Gossip Grip: Season finale or final season?

Archivnummer: M44715

By Kunal Shah and Mithila Mehta | Long story short, Nico Rosberg is the new champ. He celebrated his win by doing a seemingly drunk rendition of a song called “Sex on Fire” (interesting choice for sure!) and having a ball until 9 am the next day. Rosberg deserves a second world title just for partying that much. Oh, wait…

So to the surprise of many, it was apparently the final season for Rosberg, the freshly-crowned-and-retired Formula 1 prince. Let’s hope his unofficial driver nickname “Britney” won’t take him to the music world next!

Nico Rosberg’s victory came after a rather strange race in Abu Dhabi. Formula 1 is usually about races won by drivers going as fast as they can; funnily, Hamilton was trying to win by going as slowly as it is humanly possible (might be a title there?). Sadly for him, even at its slowest, the Mercedes car was still faster than the others. After Hamilton disobeyed everyone in the Mercedes hierarchy all the way up to Paddy Lowe, we wonder if Toto Wolff considered getting Hamilton’s mom on the radio? After all, the Mercedes management is no stranger to involving parents to keep their racer sons in check.

With his tricks in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has surely pissed off a lot of people in the Mercedes garage. Forget reviving that bromance with Niki Lauda, Lewis! I guess Lauda now prefers ice cream in Ibiza to videos after a lot of vodka. Wolff also suggested that Hamilton could go drive for Red Bull Racing since he took Christian Horner’s advice of backing up Rosberg seriously. Surely, Horner must be smacking his lips at the thought of a Verstappen-Hamilton pairing!

Williams F1 gave Massa the car he used at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix as a farewell gift – we can only hope McLaren did not gift Button a blown up Honda engine.

Speaking of Max Verstappen, can we imagine the 2016 season without him? He reminded us just how brilliant overtaking can be without DRS. I’m sure a lot of drivers are going to ditch their simulators and turn to video games instead to learn his overtaking moves! He also had the honour of having the FIA block one of his signature defense moves, “The Verstappen”. This has been a dream season for the teenager: he already has more fans than every other driver on the grid (just look at the Driver of the Day awards) and has all the makings of a future world champion.

If Verstappen will be remembered for his daring overtakes, Ricciardo will be remembered for his “shoeys”. Everyone thought the FIA would ban them, but instead, they just found ingenious ways of keeping him off the podium. Daniel was spotted celebrating with the new champ so we can only imagine how the night went. As for Lewis Hamilton, we’re glad he had Rita Ora to comfort him after his loss. We’re willing to bet that Max Verstappen celebrated the end of the racing season with an all-nighter on his PlayStation, while Kimi Räikkönen tanked up (since Abu Dhabi is a dry podium!).

Formula 1 also said goodbye to Jenson Button and Felipe Massa, probably the two most loved drivers of the sport. Williams F1 gave Massa the car he used at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix as a farewell gift – we can only hope McLaren did not gift Button a blown up Honda engine. Button wishes he would have announced his farewell before Silverstone and had a proper farewell at this home race. The good news for McLaren is that Fernando Alonso announced that he would not leave Formula 1 before he won a third world title. Given McLaren’s performance, we suppose Alonso is going to be around for a long, long time. However, with the Spaniard’s newly-found humour, we’ll be absolutely thrilled to have him for as long as he wants.

Mithila Mehta is a travel blogger and, well, loves Formula 1. She co-hosts the Inside Line F1 Podcast, you can also read her travel stories on www.miss-wanderlust.com or follow her on Twitter – @mith_m
Kunal Shah is a former single-seater racer who works in the sports business industry. He pens his thoughts on F1 on his personal blog www.kunalsf1blog.com and co-hosts the Inside Line F1 Podcast. Catch him on Twitter too – @kunalashah
About the Inside Line F1 Podcast: this is a weekly podcast that aims to add a funny touch to an otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. It’s nearing 150 episodes of production with nearly 100,000 listeners each year. The podcast is available across popular listening and streaming platforms such as iTunes, Sound Cloud, YouTube, Mix Cloud, Daily Motion, etc.

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