Nico Rosberg followed in his father Keke’s footsteps last weekend, finishing second to secure the Formula 1 world championship win. He described the excitement of his first world championship crown following a battle with teammate and three-time champion Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 27, 2016.
“It feels like I’ve been racing Lewis for ever, and he’s always just managed to edge me out, even when we were small in karts,” said Rosberg in an interview with the race’s organizers. “So that makes this even more satisfying. He’s an amazing driver, a phenomenal benchmark. I took the championship away from him. And just five points in it at the end, that’s unbelievable.”
Hamilton has been criticized for going too slowly while in pole position, slowing the other racers. “I don’t think I did anything dangerous today, or unfair,” said Hamilton. “We’re fighting for a world championship, I was in the lead of the race, so I control the pace. That’s the rules.”
He had lost a lot of points this season so was fighting to retain a higher position on the board, backing Rosberg into Red Bull’s Max Vertappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said, “it was not clear if Verstappen was on a one-stop strategy and he was in a good position; and second Sebastian Vettel was lapping two seconds quicker than us.” The pit wall had urged Hamilton to up his pace to ensure a Mercedes win, which was ignored as Hamilton hoped to back Rosberg into the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers enough to deny him the win.
“We had already won the constructors’ championship so today it was down to me and Nico, and the team still felt they needed to interfere,” said Hamilton referring to the Mercedes radio intervention. “I don’t know why they didn’t just let us race.”
Hamilton put the limelight back on Rosberg saying his triumph should be the main talking point, according to official Formula 1 reporters on Sunday. The racing drivers, sponsors, organizers, vehicle manufacturers and pit teams operate as teams but proved in Sunday’s race, as in all industries, everyone is in competition and looks out for their own interests first.
Data sources: El País, Formula 1