Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Formula One Live Blog

Hello and welcome to the last race of the season of Formula One at the fabulous Abu Dhabi track.

We should be in for an exciting race as it has come down to the wire between the championship leader – Nico Rosberg and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.


Abu Dhabi Qualifying timesheet

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:38.755
  2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, + 0.303
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, + 0.834
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, + 0.849
  5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, + 0.906
  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, + 1.063
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, + 1.746
  8. Sergio Perez, Force India, + 1.764
  9. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, + 2.351
  10. Felipe Massa, Williams, + 2.458

Qualifying Two

  1. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:41.084
  2. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:41.272
  3. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, 1:41.480
  4. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:41.564
  5. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:41.820
  6. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1:41.995

Qualifying One

  1. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:42.003
  2. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1:42.142
  3. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:42.247
  4. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 1:42.286
  5. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:42.393
  6. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:42.637

It is the first time that this track will be hosting a championship decider race.

If Rosberg wins, it will be hist first world title.

If Lewis Hamilton wins the world championship, it will be his fourth world title.

If Rosberg finishes on the podium today, he will be guaranteed to be the Formula 1 world champion.

This means that Hamilton must win the race and also hope that Rosberg does not finish on the podium to collect his fourth world championship.

If Rosberg wins the championship today, it will be the first time since Damon Hill won the title that a father and son have won world championships.

In other news, it will be the 2009 Forumla One champion Jenson Buttons last race today and it will also be Felipe Massa’s last race in Formula One. Two legends of th sport and their countries.

2016 Driver Standings

Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – Germany – 367

Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – United Kingdom – 355


The pundits on Sky seem to think that the pressure is more on Rosberg than Hamilton but they would say that as Damon Hill and Johny Herbert are British …

Rosberg has the fastest car and there is no chance of rain. It must be a foregone conclusion? He has one hand on the trophy. Hamilton and Rosberg have both won nine races each.

The drivers are all out in positions on the grid and off on their warm up lap.

The stands are full and it should be a fascinating duel between the two Mercedes drivers and ‘teammates’.

Waiting for the lights to go out at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

13:03 – Its go, go, go at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the lights are out, Hamilton gets away quickly and Raikkonen is into third and Riccardio is in fourth

13:04 Verstappen spins after contact with Perez

13:04 Verstappen is dead last now … oh dear

13:05 Perez and Hulkenburg meanwhile are wheel to wheel along the two long back straights

13:05 Hulkenburg passes Perez – sixth and seventh respectively

13:06 Magnussen has to get his front wing changed in the pits

13:06 Jenson Button stays 12th

13:07 Ferrari are hot on the tails of Rosberg

13:07 Alonso is up to eighth in the McClaren

13:08 Verstappen up to 15th now

13:09 The top five are seprated by just three seconds … tight

13:10 Verstappen actually made contact with Hulkenburg on the first lap, replays have shown

13:10 Hamilton is still struggling to to pull clear of Rosberg

13:11 Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap

13:11 Verstappen overtakes Kyvat and up to 13th

13:12 Magnussen’s final race with Renault is over, he has been instructed by the pit to bring the car in and retire it

13:13 Hulkenburg is now back ahead of Perez – trading places in sixth and seventh

13:14 The gap between Hamilton and Rosberg is now 1.3 seconds

13:15 Bottas is being called into he pits to have a look at a problem with his car

13:16 Hamilton is about to come in to the pits for a change of tyres

13:16 It has taken Verstappen less than seven laps to go from last to the points – the young fellow is on fire

13:17 3.6 pitstop for Hamilton … not good

13:17 Hamilton just gets out ahead of the young boy Verstappen

13:18 Rosberg might have a chance to overtake Hamilton now with that slow pit stop

13:19 However that won’t happen because another Ferrari slowed Rosberg down

13:19 Rosberg just out ahead of Raikkonen, only just. He is behind Verstappen

13:19 Rosberg pit stop took 4.8 seconds

13:19 Bottas is out his Williams and out of the race.

13:20 Rosberg is told he needs to get ahead of the Red Bull Car as they are purposely driving slowly

13:21 Verstappen manages to hold off Rosberg and holds on to the position

13:21 Ricciardo has pitted from the lead and he is just behind Kimi now

13:22 The top six currently now are Hamilton, Vertsappen, Rosberg, Kimi, Ricciardo and Vettel.

13:23 “Don’t take any risks with Verstappen” Rosberg is told.

13:23 5.2 seconds covers the top six and they’re all within the same camera shot down the back straights!! Blimey.

13:24 Verstappen will have to pit soon now, which will open up the door for Rosberg

13:25 Jenson Button is off the track and it looks like his front right wheel is damaged. His race could be over now … that’s sad.

13:26 Brundle says it looks like “lower wish bone failure”.

13:27 Jenson Button gets a standing ovation from the crowd here in Abu Dhabi. Lots of English fans there or, should I say British?

13:28 Button stands on top of his car in the pit to lap up the applause from the crowd. A nice touch.

