McLaren reveal one-off livery for Alonso's last race

25 November, 2018, 19:12 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Getty Images

"It was very close and I was in P10 but the team made the call to abort the lap and we just made it through".

It was a less comfortable day for team-mate Bottas, who won this race previous year.

Hamilton's victory also left him 18 wins away from Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91 and he celebrated on the podium by stripping down to his waist and showing off his tattooed torso as the fizz was sprayed.

"We're incredibly pleased and proud to be able to race a special one-off livery for Fernando in Abu Dhabi this weekend", said McLaren CEO Zak Brown. In other words, this is Alonso's final race in Formula One.

"We certainly wouldn't hesitate, if we needed a driver that's not one of our current two, to have Fernando be the first on the speed-dial list", he said.

"Fernando is a true legend".

"It has been a real honour and privilege racing against Sebastian", Hamilton, 33, said after performing a series of doughnuts on the main straight. He has been given an internal promotion to Red Bull's senior team to replace Australian star Daniel Ricciardo who is heading to Renault.

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"Regardless of what happens this weekend, it's a good opportunity to reflect on our second half of the season". I'm also pleased that my relationship with McLaren will continue with the Indy 500, and there will be more new challenges together.

ESPN rounds up the main talking points from the final qualifying session of 2018, where Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th pole of the year ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas is only three points ahead of fifth-place Verstappen, who has won two races this season.

Having seen off Sebastian Vettel in the past two years, Hamilton is not daunted by the prospect of Verstappen joining the party next season.

Actually, he has 1,899 so it would made a round 1,900, but he could not catch Kevin Magnussen's Haas - not helped by a five-second time penalty for cutting a chicane when he missed his braking point pushing while chasing the Dane.

Hulkenberg's Renault flipped on lap one and was sent tumbling into the barriers and eventually settled upside down after colliding with French driver Romain Grosjean.

"I would be happier with fourth than fifth but we got through Q2 [the second lap of qualifying] on the ultrasoft [tyres] which was our target".

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