F1: Rosberg ends 2015 with third straight GP win

    It was a comfortable lights-to-flag triumph at the Yas Marina for Rosberg, who has been unstoppable since Hamilton won his third F1 title in October.

    Published On Nov 30, 2015 06:06:00 AM

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    F1: Rosberg ends 2015 with third straight GP win

    Nico Rosberg finished the 2015 season by completing the first victory hat-trick of his Formula 1 career, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    It was a relatively comfortable lights-to-flag triumph at the Yas Marina circuit for Rosberg, who has been unstoppable since Hamilton won his third F1 title in October.

    Rosberg has won every subsequent race, finishing another runner-up campaign with six successive pole positions in total, and a run of wins that took him to 14 overall and provided him with a lift ahead of the 2016 campaign.

    Come the end of the 55 laps Rosberg finished 8.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who opted for a different race strategy in a bid to find a way past the German, only to fall short.

    When Rosberg made his second stop on lap 31 of 55, Hamilton opted to stay out rather than pit on the following lap.

    As Hamilton extended the life out of a set of soft Pirelli tyres there followed an exchange of messages between driver and the pitwall over to whether he could go to the end of the race.

    With Rosberg closing rapidly, Hamilton eventually pitted for a second time after 41 laps, but rather than taking on super-softs - although he had no new sets left, only used - the switch was to softs, leaving him with a 12.5s deficit.

    There was another brief surge, but ultimately it was a forlorn battle for Hamilton who had to settle for runner-up to Rosberg again.

    Behind Mercedes' 12th one-two of the season - a new F1 record - Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished on the podium for only the third time this year, and for once ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who rose from 15th on the grid to fourth.

    Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished a strong fifth and seventh either side of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

    Williams driver Felipe Massa was eighth, followed by Romain Grosjean in his final race for Lotus ahead of his move next year to Haas. The Frenchman used an alternative strategy and a late charge on super-softs to come through from 19th on the grid.

    Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 in his Red Bull, fending off Carlos Sainz Jr.

    Incidents in a hectic first part of the race included a collision in the pitlane between Williams's Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Jenson Button.

    As Bottas was released - unsafely according to the stewards as he was penalised with a five-second time penalty - and as Button cut across into his pitbox, the Finn caught the rear of the Briton.

    The incident resulted in damage to Button's rear wing, while Bottas sustained front-wing damage, leading to a long, slow lap back to the pits for a new nose.

    That relegated Bottas to 18th at the time, with Fernando Alonso the only man behind as the two-time champion had required his own new front wing at the end of lap one in the wake of a first-corner crash with Pastor Maldonado's Lotus.

    It was the ninth time this year Maldonado had retired, while Alonso's error incurred the wrath of the stewards as he was also penalised with a drive-through penalty for causing a collision.

    Running around at the rear, and just before the midway point of the race, Alonso suggested he had had enough when he declared over the radio: "If we don't get a safety car I will retire the car".

    The Spaniard, however, kept going to the flag, ending his worst season - in terms of points scored - since his 2001 debut with Minardi - down in 17th, with only Manor duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi behind him.

    RESULTS - 55 LAPS:

    PosDriverCarGap
    1Nico RosbergMercedes1h38m30.175s
    2Lewis HamiltonMercedes8.271s
    3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari19.430s
    4Sebastian VettelFerrari43.735s
    5Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m03.952s
    6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m05.010s
    7Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m33.618s
    8Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m37.751s
    9Romain GrosjeanLotus/Mercedes1m38.201s
    10Daniil KvyatRed Bull/Renault1m42.371s
    11Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault1m43.525s
    12Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1 Lap
    13Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1 Lap
    14Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    15Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    16Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Renault1 Lap
    17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda2 Laps
    18Will StevensMarussia/Ferrari2 Laps
    19Roberto MerhiMarussia/Ferrari3 Laps
    -Pastor MaldonadoLotus/MercedesCollision

    FINAL DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

    PosDriverPoints
    1Lewis Hamilton381
    2Nico Rosberg322
    3Sebastian Vettel278
    4Kimi Raikkonen150
    5Valtteri Bottas136
    6Felipe Massa121
    7Daniil Kvyat95
    8Daniel Ricciardo92
    9Sergio Perez78
    10Nico Hulkenberg58
    11Romain Grosjean51
    12Max Verstappen49
    13Felipe Nasr27
    14Pastor Maldonado27
    15Carlos Sainz18
    16Jenson Button16
    17Fernando Alonso11
    18Marcus Ericsson9
    19Roberto Merhi0
    20Alexander Rossi0
    21Will Stevens0

    FINAL CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

    PosConstructorPoints
    1Mercedes703
    2Ferrari428
    3Williams/Mercedes257
    4Red Bull/Renault187
    5Force India/Mercedes136
    6Lotus/Mercedes78
    7Toro Rosso/Renault67
    8Sauber/Ferrari36
    9McLaren/Honda27
    10Marussia/Ferrari0

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