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Lewis Hamilton wins tense Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg takes first F1 world title with second place
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Nico Rosberg
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  27 Nov 2016   |  3:06 pm GMT  |  907 comments

Lewis Hamilton claimed the victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, a result that clinched the 2016 Formula 1 world championship for the German driver.

Rosberg, who becomes the third German driver to win the world title 34 years after his father Keke won his own championship in 1982, knew ahead of the race that he only needed to finish second or third if Hamilton won to take the crown.

Sebastian Vettel finished third after a late race charge for Ferrari, which created a grandstand finish as Hamilton tried to back his teammate into the opponents who could deprive him of the positions he needed to win the title.

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

At the start, Hamilton and Rosberg leapt off the line in formation from first and second on the grid, while the Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel attacked Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull for third place.

Raikkonen got alongside the Australian driver and moved ahead under braking for Turn 1 as Ricciardo and Vettel locked up heavily at the left-hander. In the pack behind, Max Verstappen hit the side of Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India as the fought over sixth, which spun the Dutchman around and he fell down to last place.

The early stages of the race were characterised by Verstappen fighting his way back up the order as Hamilton pulled a small gap on Rosberg before edging back towards his teammate, who has being followed closely by Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 7 and Rosberg followed him in one lap later to switch their ultrasoft Pirellis for the yellow-walled soft compound. Raikkonen came in on the same lap as Hamilton and Vettel did likewise behind Rosberg, which forced Mercedes to hold both drivers slightly longer than it would have liked to avoid the risk of an unsafe release penalty.

But Rosberg was held to such an extent that he came out behind the recovering Verstappen, who was continuing to lap on the supersoft tyres that he had started the race on.

Mercedes told Rosberg to pass the 19-year-old, but after a couple of early moments the German driver remained behind Verstappen, as Red Bull had decided to extended the Dutchman’s first stint and switch him on to a one-stop strategy.

 Lewis Hamilton

For the next 12 laps, the race settled down, with Hamilton keeping a watching brief on Verstappen and Rosberg in his mirrors. Mercedes then told Rosberg it was “critical” for him to make a move for second place, which he duly did with a late lunge at Turn 8.

Although the pair came close together as both Rosberg and Verstappen held their lines, there was no contact between them. But the Red Bull was pinched on the inside of Turn 9 and that allowed Rosberg to get a better exit and he blasted by on the long run up to Turn 11.

Verstappen came in for his only stop of the race on lap 22 and Rosberg set about building enough of a gap to cover him off when he came in for his second stop, which he did a lap after Hamilton had come in for his own fresh soft tyres on lap 28.

Kimi Raikkonen

Ricciardo had jumped ahead of Raikkonen by undercutting the 2007 world champion at his second stop, which caused Ferrari to let Vettel run longer on his middle stint at the head of the race, while Verstappen put in enough pace early in his second stint to become the lead Red Bull driver in a net third place.

When Vettel pitted on lap 37 for a new set of supersofts, Hamilton led Rosberg by one second – a gap that had fallen from 3.3s when the latter had rejoined after his second stop.

Mercedes repeatedly questioned Hamilton about his pace, as Verstappen and Ricciardo remained in close contention behind the two leaders.

Lewis Hamilton

On lap 46, Mercedes gave Hamilton an “instruction” about his laptimes, as it had become that Vettel, who had cruised up to and past Raikkonen and Ricciardo on his supersofts, was a threat for the win. But the Briton replied “I suggest you guys let us race” and he continued to lap in the high 1m45.9s, which allowed Verstappen to move to within two seconds of the lead with Vettel closing in quickly.

A further radio call to Hamilton came from Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe after Vettel moved up to third with a sweeping move ahead of Verstappen on the run into Turn 11 on lap 51.

With just two tours of the 55-lap race remaining, the top four were covered by just 2.5s as Hamilton continued to back Rosberg into Vettel and Verstappen.

Sebastian Vettel

But although the Ferrari driver could use DRS for an extra boost down the Yas Marina circuit’s two long straights, so could Rosberg and in the end they ran to the flag without any last-gasp moves.

