Hamilton on pole for season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Haas to try simulator support in Abu Dhabi	
				Image by Andy Hone  LAT

Lewis Hamilton revelled in an "extra special" pole position in the final grand prix of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi as he ended his qualifying drought.

WINS! That was never in doubt.

He would not be drawn into whether Red Bull driver Max Verstappen - who has won three races this season and eight overall - would be a suitable replacement if Hamilton does join Ferrari.

"Qualifying was pretty average for me and I'm not all that satisfied with my result", said Albon.

Mercedes had already won both championships for an unprecedented sixth season in a row.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said he believed there was a strong possibility that Hamilton would sign a new contract with Mercedes next year. For reliability problems we had, and maybe some decisions.

"There were a few little things in this race that were issues, but it wouldn't have made any difference".

His fifth win at the Yas Marina circuit also drew level with Ayrton Senna in claiming a 19th start-to-finish triumph. "Just pushing through and extracting everything from the vehicle, which is tough when you don't have that natural motivation of scoring points with a good auto".

"Very hard to put into words what I felt on the podium with hundreds and thousands of people underneath me yelling my name, yelling the Ferrari name".

Replaced by Esteban Ocon for 2020 and with all the other moves, the German will start what could finally prove his last F1 race in ninth place as Renault want to keep Toro Rosso fifth in the championship.

Lewis Hamilton would be a major asset to Ferrari, according to the team's outstanding young driver Charles Leclerc.

However, Ferrari was summoned for a post-race investigation because there was a difference between the amount of fuel in the auto declared by the team and the amount inside the vehicle.

Without too much rewriting of history, Leclerc should have been Hamilton's main title rival in 2019, had Ferrari not favoured Vettel early in the season. Leclerc had put in the fastest lap in Q2.

It was the latest basic mistake from Ferrari in yet another season marred by errors following similar blunders in the past two seasons. Ferrari's Leclerc goes from fourth on the grid with Vettel one place back.

"We didn't have the year we were hoping for, full stop. So it was a risk we knew that we were taking but it didn't work today". It is a good place to work and I take great contentment from the relationships within the team.

Although tiresome, Sunday's race underlined the superiority shown by Hamilton for much of the year. Further down the pack, Verstappen is second.

Hamilton refused to repress any speculation linking him to Ferrari, admitting he was flattered by the interests of the Italian giant.

There was a second practice session scheduled for later Friday.

"Valtteri was very quick towards the end", Leclerc said.