Glorying in a successful finish to the 2018 Formula One season with yet another win, it was perhaps understandable that Lewis Hamilton wanted to make one final statement. On the top step in Abu Dhabi as the anthems died away, the five-times world champion stood shirtless, triumphant and pointing to the title of Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise tattooed across his back. However, he did so only after the race provided a stark reminder of the risks still involved in the sport after Nico Hülkenberg survived a horrific accident on the first lap.
Hamilton’s win at Yas Marina was a fitting finale, his run from the pole was flawless and his Mercedes team called his strategy to perfection. An early pit stop under the virtual safety car proved inspired and Hamilton brought his car home in front with control, patience and the faultless judgment he has displayed across 21 meetings.
But on lap one, the drama happened behind him. Hülkenberg clipped Romain Grosjean at turn nine sending his car airborne, barrel-rolling into the barriers. It came to a rest upside down and the Renault driver was unable to extricate himself as fire appeared at the rear of the car. Read more