After a rollercoaster of a season, and one of the most dramatic races of the season, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, after coming in second place, has won the 2016 Driver’s World Championship, with five points splitting himself and teammate Lewis Hamilton.
“Yes! World Champion! Brilliant!” The German cried after crossing the finish line.
This World Championship victory comes for Rosberg 34 years after his father, Keke Rosberg, won a World Championship.
“It’s a childhood dream come true, thank you for everything,” Rosberg spoke.
In the closing ten laps of the race, there came team orders to Hamilton from the pit wall following the Brit’s slow driving.
Rosberg complained over the radio about Hamilton’s driving, asking the team to “consider doing something”.
A message then came from the pit wall to Hamilton, ‘instructing’ him he needed to speed up, and get his lap times in the high 1:44s, as Vettel was becoming an “imminent threat”. Hamilton ignored the message, and then completed a lap time of 1:44.8s.
As Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel moved closer and closer to Rosberg on his fresher super-soft tyres, a message came to Hamilton from Executive Technical Director Paddy Lowe from the pit wall.
“Lewis, this is Paddy. We need you to pick up the pace to win this race.”
Lewis then replied: “I’m in the lead right now. I’m quite comfortable where I am.”
Although Hamilton ignored Lowe’s message, it did not matter, as Vettel did not manage to get past the two Mercedes’, as Hamilton took 1st place, and Rosberg secured the Championship.
However, the Brit may face consequences for ignoring team orders.
In his final race of the season, Williams’ Felipe Massa came home in ninth place, and maintained his record of scoring points in every Abu Dhabi Grand Prix he has ever competed in.
Jenson’s last race – and retirement
After he hoped to be in the points for his final Grand Prix before he takes a year off, McLaren’s Jenson Button unfortunately had an early race retirement due to broken suspension on his front right wheel, after he made contact with a kerb.
Driver of the Day: Sebastian Vettel
The Driver of the Day was Sebastian Vettel, as being voted by fans, and is also my personal driver of the day.
After a season filled with poor strategy calls, Ferrari got it right with Vettel as a late change onto supersoft tyres gave him the burst he needed, as we saw the Vettel that won four World Championships.
With only a couple of laps to go, Vettel overtook Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and took third place, and got very close to Rosberg, who was bunched up close to Hamilton. However, Vettel did not manage to overtake either Mercedes before the chequered flag.
“It was a tricky situation at the end with Lewis playing dirty tricks,” the German spoke to his team over the radio after the race.
“It was tough out there. I didn’t want to be an issue. But at the end I was thinking maybe to try to pass both of them but it didn’t work out.”
Following this, Vettel managed to hold off Verstappen to secure 4th place in the Driver’s Championship.