Nico Rosberg wins the Abu Dhabi grand prix ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Sebastian Vettel, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean and Will Stevens will start on the Soft tyre while the rest of the grid starts on the Super Soft tyre. The two main talking points ahead of this race is, Where will Vettel finish after starting 15th and Will Nico Rosberg hold off Lewis Hamilton to win?
The lights go green for the final time in 2015 and Nico Rosberg gets a great start while Lewis Hamilton doesn’t and has to fend off Kimi Raikkonen as they enter turn 1. In the background, Fernando Alonso’s McLaren hits the rear of Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus and Maldonado is out with a broken suspension. Alonso continues and pits for a new nose and tyres at the end of the lap. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Lap 6, Alonso, having got a new nose and new tyres has been given a drive through penalty for causing a collision. Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa pit, all for the Soft tyre. Lap 7, Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr pit, both for the Soft tyre.
Lap 8, Valterri Bottas pits and is closely followed by Jenson Button. Bottas hits Button as Bottas was coming out of his pit box and Bottas loses a chunk of his front wing. Bottas is back into the pits the next lap for a new nose and tyres. Lap 10, race leader Rosberg in the pits and is followed by Raikkonen, both go onto the Soft tyre. Hamilton pits, goes onto the Soft tyre, a pit stop of 2.2 seconds and is out behind Rosberg but in front of Raikkonen. Bottas is given a 5 second penalty for an unsafe release.
Lap 17, Rosberg leads Hamilton by 6.220 seconds with Raikkonen another 5 seconds behind Hamilton in 3rd. Lap 24, Vettel pits, having his way from 15th to now 4th pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 25, The gap has come down to now 2.254 seconds from Rosberg in 1st and Hamilton in 2nd.
Lap 29, Rosberg now leads Hamilton by 1.245 seconds as Bottas serves his 5 second penalty at his pit stop. Lap 31, Rosberg has given up and pits from 1st. He goes onto the Soft tyre. Raikkonen then pits a lap later and also goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 40, Vettel pits for the 2nd time and goes onto the Super Soft tyre as Rosberg pops in another fastest lap. Lap 42, Hamilton finally pits from the lead and rejoins behind Rosberg. But has Hamilton left the final pit stop to late with 13 laps to go and the gap is under 12 seconds? Lap 47, Rosberg now leads Hamilton by 7.754 seconds.
A late charge by Romain Grosjean sees him blast past Sainz for 10th then Daniil Kvyat for 9th. Lap 55, Rosberg wins ahead of Hamilton, 8.271 seconds ahead of his team-mate with Raikkonen a further 19.430 seconds back in 3rd.
1.Rosberg 2.Hamilton 3.Raikkonen 4.Vettel 5.Perez 6.Ricciardo 7.Hulkenberg 8.Massa 9.Grosjean 10.Kvyat 11.Sainz 12.Button 13.Bottas 14.Ericsson 15.Nasr 16.Verstappen* 17.Alonso 18.Stevens 19.Merhi DNF Maldonado
Verstappen originally finished 12th but was added 5 seconds to his race time in his battle with Button. Verstappen went off track and was deemed to have gained an advantage. 12th – 15th.
1.Hamilton 381pts 2.Rosberg 322pts 3.Vettel 278pts 4.Raikkonen 150pts 5.Bottas 136pts
1.Mercedes 703pts 2.Ferrari 428pts 3.Williams 257pts 4.Red Bull 187pts 5.Force India 136pts
That is that. Nico Rosberg and Mercedes ends 2015 on a high and sets 2016 up for a fantastic battle between Rosberg and Hamilton. A superb drive by Sebastian Vettel after starting 15th he made his way up to 4th. Romain Grosjean ended his final race with Lotus in 9th after starting 18th.
Some people might be glad to finish the year but hopefully 2016 will be a better year of racing!
Pre Season Testing starts in late February with the Australian grand prix in early March. Watch out of the latest news here.