Lewis Hamilton might have won the last four races of the Formula One season, including the last one, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but it was Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg who clinched his maiden F1 title with a second-place finish on Sunday. Rosberg finished the F1 2016 season with 385 points, while Hamilton accumulated 380.
For Hamilton to defend his world championship, Rosberg had to finish outside the podium if the British driver won the race. Hamilton, like everyone, was aware of the fact and he did everything within his capacity to achieve the same.
Hamilton, who was in complete control of the Abu Dhabi GP in the first place, with seven laps to go, slowed down his car down and allowed other drivers behind Rosberg to have a go at the German.
The message was clear on the radio to Rosberg, as he was told that he could concede his second position in the final lap, but the German, despite some tough challenge, finished the race in the second position, and thus became a world champion.
Rosberg deservedly won the F1 drivers' title as he was consistent in the season, winning nine races and finishing in second position four times. The F1 title was a close fight between the two Mercedes drivers, and the champion was only produced in the final race of the season, which explains the tough competition in the Mercedes' camp.
Hamilton should also be congratulated for some fantastic driving in Abu Dhabi. He was too good and hardly conceded lead. Rosberg also showed his class overcoming some stiff challenge from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Both the drivers pushed Rosberg to the limit in some phases during the race.
It was unfortunate for Hamilton, who won 10 races in the season but still finished second. One look at his season reflects that the British driver's mechanical failures in some of the races in the season cost him hard. While for Rosberg, it was a perfect season, where consistency was the key to his maiden title.
Vettel, who drove a good race, joined Rosberg and Hamilton in the final podium of the 2016 F1 season.
Though the focus was on the two Mercedes drivers in the title race, some eyes were also on Jenson Button, who was driving in his final F1 race of the season. Unfortunately, Button had to retire in his final race due to a mechanical failure, but the fans applauded him when he came towards the pit.