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Nico Rosberg claims his first world championship as Lewis Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi

  • Published on 27 Nov 2016 15:42
  • comments 3
  • By: Dominik Wilde

Nico Rosberg has won the 2016 Formula One world championship after finishing second to Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.

Rosberg's title comes 34 years after his father won the title, and makes them just the second father-son combination to win the title.

The German only needed a podium finish to guarantee him his first champion, and did all he needed during the race.

Hamilton took off from pole position into an early lead that he would never relinquish. During the final part of the race, he defied calls from the team to speed up, slowing the pace down in a last-ditch attempt to back Rosberg into the charging Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen - Had they both got by Rosberg, the championship would have gone to Hamilton.

Alas, the tactic would not pay off, with Verstappen's tyres going off and him dropping back, while Vettel was unable to find a way past Rosberg who held on to second to clinch the championship by five points.

At the start, Kimi Raikkonen, who got by Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel, to get into third and stuck by the Mercedes pair, while Max Versstappen spun to the back of the field after contact with Nico Hulkenberg.

Both Mercedes held onto their lead through the pit stop cycle, crucially being held back as the Ferraris entered at the same time.

Rosberg emerged behind a slow Verstappen - who had moved up to second place by virtue of his long first stint - and made arguably his only risky move of the race by getting by the young Dutchman through turns eight and nine.

From then on the Mercedes men were almost guaranteed for a one-two finish until the closing moments when Vettel, who had got by both Red Bulls and was closing in on Rosberg who was being backed into the Ferrari driver by Hamilton, but to no avail.

Mercedes pleaded with Hamilton two get him to speed up to negate the threat from Vettel, but Hamilton insisted that they "let us race". He later insisted over the radio that he didn't care whether he won or lost the race as the positions him and Rosberg were in would give his team mate the championship.

Hamilton's win was his tenth of the year, giving him the unenviable record of the most wins in a season without the championship.

Verstappen finished the race in fourth, ahead of Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Force India capped off an impressive season, which sees them finish the constructors' championship in fourth place, with Nico Hulkenberg signing off with a seventh place and Sergio Perez in eighth.

Felipe Massa, competing in his final F1 race, and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10.

Haas finished just outside the points with Romain Grosjean in 11th and Esteban Gutierrez in 12th.

Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein were 13th and 14th, ahead of both Saubers, while Jolyon Palmer was the final finisher - despite a collision with Carlos Sainz which saw him handed a five second time penalty.

Sainz retired from the race with a gearbox problem, likely to be a result of the collision with Palmer.

Daniil Kvyat also retired from the race, ending a dire weekend for the Italian team, while Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen also failed to make it to the end of the race.

Jenson Button, the second driver retiring from F1 after today's race unfortunately ended his career with a retirement too, with a rare suspension failure taking him out of the race.

Photos Abu Dhabi 2016

AE Yas Marina Circuit - 27 November 2016

Replies (3)

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  • denis1304

    Posts: 284

    EXCELLENT JOB NICO!!!

    • + 1
    • Nov 27 2016 - 19:17
  • Kevin

    Posts: 4,956

    He wasn't my preferred driver to win the championship, as I think Hamilton did a much better job all season and just had a lot of bad luck. Looking at the Mercedes pitwall today, I also got the feeling that Hamilton winning the WDC wasn't part of their agenda. Very weird how they were not giving Lewis information when he asked for it, and were giving him delta laps that would secure Rosberg's championship. But that's just conspiracy theory's..

    In the end, Nico had no part in Hamilton's misfortune, and profited whenever he got the chance. He has the most points, and therefore is the new world champion. It won't be rated high, but it is something no one can take away from him. And even though I dislike him (as much as I dislike Lewis tbh) I'm actually happy for him.

    Hopefully we'll get a season that is not dominated by one team next year. I am putting my hopes on Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari to give Mercedes a run for their money. My biggest wish is to see Fernando end his career on a high with McLaren. He deserves that third title. Already looking forward to the first winter test!

    • + 0
    • Nov 27 2016 - 22:33
    • Agreed, we really need a season with more potential challengers. I really look forward to the winter testing! :)

      • + 0
      • Nov 28 2016 - 07:39

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Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 2,467
  • Podiums 102
  • Grand Prix 128
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (36)
  • Place of b. Tewin, United Kingdom
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
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