Rosberg takes Formula One title from Hamilton

Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:41am EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Germany's Nico Rosberg celebrated his first Formula One world championship on Sunday after finishing runner-up in a tense Abu Dhabi Grand Prix won by Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton amid accusations of 'dirty tricks'.

After all the suspense and expectation, Hamilton chalked up his 10th win of the season, and fourth in a row, but was powerless to do anything about the championship outcome despite making every effort.

His attempt to push Rosberg into the clutches of those behind him, by deliberately slowing the pace in the closing laps to the concern of team bosses, produced a nail-biting finish with the top four separated by just 1.6 seconds.

"Lewis, this is Paddy we need you to pick up the pace to win this race," the team's technical head Paddy Lowe told the Briton over the team radio.

"Right now, I'm losing the world championship so I'm not bothered if I'm going to lose the race," replied Hamilton, who crossed the line 0.4 seconds ahead of Rosberg with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel third and a further 0.4 behind.

The frosty atmosphere between the pair as they waited for the podium ceremony spoke volumes, with Rosberg hoisting the sport's 86-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone into the air but ignoring Hamilton.

There was minimal eye contact between them, let alone a handshake.

The hug, the handshakes and a word of congratulation, eventually came on the podium.   Continued...

 
Formula One - F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - 27/11/2016 - Mercedes' Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the race. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed