Nico Rosberg of Mercedes-Benz was crowned as the victor of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship in a thrilling finish. The last leg of this season was the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where it became an intense match between Rosberg and teammate, as well as defending champion, Lewis Hamilton.
While it was Hamilton who took home the victory in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg only needed to get third place to secure the championship and by placing second, it guaranteed that win. This is because Rosberg had a 12-point lead over Hamilton going into Abu Dhabi.
Things were already exciting during the qualifying run as Hamilton managed to grab pole position. However Rosberg also managed to start with him at P2. From the start, Hamilton had the lead and displayed performance expected from a defending champion and 55 laps later showed the crowd why.
However despite a strong opposition from Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Rosberg managed to finish second giving him an overall total score of 5 points ahead of his teammate. This is considered as one of the closest finishes for the F1 championship with the last one being Vettel winning against Fernando Alonso by 3 points. If Rosberg had finished third, he would still have won it but it would have been closer with a 2-point lead.
Vettel himself finished fourth as the third spot was taken by Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull. In fifth place was Max Verstappen, also of Red Bull, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen getting sixth. Other notable performances include Felipe Massa coming in at 11th and Jenson Button finishing 15th.
With this win, Rosberg is now the 33rd driver to be awarded this championship. This comes 34 years after his father won the same race back in 1982. This makes the Rosbergs the only the second father and son duo to be world champions after Graham Hill won in 1962 and 1968 and his son Damon Hill in 1996.
The win also meant that the combined points of the drivers resulted in Mercedes-Benz awarded for the third straight year as constructors’ champion. Mercedes had a total of 765 points with Red Bull getting 468 points and Ferrari having 398 points.
Rosberg has participated in at least 100 races with 45 podium finishes as well as 19 wins since joining the Mercedes-Benz team back in 2010. Many are saying though that this year’s victory is bittersweet considering that he has lost to Hamilton, placing second, for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While Rosberg’s contract with Mercedes was set to expire towards the end of 2016, it was revealed in July that he had signed a new contract effectively earning him the spot as Hamilton’s teammate well until 2018. Rosberg revealed this new agreement through a picture shared on Twitter.