Hamilton took the chequered flag to win his tenth race of the season by 0.4s, with Rosberg a further 0.8s ahead of Vettel. Verstappen finished fourth, 3.6s clear of Ricciardo, and Raikkonen came home by himself in sixth place.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “I did everything I could these last four races and that’s all I could really ask for myself. So I’ll leave here and will have a lot of fun tonight celebrating with the team and everyone.

 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg

“You can’t win them all, obviously we had a lot of problems this year so that’s inevitably why I’m in this position, but I’m still grateful for all the success and ups and downs we’ve had as a team.”

Rosberg, who clinched the crown by five points, said: “That was definitely not the most enjoyable race I’ve ever had. With Max at the beginning, and then with those guys coming up in the end [it was] really not very enjoyable those last laps. I’m very glad it’s over and unbelievably ecstatic.”

Hulkenberg enjoyed an early-race scrap with his teammate Sergio Perez, and they eventually came home seventh and eighth to seal Force India’s fourth place in the constructors’ championship, which is its highest ever finish in F1.

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa finished his final F1 race in ninth place for Williams, with Fernando Alonso rounding out the top ten for McLaren.

Romain Grosjean led home his Haas F1 teammate Esteban Gutierrez in 11th place, with Esteban Ocon emerging from a late-race fight with his Manor teammate Pascal Wehrlein to claim 13th.

Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr finished 15th and 16th for Sauber, and Jolyon Palmer brought up the rear of the field after running into the back of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz late on – a clash that earned the Briton a five-second time penalty and caused the Spaniard to retire with a broken gearbox.

Jolyon Palmer

The other non-finishers were Sainz’s teammate Daniil Kvyat, who pulled off with a mechanical problem on lap 16, Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen.

Williams detected a problem in Bottas’ data that was sufficient to cause his retirement after he came in for the team to inspect his car, while a damaged steering rack ended Magnussen’s final race for Renault.

Button retired from what he expects to be his final F1 race after his McLaren suffered a dramatic right-front suspension failure just a few moments after he hit the kerbs hard at Turn 9.

Jenson Button

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix results:

1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1hr38m04.013s
2 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes +0.439s
3 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari +0.843s
4 Max Verstappen, Red Bull +1.685s
5 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull +5.315s
6 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari +18.816s
7 Nico Hulkenberg, Force India +50.114s
8 Sergio Perez, Force India +58.776s
9 Felipe Massa, Williams +59.436s
10 Fernando Alonso, McLaren +59.896s
11 Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 +76.777s
12 Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 +95.113s
13 Esteban Ocon, Manor +1 lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein, Manor +1 lap
15 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber +1 lap
16 Felipe Nasr, Sauber +1 lap
17 Jolyon Palmer, Renault +1 lap
DNF Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
DNF Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
DNF Jenson Button, McLaren
DNF Valtteri Bottas, Williams
DNF Kevin Magnussen, Renault

2016 Drivers’ World Championship

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

2016 Constructors’ World Championship

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

What did you make of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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1

Funny isn’t it?

Rosberg wins a championship as he took more points than Hamilton did, and yet Hamilton fans are complaining that he doesn’t ‘deserve’ to be the champion because he has less wins, less poles, less podiums, etc.

Yet, I don’t recall them saying, in 2008, when Hamilton beat Massa to the WDC despite having less wins, that he didn’t deserve it. Nor do I recall them saying that Massa had worse reliability and should have won the title because he would have won it without certain failures (i.e. in Hungary when he retired from the lead with three laps to go), or that he deserved to win after it had emerged that Renault F1 had intentionally ‘fixed’ the result of the Singapore Grand Prix by ordering Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose, and that the consequent manipulation on the strategy costed Massa the race and the title, or that, even in spite of all that, the FIA failed to invalidate the race in an apparent dereliction of their duty to preserve and maintain intact the integrity of the World Drivers’ Championship. A bit too much hypocrisy.

No, that was all deserved apparently. It’s only when someone else benefits at Mr. Hamilton’s expense that it is undeserved and problematic for these people.

In spite of all that, Massa was still able to show humility in ‘defeat’, unlike Hamilton or many of his fans.

That said, Rosberg, albeit having less failures, still scored more points. As such, he is the champion, whether or not they mind (and they didn’t seem to when Hamilton won the same way).

