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NICO ROSBERG, 2016 world champion crowd-surfer. Image: AP.

 
 
 
ABU DHABI was an exceptional race, by any measure, but outgoing World Champion Lewis Hamilton leaves legacy he may well regret.
 
There is no doubt Nico Rosberg thoroughly deserves the 2016 Formula One title. 
 
But Brit Lewis Hamilton, had two options last evening at the superb Yas Marina circuit, in the United Arab Emirates.
 
He could had driven off into the balmy Arabian night and demonstrated he is the best driver in F1.
 
Or he could have ignored clear team instructions, given several times over Race Radio (including from his good mate, Merc’s executive director Paddy Lowe, to cease and desist from backing Nico up into the pack.
 
The choice was Hamilton’s and he chose the latter, electing to drive his own race – for millions upon millions of fans to witness – effectively allowing Sebastian Vettel (running third) and Max Verstappen (fourth) to get by and perhaps push Rosberg into fourth, thus denying him the title.
 
Given a couple more laps, it may well have delivered Lewis the third championship he obviously so cherished. With possible catastrophic results.
 
It was Hamilton’s decision, and he has to live with it.
 
Because it won’t go away.
 
(And It’s interesting to note that racing drivers seem to be divided on his tactics.)
 
After finishing runner-up for the past two seasons, 31-year-old Nico finally emulates his father Keke Roseberg who won the Formula One title in 1982.

The Rosbergs are the second father-son combination to have won a world championship, joining Graham Hill (1962, 1968) and Damon Hill (1996).

Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth in the Abu Dhabi F1 grand finale, and was a impressive third in the 2016 championship.

And I, for one, can’t wait until March when the Australian F1 Grand Prix fires up Albert Park in Melbourne.

 

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race – Infographics

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