Nico Rosberg is the Formula 1 World champion

  • Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg is the new Formula 1 World champion! The Mercedes driver finished second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit what was enough to secure his maiden title.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg started confidently and kept their positions, while Kimi Raikkonen moved up to the third after overtaking Daniel Ricciardo. Max Verstappen, who started from the sixth position, spun before the turn 1 and dropped to the bottom of the grid. However, Dutch teenager quickly moved up and soon he was between title contenders but he still had to pit.

Max Verstappen spin

Max Verstappen spun early in the race

In a meantime, former champion Jenson Button was forced to retire from his last race after damaging the front right wheel. On the lap 20, Rosberg finally managed to take 2nd place from Verstappen and with 35 laps to go, it looked like he was on the good way to win his maiden title.

In the half point of the race, Hamilton had the 3.2s advantage to Rosberg, while Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, and Sergio Perez were well behind. After both Mercedes drivers completed second pit-stop, Vettel took the lead while Lewis and Nico were running 2nd and 3rd respectively, with two Red Bulls right behind. When the Ferrari driver also went to the pit, the title contenders again were on the top.

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Detail from the race at Yas Marina Circuit

Hamilton’s last hope in an effort to defend the title was Vettel. Ferrari driver was the fastest at the moment and Lewis with a bit slower driving was trying to add some spice in the final stage of the race. However, it looked very unlikely that something can stop Rosberg of winning the title.

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel during pit stop

With five laps to go, four cars were within two seconds and the tension was at a maximal level. It was like a chess game from Hamilton but all his efforts to make the season finale more dramatic were unsuccessful. The Brit won the race for the 10th time in 2016 but lost the title after Rosberg finished in the second place, while Vettel completed the podium what brought him the fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi

It was bitter win for Hamilton in Abu Dhabi

Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg, Perez, Felipe Massa, and Fernando Alonso also scored points in the final race of the season.

Click here for the full results


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