Rosberg had many occasions in which he may have screwed up, and he still went on to drive near-perfectly, whereas Hamilton made mistakes outside of his engine failures, such as when he got off the grid poorly, and in Baku, where he crashed in qualifying when he could easily have been on pole and on the podium.

2

Would Rosberg be the worst world champion since Button in 2009. Button was comprehensively outdriven by Vettel and if not for Vettel’s appallingly bad luck with reliability he would have won the championship quite easily. Really, Vettel should be a 5-time world champion but was cruely denied due to bad luck. Button didn’t have a mechanical failure all season.

Rosberg couldn’t manage to win a race after round 17, but Button couldn’t manage a win after round 7! Button’s teammate managed to win twice in that span, so the car was capable of race wins. Button on the other hand wasn’t up to the task.

The equation was simple for Rosberg after round 17 — just bring the car home safely in one piece and championship will be yours. Rosberg did that superbly making no real driving errors (apart from saving the car when he aquaplaned), and not putting his car at risk in any way.

Button on the other hand after round 7 in 2009 drove with no real composure, he was mistake prone, couldn’t handle the pressure, was outdriven by Barrichello who was a good 5 years past his prime.

Also, not to mention that Hamilton himself benefited from good luck in 2008. He won less races than Massa yet still won the championship. Needed to get very lucky and have Timo Glock move over in the last corner of the race. Also, Hamilton had a weak teammate while Massa had Raikkonen taking points off of him.

If we’re going to say Rosberg isn’t as worthy a champion as Hamilton, then by the same token we have to say that Button in 2009 and to a lesser extent Hamilton in 2008 were less worthy champions than Rosberg in 2016.

3

Well said, well written. My thoughts too. Thx

4

Nico won, congrats. Hamilton was close, I think the reliability let him down, but at the same time, Nico did his job OK.

Now waiting impatiently for 2017 to come because aren’t we fed of Mercedes domination?

Best teams this year were Mercedes, Red Bull, Force India
Worst team this year was Ferrari

As a Ferrari fan, this year I had only criticisms for them. Red Bull and Mercedes (of course) showed to all how things are done.

Ferrari need to do something for their fans because they promised that they will fight for the title this year, and failed to secure constant podiums…

Fans were let down by them team, and the team owes them something. 2015 may have been a promising year for Ferrari fans,but 2016 they promised something big, and now Ferrari owes big thing to their fans.

Hats off to Red Bull, Mercedes, Force India

I would like to see 2017 being a 3-team fight between Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.

I really hope Red Bull get a stunning Renault engine because they deserve it. They are a hard-working team and if they have a Mercedes engine, they could probably win the championship because their aerodynamics are insane. (even better than Mercedes)

Still questioning myself for the overtaking. Overtaking hasn’t been really good this year, and 2017 with bigger tyres, and bigger cars, I wonder how will drivers even manage…

5

Well done to Rosberg…he really maximized his potential in 2016. As Eddie Jordan put it…’Focus’ won the championship. Had Lewis eradicated the starting issues earlier (prior to Italy), he would have been champion.

On a separate note, just noticed the following comment to Nico In Brazil ‘Verstappen running even wider than that. Try a higher gear in turn nine for more mid speed. ‘

Is that not a breach of the ban on providing assistance to Drivers. I thought there was a ban on providing direction on which gear to use, or which line to use? Even if there was a special dispensation to provide more info due to the conditions…this message was certainly a driver aid…so what gives?

6

The radio ban was dropped ages ago. It might of been over the summer break.

7

It would have been a boring race if the mercs had just driven away. Hamilton demonstrated a supreme level of control in slowing Rosberg up just enough to let the Red Bulls and Ferraris come into play without leaving himself open to being overtaken by Rosberg. Going 9 seconds off quali paced made me think that Rosberg could have countered by making a move on Hamilton, but I reckon he played it cautiously as he could have got knocked off in the process. His move on Vestappen probably saved him the championship. Well done Nico and stop whinging Lewis, you will be champion again!

8

Anyone else notice Nico failed to adhere to parc ferme rules at the end of the race? From the rule book regarding parc ferme: “
At the end of the race, when the cars have passed the chequered flag, they must be driven straight to the post-race parc ferme without delay or assistance from marshals. The only exception is for the winning driver who may perform an act of celebration before reaching parc ferme, providing he does it safely and without calling into question the legality of his car.”

