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Bottas fends off champion-elect Hamilton in final F1 race of 2017

Written by: Neil

It was a Mercedes one-two at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend as Valtteri Bottas held off teammate Lewis Hamilton for his third career victory in the final race of the 2017 F1 season.

With the championship already in the bag from two races earlier in Mexico, Hamilton was racing for fun, but never looked complacent, notably picking up the pace in the latter half of the race.

However, Lewis couldn’t get close enough to his Mercedes partner to stage a challenge for the top podium spot in what was ultimately a dull finale that lacked action and excitement.

Sebastian Vettel was undoubtedly outclassed by the Mercedes pair; placing third, after winning in Brazil two weeks ago, summed up his season.

Focused

Speaking after the race, Bottas acknowledged the threat posed by his teammate throughout the race.

“I knew that one proper mistake could have ruined it,” he said. “I had to keep my head down and go lap by lap.

The win put Bottas third in the standings with 305 points, which was plenty of reason to celebrate.

“I couldn’t be happier to end the season like this,” he went on to say. “It would have been nice to get the second place in the championship, but Sebastian had a good weekend as well."

Bottas expressed his gratitude to his team too, adding: “Mercedes has given me the opportunity to win a few races and claim a few pole positions, so I’m a really proud team member.”

‘Very clean’

Hamilton hailed Valtteri’s performance and praised him for a “very clean” mistake-free race.

He tried to explain why the Abu Dhabi circuit proved so tough by saying: “To overtake, you need to be 1.4 seconds faster than the car in front. I had a lot of pace in the second stint, but as soon as I got into that window of about 1.2 seconds, I was done.”

Lewis seemed pleased for his teammate though, adding: “It’s really great for Valtteri to have this win – this is a real boost for him to go into the winter with.”

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “With the 2017 F1 season done and dusted, Lewis, Valtteri and Sebastian can now enjoy some hard-earned downtime with their families. We’re already excited about what awaits next season.”

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