The season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the last Formula One race where the cars will look good, according to Lewis Hamilton, as the sport prepares for the introduction of the 'Halo' device next year.
World champion Hamilton will be aiming to end a victorious 2017 campaign on a high at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, the Mercedes driver having already secured his fourth title, as well as helping the dominant German team to another constructors' crown.
Hamilton's chief rival, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, remains optimistic of mounting an improved challenge in 2018, when Fernando Alonso will be hoping McLaren's new partnership with Renault proves to be more productive than its underwhelming Honda relationship.
HAMILTON LAMENTS HALO'S AESTHETIC IMPACT
All F1 cars will be fitted with a protective 'Halo' next season, a barrier surrounding the driver's head, with the aim of minimising the potentially deadly impact of flying debris.
The device has received mixed reviews from the sport's stars, Hamilton ruing the toll it will take on the appearance of vehicles.
"It's the last race where the cars will look good," he told a news conference.
"From next year it is all downhill in terms of how it looks, but safety will go up at least. Maybe it'll start a new flipflop brand next year."
Of his title duel with Vettel, Hamilton added: "It was great to have those close battles this year with Sebastian, a four-time world champion you respect."
VETTEL WANTS TO WIN PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Hamilton gave a noncommittal response when asked if there should be a greater range of individual awards to mark the end of the season.
Vettel, though, did not miss an opportunity to make a joke at his own expense, revisiting an infamous collision and subsequent argument between the two men in Azerbaijan, where the German appeared to intentionally ram into his rival.
"I should get move of the year, personality of the year and what was the last one, fair play?," he jokingly said.
"Okay, maybe not... but those other two for Baku."
ALONSO STRUGGLES TO FIND MCLAREN-HONDA POSITIVES
The end of the 2017 campaign cannot arrive soon enough for Fernando Alonso and McLaren, who will be ending their partnership with Honda and starting to use Renault power units next year.
The British team have fallen badly off the pace set by Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in recent years, leaving Alonso - a two-time world champion from his time with Renault - unable to demonstrate his undoubted quality behind the wheel.
Asked for one of his highlights from the final races of the McLaren-Honda partnership, the 36-year-old Spaniard said: "Erm, it is difficult to pick out one race, as the performance was never there.
"I personally had a lot of expectations for the McLaren-Honda project but we didn't achieve the results so it's now time for a change and I'm optimistic."
|Roma 3 CSKA Moscow 0: Dzeko turns on the style|
|Kovac lauds dominant Bayern|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Manchester City 3: Silva sparkle to dominant display|
|Manchester United 0 Juventus 1: Dybala downs Mourinho´s men on Ronaldo´s return|
|Real Madrid 2 Viktoria Plzen 1: Benzema and Marcelo´s goals give holders first win in six|
|Lakers´ Rondo denies spitting on Rockets´ Paul|
|Robben and Rafinha want more from Bayern|
|Federer survives Krajinovic scare to maintain Basel run|
|Green accuses NBA of double standards, calls Lakers-Rockets suspensions ´garbage´|
|New York Giants send Apple to Saints|
|Morgan aims to solve Colombo mystery after record ODI defeat|
|AEK Athens 0 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski helps to further ease Kovac woes|
|Young Boys 1 Valencia 1: Hoarau penalty denies Marcelino´s men|
|Mourinho walks to Old Trafford as United arrive late again for Champions League|
|Bale and Benzema back for Madrid as Lopetegui rings changes|
|Carr denies ´fractured relationship´ with Raiders team-mates|
|De Bruyne to start for Manchester City against Shakhtar Donetsk|
|France lose Le Roux and Fofana for November Tests|
|Martino to leave Atlanta United amid Mexico links|
|Pochettino cautious over Eriksen return|
|Ancelotti an inspiration for PSG boss Tuchel|
|Persepolis 1 Al Sadd 1 (2-1 agg): Iranians into first AFC Champions League final|
|Wales boss Gatland returns to New Zealand after father´s death|
|Sri Lanka hand England their heaviest ODI defeat|
|Nuggets guard Will Barton undergoes surgery|
|Surprise package Svitolina closes in on semi-final berth|
|Alexander-Arnold targets glory at home and abroad|
|Pogba relishing emotional Juventus reunion|
|Alba hopes Lopetegui keeps Real Madrid job|
|Valverde not expecting Messi magical recovery|
|Wozniacki calms fears over knee injury|
|Maybe it´s my interviews - Klopp on Liverpool´s room for improvement|
|Language no barrier to Dortmund dangermen Reus and Alcacer|
|EPCR confirms no replay of Bath-Toulouse Champions Cup fixture|
|F1 Raceweek: Five the magic number as Hamilton eyes Mexico repeat|
|RFU to introduce in-season breaks for players|
|Nainggolan misses Barcelona trip|
|Wozniacki battles through knee complaint to down Kvitova|
|Alcacer: Two seasons at Barcelona not lost|
|Henderson, Keita to miss Liverpool´s Red Star clash|
|Khabib holds talks over Mayweather Moscow fight|
|Wolf in for Titz as Hamburg try to stop slump|
|Davies released from Wales squad as Evans comes in|
|Mbappe on track to match Messi and Ronaldo, says Giuly|
|Coleman, Kipchoge and Lyles among IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Serena Williams will win slams again sooner or later, says Seles|
|You always want the best – Ter Stegen open to Neymar return|
|Xavi: My teams will never use Mourinho´s style|
|I knew what I got myself into - LeBron appreciates Lakers are a work in progress|
|Mourinho: Ronaldo loves United but he will want to score|
|Cooper completes Rebels move and takes parting shot at Reds coach Thorn|
|Bellerin amazed by ´born champion´ Ozil|
|Penguins, kangaroos and ´Stone Cold´ Steve Austin: Halloween comes early for Trail Blazers|
|Ronaldo gunning for United, Aguero targets double record - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Ill Vardy couldn´t stomach penalty decision – Puel|
|LeBron´s Lakers lose again, Magic stun Celtics|
|Bartomeu: No Barca return for Neymar, Valverde contracted until 2020|
|Simmons and ´stimulating´ 76ers in NBA Finals mix, says Longley|
|Falcons heap further misery on Giants|
|Vidic hails Ronaldo as ultimate professional ahead of Old Trafford return|
|Warriors´ Cousins nearing NBA return|
|Pogba can´t do the basics – Souness criticises Man United star|
|Messi absence big blow for Barca as Icardi talks up Inter|
|´You can´t cry, that´s true´ – Ronaldo responds to Isco|
|Bartomeu: Barca still competitive without Messi|
|Bills RB McCoy remains in concussion protocol|
|Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on IR|
|Emery calm over title talk after another Arsenal win|
|Green: Warriors have to clean up defensively|
|Mariners say Bolt talks ongoing amid reports contract offer was rejected|