Hmmm imagine the outcry if the FIA actually enforced there rules?

9

Well done Nico. Totally deserved!

10

Congrats again to Nico – if only we could enjoy the same tense excitement in every race that we enjoyed for the second half of yesterday’s with four of the top cars chasing each other down and being within seconds of each other (although for artificial reasons in this case).

11

Having cost Lewis the championship through reliability problems on no less than three occasions this season, it was a bit rich for Mercedes to try and give him orders to help Nico to the championship.

Christian Horner had it right. Lewis was perfectly within the rules to back Nico up into the trailing Ferraris and Red Bulls.

Is there any doubt that Schumacher or Vettel would have done exactly the same ? Of course not. If it had been Senna in Lewis’ position, no doubt he would have run Nico off the road. Are they considered unworthy champions ? No.

It’s the case that Hamilton was deprived of the 2016 championship through no fault of his own. It’s happened before and it will happen again and the record books only show who actually won so congratulations to Nico.

Just don’t expect any top driver to make it even 1% easier for his opponent than he has to.

12

Judging by the many posts here bemoaning Rosberg’s championship win – and also some “journalists” who should know better saying the same – perhaps the FIA should consider dropping a points based system and instead decide the championship on whom people vaguely think “deserves” it the most.

It is irrational for Hamilton to claim that “reliability” cost him. The small points difference in the end does indeed mean that if he failed to have a problem in one of those races then it could have affected the outcome. However, by the same token, if he had failed to make a driving error in one race then it could have equally have changed the outcome (eg losing places at several starts, crashing into Rosberg in both Spain and Austria, colliding with the barriers during qualifying wherever that was, or driving generally poorly in Singapore). By his own logic (ie an occurrence in one race is the sole cause of the championship outcome), then it could also argued that he is solely to blame, as had he driven better in just one race it could also have won him the championship.

13

Even with Hamilton slowing to a crawl the Seb and Max couldn’t catch the Rosberg. What a joke. F1 is a two car race. If the same thing happens next year l’m giving F1 the flick.

14

Lewis was driving really slow in the tight impossible to overtake spot of the track, on the straight he was full beans, so impossible to overtake but could have possibly caused a crash behind with the unpredictable slowing down which is what he probably wanted.

15

I have no problem with Lewis backing up the pack to improve his chances. I do have a problem with his petulance and disrespect towards his team-mate afterwards.

Whether or not he had more mechanical failures is irrelevant – sometimes sh*t happens, and the idea that the team were conspiring against him is, frankly, nuts. A true sportsman celebrates success but is also gallant in defeat.

16

Nico should have crashed into Lewis. “He was very slow, he got slower and slower. It was unpredictable for me, I couldn’t brake anymore and so we made contact.”

17

Well that was a great finish to an otherwise average race! The last ten laps were properly nerve-wracking. Lewis did all he could and it could’ve worked had Vettel been more aggressive. His comments afterwards hinted that he may have held back because he didn’t like what Hamilton was doing (though that would be out of character for any racing driver, to be honest). Rosberg did well to hold his nerve, though. I was half expecting him to crack and lock a wheel. We’ve seen him lose it under pressure before and his car can’t have been handling all that well so close behind Lewis. It’s indicative of the extra level he’s found mentally this year.

I do think Mercedes were wrong to carry on pestering Hamilton after their ‘instruction’ went unheeded. He’d made his intentions clear so getting Paddy Lowe involved only risks creating deeper divisions in the team.

A Rosberg win is in the best interests of the sport, though. I think if he’d lost this time, rather than coming back stronger he’d have ‘done a Webber’ and never been able to consistently challenge Hamilton again. With Mercedes still likely to start 2017 with the fastest car regardless of spec changes, that would’ve denied us the prospect of even an inter-team battle.

Lewis needs to learn from this. He needs to learn that it’s not a good idea to sit back and let your teammate win races, even if you have already got the championship sewn up. That allowed Nico to carry momentum through to 2016 and this time, when Lewis hauled him in, Nico had the fight and fortitude to fight back. From Suzuka onwards, when winning races was no longer a mathematical necessity, Rosberg has delivered performances so measured as to be Prost-like. I doubt Hamilton would’ve had it all his own way had it still been in the balance. And that’s what’s defined this championship. Not luck, but the two contenders having a car that can finish second at a canter. That means that a podium finish is still on the table after even a major setback. Such a large capacity for damage limitation makes consistency king, and so it has proven.

