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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished third in the race ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo for a fifth straight podium.

In the early stages of the race, Verstappen renewed his rivalry with Esteban Ocon, just a race after they collided [and subsequently scuffled] when Ocon was attempting to un-lap himself from race leader Verstappen in Brazil.

With the halfway point in the 55-lap race approaching, there was a rare sight as rain briefly fell on the desert track.

Hamilton pitted under the safety auto and, after trailing Daniel Ricciardo who was on a long first stint, was released into a comfortable lead after 34 laps.

Lewis Hamilton says he wanted to finish the F1 2018 season in style as the best preparation for a renewed battle with Ferrari and Red Bull in 2019.

"Abu Dhabi will certainly be a very emotional race for me, as it will be the end of a long and happy 17 years in F1", he said.

Brown hailed the Spaniard as one of the greatest of his era and one who could have won many more championships than his two with Renault.

"The vehicle seems to be working really well again, better than expected and just like we experienced in Brazil", Verstappen said.

"I wanted to show "Still I Rise" on my back", said Hamilton, referring to a poem by writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. "It was mostly smooth".

"I'm well aware of the stories over the years but from my perspective he's been a fast race-car driver who wants the best equipment and the best out of people, and doesn't accept anything short of perfection".

"P2 (second) wasn't what I was expecting. but a one-two for the final race is good", he said.

"And then with the engineers and just helping us all work together to understand what next year's auto is doing, what the feedback is from the drivers, and what would Fernando do in a certain situation - that experience will be very valuable to us". Raikkonen will also enter his last race for Ferrari before he re-joins Sauber and Charles Leclerc is appointed alongside Vettel.

While Alonso is leaving Formula One after Sunday's season-ender, he will remain within the McLaren fold as both gear up for a return to the Indianapolis 500 next May, a race the Spaniard led past year.

"Of course, those tactics will already begin in qualifying on Saturday".


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