Nico Rosberg won his maiden Formula One crown after finishing second behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday to become only the second father-son combination to achieve the feat after Graham and Damon Hill.
Nico’s father Keke won the F1 world title in 1982. “It’s a childhood dream come true,” Germany’s Rosberg said over the radio. “Thank you for everything.”
Rosberg finished five points ahead of two-time defending champion Hamilton who won 10 races this season compared to nine victories for his teammate.
Just 12 points separated the two going into the last race and Britain’s three-time champion Hamilton, who started from pole – Rosberg started from second – had to win the race and hope that the German failed to finish second or third.
Midway through the race Hamilton even ignored team orders to increase his speed in a bid to force Rosberg into a battle with drivers who were behind him, notably those from Red Bull and Ferrari who started from third to sixth.
Although prior to that Rosberg had fallen victim to another similar tactic by rival Red Bull drivers when Max Verstappen moved ahead of him after his pit stop and slowed to stop Rosberg for Daniel Ricciardo to catch up from behind.
Rosberg passed Verstappen with a brilliant and brave move
“Big congratulations to Nico, good job man,” said Hamilton, who at first stared glumly at the floor during the prize distribution ceremony.