18

A weak champion at the end of one of the worst seasons in memory. F1 is in crisis. Once again we all look towards the next season for more excitement, how long in to 2017 before we all give up again and wait until 2018.

19

Everything in that race was entirely predictable. I was certain RBR & Ferrari would play their part on making it close after Friday.

Congratulations to Nico Rosberg on his first WDC- Whether by luck, fastest car, team manipulation, great talent or any combination of the above Any racer that has worked so hard for so many years deserves it and at the end of the day it F1 we know all those things are part of it. I will hand him that gutsy pass on Verstappen & if anything signified he deserved it that was it just there and he remained in control despite Lewis backing him up.

For me the championship was very much over in malaysia & Im certain if it got close we would have got another Mercedes anomoly in the other car. Mercedes have wanted this since 2014 make no mistake of that.

20

I wasn’t much of Lewis fan before today, but now he has lost at respect from me. No humility when he wins and no grace when he loses. A self absorbed sore loser.

Before all the Lewis fans troll me, I really wonder how you would react if the roles were reversed and it was Nico doing the backing up on Lewis? I actually follow Ricciardo so I have no personal support for Nico, but I know a bad sport when I see one in Lewis.

21

I was just thinking exactly that.

I was reading elsewhere how Nico was saying how Lewis had driven a tactfully perfect race, just doing what he had to do if – as any driver would – he wanted to win the WDC. I honestly could not see Lewis saying the same if it had been the other way round, and I’m sure that the more dedicated Hamilton faithful would be all to vociferous if their driver has been put under so much pressure over those last few laps.

And I say that as a fan of Hamilton, just a somewhat objective and fair-minded fan.

22

Congratulations Nico, you are WDC!

But to be honest is Lewis Hamilton who has rewritten F1

– Now are permitted Valentino Rossi tactics
– Now are permitted to atack your own team in public
– Now are “logical” asking Mercedes to lose 1-2 in a race, (for himself)

This F1 only can improves with Bernie Eclestone’s walls or some obstacles in the race to guarantee the emotions. However, I miss more insults by radio, damaging tyres in qualy 2 by a mistake and having the chance to switch them for free, or irregular maneouvres like waving in braking or cutting chicanes gaining advantage. Because of that we have aditional show in track (thank you to who commited those small & forgeteable errors) but foremost because we can enjoy Conference press with Charlie Whiting saying nothing at all or justifiying private conversations along “chosed” drivers instead of penalties.

Look, the f1 Media is better than ever, you have lots of chats and controversies everywhere. New F1 has a very good health.

Thank you James and all your coleagues for your silence. We all remember your worries in the past about the importance of the Team or not to be a whiner or do complaints in public, or even to gain advantage in some maneouvres. No one of these deserved your attention. Probably you, as HAM, are more matured and are more focused in a great HAM races and the best things of this driver. Congratulations for you. as a matured person more focused in good things.

Unfortunately I like the F1 that you no need to save fuel or be too conservative with tyres. I like strategies but no tactics or political Media interferences. If one driver is better or the best, he doesn’t need aditional help in Media or in track by stewarts. He must demonstrate his habilities in the whole season. But this is other F1, we have the new F1, we praise new F1. Long life to F1!!!!

Congratulations to all new F1 supporters!!!

23

well that was an exciting end to a Mercedes dominated season. congratulations to Nico, I doubt he’ll be so ready to pull over and let Lewis by next year at Monaco….

calling all pigeons, there’s a cat amongst you…..

24

Hamilton.

Dis-gracious in defeat.

Poor show, but what is expected from someone that lives through social media, where ‘friends’ are not friends and opinion is tailored to reinforce your belief.

A part of me feels sorry for this guy because he is so alone.

Good job Rosberg. A real man with a real heart.

