, he’s gone out with a really solid performance. He was comfortably ahead of teammate Marcus Ericsson all weekend and managed to beat both Toro Rossos in the race. He very nearly beat Kevin Magnussen as well, but that old engine just didn’t quite have enough.
SS: Nico Hulkenberg – The Hulk turned the day Yellow and delivered exactly what Renault needed to secure that all important 6th place in the constructors table, giving them the proof and the money that they have indeed improved throughout their return to the sport.
UNDERACHIEVER OF THE DAY
HE: Lance Stroll - don't want to be seen to be picking on the kid, but he was pretty poor compared to his retiring teammate. Massa severely out paced him during qualifying and the race. Williams must be hoping that his second season is more consistent than this year...
BH: Kimi Raikkonen – Nearly gave it to Stroll, but I feel like I’ve given him this award so many times. Kimi’s race was akin to his whole season to be honest, he made no mistakes but was underwhelming and a long way off the pace of his teammate. There were occasional glimpses of brilliance this season, but they were far too rare.
SS: Kimi Raikkonen – Once again the Ice Man was dull and just not there, constantly tracked down by Max and was behind Ricciardo’s Red Bull before his unfortunate retirement. I really feel 2018 should be his final season in a top seat.
DRIVER OF THE DAY
HE: Valtteri Bottas - At last, Bottas found some form! He can be pretty happy that he beat Hamilton fair and square this weekend - although questions must be asked of Hamilton's motivation post title win. However, this should not take away from a great win from Valtteri.
BH: Fernando Alonso – Mercifully, the season is finally over for Alonso as he achieved his third points scoring finish in a row. Unsurprisingly, this is the only time this happened all season. Unlike last time out, Alonso was able to make the decisive pass on Massa and held 9th place until the end.
SS: Valtteri Bottas - Hard to give this to anyone really as everyone was pretty standstill. I’m going for Bottas on this one which is surprising but he managed to hold off Lewis Hamilton for the whole race under extreme pressure and guided himself through the back markers, to a well-earned final victory of the season.
THOUGHTS ON THE RACE
HE: I think scientists are now realising that watching the Abu Dhabi GP is more efficient in getting people to sleep than most prescription drugs. It was a complete snoozefest. I am not a fan of the track and it makes for a terrible finale. It left a sour taste in the mouth for what has been a pretty good year in all honesty. For now Formula 1 fans must go into hibernation until around February when the new cars are launched. So long 2017, it has been a blast!
BH: The word snoozefest comes to mind, which is weird considering snoozefest isn’t even a word (Thank you red squiggly lines for confirming this). There were a couple of decent overtakes going into turn 8 and turn 10, but that simply isn’t good enough. They need to sort out this problem of cars losing a ridiculous amount of downforce when following another car. If they don’t, these kinds of processional races are always possible.
SS: It was a dull affair to end the season on. We say goodbye to Massa (again) and wait to see who will take the Williams seat for next season. The long cold winter consumes us and Formula 1 fans around the world hibernate, waiting patiently to hear the scream of the engine roar once more.