Nico Rosberg was crowned 2016 Formula One champion on Sunday despite coming in second behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who started from the pole position, needed to win the race and hope that Nico Rosberg, who started second, would fail to finish in the top three for him to claim the 2016 title.
Hamilton, who is undoubtedly the fastest driver in the world, set the pace throughout the race but slowed down at the end in a bid to engineer the result.
Hamilton tried to create a situation in which Nico Rosberg could be attacked and passed by slowing down and reducing the gap. He ignored instructions from the team who demanded he goes faster at the front to which he replied: ”let us race”.
Rosberg came under pressure from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel but held off his compatriot to finish second.
Nico Rosberg threw his hands in the air as he crossed the checkered flag with his wife’s voice over the radio congratulating him.
The German driver did doughnut spins as he soaked in the applause from the crowd before jumping out of the car in celebration.
“It’s a childhood dream come true,” Rosberg said over the radio. “Thank you for everything.”
Rosberg now joins an exclusive club of father and son F1 champions after his father Keke won the championship 34 years ago. He is the second son of a former champion to take the title.
On the podium, Hamilton congratulated Rosberg and the two men embraced and shook hands.
Nico Rosberg said he was relieved to have one over long time nemesis who used to beat him even as far back as children in go-karting.
”It feels like I’ve been racing him forever,” Rosberg said. ”He has always managed to just edge me out and get the title, even when we were small in go-karts. He’s an amazing driver and one of the best in history, so it’s unbelievably special to beat him because the level is so high.”