Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon among winners in our end of season F1 awards

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When Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday to seal a dominant Mercedes one-two, fireworks shot out from above the stands to draw the curtain on another F1 season.

It was another remarkable campaign for Hamilton as the 32-year-old sealed a fourth drivers’ title, finishing in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by a comfortable 46 points.

It was not the competitive season we were all hoping for but Ferrari did put up somewhat of a fight to challenge Mercedes, and Vettel walked away with five race wins in 2017.

The two Red Bulls — Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen — combined for three grands prix triumphs.

Here, we look back at the year that was with driver of the year, team of the year and rookie of the year awards up for grabs.

DRIVER OF THE SEASON

LEWIS HAMILTON

The Briton won nine races – more than any other driver this season – en route to sealing a fourth world title and levelling drawing level with Vettel (four world crowns) in the process.

He looked virtually untouchable at Silverstone, Monza and Austin – and capitalised effectively on Vettel’s retirements in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

The 32-year-old was a different class and it will be difficult to see him beaten in 2018 as he eyes Juan Manuel Fangio’s haul of five world titles.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

MERCEDES

No surprises to see the Silver Arrow secure a fourth successive constructors’ championship with Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the podium 13 times each.

Ferrari will be expected to make further improvements during the off-season, but will it be enough to close the strong gap in the championship?

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

KIMI RAIKKONEN

He may have finished fourth in the drivers’ standings, but the Ferrari driver has failed to win  since the Australian Grand Prix in 2013.

If it wasn’t for the reliability issues of Max Verstappen and the recent retirements of Daniel Ricciardo, the Finn could well be lower in the standings.

For a driver on the fifth highest salary, the 38-year-old does not justify his position as an elite driver with the second best team in the sport. Could 2018 be the Ice Man’s final F1 season?

RACE OF THE SEASON

AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX

The F1 season blew into life in Baku in June as Vettel swung into Hamilton after wrongly thinking his rival brake-tested him.

The German was hit with a stop-and-go penalty, handing Hamilton the advantage to take the honours. However, the Britons headrest came loose later in the race and he was forced to pit for repairs allowing Vettel to finish ahead of him.

Away from this incident there was plenty of drama, with the Finnish duo of Bottas and  Raikkonen clipping each other, while Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez collided – not for the first time this season either.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix

ROOKIE OF THE SEASON

ESTEBAN OCON

Few rookies have enjoyed such a consistent start to their F1 careers as the Frenchman finished eighth in the drivers’ standings and scored points in every race except two this season.

The 21-year-old has accumulated 87 in the driver’s standings, just 13 points behind his experienced Force India team-mate Sergio Perez in seventh position.

DRIVER TO WATCH IN 2018

MAX VERSTAPPEN

The flying Dutchman endured a mixed campaign, with seven retirements in 14 races, but managed to clinch points in every race that he completed.

His standout performances included wins in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as podiums in China and Japan.

A bold statement to make, but except the 20-year-old to challenge Hamilton and Vettel for the title in 2018.

TEAM TO WATCH IN 2018

RED BULL

With Daniel Ricciardo collecting nine podiums and Verstappen closing out the season in flawless fashion, Christian Horner’s men should challenge Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship next season.

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen lead the way in our F1 2017 driver ratings

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The curtain has fallen on the Formula One season after Abu Dhabi played host to the final race of the year.

Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth world championship after taking an unassailable lead over Sebastian Vettel with three rounds to spare.

Here, Press Association Sport runs the rule over the class of 2017.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

A near-faultless performance by the 32-year-old Briton to surpass Sir Jackie Stewart as the country’s most decorated driver.

Off the pace at early races in Russia and Monaco but delivered a mesmerising second half of his campaign – which included winning five of the six grands prix staged since the summer break – to clinch the championship with three races remaining – 9 (out of 10).

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

Started the season on the front foot, claiming the first pole position of his career at the third race in Bahrain before outclassing team-mate Hamilton at the next with his opening win in Russia.

But despite recording further victories in Austria and Abu Dhabi, the former Williams driver has been unable to live with Hamilton, and will face a stern fight to convince Mercedes to stick with him in 2019 – 6.

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

Led the championship for 12 of the 20 races but crumbled under pressure. Scuppered certain victories in Baku (penalised for deliberately swerving into Hamilton), Singapore (crashed out from pole) and Mexico (damaged his front wing after a first-lap collision with Hamilton), too.

Unfortunate with technical gremlins in Malaysia and Japan, but should have taken Hamilton to the wire – 6.

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

A steady campaign for the veteran Finn but not in the same league as team-mate Vettel.

Willingness to play second fiddle has earned him another one-year deal with the Italian team, but could be on his way out in 2019 if Ferrari punt for Daniel Ricciardo – 5.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

Candidate for Move of the Year after he passed three cars at one corner en route to winning a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Finished fifth in the standings, but has been overshadowed by team-mate Max Verstappen since the summer break. Out of contract at the end of 2018 and could be tempted by pastures new – 7.5.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

Failed to finish five of the opening nine grands prix due to an unreliable car and hinted he could look beyond Red Bull.

