A round-up of all the action at the 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit… Plus a great picture gallery from all teams!
Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Rosberg: “Wow! I am delighted and I dedicate the championship win to my wife and my daughter. I am very proud to have done the same feat as my dad [Keke], but congratulations to Lewis. He too has had a great season and was a great competitor as always.
WORLD CHAMP!! pic.twitter.com/fkcv0iiMFG
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) November 27, 2016
“The race was crazy and the battle with Max Verstappen; I hope I don’t experience that again! It was so intense and it will take some time to come to terms with but I want to say thank you to all the people who have been supporting me throughout the world. It is a very special feeling for me and the people closest to me. My racing family.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I am happy with the win. It was relatively easy to get the win in the end, so a big thank you to the team. I was hoping Sebastian, with the pace he was on, would close up the gap but his tyres we’re going off and Nico did not make any mistakes.
Faith. ❤️ #GodIsTheGreatest #TeamLH pic.twitter.com/7cOQdIGMpc
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 27, 2016
“I did what I could and drove well but at the end of the day, Nico had a clean year and had no issues, which is why we sat where we are now but there are still a lot of positives that I can take from this season. There have been a lot of great things that have happened. One thing is the bond with my new mechanics and engineers who came into my garage. That relationship is strong and that bond is real positive.”
Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen: “I am very pleased with my result and how that race went. After being last after turn 1, having to fight my way back and doing it all on a one-stop was the best we could do and I am happy we pulled it off. I knew I was going to come under attack from the two-stop guys as they obviously had more life left in the tyres, I don’t think I could have held Seb off at the end.
Very happy to finish on a high after being last at turn 1. Fighting back to P4 was best we could do. Congrats to @nico_rosberg! #AbuDhabiGP pic.twitter.com/o2XcFWOChK
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) November 27, 2016
When you still finish in front of guys who did an extra stop you have to be pleased with the result, especially as we also finished so close to P1. It was an unfortunate tap at the start which caused the spin, it was just a racing incident though and these things happen. I think Lewis was trying to back us up, and I probably would have done the same, you have to try these things to win a championship. It is very nice to finish the season fifth in the championship and to have had some really good results along the way. After yesterday I wasn’t too happy, so now we finish it on a high. It has been a special season for me this year and I am really excited to get next year underway and hopefully bring more success.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I don’t want to be too down as I’m still fifth. I’m just frustrated in how the strategy played out in the end. We had the supersofts at the start and it was still going pretty well and we tried to make a move on Kimi. For sure it was close but we didn’t pull it off and that really hurt me. I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped but in hindsight it’s always easy to say. I saw Max spin in mirrors in turn 1, so I thought he was out of the race and then he does a one-stop and fights for the podium so he did well. I just feel we hurt with the two-stop strategy as the supersoft was a good tyre today. Hats off to Nico. It must be an amazing feeling to be world champion. They both pushed each other until the end and it’s nice to see the title go down to the line like that. Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points. I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure. I’m not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year, but if we woke up in February for testing and the car’s quick then you’ll see me fighting for it (the title).”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “Congratulations to Nico Rosberg on becoming a very worthy world champion following an exciting race today in Abu Dhabi. It always looked likely that Lewis was going to drive the slowest possible race should he be in the lead, and that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately our race took a bit of a knock from the start, firstly with Max when he spun round at the first turn dropping him to the back of the field. Thereafter his recovery was quite phenomenal using the best of the supersoft tyre to make a one-stop race feasible. He fought right to the end but he didn’t have enough left in his tyres to fend off the challenge of Sebastian Vettel who was on the fresher supersoft, however it was a great result to finish P4. Daniel had quite a big lock up into the first turn which gave him a big flat spot during that first stint. Although he managed to undercut Kimi on the second stint, unfortunately he spent most of the afternoon tucked up under someone’s rear wing and that gave his tyres quite a hard time and P5 was probably about the maximum. This race brings to a close a really exciting year. It has been a great season for the team, we’ve worked tremendously hard and finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship with two victories has been an incredible achievement. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their effort and commitment this season; to thank Red Bull and all of our partners who support us so well, and also to thank our engine partner and the hard-working team at Viry.”