Hamilton clinches Formula One title with Abu Dhabi win

AFP file photo / Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory at the Spanish GP in May

Britain's Lewis Hamilton picked up his second Formula One world title on Sunday with victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


His Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg drifted out of contention after failing to recover from a poor start.

Hamilton, the 2008 F1 champion, entered the race with a 17-point lead over Rosberg, needing only a top-two finish to guarantee the title.

Rosberg started from pole position and, with double points on offer, could have taken his first F1 title with a win providing Hamilton finished third.

That dream scenario lasted three seconds -- the time it took Hamilton to overtake Rosberg, whose race soon turned into a nightmare.

The German even suffered the ignominy of being lapped by Hamilton, before ending the race in 14th place.

Brazilian driver Felipe Massa crossed the line in second place ahead of his Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas.

"Woooooaaahh world champion, oh my God, can't believe it, thanks everyone," Hamilton exclaimed after taking the chequered flag.

Among the first to congratulate him was Britain's Prince Harry, who said from the Mercedes garage: "Well done Lewis, you are a legend."

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)

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