F1: Fernando Alonso gets special livery for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


Fernando Alonso will leave Formula 1 after this weekend's season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

He met ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone as well as a number of race fans and businessmen. He would stay with the team until 2006 and win two world championships.

"Fernando is extremely intelligent and extremely experienced, loves Formula 1, loves racetracks - if he's not at a World Endurance race or Formula 1 race, he's at an IndyCar race or he's at his go-kart track", Brown said in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley finished one place behind Alonso in 12th. The Australian, who enjoyed a strong start to the year following wins in China and Monaco before enduring a series of mechanical failures in the latter half of the season, is taking the gamble of joining Renault in 2019.

It was the 11th victory of the year for Hamilton, who dominated the race with a controlled drive.

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

"We're doing the Indianapolis 500 together, so I think Fernando has other ways he can influence and help our team".

Hamilton, Vettel and the Spaniard - three great champions - spun their cars in a cloud of smoke at the end of their slowing down lap, before stepping out for hugs and words of mutual respect.

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Hulkenberg's auto landed upside down against the barriers after attempting to make a move on Romain Grosjean.

"I would be happier with fourth than fifth but we got through Q2 [the second lap of qualifying] on the ultrasoft [tyres] which was our target".

Ferrari have also not won a drivers' title since Raikkonen's.

It was also farewell from Ricciardo to Red Bull after a hard season where he has won two races - including the Monaco GP - but retired from eight largely because of engine problems.

"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".

They had hoped for a change of fortune when Renault joined the fray but it wasn't to be.

"He's such a big character, we will miss him and we wish him the very best for the future", Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.