Lewis Hamilton has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and secured his second world championship in doing so. He entered the weekend with a 17 point advantage over team-mate Nico Rosberg and eventually finished 77 points clear after Rosberg suffered a number of reliability issues during the race.
Rosberg – who has dominated on Saturdays this year – once again secured pole position ahead of Hamilton but it was the latter who got the better start. He flew off the line and was quite a distance ahead when they reached the first corner. Elsewhere Felipe Massa got the better of team-mate Valtteri Bottas to move into third while the Finn dropped down to 8th. Romain Grosjean took an early drive through penalty at the end of the first lap as a consequence of not being able to take all of the 20 grid penalty positions he was given for changing several elements of his power unit. The Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were forced to start from the pit-lane after their front wings were deemed to be illegal. On the first lap Kevin Magnussen found himself getting into a couple of tangles. He was forced off the track by Nico Hulkenberg – who was consequently given a five second stop/go penalty – and then was given a clout by Sauber’s Adrian Sutil. He reported front suspension damage over the radio but was able to continue in the race.
Fernando Alonso – who was out-qualified by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen – was the first to pit for new tyres, entering the pit-lane at the end of the sixth lap. Following him, Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Jean-Eric Vergne pitted at the end of the next lap. Elsewhere Daniil Kvyat retired on track due to a loss of power and there was bad news for Caterham who, having made the race after a crowd-funding project, when Kamui Kobayashi also retired. Pastor Maldonado was the third and final retirement from the race when his car caught fire. Rosberg very nearly joined them on the sidelines as he suffered problems with his ERS and then his brakes. He was asked to box the car in the closing stages but he told the team he wanted to continue and get it over the line. He eventually finished in 14th place.
Up at the front Massa starting charging down on race leader Hamilton but ran out of laps to do anything and eventually had to settle for second. He was joined on the podium by team-mate Bottas, with the team securing third in the constructors championship. Ricciardo drove a valiant race to finish fourth from the pit-lane and Button’s fifth place finish was enough to make sure McLaren stayed ahead of Force India in the constructors title. The Force India duo finished sixth and seventh while Vettel finished eighth ahead of Alonso ninth and Raikkonen tenth. Outside the points were Magnussen, Vergne, Grosjean, Rosberg, Gutierrez, and Sutil. Will Stevens finished in 17th place, just a lap down, on his Formula One debut.