Abu Dhabi GP: Winners and Losers



Valtteri Bottas claimed his third career victory after converting his pole position into a victory, something he failed to do last race. It wasn't enough for the Finn to claim 2nd place in the championship, and for most his performance will be "too little, too late" but it shows that he still has what it takes to win races, and can keep pace with Hamilton when needed. Whether Hamilton has lost "the need" or not remains to be seen...

Nico Hulkenberg managed to drag his shambles of a Renault around the track to clinch P6 and enough points to jump Toro Rosso for 6th place in the constructors' championship, securing themselves an additional $12 million or so in cold, hard cash. Despite an off-track excursion on the opening lap, and the resulting penalty (and botched pit-stop) the Hulk again showed his class and demonstrated why his pairing with Sainz spells maximum attack in the midfield in 2018.

Pascal Wehrlein might have completed his last race in F1 for quite some time, but he seemed keen to remind everyone just what he can do. It might have been ailing Toro Rosso's and out of position Haas' that he was overtaking, but in a season where they have made the back row of the grid their own, to be within a sniff of the mid-field is an outstanding effort.


Daniel Ricciardo retired for the third time in the last four races, ending his season on a similar low to how it began. Although he enjoyed a blessed run of podiums in the first half of the season, it's largely been downhill for Ricciardo since the summer break and it's almost no wonder he's looking at the comparable reliability of Mercedes and Ferrari and dreaming of switching overalls after next season.

Renault's wheel nuts had an identity crisis and forgot their primary purpose when Carlos Sainz pulled into his garage to take service. Of all the pit-lane exits, you don't want to crash in the tunnel at Abu Dhabi if you value your life, as there aren't too many escape hatches handy if someone follows you in there. 

F1's new logo received what could charitably be called mixed reviews. Liberty's people insist that the old logo "doesn't come through candidly for digital" (ummm, what?) and that people weren't registering that the negative space was actually the "1". This is literally the shape of things to come, folks.

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