13:28 Rosberg has been told to look after his front right tyre. He is on the super soft tyres.

13:29 “Hamilton is coasting around at the same pace as the Force Indias” says Brundle in the commentary box

13:30 Hamilton leads Vertsppen now by 2.3 seconds. He is slowly building his lead.

13:31 Vertstappen is still out on the track and no sign of him pitting anytime soon.

13:31 Danny Kyvat’s race looks like it over and he is now going a snails pace and has pulled in on the side of the track.

13:32 The top six is still the same.

13:32 We have 40 laps left now …

13:32 Hamilton now leads by 2.8 seconds of Verstappen

13:33 Kyvat is now on his bike … cycling back to the pits – as the saying goes “on your bike son”.

13:34 Alonso overtakes Grosjean and into the points in tenth place.

13:34 Hamilton has been warned not to grain his tyres as the front tyres are a bit cold.

13:35 Hamilton is stretching his lead from second at the end of each lap – 3.2 seconds now.

13:35 Verstappen has done 17 laps without pitting and he is still on supersofts.

13:36 Ricciardo overtakes Kimi but Kimi on the next turn, nicks his place back!! Ricciardo went wide on the next turn.

13:36 Kimi hangs on to fourth in the end.

13:37 “Its critical now that we pass Verstappen” Rosberg is told.

13:38 Rosberg goes for Verstappen on the final turn and overtakes him on the straight. Magnificent driving. He went for it a long way back.

13:39 Truly fantasic racing from the championship leader.

13:40 Brundle was really impressed with that move in the commentary box.

13:41 Hamilton now leads Rosberg by 5.6 seconds. All Rosberg needs to do now is finish the race on the podium.

13:42 Verstappen finially comes into the pits.

13:43 Force India now guaranteed to finish fourth in the constructors championship with Bottas out of the race.

13:44 Verstappen down to eighth behind Perez and Hulkenburg respectively.

13:45 Hamilton’s lead now with Rosberg has been cut to 4.8!!

13:45 Rosberg has 25 seconds advantage ahead of Verstappen who is only doing a one-stop strategy. Unless Rosberg gets held up on his next pit stop, he should stay ahead of Verstappen.

13:46 Ricciardo is coming in now for a pit stop. The softs are fitted and that should get him to the end of the race.

13:48 Verstappen is now stalking Perez to try and overtake him.

13:48 Kimi has a new set of soft compound tyres on

13:49 Vertstappen is now ahead of Kimi and so is Ricciardo.

13:49 That undercut from Red Bull has worked and has both of their cars ahead of Kimi.

13:49 Vertappen finally gets ahead of Perez. Perez did not try and defend. Verstappen up to fifth

13:50 “Red Bull have just outsmarted Ferrari, big time, with both cars” says Brundle.

13:51 Kimi can’t get ahead of Perez who tries to overtake Ricciardo in front of him but Ricciardo defends well from Perez.

13:52 Ricciardo up to fifth now.

13:52 We are on lap 28 of 55. More than half of the race completed now.

13:53 Rosberg’s lead over Verstappen is now up to 26 seconds.

13:53 Hamilton has been told to come in and pit.

13:53 Two point five second pit stop this time for Hamilton, Smooth.

13:54 Rosberg leads now but he is being called in at the end of this lap.

13:55 In Rosberg goes to the pits.

13:55 A beautiful pit stop there and no problems for Rosberg. 2.3 seconds

13:56 Rosberg still ahead of the Red Bulls. It is all going to plan now … all he has to do now is finish the race in the position he is in!

13:57 Vettel now leads the grand prix.

13:57 “that was an important hurdle just cleared for Nico Rosberg,” says Brundle.

13:58 Hamilton’s advantage over Rosberg now is only … 1.8 seconds!

13:59 Hamilton seems happy just to cruise. There is no more he can do to win this world championship.

14:00 Ferrari plan on keeping Vettel out as long as possible to try and beat the Red Bull’s. Let’s see how that works out …

14:01 Rosberg now ahead of Verstappen by over four seconds.

14:02 Hamilton was told by the garage to hurry up as Vettel is eight seconds ahead of him and this could affect him later in the race. Hamilton responds with a new personal best lap … Boss.

14:03 Hamilton asks the engineer was that sufficient?? He follows up again with another 145.3 seconds.

14:04 Hulkenburg overtakes Alonso to take up seventh place where he started the race.

14:05 Twenty laps now remaining.

14:05 Verstappen now 3.8 seconds behind Rosberg. Slowing chipping away at it.

14:06 Hamilton asks the team “what position am I in?”

14:07 This track again has proved it is very difficult for overtaking.

14:08 The battle for first is around about 5.5 seconds now.

14:09 Marcus Ericsson is the only driver out there who has not pitted yet …

14:09 The gap between Hamilton and Rosberg is now exactly one second now, with Vertappen 3.3 seconds back on the second Mercedes.

14:10 Vettel finally pits and goes for the supersoft tyres.

14:11 Vettel slips all the way back down to sixth now but has fresher tyres for the final stages of the race. 14:11 Ricciardo has closed on Verstappen. He is just 0.7 seconds behind his team – mate.

