Rosberg wins Formula 1 title at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg has clinched his maiden Formula 1 world championship by fending off Sebastian Vettel to finish second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as title rival Lewis Hamilton won the race.

Rosberg entered the twenty-first and final Grand Prix of the season with a 12-point lead and simply needed to be third or higher to take the title no matter where Hamilton finished.

Hamilton kept the pace slow in the final stint when leading Rosberg, backing his Mercedes team-mate into the pack, despite persistent calls from his team to up speed.

But the tactic failed to pay off, with Rosberg soaking up the pressure from Vettel to guide his car home second.

As a result, Rosberg won the world championship by five points at Yas Marina to become the sport’s 33rd world champion, 34 years after his father Keke achieved the feat.

Hamilton led Rosberg away at the start but the Silver Arrows duo did not pull away from Kimi Raikkonen, who jumped Daniel Ricciardo, and Vettel.

Rosberg pitted a lap after Hamilton, ditching the ultra-softs for the softs, and like Hamilton was held in his box while a Ferrari entered the pits.

He rejoined behind Max Verstappen, who had spun at the first corner after contact with Nico Hulkenberg and had cut his way back through the field on the super-softs and was looking to extend his stint.

Mercedes told Rosberg he needed to pass Verstappen because the Red Bull driver was going purposefully slow, setting up a tense couple of moments as the two went wheel-to-wheel with Max holding firm.

After backing off for a few laps, Mercedes told Rosberg to attack again and this time, Nico made a pass stick through Turns 8 and 9 before covering the line into Turn 11 to retake second.

The second stops for both Hamilton and Rosberg were smooth, with the duo retaining formation as they rejoined second and third behind Vettel, who was running a long second stint, until Rosberg pitted.

The gap hovered around the one-second mark for much of the remainder of the race, with Hamilton appearing to attempt to back Rosberg into the chasing pack.

The main threat was Vettel, who was last of the frontrunners to make a final stop and took on fresh super-softs. He passed both Red Bulls and closed in on the two Mercedes, bringing Verstappen with him.

Rosberg complained Hamilton was too slow while Mercedes instructed Hamilton to up the pace, including a message from technical boss Paddy Lowe, but the reigning champion replied at one point “let us race”.

Ultimately, it didn’t pay off as Hamilton crossed the line to win his tenth race of the season, compared to nine wins for Rosberg, with his team-mate second.

Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen completed the top six.

Force India’s Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were seventh and eight respectively, securing fourth position in the constructors’ championship for the outfit for the first time.

Felipe Massa finished the final race of his Formula 1 career in ninth, with Fernando Alonso completing the top ten.

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button had a disappointing final race before his likely retirement. Button hitting a kerb at Turn 10 hard, causing damage to the steering and forcing him out.

Carlos Sainz retired with a gearbox problem, moments after he was hit by Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, while his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat also failed to finish.

And so ends a tense and dramatic season of Formula 1 racing. Hamilton put on a brave fight but it was his Mercedes team-mate and rival Rosberg who achieved the dream result. Congratulations Nico Rosberg. 2016 world champion.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, race results after 55 laps:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari
4    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault
5    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault
6    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari
7    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes
8    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes
10    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda
11    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari
12    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari
13    Esteban Ocon    Manor-Mercedes
14    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes
15    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari
16    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari
17    Jolyon Palmer    Renault
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
–    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
–    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda
–    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes
–    Kevin Magnussen    Renault

Final drivers’ standings:
1    Nico Rosberg    385
2    Lewis Hamilton    380
3    Daniel Ricciardo    256
4    Sebastian Vettel    212
5    Max Verstappen    204
6    Kimi Raikkonen    186
7    Sergio Perez    101
8    Valtteri Bottas    85
9    Nico Hulkenberg    72
10    Fernando Alonso    54
11    Felipe Massa    53
12    Carlos Sainz    46
13    Romain Grosjean    29
14    Daniil Kvyat    25
15    Jenson Button    21
16    Kevin Magnussen    7
17    Felipe Nasr    2
18    Jolyon Palmer    1
19    Pascal Wehrlein    1
20    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
21    Esteban Gutierrez    0
22    Marcus Ericsson    0
23    Esteban Ocon    0
24    Rio Haryanto    0

Final constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    765
2    Red Bull-Renault    468
3    Ferrari    398
4    Force India-Mercedes    173
5    Williams-Mercedes    138
6    McLaren-Honda    76
7    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    63
8    Haas-Ferrari    29
9    Renault    8
10    Sauber-Ferrari    2
11    Manor-Mercedes    1

5 thoughts to “Rosberg wins Formula 1 title at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”

  1. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg did not enjoy Formula 1 title decider in Abu Dhabi. has the full story.