But has excelled in recent races – with wins in both Malaysia and Mexico – and was rewarded with a bumper new deal to stay at Red Bull for a further three years – 8.

Sergio Perez (Force India)

A solid campaign and finished seventh in the standings as best of the rest behind the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

Came through a turbulent spell with rookie team-mate Esteban Ocon after they collided twice in Belgium – 7.5.

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

One of the year’s strongest performers. The lanky Frenchman set a new F1 record by finishing the first 27 races of his career and has finished outside the top 10 on just two occasions this term.

Will be a contender to replace Bottas at Mercedes in 2019 should they part company with the Finn – 8.

Felipe Massa (Williams)

Returned to help Williams out of a sticky spot following Bottas’ departure to Mercedes and is finally bringing the curtain down on a career which should have ended here 12 months ago.

There has been little to separate him and rookie team-mate Lance Stroll which says all you need to know – 4.

Lance Stroll (Williams)

A podium finish in Baku and front-row start in Monza have been the highlights for the Canadian teenager, but he has done little to prove he will be a star of the future.

Will drive for Williams again next year but could be shown up if a fully-fit Robert Kubica becomes his team-mate – 4.

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

In terms of results, arguably the double world champion’s worst year. But the 36-year-old Spaniard has still managed to out-perform a McLaren car lacking in Honda power.

Remarkably he was in contention to win on his Indianapolis 500 debut before his engine gave up. May return to the sharp end in 2018 if new Renault engine is up to scratch – 8.

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

Struggled to live with Alonso’s pace at the opening grands prix, but the Belgian rookie has gently proved his worth as the season has worn on.

There will be nowhere to hide next year if the McLaren-Renault package proves a contender, with British teen sensation Lando Norris waiting in the wings – 7.

Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)

Drafted in by Toro Rosso at the Malaysian Grand Prix in October after they axed Daniil Kvyat. Car has been largely unreliable during his short stint. Will be desperate to make his mark next year – 5.

Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)

A debutant at 27, Hartley became the first New Zealander to take part in a Formula One race for more than four decades.

Handed his F1 bow in the United States and has done enough to prove he deserves a chance in 2018 – 5.

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

A steady haul of points in his first year at Renault. Blew away British driver Jolyon Palmer but will face stiffer competition from Carlos Sainz next term.

Finished sixth on four occasions this year – 7.

Carlos Sainz (Renault)

Impressed at Toro Rosso and has been rewarded with a drive at Renault. Another strong year will put him on the radar of the sport’s big players – 7.

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

The Frenchman, best known for his radio grumbles, has had an average campaign at a team which has failed to leave a mark on the sport’s imagination – 5.5.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

Caused some controversy following an X-rated bust-up with Hulkenberg in Hungary, which was screened live on television, but a largely anonymous year for the former McLaren driver – 5.

Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

Has managed to forge a four-season career in the sport despite a host of underwhelming performances – 3.

Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)

Missed the first two races of the year with a back injury and despite his links to Mercedes his stock has fallen. Faces a fight to save his grand prix career – 4.5.

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A 'great race' for Felipe Massa as he bows out of Formula One at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Denzil Pinto 26/11/2017
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Felipe Massa will go into retirement from Formula One exactly how he wanted to after describing his last drive as “a great race”.

The Brazilian bid farewell to the competition he has served for the last 16 seasons with 10th-place finish on his 269th start, earning him a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Before driving his Williams car back into the garage, he did multiple donuts on the Yas Marina Circuit track and was thrilled with his result.

“I think it was a good race for me,” said Massa, who finishes the 2017 campaign joint-10th with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg with 43 points.

“From the beginning to the end, it was a great race`and we were fighting the whole way again. I’m happy with the race and I’m very lucky to been racing in this competition for 16 years in Formula One. Driving against some of the best drivers in the world, racing with great teams and I’m very lucky to have been able to achieve that and have an amazing career.”

Massa says he will go back to Brazil and spend more time with his family but has not ruled out a return to racing in the future. A move to Formula E seems to be his next likely destination but insists he will carefully assess his options of which team to sign for.

The Brazilian had tested for Jaguar ahead of a possible drive for the 2016-17 season but was persuaded by Williams to extend his F1 career for another year following Valtteri Bottas’ move to Mercedes.

Formula E, driven with electric cars, was launched in 2014-15 by the FIA with its races held on a temporary street circuit of up to 4km long. So far, it has attracted a number of former F1 drivers  including Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve.

With the fourth edition of the championship beginning in Hong Kong next weekend, he will have to wait at least another 12 months for an opportunity. But he says he will not rush into a decision, saying that he doesn’t want to sign up just to make up the numbers.

“Formula E wouldn’t be now as the new championship is just starting next week,” he said. “All the good teams have signed their drivers and I’m not planning to race just to be there. I want to be there in a competitive side and with a good team. That’s what I’m looking for in the next championship.

“I feel I’m competitive and I can enjoy drive in other championships. I can still race but we’ll see.”

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