25

Well done to Nico, he did all that was asked of him and you can’t deny him the championship crown on any current grounds – it’s the one with the most points at the end, not the one with the highest ‘points adjusted for mechanical failures’ total. The question of whether he (or anyone for that matter) ‘deserves’ it is entirely different. The fact the question is raised or debated at all along with the acknowledgement Hamilton has a better hit rate for points where all other things remained equal, infers most know Nico isn’t the best driver on the grid. Saying he beat Hamilton implies his abilities afforded him a better hit rate for points where all other things remained equal – and it’s far from the case. So, unfortunately, perhaps people just need to seperate ‘WDC’ from ‘Best driver’ to square it in their heads. Whilst Nico will no doubt feel relief that he finally has had a result over Lewis, he’d be naive to hang it on his ‘one race at a time’ approach or work rate etc because had all things remained equal in terms of car performance (which is outside the influence and hence skill or ability of both drivers), Lewis’s points total would’ve been more than a race wins above Nico’s….so what does that say about Nico’s title being down to some new approach or work rate/ethic? It’d be like picking what turned out to be winning lottery numbers then claiming your win was down to your skill and ability to choose them carefully – yes you’d have won, but not because your approach was more skilled. He’ll be more relaxed next year and that often brings results in itself….but it can also blunt the ambition and the instances where Nico has shown blistering raw pace over rivals are too few and of insignificant margin to suddenly become the norm next season.

26

I have just read again the post-race comments by Hamilton and they confirm my impression that he is one of the most unsportsmanlike competitors in world sport and further completely deluded about his own prowess. I look forward to the day other drivers find them,selves in better cars.

27

There is quite a whinge o rama going on about Rosberg. I mean what happened to the quintessential sporting term called under dog ? Is Hamilton the better driver ? Yes. Does that give him a right to win everything ? Hell no. Hamiltons actions are under standable. But reading comments from fans and some journalists sound ungracious and devoid of journalistic ethos. Rosberg did nothing wrong and is a worthy champion.

28

I was at the race and loved every second of the day. Circuit need to do more to keep you in the loop during the race as we had no idea about the radio messages from Merc to HAM / ROS, so were left to guess if the pace was due to backing up or tire wear or mechanical issues etc. Maybe next time i will have Sky commentary in my ear! Other than that i thoroughly enjoyed it. Massa did some donuts right in front of where I was sitting too.

The GP2 cars were louder than the F1 cars, but the F1 cars are definitely louder than they were last year.

As a Brit i’m gutted it didn’t go HAM’s way, but it was always unlikely heading into the race and Rosberg did a great job most of the season. Deserved winner. 2016 will be the season Lewis looks back on and says his engine failure in Malaysia cost him the title.

29

Except that he has been looking back ever since the race in Malaysia, and saying exactly the same at every single opportunity presented to him 🙂 Quite forgetting that, a better qualifying at Baku and/or a better weekend @ Singapore probably would have given him the title too. This is where Nico got smarter this year. Lewis was not on his A game on just 1 or 2 weekends this year, and Nico made sure he would be in a position to capitalize.

Last 2 years, Nico won just half or a shade better than the # of races Lewis won. This year he was up to 90% of Lewis’s wins.

30

People keep harping on engine failures. What about the numerous slow started and driver errors Hamilton did in the season? Why overlook them? Even a single race better start would have made him a champion.

31

I don’t think this makes logical sense. It is true that if Hamilton hadn’t had the engine failure in Malaysia then he would have won the title, assuming everything else stayed the same. However, it is also true to say that if he had placed higher in just one of the races where his poor driving/mistakes affected his finishing position then he would have won the title. That means it is equally valid to argue that his own poor driving/mistakes cost him the title. (Of course, neither is THE reason for the outcome, but if one is willing to advance one factor as THE reason then one must also admit the possibility of the other being THE reason.) Since neither can be excluded, and both cannot be the sole explanation, then neither is the sole explanation.

32

Great result and great drama for the season finale. Bit disappointed by Hamilton’s attitide towards Rosberg’s ultimate victory though. His win in 2008 was similarly marginal against Massa that year – indeed he would have been well beaten had Ferrari not suffered the single most embarrassing failure in the history of F1 at Singapore that year – and yet Massa was able to remain 100% class. Hamilton should have learned from that experience and yet chose not to. I’m not talking about his behaviour on track as I think that was fair game for strategic reasons, but the dummy spitting petulence after the race was very disappointing for a 3xWDC.

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