Nico Rosberg is the 2016 Formula One World Champion
When look at the overall statistics both Mercedes drivers got excellent results, but it seems high level that Hamilton had the upper hard (12 poles, 10 wins) versus Rosberg (8 poles, 9 wins). Overall Hamilton had also 17 podium finishes versus Rosberg 16 podiums. Let's go and review the season here:
The start of the 2016 season
Nico Rosberg was on perfect score for 4 races, until Spain where he clashed with Hamilton, and both cars where out of the race. Spain was a turning point for the championship, a down period for Rosberg - as the next 2 races (Monaco and Canada) were lows for Rosberg and high for Hamilton. Still, Rosberg managed to come back with style at the European Grand Prix to claim both pole and win and continue to lead the championship with 141 points (versus Hamilton 117)
The middle part of the 2016 season
The middle part of the season (Austria, United Kingdom, Hungary, Germany) featured a very determined Lewis Hamilton playing catch up and winning all these 4 races. By the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took the F1 standings lead from Nico Rosberg by 6 points. By then Nico Rosberg reacted and won the following 3 consecutive races Belgium, Italy, Singapore to take back the F1 points lead with 273 points (versus Hamilton 265)
The end of the 2016 season
Malaysia was a destabilizing factor to Lewis Hamilton whose car suffered an engine failure, taking no points that allowed Nico Rosberg to extend the points gap to 23 points = that is worth one race win. The Japanese Grand Prix was another opportunity for Rosberg to further extend his lead to 33 points. The German won the race from pole position while Hamilton only finished 3rd. The final 4 races (United States, Mexico, Brazil, Abu Dhabi) were all won by Hamilton but Rosberg did great by finishing runner-up to all of those... and winning the 2016 Formula One title, his first and last (read more below).
Overall, we think Nico Rosberg became a great Champion and took good care of the opportunities, winning the races that we could and finishing within the podium whenever possible. Yes, it was a close championship - Did Lewis Hamilton lost the championship only for the engine failure at Malaysia? we do not think so.... there were 21 races in the F1 calendar, so we do not think the championship is decided by just one race. Also looking over at Spain, the race were Hamilton and Rosberg clashed - if Hamilton could have done better - he could have probably finished or win the race (from Rosberg) and take a better lead early in the 2016 season. We think overall Nico Rosberg play the championship one race at a time to a point that got the title fair and square against one of the fastest drivers of all time (Lewis Hamilton).
But as we were writing this entry, Nico Rosberg announced that he is retiring from the F1 world and will not be racing F1 anymore. We wish him best for his great racing this 2016 and all previous years. Definitely it came as a shock and surprise to many F1 fans, and we will miss the 2016 F1 World Champion not being in the grid for 2017.
For more detailed comparison:
2016 F1 Comparison: Hamilton versus Rosberg
Posted on December 02, 2016