Lewis Hamilton won an action-packed race from Nico Rosberg after a late mistake from the German, and clinched his third F1 World Championship. "I owe it all to my dad & family" said Hamilton afterwards.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, Car 44)
"My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now – I just want to carry on as far and long as I can. For any driver, you want to win in anything you compete in – but this is the ultimate goal. Championships mean greatness – yours and your team’s! This Team has been so amazing. I feel incredibly thankful. I thought I would win with this team, so that's why I moved… and I did!"
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes, Car 6)
"Congratulations first of all to Lewis. He drove a strong season and deserves to win the title. In terms of today, this was a frustrating race for me. To lose the lead with wheelspin hurts very much. It’s even more tough because I was very happy to have recovered from the Turn 1 incident with Lewis. He didn’t leave enough space and drove into me, which was one step too far because I was leading in the middle of the corner. But this is something we can discuss together as a team at another time. I need to recover now from this tough day but I’m sure I will."
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari, Car 5)
“We tried to spoil Lewis’ party today! In the end maybe I should have taken more of a risk with Nico, but it was not possible. It is a shame, but let’s not forget where we started this year. Today it was another great race, a great recovery and the car was fantastic. I think you can’t ask for more if you start from P13. A good first lap helped a lot and after that we had the pace, especially changing to the dry tires in mixed conditions. We seemed to fly for a few laps, a couple of seconds quicker than everybody else. Maybe without the last safety car we could have won the race: but if ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts… It was a difficult race and we managed it very well. I can only say “grazie tante” to everybody on track and in the factory. So on one hand we are happy, but it is not a nice feeling when you are out of the fight. For the next year this gives us a boost, trying to do make progress. Hopefully we will give them a bigger challenge.”
Following a very wet weekend, teams’ had extremely limited running on the dry, and that in itself was an indication of uncertainty as to what to expect from the race. When it all began (still with a damp track), Hamilton overtook Rosberg into turn one and then it was a Red Bull spectacle as Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo offered some super driving to take the fight to Mercedes.
From the back, the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel (13th) and Kimi Raikkonen (18th) were both making big progress and moving to the front quite quickly, as were the Toro Rosso youngsters Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Also having a fantastic race were both McLarens, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both on the points and making some great driving.
Going into a drying-track, the race featured two safety car periods, and pit stop switches to dry tyres meant Red Bull losing places and Mercedes going on their own on the front, with Rosberg ahead of Hamilton, until a fatal mistake. Rosberg lost the lead to his team-mate after a wheelspin, and had Vettel all over him during the final laps.
Eventually, though, it was a third place finish for Vettel, a frustrating second place for Rosberg, and first place glory for Hamilton, who became only F1’s tenth world champion with three or more titles, and Britain’s first ever driver to win back-to-back titles. Congratulations, Lewis.
On other numbers, this was Sauber F1 Team’s 400th GP start, though it was a difficult one for the team, with both cars hitting each other on track; but Brazilian Felipe Nasr held his own to finish 9th. It was also Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s 200th race, and boy did they drive nicely.
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||+22.359s|
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India||+24.413s|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||+30.619s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||+53.371s|