Lewis Hamilton achieved his second Formula 1 World Championship by winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as title rival Nico Rosberg’s race was ruined by ERS issues.
Hamilton came into the season finale with a 17-point lead over Rosberg, and only needed to finish directly behind his Mercedes team-mate to take the title, regardless of the unpopular double points awarded at Yas Marina.
Rosberg secured his eleventh pole of the season in qualifying, and his title hopes rested on another car coming between himself and Hamilton if he converted that pole into victory.
As it turned out, excessive wheelspin at the start ensured Rosberg lost the lead to Hamilton before the first corner, meaning he had to chase his rival.
Rosberg stayed within a handful of seconds through most of the first half of the race, but suffered an energy recovery system (ERS) failure on lap 24 of 55, which cost him engine power and effectively ended his challenge.
Rosberg tried to manage the technical issue with help from his Mercedes team, but dropped down the order and eventually finished home in a pointless P14, refusing a suggestion by the team to retire his car in the closing stages as the engine problems worsened and insisting he ended his title bid by taking the chequered flag.
Hamilton also lost pace in the middle of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though not to the same extent as his team-mate, but recovered enough to beat the charging Williams of Felipe Massa by just 2.5 seconds and clinch the championship with his eleventh victory of the season.
Hamilton narrowly denied Massa his first win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix – scene of Hamilton’s maiden title triumph for McLaren – but second place was a solid result for Massa in his first campaign with Williams.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas recovered from a slow start from third on the grid to record Williams Racing’s first double podium finish of the season, while Daniel Ricciardo charged from a pit lane start to fourth following Red Bull’s exclusion from qualifying for a technical infringement concerning the RB10’s front wing.
Jenson Button produced another strong drive in what could turn out to be the final Formula 1 of his career to finish fifth for McLaren, ahead of the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, which also started from the pits.
Fernando Alonso finished ninth in his final race for Scuderia Ferrari, a couple of seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who claimed the final points on offer for tenth position.
McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen survived a collision with the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, and being forced off the track by Hulkenberg – who was penalised five seconds – on the first lap to finish P11, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.
The Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat started fifth on the grid, but retired early on after its Renault engine lost power.
So a deserved world champion in the shape of Lewis Hamilton. His second Drivers’ championship after eleven race victories.
Big respect to Nico Rosberg in putting in a brave fight all season but come race day at Abu Dhabi, the Mercedes driver lost out on the start while ERS failure affected his performance.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race results, 55 laps:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h39m02.619s
2 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2.576s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 28.880s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 37.237s
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m00.334s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m02.148s
7 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m11.060s
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m12.045s
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.813s
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.820s
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.376s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m31.947s
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1 lap
14 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1-lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1 lap
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1 lap
17 Will Stevens Caterham-Renault 1 lap
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault Retirement
Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault Engine
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault Retirement
Final Driver’s standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 161
7 Felipe Massa 134
8 Jenson Button 126
9 Nico Hulkenberg 96
10 Sergio Perez 59
11 Kevin Magnussen 55
12 Kimi Raikkonen 55
13 Jean-Eric Vergne 22
14 Romain Grosjean 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 8
16 Pastor Maldonado 2
17 Jules Bianchi 2
18 Adrian Sutil 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0
23 Will Stevens 0
Final Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull-Renault 405
3 Williams-Mercedes 320
4 Ferrari 216
5 McLaren-Mercedes 181
6 Force India-Mercedes 155
7 Toro Rosso-Renault 30
8 Lotus-Renault 10
9 Marussia-Ferrari 2
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0