Photo Credit: Channel NewsAsia
With a 2nd place finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after 55 laps around the around the 3.45-mile (5.55-kilometer) Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island, United Arab Emirates, Nico Rosberg claimed his first ever Formula One championship over Team Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who won the race.
Hamilton did everything he could to win his 4th Formula One championship, as he won the race for his series-high 10th victory of the season. However, trailing Rosberg by 12 points coming into the race, Hamilton winning the race meant that Rosberg would have to finish in 4th place or lower in order for Hamilton to be crowned champion, while a top 3 finish by Rosberg clinched him the championship. Rosberg’s 2nd place finish did just that, and for the first time ever, he is a Formula One champion.
Rosberg led the championship standings by a points total of 367-355 over Hamilton heading into the 21st and final race of the 2016 Formula One season. Rosberg’s 2nd place finish gave him 18 additional points, while Hamilton’s win gave him 25 additional points, which brought the final points totals for Rosberg and Hamilton to 385 and 380, respectively, giving Rosberg his first career Formula One championship.
Rosberg ended up earning a total of nine victories in the 21-race season, while Hamilton actually earned 10. But because Rosberg won the overall points, he is the 2016 Formula One champion.
The 2017 Formula One season will begin on Sunday, March 26th, 2017, with the Australian Grand Prix around the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, where Nico Rosberg will look to start off next season on a high not in attempt to defend his first Formula One championship.