Rosberg ends F1 season on a hat-trick high

Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:29am EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg wrapped up the Formula One season on a winning high in Abu Dhabi on Sunday with team mate and triple world champion Lewis Hamilton second in a record 12th one-two finish of the year for dominant Mercedes.

The German's third win in a row, from a sixth successive pole position, dashed Hamilton's hopes of a 44th career victory in car 44 on the 44th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates.

The Briton, who clinched the title in Texas last month with three races to spare, finished 8.2 seconds behind after an attempt at a different strategy failed to produce the desired result.

The win was the 16th in 19 races for Mercedes.

"Austin (in Texas) was a tough weekend and since then I've just come back a lot stronger," said Rosberg from the podium after spraying the sparkling rosewater used instead of the usual champagne.

"I'm excited about how the end of the season went and next year -- it can come any moment, it could start tomorrow if it were up to me, no problem. I don't need any holidays."

Hamilton had asked over the team radio with 15 laps to go whether he could go to the end having made only one pitstop to Rosberg's two but was left in no doubt that such a move would not work.

He then pitted on the next lap, any hopes of a wheel-to-wheel battle over the final laps effectively disappearing into the night as he did so.   Continued...

 
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed