NOTEBOOK – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Review

Features Notebook

Lewis Hamilton may have won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but this day belongs to his team-mate Nico Rosberg who took his first world title after finishing runner

Father like son

Nico Rosberg has become a world champion in his own right. This season he has proved he can beat Lewis Hamilton on track in wheel to wheel battles, yes he has had the better reliability this season but in races where Hamilton hadn’t had the issues with the car he has been better and manage to beat his friend, rival and team-mate.

I had that famous line in my head from Murray Walker “and I’ve got to stop there’s a lump in my throat!” it was hugely emotional watching that race. Where Rosberg proved he could deliver when it mattered and continued the pattern we saw all season of him having the advantage over Hamilton. The hugs emotional watching the garage, it was right win first for you win the title.

Rosberg’s reaction on the podium “That was definitely not the most enjoyable race I’ve ever had. Very, very glad it’s over and unbelievably ecstatic. What do you call it when you give the win to my wife, to you [Vivian], amazing, thank you for all the support and to our daughter Alaϊa…”

“Yeah, very, very proud to have done the same feat as my dad achieved, he’s going to be coming in about half an hour I think, so it will be exciting to see him.”

Mercedes v Ferrari v Red Bull

One thing we will forget from that race will be the fight between the top three which had the potential to affect the title race. We saw Verstappen trying to pass Rosberg with Vettel not far behind, it was great seeing some wheel to wheel action. This was great racing and strategy from Red Bull for Verstappen following the start incident.

The Start

Hamilton and  Rosberg on the front row there you can see Rosberg angling his way towards Hamilton on the grid. They both pull away with Rosberg slotting in behind Hamilton, while Raikkonen gets away well too getting third. Max Verstappen spins his Red Bull as Fernando Alonso gets places. Verstappen has to re-join last.

Mercedes not happy

Lewis Hamilton may have put himself in the firing line after being asked not to back his team-mate into the chasing pack in a bid to overhaul him in the title race. Hamilton ignored instructions to up his pace to protect the race win for the team.

Wolff told Autosport !” I’m in two minds: one half of me says undermining a structure in public means you’re putting yourself before the team – that’s very simple. Anarchy doesn’t work in any team or any company.”

“The other half says it was his only chance of winning the championship at that stage and maybe you cannot demand a racing driver to comply in a situation where his instincts did not make him comply.”

Hamilton had the difficult task there as he was thinking about how he could of held onto his title. But Mercedes are right to have that concern as it broke maybe there ‘rules of engagement’ introduced after Barcelona. Wolff stressed that Mercedes only got involved when it sensed occasions in the race that could have cost the team victory

Goodbye Massa, Button

After disappointment in Brazil Felipe Massa retired from his home race he put in a good performance to score points in his last race for in F1 and yes it was a great drive from Massa.

“Well, I’m really proud to have been fighting up to the last lap of the race in the same way I fought in the first lap of my career! I want to say thank you to everyone – everyone who has been with me all the way, racing together.”

“Thank you to the fans and to Williams, who I will keep supporting in the future! Thank you to everyone who has been part of everything I have been through. I have finished my career with my head up, the same way I started my career.”

Jenson Button had the bad luck that Massa had in Brazil, he hit a kerb and damaged his steering meaning he had to retire. Like massa it sad to see his career end that way, we saw the same message from teams as he walked into the garage for the last time

Disastrous day – Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso have struggled this weekend and we saw them struggle there race didn’t go any better both cars retired. Carlos Sainz had a gearbox failure after being hit by Renault. They have been on the backfoot this weekend and its just unlucky.

Goodbye 2016

Keep your eye out for the review over Christmas which we are planning to run over five days. We should also have a feature on Rosberg’s career at some point over the coming weeks! F1 Today runs up until 23rd December and we will do it all again next year.

Some of our plans

  • Season Review
  • Rosberg Story (w/t)
  • Reporters Christmas & New Year’s Specials

Thanks to you for reading this season, for Ashley putting up with the technical side and Jason.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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