Hulk gets flipped turned upside down

Date published: November 25 2018

Nico Hulkenberg: Big crash in Abu Dhabi

Goodbyes, good racing, and a good dose of Will Smith saw Formula 1 off into the long, winter break.

Here is how the final race day of 2018 unfolded at the Yas Marina circuit…

In the build-up to lights out, the farewell tributes continued to pour in for Fernando Alonso. Is he leaving or something?

And, with both World Championships already in the bag, Mercedes could afford a shock driver change for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Time for one last end-of-term photo. The camera is over here, Sebastian…

Will Smith, meanwhile, continued to slot into the wingman role at Mercedes in seamless fashion.

Well, that was until he held the five-time World Champ hostage…

Whilst one bromance was continuing to blossom, another one at Red Bull was beginning to end.

It wouldn’t be a Formula 1 grid without some last minute drama…

Anything to make things interesting, eh?

Weather conditions? Well, we’re in the desert, but there was a 40 per cent chance of rain…

Heart in mouth moment at the start. As Nico Hulkenberg was sent flying and tipped upside down on the opening lap following a collision with Romain Grosjean.

Thankfully he emerged from the scary incident unscathed…

Onto lap 7, and Kimi Raikkonen’s last race for Ferrari ended on a sour note. We suspect it won’t change his life, however.

The resulting VSC saw Lewis Hamilton pit early and try a long second stint on a one-stop strategy.

Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, tried to undercut Valtteri Bottas. But a slow stop ruined that plan.

Also in the early stages, there was a chance for two good mates to get reacquainted with each other after their clash in Brazil.

Remember that chance of rain? Well look what arrived just as we approached the midway point of the race…

It sadly wasn’t enough to see a switch to intermediates, though.

With 21 laps to go, Ricciardo finally completed his pit stop, giving Hamilton the race lead outright once again.

That provisional 1-2 did not last very long, as mistakes began to creep in for Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages and he slipped all the way down to P5.

Back out in front, Hamilton breezed to an 11th race win of the 2018 season. Vettel and Verstappen rounded off the final podium spots of the year.

Brace yourself, winter is coming.

 

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