Nico Rosberg wins the final race of the 2015 Formula One season in fine fashion. His third win in a row after converting his sixth pole position into a race victory. Rosberg battled his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, for most of the race but was dominant with an older engine to take the flag.
In the end, Lewis was always going to be about 6 seconds behind Nico but it was a team call as to if they put Lewis on options or not. They chose not.
Ferrari’s Kimi Riakkonen converted a good weekend into a podium finish in third while his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, converted a qualifying error into a 4th place finish with some terrific team strategy and driving. Vettel was able to spoil Force India driver Sergio Perez’s terrific weekend and potential 4th place finish.
A win for Nico Rosberg who, regardless if Lewis is struggling with his car or has decided to relax a bit after securing title, is racking up wins and taking the momentum into 2016. It may not be momentum that is mentally damaging Lewis but it is momentum that is boosting Rosberg’s confidence and that’s something he’ll need in order to fight Lewis in 2016.
Also a win for Mercedes and their podium choice as it wasn’t lost on me that they had a female team member on the podium in a country that you may not have expected that and which is usually a very male dominated culture. And they say F1 isn’t political…guffaw.
A win for Kimi Raikkonen who, in his more mature era, seems to need the car perfect in order to provide a podium performance. Kimi said that car was much better and the team had a good weekend which means he secured a podium finish. Kimi’s podium also secured his position in the championship ahead of fellow Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas.
Conversely, Raikkonen’s teammate, Vettel, was able to turn qualifying errors into a 4th place finish. While Ferrari ran a tactical gamble, it was the right strategy and Seb drove perfectly to take advantage of that strategy.
Force India had a big win with a 5th and 7th place finish and Sergio Perez bested his teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the driver’s championship.
It’s a big win for Lotus F1’s Romain Grosjean who had to secure the team’s constructor’s championship position by himself by beating both Toro Rosso’s to finish 9th in the race and giving the team 6th in the constructor’s chase.
Daniil Kvyat’s 10th place finish helped keep him ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the driver’s championship although the Australian had a great run to 6th place in the race.
Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina had a win in a visually stunning race and a race that had some passing (DRS enabled but passing nonetheless).
It was a bit of a fail for Plucky Teen Max Verstappen who managed to penalize himself and fall back to 12th while his teammate looked very competitive but failed to make the points.
Valtteri Bottas was looking to give Williams F1 a good finish but was released from a pit stop in an unsafe manor and was penalized for clouting the McLaren of Jenson Button as he pitted for new tires. This cost the Fin 4th in the driver’s championship. Williams also couldn’t seem to find the pace to get Felipe Massa any higher than 8th at a circuit that the Mercedes-powered cars seemed to do well at.
Ultimately Nico Hulkenberg was gunning for a better finish and while he was in the points, he was beaten by Sergio Perez in the driver’s championship.
It most likely wouldn’t have worked but why not pit Lewis Hamilton earlier and put options on to make a run for it in the final race? Lewis himself was questioning the call and he felt up for a gamble but the team liked the idea of a 1, 2 finish which meant they secured 86% of the total points on offer for the 2015 season. A record no less.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had a moment which prompted the exit of Pastor Maldonado and then radioed that if there was no safety car, they should retire the car adding to the thought of Ron Dennis and his sabbatical comment as well as rumors that he wasn’t happy with the Alonso meme from the last grand prix. Maybe a new meme is needed #driversronwouldratherhave
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault|
|12||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault|
FINAL DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: