Nico Rosberg wins the World Championship after Immense Pressure

Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but Nico Rosberg secured 2nd and the 2016 World Championship. The 2016 World Champion endured mounds of pressure in the closing stages  after Hamilton slowed down to allow Vettel and Verstappen to close in on the German in 2nd, but Rosberg kept his cool and finished the race with enough points to claim the 2016 World Championship. 

Hamilton ignored messages from the Mercedes pit-wall urging him to pick up the pace, but the Brit defied the team’s demand and continued to back Rosberg into the chasing Vettel and Verstappen.

At the start of the race, both Mercedes cars got away smoothly whilst Raikkonen overtook Ricciardo before at turn-one. The other Red Bull of Verstappen went spinning and the Dutchman ended up at the back.

bulls-dhabi

Hamilton got away well and extended the gap to 1.2s after a few laps, the gap to Rosberg stable. Elsewhere, Kevin Magnussen had to retire with a front-wing issue and later, Valtteri Bottas was out early with damage to the rear.

Hamilton boxed for softs early after 7-laps, ditching the Ultrasofts with Rosberg mirroring a lap later. Both drivers were held up by Ferrari’s pitting on the same laps, but the Mercedes drivers managed to get out of the first-stint relatively well.

Jenson Button’s last race was unfortunately cut short due to a suspension failure but the Brit seemed content after the race, looking forward to what lies ahead and even planning a super rallycross team made up of himself, Mark Webber and David Coulthard.

Max Verstappen had a say in the title fight despite spinning on lap-one, the Dutchman pulled a mega stint on the Supersofts, going deep into the race and frustrating Rosberg for several laps until the German optimized his superior grip and overtook the Dutchman.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari nailed their strategy today, the German had a great final stint of the Supersofts that worked very well in the cooler temperatures. He pulled great moves on Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Verstappen to climb up to 3rd and put pressure on Rosberg in the closing stages.

Hulkenberg and Perez finished 7th and 8th, firmly securing 4th in the Constructors in an emotional final Force India race for Hulkenberg. Felipe Massa also had a fantastic final race, ending his long career in Formula One with a solid 9th place. Alonso rounded out the top ten with 10th.

After the race, Rosberg said,

“That was not the most enjoyable race I’ve had! I’m glad it’s over and am absolutely ecstatic. The win was for my wife. I want to say congrats to Lewis for his efforts. It’s always tough to beat you and you were fast all year as always”

– Nico Rosberg

Rosberg endured incredible pressure and did well to avoid falling into Vettel’s clutches. His consistency has won him the title after 9 race-wins and a 100% front-row record for qualifying. Rosberg has won the title over Lewis Hamilton by 5-points.