Nico Rosberg snatched the win at the final Grand Prix for the 2015 season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The signature whine from the V6’s flooded the United Arab Emirates city as the lights went out, and thanks to a last second push in the qualifiers, Rosberg led the herd with Lewis Hamilton following, and Kimi Raikkonen in third. Hamilton was slow off the launch and defended against Raikkonen, while Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso collided on the first corner, which put the Venezuelan out of the race.
Valterri Bottas collided with Jenson Button in the pits which prevented him from making any impression on the race. Sebastian Vettel moved up 13 places in as many laps, fighting Hamilton for P2. At this point, most of the drivers had switched to the soft tyre from the super-soft.
Rosberg led by seven seconds, Hamilton in second, with Raikkonen and Vettel switching third, and Sergio Perez in fifth at that stage. A little over half way and the leading Mercedes were in a battle for first, with the Brit cutting the German’s lead down to almost one second, as he seemed to be struggling with degradation. Raikonnen followed in third, Vettel in fourth, and Perez in fifth.
The first real intense battle for position happened in lap 40, when Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenburg and Daniil Kvyat battled for P7. 42 laps in and Hamilton pitted in for soft tyres rather than super-softs, putting Rosberg back on top, the Finn at P3, Perez at P4, and the German in a Ferrari at P5. In the final five laps, it looked as if Hamilton could take Rosberg but it was not to be, and so the final Grand Prix for 2015 saw Rosberg taking his first hat-trick victory, Hamilton P2, Raikkonen P3, Vettel P4, and Perez P5.
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