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Images from the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
NEWS

LH44 Wraps F1 2018 In Style

Nov 262018

Lewis Hamilton finished the 2018 FIA Formula One Championship on a high last weekend, scoring a record-equalling 11th victory in a season, at the final Grand Prix of the year in Abu Dhabi. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team driver started celebrations as soon as took the checkered flag, by lighting up the tires on his title winning Silver Arrow, and sending huge clouds of tyre smoke into the air under the spotlights surrounding the Marina Bay Circuit.

It was a fitting end to the Grand Prix, where the now five time World Champion had controlled the pace from lights to flag; barely putting a wheel wrong over 55 laps. Lewis stood on the top step of the podium to celebrate his 73rd career win, and took off the top half of his race-suit to reveal his trademark 'Still I Rise' tattoo that stretches across his shoulders; a title of a Maya Angelou poem.

Lewis said: "I've always wanted to do it. I wanted to show 'Still I Rise' and I think it was the perfect moment because that's really how it's been this year. I really would encourage anyone who doesn't know what 'Still I Rise' is, it's a poem, please go and read it.

 

"It applies to anybody who's stumbling and falling. I'm trying to be as big a spokesman I can be about it. So that's really why I did it. This has been a great year and I'm so thankful for so many things - for my health, for my team, for all the hard work everyone's done non-stop at the factory and on the road. I also want to say thank you to all the fans who've saved up and travelled and came to the races and those supporting us from home and who've been sending their positive energies and their prayers - a big, big thank you to everyone.”

 

Lewis won his fifth world title at the Mexico Grand Prix and with two race to spare after overhauling Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the championship. He has been in scintillating form since the summer break and has promised to take his all-conquering approach into next season.

 

Lewis continued: "I wanted to end the season strong, and on a personal level I was able to do that. And the team have done an exceptional job. I wanted to end the way that I plan to start next year. It was a strong weekend that I was really happy with. I've been able to be a better me all year long, and I'm never going to stop trying to do that. I've loved every minute of driving.”

Valtteri Bottas added: “It would have been nice to have a better ending to the season, but this race probably sums up the year pretty well - it started off well but then it went downhill from there. Everything felt pretty good in the beginning of the race, but then I had a lockup into Turn 5 and Turn 8 and lost some ground. I was struggling with the brakes and I also had a slow puncture after I my contact with Max, so I had to pit a second time.

 

“Max and I touched, it was proper battle and hard racing, but it was all fair. The last laps after the pit stop felt pretty long because I knew I couldn't gain any positions. This season didn't go the way I had hoped, so I'm actually quite happy that it's over. I will be pretty busy in the next couple of weeks, but I'm looking forward to a bit of a break in December and a fresh start in 2019. I will analyse everything from this season to come back stronger next year.”

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