Be ready for an electrifying experience as the final leg of the Formula 1 World Championship unfolds
The majestic Yas Marina circuit plays host to the final round of the prestigious FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 25-27, 2016. As the championship roared into the closing stages of this season, last year’s Grand Prix winner, Nico Rosberg was in command of the championship, having won nine times as the series headed to America in late October after 17 races.
The German, in the Mercedes AMG Petronas car, started the year off with a convincing four-race winning streak, while his teammate, reigning and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, was struck by car problems. In midseason, it was Hamilton’s turn to win four races in a row, which took him briefly into the points lead. Once the series began its second half, Rosberg took control again, aided by another failure for British driver Hamilton while leading in Malaysia.
Heading to Abu Dhabi brings bittersweet memories for Rosberg, son of 1982 Formula 1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. In 2014 mechanical failure ended his world championship hopes, while in 2015, he won the race. It’s a circuit he hopes he will leave with his own title of ‘World Champion’ in November. “I’ve had a good momentum in the second half of the championship,” said Rosberg, “but Lewis is always a tough competitor, and we have the same car. It will always be tough.”
Winners all the way
Only one other team had – until late October – won a Grand Prix besides Mercedes. One of Formula 1’s most exciting young stars, Max Verstappen took victory in the Spanish Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing at just 18 years of age, making the most of a collision that eliminated Rosberg and Hamilton. The Dutch ace has proved wrong critics that felt he was too young to be in the world’s premier auto racing series, and he has no fear battling with the sport’s elite racers. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo has often been the closest challenger, and scored his first win of the season in Malaysia in September. Ferrari is always one of the crowd favourites in Formula 1, with its former world champion drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Riakkonen.
The spectacular Yas Marina circuit will provide a fitting finale to the 2016 season that has been all about the two Mercedes teammates, Rosberg and Hamilton. Which one will leave Abu Dhabi after the race as 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Champion, time will tell.
By: Andy Hallbery