Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg claims the Championship

Following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Chris Soulsby looks at Nico Rosberg becoming Formula 1 World Champion and Lewis Hamilton's most recent win in F1.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes celebrates winning the F1 Drivers Championship with his Wife Vivian Sibold at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27th, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In what was a very tense race around the Yas Marina circuit, it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed victory once again in 2016, however, was pipped to the championship by his Mercedes team mate, Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg claims the Championship

Starting from pole position, Lewis Hamilton lead the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the outset, being relatively unchallenged by his team mate and championship rival, Nico Rosberg. In the latter stages of the race while Hamilton lead, Rosberg was in second place, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Knowing that he could only win the championship if Rosberg finished off the podium, Hamilton slowed down, trying to force his team mate into the clutches of those behind him. However, despite this final attempt, Hamilton was unable to make Rosberg lose second place, meaning that Nico Rosberg became World Drivers Champion for the first time in his ten year Formula 1 career. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in third place, 0.8 seconds behind Hamilton. This marked Vettel’s first podium since the Italian Grand Prix earlier this season.

Max Verstappen finished in fourth place for Red Bull Racing, driving a superb race after being forced onto a one stop strategy after being spun out on the first lap by Nico Hulkenberg. Through this result, Verstappen secured fifth place in the drivers standings after being in contention for fourth place with Sebastian Vettel. Verstappen’s team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, finished in fifth place.

Finishing in sixth place for Ferrari was Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen started the race strong, being up in third place by the end of the first lap. However, throughout the race, the Finn gradually dropped back, leaving him in sixth position.

The two Force India cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finsihed in seventh and eighth place respectively. Through this result, Force India claimed fourth place in the Constructors Championship, marking their most successful season in Formula 1 to date.

In what was the last race of his Formula 1 career, Felipe Massa finished in ninth place for Williams, scoring two points. Massa’s team mate, Valtteri Bottas, retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix early on, experiencing heavy vibrations caused by a damaged damper on his car, meaning that his car was difficult to drive.

Fernando Alonso finished in tenth place for McLaren, securing 1 point. Through this result, Alonso managed to finish inside the top 10 in the Drivers Championship, beating Felipe Massa by 1 point. In what was his final grand prix, Alonso’s team mate, Jenson Button, retired from the race very early on, having a suspension failure on lap 12. The failure is expected to have been caused by heavy contact with the kerb in one corner, however, this was not the case, with Button insisting that he took the corner normally. Nevertheless, this was a disappointing final race for Jenson Button and it was not the send off that he deserved from Formula 1.

The two Haas F1 cars of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez finished in eleventh and twelfth, followed by the two Manor cars of Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein in thirteenth and fourteenth. In this race, the Manor pair beat both of the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, who finished in fifteenth and sixteenth place, however, failed to finish in the points, meaning that Sauber held onto tenth place in the Constructors Championship.

After starting in fifteenth place, Jolyon Palmer finished the race in seventeenth. In the early stages of the race, a high finish for Palmer looked promising, with the Renault driver running in eleventh place. However, Palmer slipped down the field after crashing into the back of the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr after locking both of his front tyres. Through this, Palmer then received a 5 second time penalty, leaving him in seventeenth place.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw a large number of retirements, with both of the Toro Rosso cars of Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat retiring through gearbox failures. Also retiring from the race was Jenson Button following a suspension failure, and Valtteri Bottas following an issue with a damper. Kevin Magnussen also retired from the race in what was his final race for Renault, with the Danish driver sustaining heavy suspension damage following an early collision.

In terms of driver of the day, there are a number of candidates such as Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. However, Nico Rosberg is my driver of the day after securing his first World Drivers Championship. In the race, Rosberg performed well under pressure, overtaking Max Verstappen when it mattered and staying cool, calm, and collected when slowed down by Lewis Hamilton.

Results from the Abu Dhabi GP

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 25 points
  2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 18 points
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 15 points
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 12 points
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 10 points
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 8 points
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 6 points
  8. Sergio Perez, Force India, 4 points
  9. Felipe Massa, Williams, 2 points
  10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1 point
  11. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 0 points
  12. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 0 points
  13. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points
  14. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 0 points
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  16. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 0 points
  17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 0 points
  18. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, Ret
  19. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Ret
  20. Jenson Button, McLaren, Ret
  21. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Ret
  22. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Ret

Drivers Standings after 21 races

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 385 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 380 points
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 256 points
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 212 points
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 204 points
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 186 points
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 101 points
  8. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 85 points
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 72 points
  10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 54 points
  11. Felipe Massa, Williams, 53 points
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 46 points
  13. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 29 points
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 25 points
  15. Jenson Button, McLaren, 21 points
  16. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 7 points
  17. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 2 points
  18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1 point
  19. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1 point
  20. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1 point
  21. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 0 points
  22. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  23. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points
  24. Rio Haryanto, Manor, 0 points

Constructors Standings after 21 races

  1. Mercedes, 765 points
  2. Red Bull Racing, 468 points
  3. Ferrari, 398 points
  4. Force India, 173 points
  5. Williams, 138 points
  6. McLaren, 76 points
  7. Toro Rosso, 63 points
  8. Haas F1, 29 points
  9. Renault, 8 points
  10. Sauber, 2 points
  11. Manor, 1 point

Main Photo