MELBOURNE, Australia — With victory at the season-ending season-finale in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton extended his own record as Formula One world champion.
Hamilton, the 31-year-old Mercedes driver, finished 6.4 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. But it was Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who clinched the constructors’ championship for the third consecutive year — Mercedes has a 93-point lead over Ferrari with only the final race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to go.
“I think we’ve had such a fantastic season in general,” Hamilton said. “We know that at the start of the year a lot of things were questioned and I think we were doubted but I think people were slowly warming to what Mercedes could bring to the table.
“It’s just such a dream coming true right now. I love this sport, I love racing and I’m so happy I was able to fulfill this.”
The win in Abu Dhabi also means Hamilton and Vettel tied for the most titles by a driver in a single season with seven, the most recent being Vettel’s in 2013.
Hamilton is second in the list of world champions by constructor, behind Ferrari’s seven. The British driver also joined fellow countryman Nigel Mansell in fifth place for the most F1 wins by a driver in a single season.
“The reason I didn’t expect him to have such a dominant season and dominate so many races was that the cars at the start of the year were very different and I thought that he would be challenged and I would come back to the fight,” Vettel said. “To come second would have been a dream. Obviously second is a very, very nice place to finish after so much hard work and so many tough moments.”
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