As the final laps from the last race of 2016 F1 season were coming to an end, heart beats at the Mercedes camp were thumping clamorously, and more so in the Nico's camp. It was pivotal for Nico Rosberg to finish in the top 3 to win the 2016 world championship and for Lewis Hamilton, to pray or play dirty tricks, and he resorted for the latter.
Lewis Hamilton started the race from the pole and maintained his lead throughout the race. But his winning alone wouldn't stop Nico from claiming the world title, and so, Hamilton started to slow the pace of the race in the penultimate laps. His intentions were to let Sebastian Vettel and Max Vertsappen catch Nico Rosberg, leave him behind, and eventually snatch his maiden world title.
But as it was written in the hands of fate, Nico maintained his calm and peacefully crossed the chequered flag, to win his maiden world championship. Here are some interesting numbers related to Nico's well-deserved maiden world title -
- With this win, Nico Rosberg became the 33rd driver to win a Formula One world championship title.
- Nico Rosberg is only the third German to win an F1 title. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are the first two.
- The German trio now accounts for half the championship in the last 24 seasons. Meaning, Rosberg(1) Schumacher(7) and Vettel(4) has won 12 of the last 24 drivers' championships.
- Germany, along with Brazil and Finland is only the 3rd country to produce 3 world champions. Brazil (Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna) and Finland (Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen) and now Germany (Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg).
- A full breakdown of world championships per country:
16 - Great Britain
12 - Germany
8 - Brazil
5 - Argentina
4 - Australia, Austria, France, Finland
3 - Italy
2 - Spain, United States
1 - Canada, New Zealand, South Africa
- Keke, father of Nico Rosberg is also a world champion, who won his title in a car with Number 6, same as Nico Rosberg.
- Nico and Keke duo is only the 2nd father-son duo to win world championships. Graham and Damon Hill were the first ones to achieve the feat.
- In total 13 driver-son combinations have raced in F1.
- Nico Rosberg had to wait for 11 consecutive years to win the title, second longest wait in the history. Britain's Nigel Mansell took 12 years to become the champion.
- Rosberg raced in 206 Grands Prix in total before winning the world title. This is the highest number of career starts before becoming champion. Mansell raced in 176 races.
- Of the 1268 racing laps in 2016, Nico Rosberg spent 957 in the top 3. That's a 75 percent record.
- Nico spent only 13 laps for the complete season outside of the top 10. Michael Schumacher - during his triumphant 2000 campaign, didn't spend a single lap outside the top eight.
- Nico won 9 races in the 2016 season and still became a world champion, 1 less than Hamilton, who won 10 races in the current season.
- Rosberg has maintained an upward graph in terms of poles and podiums for the last 5 years. Here's the stats -
2011 - No podium
2012 - 1 pole, 2 podium
2013 - 2 pole, 4 podium
2014 - 5 pole, 15 podium
2015 - 6 pole, 15 podium
2016 - 9 pole, 16 podium
- Nico Rosberg is now the Mercedes' third world champion, after Lewis Hamilton (2014, 2015) and Juan Manuel Fangio (1954, 1955).
- Mercedes' is the fourth team in history, after McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull, to have won the drivers' title in three consecutive seasons.
- Last but not the least, this was the third time in history that the title has been settled in Abu Dhabi.