Hamilton could be the one . . .

Riley Riley

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

1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 55 1:34:05.715 26
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 55 +16.772s 18
3 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 55 +43.435s 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 55 +44.379s 12
5 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 55 +64.357s 10
6 23 Alexander Albon RED BULL RACING HONDA 55 +69.205s 8
7 11 Sergio Perez RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 54 +1 lap 6
8 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT 54 +1 lap 4
9 26 Daniil Kvyat SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 54 +1 lap 2
10 55 Carlos Sainz MCLAREN RENAULT 54 +1 lap 1
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo RENAULT 54 +1 lap 0
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 54 +1 lap 0
13 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 54 +1 lap 0
14 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 54 +1 lap 0
15 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 54 +1 lap 0
16 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 54 +1 lap 0
17 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 54 +1 lap 0
18 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 53 +2 laps 0
19 88 Robert Kubica WILLIAMS MERCEDES 53 +2 laps 0

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

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