He met ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone as well as a number of race fans and businessmen. Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley finished one place behind Alonso in 12th.
Behind Hamilton, Verstappen has enjoyed the best final half of the year and could leapfrog Valtteri Bottas for a final position of fourth, behind Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen, if he outscores the Finn by just three points in the desert on Sunday.
"Once again we're bringing a tyre nomination that's somewhat softer than previous years", says Mario Isola of Pirelli, "with the hypersoft selected for only the sixth time this year, and for only the third time at a permanent race venue".
"It's the last race of the season and I'm approaching it in a positive frame of mind", Hartley said.
"I wanted to show "Still I Rise" on my back", said Hamilton, referring to a poem by writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
It's hard not to feel sorry for him, joining McLaren at the worst spell of its history alongside one of the toughest competitors in the history of the sport.
No. 3 Gonzaga upsets No. 1 Duke for Maui Invitational title
Even as their lead disappeared and their shots (and free throws) stopped falling in a wild atmosphere, the Bulldogs did not panic. Over the years, the Gonzaga men's basketball team has faced Duke three times - all Blue Devils' victories.
The race was held up after a spectacular crash on Lap 1 involving French driver Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg, who was sent tumbling into the barriers and finally settled upside down.
Ferrari have also not won a drivers' title since Raikkonen's.
Grosjean has a reputation as one of F1's more reckless - or adventurous - drivers. "I want it even more", Ricciardo said.
"Get me out. There is a fire". Interestingly, it's the last time that the purple and pink colours will be seen on an F1 tyre in a race, as next year's tyres will feature only three permanent colours: white, yellow and red.
"I have had a strong end to the season, performing well in the last few races, even when the vehicle wasn't quick enough to score big points", he said.
Although the FIA remains hopeful that next year's aerodynamic changes will help boost overtaking for 2019, some teams are not convinced.
It was a disappointing end to a bold attempt by Ricciardo and Red Bull to benefit from a different strategy by running very long to their first pit stops, but in the end it made little difference.