Nico Rosberg came 2nd in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win the World Championship by five points from Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg has become the second son to win a world championship after his father as Keke Rosberg won the 1982 title 34 years later and Nico has repeated the feat. It wasn’t all smooth for the Mercedes driver though…
The dominant start
After the first four races of the season Rosberg was sailing away at the top of the Championship with the maximum 100 points while his title contender and team-mate Hamilton was lagging behind on 57 after a few poor performances and unlucky reliability issues forced him down the order. Then in the 5th race in Spain, Hamilton had to retire and another opportunity was there for Rosberg to extend his gap. However, Nico’s car had reliability issues as well and he was forced to retire. Then the momentum swung…
The Hamilton Fightback
Over the next 7 races, Rosberg won only one of them. Hamilton on the other hand was fighting back from his poor start and won the other 6 and by the end of July was leading the Championship on 217 points with Rosberg on only 196. Going into the summer break, Hamilton was looking in control of the Championship and had recovered well from his poor start. However, it was all about to change again.
Rosberg back on top
Rosberg needed wins quickly after the summer break to stop the Championship slipping away from him, and thanks to a mix of superb driving and misfortune for Hamilton he won 4 of the next 5 races. Belgium, Italy and Singapore were all strolls in the park before in Malaysia reliability issues hit both Mercedes again with Hamilton having to retire but Rosberg managing to scrape 3rd place. After that race the Championship looked incredibly different to two months before with Rosberg at the top on 288 points and Hamilton second on 265. Rosberg had the title in one hand and after he gained another 10 points on Hamilton thanks to a victory in Japan, Rosberg had a 33 point lead on Hamilton with 4 races left.
The Final Push
It wasn’t quite over yet though. When Hamilton won the next two races with Rosberg finishing second, the German had a 19 point lead with two races to go. Hamilton won in Brazil with Rosberg coming second again which meant going into the final race Hamilton was 12 points behind. He needed to finish first and hoped Rosberg finished 4th or lower. Hamilton led from pole in Abu Dhabi and everything was looking a bit shaky for Rosberg early on as he was third behind Verstappen. However, he overtook him and was cruising behind Hamilton with only 20 laps to go. Then, Hamilton with nothing else to do to stop Rosberg becoming champion, slowed right down to try and back Rosberg into the oncoming Vettel and Verstappen who were on quicker tyres. It didn’t quite work though as Vettel couldn’t get past Rosberg and the German finished in second to be crowned World Champion. In the end Rosberg was only 1.2 seconds ahead of Verstappen in 4th!
Many people will say that Rosberg didn’t deserve to win this years World title and he only won it because Hamilton had lots of unfortunate DNF’s. I think that although this is true and I think Hamilton is a better driver, Rosberg had the right mentality this year and did what he needed to do. Therefore in my opinion he is a deserved World Champion.