    Nico Rosberg described the dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that resulted in him being crowned 2016 Formula 1 world champion as “not enjoyable” after a tense finale with Lewis Hamilton.

    With Hamilton needing to win the race with Rosberg fourth or lower to snatch the title from his team-mate, he slowed his pace – particularly in the final stint – in an attempt to bring Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull drivers into play.

    Rosberg repeatedly complained on the radio about Hamilton’s pace, even asking to be let through and promising to allow Hamilton back ahead at the finish if the Briton held onto second.

    Mercedes issued several instructions to Hamilton to increase his pace, but the three-time champion refused on the grounds that it would guarantee he lost the title to Rosberg.

    When asked if his race was ‘just another day in the office’, Rosberg replied: “Hell no, that was definitely not the most enjoyable race I’ve ever had.

    “With Max [Verstappen] in the beginning [running ahead of him by stopping late] and then with those guys coming up in the end, definitely not very enjoyable in those last few laps.

    “I’m very glad it’s over. I’m unbelievably ecstatic.

    “Congratulations to Lewis, he did a great season, a great competitor – it is always tough to beat you.”

    A fourth straight win at the end of the season meant Hamilton eventually fell five points shy of his team-mate in the final standings.

    Victory in Abu Dhabi took his career total to 53, and he took 10 wins to Rosberg’s nine over the course of the 2016 season.

    The Briton said: “I did everything I could in these last four races, it’s all I could have asked of myself.

    “I’ll have fun tonight celebrating with the team. You can’t win them all.

    “I had a lot of problems, which is why I’m in this position, but I’m grateful for the success and ups and downs we had as a team.”

  2. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg is the 2016 world champion, emulating his father Nico’s achievement after a tense 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which he finished a pig-in-the-middle second as winning team mate Lewis Hamilton attempted to back him up as much as possible into the clutches of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in an enforced but finely judged masterclass of race craft.

    Less than two seconds covered the top four at the chequered flag as Hamilton ignored instructions from the Mercedes pit wall to up his pace in the closing laps. Daniel Ricciardo followed his Red Bull team mate home, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen taking sixth ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Williams’ Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso completed the top ten.

    The start saw the two Mercedes lead off the line, with Hamilton heading Rosberg, as Raikkonen passed Ricciardo for third. Things got worse for Red Bull as Verstappen, in sixth, ran out of room exiting Turn 1 and spun after making light contact with Hulkenberg.

    That forced the team to switch the Dutchman to a one-stop strategy as he fell to last place, and would have its effect later on.

    Hamilton and Rosberg moved clear until their first pit stops, respectively on the seventh and eighth laps, after which Hamilton led again but with Verstappen having risen to second ahead of Rosberg.

    The German was then content to follow him for the next 12 laps before finally slicing by the Red Bull, with a closely-fought but crucial pass. After that he got the throttle down, cutting a 5.8s gap to Hamilton to 3.1s by the time they stopped again, on laps 28 and 29.

    That was when Hamilton was forced to try to back up his team mate, as he needed him to finish fourth or worse, and the gap came down to less than a second thereafter as the outgoing champion did all he could to let Ferrari and Red Bull catch up.

    When Ferrari kept Vettel out until lap 37 before switching him to supersoft tyres, when everyone else was running softs, the German suddenly became the dangerman.

    He passed team mate Raikkonen for fifth on the 41st lap, then set out after Ricciardo, who was having a subdued run in fourth. He passed the Red Bull on lap 47, and that set up the final showdown.

    On his worn softs – he had pitted on lap 21 – Verstappen just wasn’t able to get closer than within three seconds of Rosberg as Hamilton continued to lap at a relatively slow pace despite being implored – and at times directly told – to speed up by his Mercedes bosses.

