Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel pay Fernando Alonso tribute

Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel pay Fernando Alonso tribute

Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel pay Fernando Alonso tribute

"Fernando is extremely intelligent and extremely experienced, loves Formula 1, loves racetracks - if he's not at a World Endurance race or Formula 1 race, he's at an IndyCar race or he's at his go-kart track", Brown said in Abu Dhabi on Friday. "My goal for the weekend is to repeat last year's result".

Veteran Spanish driver Fernando Alonso placed 11th with McLaren in his last F1 race with the team.

"I have been impressed with his performances over the past two years and I can not believe that he doesn't have a vehicle for next season", he said.

A party will be thrown for Alonso by McLaren and race organisers in the paddock on Saturday evening.

Alonso would surely have won a third title in 2007 had McLaren favoured him over rookie team mate Hamilton, with whom he ended the season tied on points while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen scored one more.

"I feel very sorry for him but there was nowhere i could go", he said, as his team assured him that the accident wasn't his fault. "I felt positive right from the start".

Previous year saw Bottas take a commanding victory with a one-stop strategy, starting on the ultra-softs before pitting for super-softs on lap 21 out of 55.

He was subsequently ordered to serve two days of community service at the FIA's discretion.

Lewis Hamilton started the race - the final showdown of the season - on pole.

The Mercedes star scored a staggering 220 (out of a possible 250) points from the last 10 races, 79 more than any other driver.

But when Hamilton took to the machinery which propelled him to his fifth world championship with two rounds to spare, he made no mistake with a dominant display befitting of his dominant year.

Earlier, Verstappen was fastest in the first practice by about half a second.

"We head to Abu Dhabi this weekend for the final race of what has been a challenging year for the team".

McLaren have an all-new lineup for 2019, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz joining from Renault and British teenager Lando Norris stepping up from a reserve role.

It was confirmed earlier this week that Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, will be partnered with Vettel for Germany's entrant at January's Race of Champions tournament in Mexico.

The last time Ricciardo stood on top spot on the podium was in May in Monaco, the second of his two 2018 victories after China in April.

"I already have a taste for a lot more, how do you not want to continue to enjoy this?", added the 83-times race victor who has a contract with Hendrick through 2020.

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