14:12 Hamilton now leads the race, Rosberg second and Verstappen in third. 14:13 Vettel has just done a new quickest lap of his race with his new tyres – 144 lap.

14:14 Fifteen laps to go …

14:14 Hamilton coming up now to lap a couple of drivers at the back of the race.

14:16 Vettel sizes up Kimi and overtake’s him.

14:16 Get after those two Red Bulls Vettel.

14:17 Roberg on 385 points in the standings. Five clear of Hamilton on 380 points.

14:18 “You need to give me the times of other cars,” Hamilton tells the team.

14:19 Contact between Sainz and Palmer under the hotel. The Briton locked up and ran into the back of the Toro Rosso. He is now under investigation.

14:20 That collision has cost Vettel a little bit of time.

14:21 Sainz’s gearbox is now not working and he has to retire.

14:21 Make that 3.3 seconds between Ferrari and second Red Bull as a 143.7 from Vettel takes a full two seconds out of Ricciardo last time round.

14:22 Ten laps now remain.

14:23 Vettel is under two seconds behind Ricciardo now.

14:24 Palmer receives a five-second time penalty for nudging into Sainz

14:24 Vettel has three cars between himself and Hamilton., but is only six seconds off the lead!! This could be extremely exciting!

14:25 Hamilton is showing little interest in going faster than a 145.9 …

14:26 “Lewis this is an instruction, we need 145.1 for the win,” Mercedes tell Hamilton. “I suggest you just let us race,” he replies … team orders are being ignored!!

14:27 Rosberg is only 0.8s behind Hamilton. Verstappen is 2.5s behind Rosberg. And Vettel is 1.9s behind Verstappen … this is all getting tense.

14:28 Rosberg is going to get under threat here if this keeps going on from Hamilton.

14:29 Verstappen is now only two seconds behind Rosberg now.

14:30 Rosberg tells the team that Hamilton is driving very slowly and says why not let me past and then I’ll let him past again later if he is still in second … went down like a lead balloon.

14:30 This is crazy … the top four are now separated by just four seconds!! Six laps to go.

14:31 Rosberg is within DRS range of Hamilton … will he disobey team orders and try and overtake? 14:32 If Verstappen and Vettel overtake Rosberg he will lose but, if they can’t he will be world champion for the first time.

14:33 There is only two seconds now separating the top four!

14:34 “This whole race is rinsing Mercedes’ nerves on the pitwall,” says Ted Kravitz from down the pit lane.

14:34 Vettel takes third from Verstappen.Paris Hilton enjoying herself in the Ferrari garage during the race

14:35 “Lewis this is Paddy we need you to pick up the pace to win this race,” Hamilton is told by Paddy Lowe. Hamilton’s response is not a positive one.

14:36 Vettel is on Rosberg’s gearbox now … Tense!

14:37 If Vettel passes Rosberg it isn’t enough for Hamilton.

14:37 THREE LAPS to go here in Abu Dhabi!!

14:38 Hamilton is now doing 1:46 second laps now.

14:38 Rosberg is reminded that he can afford to finish third. He is still in second place behind his teammate Hamilton.

14:39 We’re on the penultimate lap … Hamilton leads Rosberg by one second, with Vettel 0.5s further adrift.

14:39 Vettel attempts to get Rosberg but Rosberg defends very well.

14:40 We are now in the final lap

14:40 One point four seconds cover the top three.

14:41 Vettel is extremely close now to Rosberg.

14:42 Thirty four years after his father became champion, Rosberg finishes second and wins the world championship!

14:43 Lewis Hamilton wins the race … I can’t help but think Hamilton and Rosberg won’t ever be friends, EVER!

14:44 Just EIGHT TENTHS OF A SECOND separated Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel as they crossed the line.

14:45 What a moment for Nico Rosberg!.

14:46 Felipe Massa in his last race, treats the fans to a few Donuts in his car.

14:47 Confirmation of your Abu Dhabi top 10:

Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Massa, Alonso


14:48 The fire works are being set off to celebrate the end of the face. A lovely touch.

14:49 “We first have to speak to him to get an explanation,” says Nikki Lauda.

14:50 Ecclestone is waiting in the podium holding room … and Rosberg hoists the F1 supremo in the air on his arrival!

14:51 Not a word between Rosberg and Hamilton in the room.

14:52 Rosberg out on to the podium to rapturous applause from the crowd.

14:56 Rosberg carries his trophy to the edge of the podium and hosts it up.


14:57 Hamilton congratulates Rosberg and finally shakes his hand to applause from the crowd.

14:58 Rosberg is having a few words with David Coulthard on the podium in front on the crowd.

We are going to wrap up here now folks on a rather exciting day of racing in the end. Why can’t every race be like that with the top four cars so close to each other throughout the race?

So it is Lewis Hamilton who takes first here in Abu Dhabi from Rosberg in second and Vettel in third.

Rosberg though, does enough to win the world championship!

Thanks for tuning in.



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