Mercedes round off memorable season in fitting fashion

Rosberg leads Hamilton
Rosberg leads Hamilton

Nico Rosberg rounded out the 2015 F1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi with his sixth win of the season and the 14th one-two finish of the campaign for the Brackley-based Mercedes team.

The German drove a faultless race from pole to lead home his team-mate, the 2015 world champion Lewis Hamilton, by a comfortable margin. Victory at the Yas Marina track completed Rosberg’s first ever Grand Prix winning hat-trick.

He said: “What a feeling! The end to my 2015 season has been superb and I’m very happy. The car has been great in qualifying and race trim for the last few races.

“I would like to thank the entire Mercedes team for their help and support during the season. I was not able to win the championship, but the team was successful and between Lewis and I we won 16 of the 19 races.”

The dominance of the Mercedes team was clear for all to see this season with Hamilton closing out the World Championship with plenty of time to spare.

The Hamilton-Rosberg partnership clocked up a total of 703 points in the race for the constructors’ title, the second placed Ferrari team managed just 428.

Hamilton said: “I would have liked to win the final race but I wasn’t able to do so. The car didn’t feel right during the closing stages of the race and that stopped me being able to challenge Nico.

“But I have had a great season and winning the championship with Mercedes has been very special.”

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium.

Sergio Perez crossed the finish line in a strong fifth for Silverstone-based Sahara Force India. The Mexican was a star during pre-race qualifying, and his Mercedes-powered VJM08 car ran well throughout a race that started in daylight and ended under street lights.

Speaking afterwards, Perez commented: “I had a good race here and I am pleased for the whole team.

“Force India have had a great car all year, and after we introduced the new front end, the car has been very impressive. I hope we can continue this form and keep our pace as we head towards 2016. If we can do that, then I believe we will be in a very good position to challenge Red Bull for fourth position in the Constructors’ race.”

Nico Hulkenberg finished in seventh position, adding: “For me this was another solid drive.

“I would like to thank the team for their help this season and I can reflect on good performances in F1. Also, of course, winning Le Mans for Porsche was a very special moment in my career.”

The Bicester-based Renailt-powered Toro Rosso cars of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen completed the race in 11h and 16th.

The two STR10 racers both displayed maturity during the race to complete their debut seasons.

Sainz said: “I wanted to finish in the top ten, but I just missed out. I hope everything comes together over the winter and we will all be back next season looking to improve our performance.”