Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Valtteri Bottas following an “exceptional” victory in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the season came to a close.
Bottas headed up a one-two finish for Mercedes at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, soaking up race-long pressure from Hamilton to capture his third win of the year.
Hamilton was unable to close out his championship-winning year with a victory despite getting to within striking distance of Bottas twice in the race, but was quick to pay tribute to his teammate for his display on Sunday.
“I think Valtteri did a great job this weekend, and also this year,” Hamilton said. “To come into a new team is always difficult. It’s always a challenge to acclimatize, to get used to new people, new ways of working, so I think he’s done an exceptional job, and to finish on a high is great.
“I think it was great to have the race that we had today as well. He didn’t really make any mistakes. I think we both had one mistake in the whole race: a lock-up for me in Turn 17 and for him at Turn 5, but otherwise pretty much perfect.
“Obviously with that pressure he did exceptional. But also for me it feels like a win for all of us. It’s a one-two for Mercedes, it’s a very strong win against Ferrari this weekend and we mean to continue next year.
“Of course going into next season, it’s back to business, but excited for the challenge ahead.