Motorsport champions of this year’s FIA Championships have been honoured in a glittering 2016 FIA Prize Giving ceremony at the stunning Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.
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The highlight of the annual gala show was the presentation of the FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Championship Trophy to Nico Rosberg.
An already emotional moment resonated even more in light of the German’s earlier announcement that, having achieved his boyhood dream of winning the title, he is stepping back from F1 with immediate effect.
Rosberg’s first title win came at the end of a titanic season-long battle with Mercedes team-mate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton. It also arrived 34 years after Rosberg’s father, Keke, sealed his own world championship win.
After 20 races and with nine wins each for Rosberg and Hamilton, the fight went down to the final round in Abu Dhabi last weekend. And at the end of a nail-biting duel, Rosberg’s second place behind his great rival was enough for him to take the crown by just five points. The duo’s 19 wins and 20 poles set new benchmarks in the sport for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, which took its third Constructors crown in a row.
“This year was extremely tough because I put absolutely everything into it. I pushed like crazy in all directions,” said Rosberg of his triumph at the end of Formula One’s longest-ever 21-race season.
— Nico Rosberg (@NicoRosberg) December 3, 2016
“I’ve achieved this childhood dream now, and I’m not willing to do that sort of commitment again,” he added. “I’ve decided to follow my heart, and my heart has told me to stop and go on to other things. It’s been wonderful, but it just feels right.”
In rallying, Sébastien Ogier’s fourth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title ties the Frenchman at joint second in the list of multiple title winners alongside legendary flying Finns Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen.
In partnership with co-driver Julien Ingrassia, Ogier took six wins and five podium finishes from 13 rounds and sealed the title in Spain with two events in hand.
For the second year in a row, the winning crew of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship are all first-time World Champions, and for the second year in a row for Porsche.
Following the triumph of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, and Timo Bernhard last year, this year’s crown went to the crew of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.
Over the course of the nine-race campaign, consistency was the key for the drivers of the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Alongside two wins and a second place, the trio scored four fourth-place finishes to amass a total of 160 points, 12.5 clear of nearest rivals Audi Sport Team Joest.