Hamilton qualified second, but got a great start and led his teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg into the first corner. Although Rosberg kept the race close through the first round of pit stops, his energy recovery system started to malfunction about halfway through the race.
From that point, as Rosberg dropped back through the field, it seemed Hamilton would be able to cruise to victory. A late stop by Williams' Felipe Massa for super-soft tyres (Hamilton was on softs) allowed the Brazilian to challenge Hamilton late into the race, though.
In the end, Hamilton held off Massa and Rosberg was asked by the team to retire his ailing car with two laps remaining. He asked to stay out and the team agreed, but Rosberg finished 14th, out of the points.
Still, he made his way to the green room and congratulated Hamilton after what has been, at times this year, a tense and fraught atmosphere between the two men.
Williams, meanwhile, scored their first double-podium since 2005, with Valtteri Bottas following Massa home. That result clinched third place for the team in the constructors' championship, behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Bottas' result allowed him to leap-frog Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings to finish fourth in just his second season in F1.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was fourth in Abu Dhabi, after starting from the pit lane when it was deemed Red Bull's front wings were illegal after qualifying. He finishes third in the championship, the only non-Mercedes driver to win a race this season.
Jenson Button was fifth for McLaren, in what could be his final F1 race—the team has not confirmed their drivers for next year and he could be shuffled out in favour of Fernando Alonso.
Nico Hulkenberg brought his Force India home sixth—his best result since Canada—and his teammate, Sergio Perez, was seventh. Force India were chasing McLaren for fifth in the constructors' standings, but were unable to pass them, despite the double points on offer at the final race of the season.
Vettel, Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 10, a disappointing finish for Ferrari, who remain fourth in the constructors' table.
Follow me on Twitter for updates when I publish a new article and for other (mostly) F1-related news and banter: