Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton deserved F1 title

Nico Rosberg hailed Lewis Hamilton as the best driver on the 2014 Formula 1 grid after losing the title to his Mercedes team-mate in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton deserved F1 title

With pre-race championship leader Hamilton in front from the outset, Rosberg was looking unlikely to claim the championship even before an engine problem that ultimately dropped him to 14th place set in.

"I'm very disappointed, a good chance was there today," said Rosberg. "It didn't work out, but in the end my race didn't make a difference because Lewis won fair and square anyway.

"I won't dwell on my issue today - he deserved to win today and he deserved to win the championship.

"He was this year that little bit better so it is fully deserved. He was the best driver on the grid this year.

"It was a great battle between us, and that's what I race for. It was a very intense time of course, but also fantastic. Having such a strong car has been unbelievable."

Hamilton: Second title dwarfs 2008 success

Rosberg was jeered by some fans earlier in the season following his Belgian GP collision with Hamilton, but praised the Abu Dhabi crowd for its fair behaviour.

"It's been an incredible experience this weekend, I have never had so much support from the fans around the world before," he said.

"Even the British - obviously most of them were here for Lewis but it was so nice to see after qualifying that everyone was acknowledging me respectfully and applauding."

Hamilton ultimately won 11 grands prix to Rosberg's five during the season, and outscored him by 384 points to 317.

But Rosberg outqualified his team-mate 12 times in 19 races, winning F1's inaugural qualifying trophy via his 11 poles.

"There is also a lot of strong points I can build on for next year," he said.

"I've been the better qualifier over the last two years, but I need to find a little bit in the racing and I am going to find that.

"It's not going to be easy to improve and find that little bit extra, but I know what the areas are so I'm going to push for them."

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Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton wins race and 2014 Formula 1 title

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Lewis Hamilton
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