Hamilton hands over title as a winner
By Alan Baldwin
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The podium celebration was muted, and the smile looked forced, but Lewis Hamilton said he still felt great after winning a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that handed his title to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.
"I won today so I don't feel like a loser," declared the Briton. "I did everything with the opportunities I had. We had lots of ups and downs throughout the season, starts where I fell back and I fought back and I never gave up."
Hamilton, who had an outside chance of becoming the first British driver to win four championships, did his best to push Rosberg into trouble by lapping fast enough to win but slow enough to allow others to catch up.
"I don’t feel I did anything unfair. We’re fighting for a championship, I was in the lead, I control the pace. That’s the rules," he said later.
In the end, Rosberg managed to hold on to second place and take the title by five points while team bosses mulled what to do with a star driver who ignored team orders to go faster.
"Nico is going to enjoy this, it is an amazing feeling when you win a world championship," said Hamilton.
"I don't want to take anything away from that, he did everything he had to do this season and I hope we both have cars as his was this season so we can fight again next year."