Nico Rosberg wins F1 title

November 28 2016 , 12:00 am


Nico Rosberg wins F1 title as Lewis Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi


Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi GP driving slowly in an attempt to bring other drivers into the battle, knowing he needed Rosberg to finish below third.

Hamilton was repeatedly told to speed up but told the team: “Let us race.”

Rosberg came under pressure from Sebastian Vettel but held off the Ferrari driver to finish second.

Hamilton controlled the race from the front but was under instruction from Mercedes management not to try any strategic games to delay Rosberg.

However, he disregarded message after message to speed up and prevent Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen from closing on Rosberg.

The German in turn complained on the radio to the team to “consider doing something” and the tense title battle will do nothing to improve the cool relationship between the two drivers.

At one point, as Vettel homed in on Rosberg in the closing laps, Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe, who only speaks to the drivers on the radio in extreme circumstances, told Hamilton: “Lewis, this is Paddy. We need you to pick up the pace to win this race.”

Hamilton replied: “I’m in the lead right now. I’m quite comfortable where I am.”

But his tactics were not enough and Rosberg whooped with delight as he crossed the line and, after wife Vivian congratulated him over the radio, did doughnut spins on the pit straight before climbing on to the nose of the car to take the cheers from the crowd.

“It’s a childhood dream come true,” Rosberg, 31, said over the radio. “Thank you for everything.”

After the drama of the race, Hamilton congratulated Rosberg on his world championship and the two men embraced and shook hands on the podium.

Rosberg said he had not decided whether to take the number one on his car as is his right next year or whether to stick with the number six, which he chose as his race number because his father Keke won the 1982 world title with it.

The Rosbergs are only the second family in which a father and son have won the F1 world title, after Graham and Damon Hill.

Rosberg started the race 12 points ahead of Hamilton, and knew a podium finish would be enough to secure the championship regardless of what Hamilton did.

It initially looked as though he would be able to cruise to an easy climax to the best season of his career, but it did not take long for the tension to mount.

Hamilton and Rosberg both made good starts to convert first and second places on the grid into a one-two from the start.

But the difficult moments for Rosberg began when he came out from his first pit stop behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.


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