Nico Rosberg has been crowned the 2016 Formula 1 world champion after finishing second to race winner Lewis Hamilton at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg headed into the weekend with a 12 point advantage over Hamilton and as such only needed a third place finish to secure the title.
Aware of the permutations, Hamilton appeared to purposely back Rosberg into the clutches of his rivals, repeatedly disobeying warnings to improve his pace.
This allowed Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who had a fresh set of supersoft compound, to close in on Rosberg in the latter part of the race.
The two came tantalisingly close during the last two laps of the race, but Rosberg managed to hold on to his position to win the championship.
With this result, the German emulated his father Keke Rosberg, who won the title 34 years ago in 1982.
Behind the leading trio, Max Verstappen finished fourth in the lead Red Bull after switching to a one-stop strategy. The Dutchman spun on the first lap after contact with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, but managed to regain positions by extending his first stint on soft tyres.
Daniel Ricciardo was next up in fifth, having undercut Kimi Raikkonen during the second sequence of pitstops.
The aforementioned Hulkenberg finished seventh on his final outing for Force India, with Sergio Perez’s eighth place result securing the Silverstone-based team fourth place in the constructors championship.
Felipe Massa came home ninth on his final grand prix, while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso bagged a solitary point with tenth.
Unlike Massa, Jenson Button couldn’t see the chequered flag in what was possibly his last F1 appearance. The Englishman suffered damage to his car’s wishbone after hitting a sausage kerb in the early stages of the race.
by Rachit Thukral