Like a gambler on a roll, Lewis Hamilton probably wishes the 2019 Formula 1 season could just go on and on.

And why not? It’s been one of his best seasons to date, with 11 wins from 21 starts, earning him his 6th World Driver’s Championship.

The British racing driver just keeps getting better and better and they’re starting to talk in hushed tones that perhaps he could be the one — the greatest driver of all time.

Better even than idol Ayrton Senna, better than Juan Manuel Fangio and a compelling challenger to the great Michael Schumacher, the German F1 driver who retired in 2012 with a string of records to his name including seven world championships.

Hamilton cruised to an easy victory for Mercedes in Sunday’s Abu-Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Honda and Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.

It was Hamilton’s 250th Grand Prix and his 73rd win this decade.

Eleven wins in a year equals his previous best, but his final points tally of 413 is his highest-ever single-season points total, while he also equals his record of 33 consecutive points finishes.

And it all came after a lacklustre start to the Yas Island weekend where he struggled to find a rhythm.

“I’m just so proud of everyone,” Hamilton said.

“I’m so grateful for everyone who has continued to push. I felt great out there today and I feel so good right now.

“It’s like, ‘there are no more races?’ I feel like I’m at my best of the year right now, like I’ve got to keep going and now we have got to stop? Anyway, we stop on the right foot, and I hope we start on the right foot again next year.”

Hamilton’s performance across the race was impressive, the six-time champion pulling out a 13-second lead in the opening 20 laps, and he admitted he was still pushing in the final five laps, just because he wanted to see what the maximum he could extract was.

“What an incredible year it’s been, what an incredible stretch it has been for this team,” he added. “After winning the constructors’ and drivers’ championships, it was important for us as a team to continue to push.

“We were seeing if we could push the boundaries. This is the perfect way to end the season, on the right foot. I’m grateful for my team, who have continued to push all year long and have never lost sight of the objective. We’ve all had a common goal – the push in the pursuit of perfection.”

Full race results

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES551:34:05.71526
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA55+16.772s18
316Charles LeclercFERRARI55+43.435s15
477Valtteri BottasMERCEDES55+44.379s12
55Sebastian VettelFERRARI55+64.357s10
623Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA55+69.205s8
711Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES54+1 lap6
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT54+1 lap4
926Daniil KvyatSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA54+1 lap2
1055Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT54+1 lap1
113Daniel RicciardoRENAULT54+1 lap0
1227Nico HulkenbergRENAULT54+1 lap0
137Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI54+1 lap0
1420Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI54+1 lap0
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI54+1 lap0
1699Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI54+1 lap0
1763George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES54+1 lap0
1810Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA53+2 laps0
1988Robert KubicaWILLIAMS MERCEDES53+2 laps0
NC18Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES45DNF0

Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

CHECKOUT: Verstappen blitzes ‘brilliant’ Brazilian GP

CHECKOUT: Six and shout — Hamilton crowned F1 champ (again)

Hamilton could be the one . . .

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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