Mercedes team mates, Valtteri Bottas and 2017 champion Lewis Hamilton made it a 1-2 affair in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It was Bottas third victory of the season and a memorable one, having succeeded in fencing off the challenge of Hamilton, who came home four seconds behind Bottas. The Abu Dhabi champion joined Mercedes to partner the Hamilton in January following the unexpected exit of 2016 champion German Nico Rosberg
The 28-year-old Finn, who started from pole position, led from the lights to the flag apart from a spell following his first pit stop when the four-time champion Briton was in control.
It was Bottas’ third career victory, all of them recorded since .
“This is a really important win for me after having a pretty difficult start to the second half of the year,” said Bottas.
“We Finns don’t show much emotion but it doesn’t mean we don’t have any. I am so happy. There has been so much support. I can’t show it too much but I feel good.”
Four-time former champion Sebastian Vettel finished a lonely third for Ferrari, as the two Mercedes men delivered celebratory ‘doughnuts’ for the crowd.
It was Vettel’s 99th career podium and his 13th of the season.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Nico Hulkenberg for Renault, whose sixth-place finish assured Renault of sixth in the constructors’ championship ahead of Toro Rosso.
Sergio Perez came home seventh ahead of his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso of McLaren Honda and Felipe Massa, in his last F1 race before retirement, for Williams.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who was fourth on the grid, failed to finish his Red Bull for the third time in four outings.
Hamilton, who had won points in all races this season, was vocal in his dislike of the narrow track.
“It’s impossible to pass here man!” he said. “I was like -– where are all the back-markers… They’ve got to change this track.”
He added: “Big congratulations to Valtteri, he did an amazing job to hold me off.