    Vettel eventually out-dragged Verstappen’s Red Bull on the 51st lap, and Hamilton, Rosberg and he then circulated nose to tail. They were having kittens at Mercedes, especially as Hamilton told them quite trenchantly that if he was losing the world championship he didn’t particularly care if he lost the race as well.

    In the end, of course, he was never going to do that. He did everything that he could, and crossed the finish line 0.4s ahead after 55 laps to score his 10th win of the season, the 53rd of his career – and to lose his world title.

    Rosberg kept his cool despite the pressure from Vettel, but said it had been tough.

    “That definitely wasn’t the most enjoyable race I’ve ever had!” he admitted. “With Max early on, and then with these guys coming at the end, it definitely wasn’t fun. I’m just really glad it’s over!”

    For Vettel, third was a decent way to finish the season, with Verstappen taking fourth from his team mate and the distant Raikkonen.

    Hulkenberg took a fine seventh for Force India, and with team mate Sergio Perez eighth Force India easily secured their fourth position in the constructors’ stakes. But Perez only just got home ahead of the fighting Williams of Felipe Massa, who signed off on his F1 career by maintaining his record of scoring points in each Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which he has competed, and Fernando Alonso, who took the final point for McLaren.

    Alonso’s team mate Jenson Button was in contention for points in his final Grand Prix, until a right-front suspension failure put him out after a heavy kerb contact. He was joined in retirement by the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.

    Outside of the points, Romain Grosjean led outgoing Haas team mate Esteban Gutierrez home in 11th and 12th after a race-long fight, as an equally intense intra-team fight between Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein ended in the Frenchman’s favour after they had a brief collision. Likewise, Marcus Ericsson narrowly led home Sauber partner Felipe Nasr in 15th and 16th, as Jolyon Palmer was the final finisher, penalised five seconds after a collision with Sainz.

    Afterwards, Hamilton shook hands with the man who has taken his crown, and they hugged on the podium.

    “Winning the championships is a great feeling, Hamilton said as he congratulated his team mate, “and I’m looking forward to fighting with him for it again next year.”

    Rosberg, meanwhile, looked forward to celebrating with his father Keke and mother Sina, and did so in the moment with his wife Vivian, on the greatest day of his racing career. It would, he admitted, take some time before it really sank in.

  3. Mercedes F1 executive director Toto Wolff says it was the fear that Ferrari could steal victory in Abu Dhabi that caused his team to intervene with team orders – and that he’s conflicted over Lewis Hamilton ignoring them.

    Hamilton’s race engineer and technical chief Paddy Lowe both radioed Hamilton in the race, instructing him to raise his pace – but Hamilton defied this by attempting to back up teammate Nico Rosberg in an attempt to claim the world title for himself.

    “I was in a bit of a schizophrenic situation,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “There’s the control freak, team leader, that has a rulebook and everyone has to obey it – and that’s how we got to where we are.

    “Then there’s the racer in me and I was questioning what I would have done. [Hamilton] had two situations – one, disappear into the distance and show he’s the best racing driver and it could have been his season. Or he could back [Nico] up, and that’s what he decided to do. I’m a little bit in two minds.

    “This is what I mean as a racing driver. It would have come to my mind [to back him up] and it came to others’ mind. Christian [Horner, Red Bull boss] had the same idea before the weekend, he followed Christian’s instruction so maybe he wants to drive for him! You see, I’m going from one side to the other side [in my mind].

    “Nico kept it very cool under pressure, maybe he would have launched an overtake also, another game. I know it’s difficult to have a solution for every single issue.”

    When asked why Mercedes felt compelled to interfere with Hamilton’s tactics, Wolff replied: “We could let them off the leash completely and have less rules, but the consequence would be we would win less races and we would be losing championships, because there are some other clever blokes on the pitwall.

    “And there’s one philosophy we’ve followed all through the years, which is: we will not interfere, as long as we can guarantee the race win. And there was a situation here where we calculated we would lose the race, because [Lewis] was getting slower and slower.

    “This was where we decided to intervene, he decided to ignore it. There’s just one thing: does this set a precedent for the future?

    “This is what we have to assess, but fundamentally we have to cheer up. Nineteen wins and a new world champion, great spirit within the team.”


