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Daniel Ricciardo and #maxverstappen finish in the points at season ending race.
Verstappen recovered from an early spin on lap one to finish fourth as Nico Rosberg sealed his first World Championship in #abudhabi. Ricciardo was one place behind in sixth, ensuring he finished on 256 points, his best to date.
Lewis Hamilton took the race victory, his fourth in a row, but couldn’t overhaul his German teammate as Rosberg finished close behind him in second.
Verstappen was left last after spinning early on, but fought his way back through the field to P3 before being pipped to the line by Sebastian Vettel.
Both Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso retired before the chequered flag.
Red Bull Racing
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 6th
“I am very pleased with my result and how that race went. After being last after turn 1, having to fight my way back and doing it all on a one-stop was the best we could do and I am happy we pulled it off. I knew I was going to come under attack from the two-stop guys as they obviously had more life left in the tyres, I don’t think I could have held Seb off at the end. When you still finish in front of guys who did an extra stop you have to be pleased with the result, especially as we also finished so close to P1. It was an unfortunate tap at the start which caused the spin, it was just a #racing incident though and these things happen. I think Lewis was trying to back us up, and I probably would have done the same, you have to try these things to win a championship. It is very nice to finish the season fifth in the championship and to have had some really good results along the way. After yesterday I wasn’t too happy, so now we finish it on a high. It has been a special season for me this year and I am really excited to get next year underway and hopefully bring more success.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 3rd
“I don’t want to be too down as I’m still fifth. I’m just frustrated in how the strategy played out in the end. We had the supersofts at the start and it was still going pretty well and we tried to make a move on Kimi. For sure it was close but we didn’t pull it off and that really hurt me. I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped but in hindsight it’s always easy to say. I saw Max spin in mirrors in turn 1, so I thought he was out of the race and then he does a one-stop and fights for the podium so he did well. I just feel we hurt with the two-stop strategy as the supersoft was a good tyre today. Hats off to Nico. It must be an amazing feeling to be world champion. They both pushed each other until the end and it’s nice to see the title go down to the line like that. Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points. I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure. I’m not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year, but if we woke up in February for testing and the car’s quick then you’ll see me fighting for it (the title).”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“Congratulations to Nico Rosberg on becoming a very worthy world champion following an exciting race today in #abudhabi. It always looked likely that Lewis was going to drive the slowest possible race should he be in the lead, and that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately our race took a bit of a knock from the start, firstly with Max when he spun round at the first turn dropping him to the back of the field. Thereafter his recovery was quite phenomenal using the best of the supersoft tyre to make a one-stop race feasible. He fought right to the end but he didn’t have enough left in his tyres to fend off the challenge of Sebastian Vettel who was on the fresher supersoft, however it was a great result to finish P4. Daniel had quite a big lock up into the first turn which gave him a big flat spot during that first stint. Although he managed to undercut Kimi on the second stint, unfortunately he spent most of the afternoon tucked up under someone’s rear wing and that gave his tyres quite a hard time and P5 was probably about the maximum. This race brings to a close a really exciting year. It has been a great season for the team, we’ve worked tremendously hard and finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship with two victories has been an incredible achievement. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their effort and commitment this season; to thank Red Bull and all of our partners who support us so well, and also to thank our engine partner and the hard-working team at Viry.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
CARLOS SAINZ, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 21
“I think it was a positive race up until the accident: I was #racing in P14 after staring from P21, overtaking the Manors, Saubers and Renaults… So it was being a good, clean race, but it’s just a big shame that Palmer hit me from behind! I was really enjoying myself and I’m also happy with the fact that we managed to recover well after what’s been a very challenging weekend. It’s just a pity that we were not able to finish the season seeing the checkered flag, but it’s been an amazing 2016 and I’m very happy and proud of my season overall. I take home 46 points, a number I would’ve never said at the start of the year! So I think we can all be very pleased. I’m now very much looking forward to 2017! I’d like to thank the whole team for all the effort and hard work, it’s been an unforgettable year and we couldn’t have done it without each other!”
DANIIL KVYAT, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 17
“It’s a shame we had to retire, as the race wasn’t looking that bad after only having completed five laps in the practice sessions… We were fighting with Haas and Renault and I had a lot of fun, recovering many places at the start and overtaking a few more later on. It’s unfortunate that we had a gearbox issue which meant I had to stop the car, retire from the race… So I decided to go for a stroll on a push bike! … It’s like my whole season has been summed up in one race weekend! J. I’m now really looking forward to 2017, but first it’s time to rest a bit, spend some time with friends and family before training very hard over the winter in order to come back stronger than ever next season. I’m feeling confident, which is a good way to end the season and this is what I will take into the new year. Finally, I’d like to thank the team for supporting me during this year full of ups and downs – I’ve felt they’ve always been there for me and that we’ve kept growing together until reaching a point where I feel very comfortable, like at home. This is something very valuable for me and it will definitely help me next year, when we will push again all together.”
FRANZ TOST, Team Principal:
“First of all, I’d like to say that it was an exciting race and I congratulate Nico Rosberg for winning his first Formula 1 World Championship! Regarding our race today, it wasn’t the result that we were expecting here in #abudhabi, because not finishing with both cars is quite disappointing. Daniil, who was really well placed and driving a strong race, suffered a gearbox problem and therefore had to stop the car. Until then, he showed a really good performance. Unfortunately, Carlos’ race also ended prematurely because of Palmer crashing into him. The gearbox got damaged and he therefore couldn’t continue #racing. This was definitely not our weekend – we already had problems on Friday with what seems like being a rear suspension issue. We still need to investigate this, even if next year it will look completely different, we need to know why this happened. We will now work very hard over the winter in order to be prepared in the best possible way for 2017.”
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