Abu Dhabi Grand Prix review

After Nico Rosberg made it three wins in a row at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, F1i looks back at how the race unfolded and gets its podium prediction spectacularly wrong...

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race Day - Abu Dhabi, UAE

The race in 100 words

A slightly chaotic start in the midfield - including Alonso taking out Maldonado - hinted at an exciting race but few battles really emerged. Rosberg eased away from Hamilton, with the world champion trying an unorthodox strategy which failed to present a challenge to his team-mate. Raikkonen had a strong but lonely race to third while Vettel’s strategy saw him rise from 15th to fourth after running long on soft tyres early on. Williams had another nightmare in the pits, Perez led a strong Force India finish and Verstappen and Button went wheel-to-wheel for what was ultimately zero points.

Driver of the weekend

While we cannot ignore Nico Rosberg’s dominance this weekend, it’s a Force India driver who gets the nod in Abu Dhabi as Sergio Perez wins the accolade for driver of the weekend. Perez has been in impressive form for the majority of the second half of the season, with the B-spec car seeming to suit him and resulting in a number of strong results. He was quick from the outset of the weekend - ending FP2 in third place - and looked set to secure P3 on the grid before Kimi Raikkonen pipped him at the end of qualifying. A strong race followed, with Perez showing good pace despite pre-race concern regarding the long runs. Powerless to stop Sebastian Vettel passing in the final stint on supersoft tyres but didn’t make a mistake to keep Daniel Ricciardo at bay.

Move of the race

Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t had many opportunities to show his confidence on the brakes this season as his underpowered Red Bull has left him defending rather than attacking, but he was at his aggressive best against Nico Hulkenberg early on. On lap 6, Ricciardo used DRS to attack the Force India and the differences in the Mercedes and Renault power units ensured it was a close battle. The pair fought through turns 8 and 9 before the second DRS zone saw Ricciardo finally get the move done in to Turn 11.

Prediction accuracy

Podium: 1. Nico Rosberg, 2. Lewis Hamilton, 3. Kimi Raikkonen

F1i’s pre-race prediction: 1. Sebastian Vettel, 2. Valtteri Bottas, 3. Daniel Ricciardo

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race Day - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Weekend recap


Rosberg hits back in FP2 as Ferrari faces fight



Rosberg continues qualifying run with Abu Dhabi pole



Rosberg takes third win in a row to end season