The Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix 2018 events run from November 22 to 25.
Johnson, who said he probably had "two to four more years" at the top level in NASCAR, is also keen to explore new horizons.
The two-time world champion will start what will possibly be his final F1 race this weekend in Abu Dhabi, and now has the remainder of the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship and a second attempt at the Indianapolis 500 in his plans for next year.
Hamilton's team mate and 2017 race victor Valtteri Bottas was fifth, after starting on the front row, and ended the season winless and fifth overall.
Ferrari and Red Bull are nailed on for second and third in the standings respectively, but Renault sits a makeable 24 points ahead of Haas behind whilst only twenty points separates McLaren in sixth and eighth-placed Sauber.
"I'm hanging here like a cow", Hulkenberg said over the radio.
The safety auto was deployed at the end of the opening lap when Nico Hulkenberg's Renault was sent barrel-rolling several times before coming to rest upside down on the tyre wall after a collision with Romain Grosjean's Haas. As some smoke billowed from the vehicle, a fearful-sounding Hulkenberg urged his team to get him out fast.
But once the fire was extinguished and the auto righted, he was able to climb out unaided.
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Hamilton, Vettel and the Spaniard - three great champions - spun their cars in a cloud of smoke at the end of their slowing down lap, before stepping out for hugs and words of mutual respect.
"I'm honoured to enter this competition which my father always loved and in which he set the bar very high together with Sebastian", Mick said.
Race marshalls rushed to the scene of the accident before extinguishing the flames and helping the driver from his auto.
"I thought I had Kimi for fourth but he just got me by half a tenth".
A one-stopper has usually been the winning strategy, with Valtteri Bottas triumphing previous year after starting on ultrasofts and moving to supersofts.
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.
Urged by his team to chase the one point up for grabs for 10th, Alonso replied: "I have 1,800 points".