  4. Hamilton insists he did nothing unfair in Rosberg battle during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton insists he did nothing unfair when trying to back teammate Nico Rosberg up into his rivals during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    The British driver was asked by his Mercedes team to pick up the pace several times during the race as he drove slowly to try to get his rivals closer to Rosberg, who was running second behind him.

    Hamilton, who needed Rosberg to finish in fourth to beat him to the title, appeared annoyed on the radio after he was instructed to drive faster, saying “right now I’m losing the world championship so I’m not bothered if I win or lose this race.”

    In the end, the tactics did not work, and Hamilton lost the title by five points despite winning his 10th race of the year.

    Despite defying Mercedes’ orders, the three-time champion felt he did nothing wrong.

    “I don’t think I did anything dangerous, I don’t think I did anything unfair,” said Hamilton. “We were fighting for the championship, I was in the lead so I control the pace. That is the rules.”

    Hamilton said that, despite Mercedes’ warnings about Sebastian Vettel being a threat unless he picked up the pace, he had the race under control all the time.

    When asked if he was annoyed by the instructions, he said: “Not really. I don’t know why they didn’t just let us race.

    “There was never a moment where I feel I was going to lose the race. It is a shame that it is quite clear their thought process… and I don’t have much to say to be honest.

    “I was hoping he [Vettel] would close up but his tyres were going off towards the end and Nico drove well to not make mistakes.

    “It was pretty chilled at the end. It may have been intense for you but not intense for me. For me, I am in a position where I had a lot of points lost during the season so for me I am out there fighting and generally never try to do anything to harm the team or the brand.

    “But we won the constructors’ championship so it was down to me and Nico today. However they felt they still needed to make comments. We will discuss it afterwards as we all do.”

    The Briton praised Rosberg’s job this season, saying the German had done a “fantastic job.”

    “I did everything I could,” added Hamilton. “Obviously Nico had a very clean year without any real issues to be honest. That is why we sit in this position right now.

    “He did a fantastic job, congratulations to him. It’s a great feeling to win the championship.”

  5. Lewis Hamilton says he does not know why Mercedes tried to interfere in his battle for the Formula 1 world championship with Nico Rosberg during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    The three-time world champion tried to back Rosberg into slower cars behind, hoping his team-mate would be overtaken and fall to fourth place, which would give Hamilton the title if he held the lead to the chequered flag.

    Hamilton was repeatedly asked by Mercedes to pick up his pace to make sure the team won the race, but he ignored those instructions.

    “I don’t know why they didn’t just let us race,” he said.

    “There was never a moment where I felt I would lose the race.

    “It’s a shame, but it’s quite clear their thought process. I don’t really have much to say.”

    When asked if he found the radio contact annoying while trying to manage the race from the front, Hamilton said it was straightforward from his position on the track.

    “It wasn’t intense, it was pretty chilled at the end,” he said.

    “It might have been intense for you [watching] but it wasn’t for me.

    “I’m in a position where I have lost a lot of points during the season, so I’m out there fighting.

    “We had won the constructors’ championship so it was down to me and Nico today.

    “But [the team] still felt they needed to make comments.

    “I don’t think I didn’t anything dangerous today.

    “We were fighting for the world championship, I was in the lead, I control the pace. Those are the rules.

    “We’ll discuss it afterwards, as we always do as a team, but we can’t let it overshadow that Nico has just won the world championship.”

    At one point in the race Rosberg asked Mercedes to get Hamilton to let him through, promising he would hand back the lead if the Briton was still second on the final lap.

    When asked if he should have just tried to pass Hamilton, Rosberg said: “Lewis was using all his skill to do it perfectly so there was absolutely no way for me to get by.

    “I thought about it but it was pointless – he did it in a perfect way.

    “It’s simple. You can understand the team’s perspective and Lewis’s perspective.”

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who came closest to disrupting Rosberg’s title hopes in the closing stages as he charged through to third due to a later pitstop to take super-soft tyres, said there was no more he could do to attack the Mercedes drivers.

    “When you follow another car, you start to slide, and I was struggling with my fronts, so it was difficult to stay close,” said Vettel.

    “I did what I could – Nico defended well and he had a tow from Lewis.

    “Without the tow, I think I could have had a chance.

    “We could see what was going on – Lewis was trying to back Nico up, and my sole interest was winning the race but I couldn’t get past.”


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