Abu Dhabi Race Round 21

Lewis Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi GP but 2nd place is good enough for Nico Rosberg to take the championship with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel 3rd as Jenson Button retires from potentially his last F1 race.

27/11/16

Tyre choice

Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Esteban Gutierrez, Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz will start on the Supersoft tyre. Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson will start on the Soft tyre with everyone else starting on the Ultrasoft tyre.

Race

The lights go green and both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg get off the grid cleanly but Daniel Ricciardo gets a poor start and gets jumped by Kimi Raikkonen for 3rd. Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg touch tyres with Hulkenberg on the outside and Verstappen on the inside. Verstappen spins and continues but falls down last place. Lap 5, Hamilton leads ahead of Rosberg, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel as Verstappen has made his way up to 13th place.

Lap 7, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Jolyon Palmer pit for the Soft tyre. Lap 8, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa pit for the Soft tyre. Lap 10, Daniel Ricciardo pits swapping the Supersoft tyre for the Soft tyre. He appears back out in 5th. Lap 11, Rosberg is told by Mercedes to take care in trying to overtake Max Verstappen. “Don’t take any risks” is the call made. Lap 13, Jenson Button’s final F1 race is looking to be over as his front right suspension seams to be broken. The replay shows he hit the kerb at turn 9 far too hard and that broke the suspension. He limps back to the garage and gets an applause from the fans in the grandstand. Lap 15, Daniil Kvyat retires and his gearbox looks to be the reason for retirement. Lap 17, Fernando Alonso overtakes Romain Grosjean for 10th place into turn 11.

Lap 20, Nico Rosberg goes up the inside of Max Verstappen into turn 8. Verstappen hangs it round the outside but gets a poor exit from turn 9 and Rosberg overtakes before the DRS zone and is up into 2nd place. Lap 21, Verstappen finally pits swapping the Supersoft tyre for the Soft tyre as Rosberg sets the fastest lap of the race of a 1:46:022. Lap 25, Daniel Ricciardo pits going for an undercut on Kimi Raikkonen ahead. Ricciardo goes onto the Soft tyre and Raikkonen pits the next lap. Ricciardo emerges ahead of Raikkonen on another set of the Soft tyre.

Lap 28, Lewis Hamilton pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 30, Nico Rosberg pits and emerges on the Soft tyre and ahead of Max Verstappen. Lap 31, Sebastian Vettel, who has not pitted for a second time leads ahead of Hamilton, Rosberg and Verstappen. Lap 32, Mercedes ask Hamilton: “Why so slow, currently unsafe to Vettel”. Lap 35, Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Fernando Alonso for 7th place into turn 8. Lap 36, Sergio Perez overtakes Alonso for 8th place into turn 8. Lap 37, Esteban Ocon and Felipe Nasr collide and Jolyon Palmer behind hits the debris. Ocon has the inside for turn 12 while Nasr tried to hang on but contact was inevitable. Lap 38, Vettel pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 39, Palmer overtakes Marcus Ericsson for 13th place into turn 8 and Ericsson pits at the end of the lap for his first pit-stop.

Lap 41, Sebastian Vettel overtakes team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 42, Jolyon Palmer hits the rear of Carlos Sainz into turn 17 and Sainz spins. The replay shows Palmer locking up and hitting the rear of Sainz. Palmer pits immediately as Sainz looks to be out with a gearbox issue. Lap 44, Lewis Hamilton receives another team call from Mercedes:”Okay Lewis, We really need to pick up the pace, Vettel an imminent threat. Lap 45, Palmer receives a 5 second time penalty for the collision with Sainz. Lap 46, Vettel overtakes Daniel Ricciardo into turn 11 and up into 4th place, Max Verstappen is his next target.

Lap 47, Lewis Hamilton receives yet another radio call from Mercedes: “Ok Lewis, this is an instruction: we need a 45.1 (lap time) for the win.” Hamilton “I suggest you let us race” is his response, Things are getting really tense down at Mercedes. Lap 50, there is on 2.9 seconds between Hamilton leading to Sebastian Vettel in 4th with Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen in the middle. Lap 51, Vettel gets a good run out of turn 9 and overtakes Verstappen under braking for turn 11. Lap 52, ” Lewis, this is Paddy (Lowe). We need you to pick up the pace to win this race, that’s an instruction.” “I’m actually in the lead now, quite comfortably” is Hamilton’s response.

Lap 54, “Right now I’m losing the world championship, so not bothered if I win or lose this race” says Lewis Hamilton as Sebastian Vettel is pressurising Nico Rosberg. Lap 55, the final lap and Vettel has a go at Rosberg into turn 11 but Rosberg fends him off. The chequered flag is out, Lewis Hamilton wins but NICO ROSBERG IS THE 2016 DRIVERS WORLD CHAMPION! Rosberg comes over the radio “We did it. We did itttt!” Felipe Massa finishes 9th in his final F1 race and does doughnuts along with Vettel and Rosberg.

Race result

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Ricciardo  6.Raikkonen 7.Hulkenberg  8.Perez  9.Massa  10.Alonso  11.Grosjean  12.Gutierrez  13.Ocon  14.Wehrlein  15.Ericsson  16.Nasr  17.Palmer  DNF Sainz, Kvyat, Button, Bottas and Magnussen.

Race stats

  • Nico Rosberg becomes the 33rd F1 world champion with him and his father, Keke Rosberg join Graham Hill and Damon Hill on being the second father-and-son world champions.
  • Rosberg is only the 3rd German to win the title, following in the foot-steps of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
  • Rosberg has also contested 206 Grands Prix in total – the highest number of career starts before becoming champion.
  • Sebastian Vettel’s 3rd place was his first podium appearance since the Italian GP in Monza.
  • With Nico Hulkenberg 7th and team-mate Sergio Perez 8th, Force India have easily safeguarded their fourth position in the constructors’ stakes – the team’s best-ever championship finish.

Final Standings  – Drivers Championship

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

Final Standings – Constructors Championship

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

 

 

 

 

 

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