Nico Rosberg didn't expect Lewis Hamilton to back him up in Abu Dhabi

New Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg was not expecting team-mate Lewis Hamilton to back him up into the pack during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg didn't expect Lewis Hamilton to back him up in Abu Dhabi

Hamilton needed to win the race with Rosberg fourth or lower to win his fourth world title but when it became clear that was not happening, he gradually slowed the pace.

Despite several radio messages telling him to speed up, Hamilton continued to slow, particularly in the final stint, allowing the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers to close on Rosberg in second.

There were suggestions pre-race that Hamilton would use that tactic but Rosberg insisted he did not think that would happen.

"I wasn't expecting it, no," he said. "Maybe that was a bit naive but I didn't expect it.

"But it's not something we need to discuss a lot.

"It's easy to understand the team's side, because we do a certain thing all year and it doesn't change just in the last race.

"But at the same time, you can understand Lewis because it's the world championship.

"We are out there fighting, we're drivers and you can understand he wants to try something.

"We can just leave it at that."

As Sebastian Vettel closed up on Rosberg, the Mercedes driver's engineer reminded him he only needed third to win the championship.

But Rosberg said he couldn't afford to concede second to Vettel because he was concerned about the potential challenge from Max Verstappen in fourth.

"I had Vettel and Verstappen right behind," he said.

"I wanted to try and hold onto second because once I dropped one, who knows what kind of mess they are going to get into in front.

"Verstappen was right behind, I didn't want to have Verstappen right behind at the end."

When asked why he didn't risk a move for the lead if he felt he was being held up, Rosberg said: "I couldn't. I was trying at times but Lewis was doing it really well.

"He pushed flat-out for Turn 21 all the way through the first sector and then halfway through the second sector and that's where you overtake.

"I couldn't get close enough, he has the same car as me.

"Then he backed off in the part where I can't overtake.

"He was doing it perfectly and there was no way through for me."

shares
comments
Mercedes F1 concerns with Hamilton were legitimate in Abu Dhabi GP

Previous article

Mercedes F1 concerns with Hamilton were legitimate in Abu Dhabi GP

Next article

Abu Dhabi GP F1 title declder my toughest ever race - Nico Rosberg

Abu Dhabi GP F1 title declder my toughest ever race - Nico Rosberg
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021