Rosberg ends season on a high in Abu Dhabi

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Monday 30th November, 2015 - 2:00am

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Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg wrapped up the season in style by beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton to score his sixth victory of the campaign.

The Mercedes driver made the most of his pole position to dominate the early proceedings as world champion Hamilton struggled to match his opposite number’s pace.

Hamilton rolled the dice with a longer second stint but the Brit was unable to make the most of fresher soft tyres in the final laps to apply significant pressure on Rosberg.

In the end, Rosberg went on to record a comfortable victory with an 8.2s margin over Hamilton, while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed a solid drive to third.

Rosberg’s triumph was his third consecutive win and the first time the German has achieved the feat in his F1 career.

The sister Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel produced arguably the drive of the day by scything his way from 15th on the grid to fourth.

A long first stint saw the four-time world champion rise to second before fighting back from sixth to fourth in the final 15 laps following his second stop.

Force India’s Sergio Perez impressed throughout to score fifth ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was locked in a race long battle with the Mexican driver.

The Australian’s sixth place finish was not enough to overhaul his team-mate Daniil Kvyat in the championship standings with Ricciardo finishing three points adrift in eighth.

Nico Hulkenberg claimed a second points finish for Force India in seventh, while Williams’ Felipe Massa came through to finish eighth.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean fought from the back row of the grid after a gearbox change penalty to finish ninth on his final drive for the Enstone team.

Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Kvyat just edged the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz to claim the final points paying position.

A late drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags saw Max Verstappen finish in 12th ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Valtteri Bottas came home in 14th position after his race was hampered by an unsafe pit release that saw the Williams driver clip the rear of Button, who was entering his pit bay.

Fernando Alonso finished two laps down in 17th spot after causing a first corner accident that ended Pastor Maldonado’s race on the opening lap.

Initial contact with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr saw Alonso tag the rear of Maldonado, breaking the rear suspension on the Lotus. The Spaniard was penalised for the incident.

Result: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Position Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 55
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 55 +8.271s
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 55 +19.430s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 55 +43.735s
5 Sergio Pérez Force India/Mercedes 55 +1:03.952s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 55 +1:05.010s
7 Nico Hülkenberg Force India/Mercedes 55 +1:33.618s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 55 +1:37.751s
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 55 +1:38.201s
10 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 55 +1:42.371s
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 55 +1:43.525s
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 54 +1 Lap
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 54 +1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 54 +1 Lap
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 54 +1 Lap
16 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 54 +1 Lap
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 53 +2 Laps
18 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 53 +2 Laps
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 52 +3 Laps
DNF Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 0 Collision

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 381
2 Nico Rosberg 322
3 Sebastian Vettel 278
4 Kimi Räikkönen 150
5 Valtteri Bottas 136
6 Felipe Massa 121
7 Daniil Kvyat 95
8 Daniel Ricciardo 92
9 Sergio Pérez 78
10 Nico Hülkenberg 58
11 Romain Grosjean 51
12 Max Verstappen 49
13 Felipe Nasr 27
14 Pastor Maldonado 27
15 Carlos Sainz 18
16 Jenson Button 16
17 Fernando Alonso 11
18 Marcus Ericsson 9
19 Roberto Merhi 0
20 Alexander Rossi 0
21 Will Stevens 0

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