Lewis Hamilton congratulated Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull on a well-deserved World Championship success in Abu Dhabi, but promised that McLaren would come back stronger in 2011.
McLaren had gradually drifted off Red Bull and Ferrari's pace in the closing stages of the season, and Hamilton needed to win with his three title rivals hitting trouble today to snatch the title. The 2008 champion came home second, and paid tribute to race and title winner Vettel.
"It has not been the most spectacular season for us, but huge congratulations to Red Bull and Seb," said Hamilton. "He did a fantastic job this season."
McLaren improved its pace in Abu Dhabi, and Hamilton was pleased that he and teammate Jenson Button had at least finished their year with podiums.
"For us it was a great end of season result," said Hamilton. "This year, me and Jenson pushed hard. Next year will be a better year."
Hamilton fought with Vettel for victory in the early part of the race before losing ground when he emerged behind Robert Kubica – who was running a very long first stint – following his pit stop. Though that ended his chance of challenging for victory, Hamilton was unwilling to criticise the timing of his stop.
"I am sure the team did everything for the right reason," he said. "We needed to try and jump Seb, it was unfortunate we came up behind a Renault."