ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) World champion Lewis Hamilton coasted to victory from pole position at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
Having already secured a fifth F1 title, the British Mercedes driver beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the Yas Marina circuit to secure his 11th win of the season and 73rd of his career.
It was a symbolic finish to a season where, again, he showed his superiority under pressure to beat Vettel into second place overall for the second straight year.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished third ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo for a fifth straight podium.
The race was held up after a spectacular crash on Lap 1 involving Nico Hulkenberg, who was sent tumbling into the barriers and eventually settled upside down by French driver Romain Grosjean. The Renault driver was unharmed and eventually climbed out.
Veteran Spanish driver Fernando Alonso placed 11th with McLaren in his last F1 race with the team.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.