Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016

Rosberg clinches world championship title

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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F1 drivers' championship reigns
F1 drivers’ championship reigns – see full chart
Nico Rosberg has clinched the 2016 world championship, denying Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton a fourth crown.

By winning the title Rosberg has emulated his father Keke, who won the world championship in 1982. They join Graham and Damon Hill as the only father-and-son pair in the sport’s history to both win the world championship.

Rosberg races under a German licence and has become the third German driver to win the world championship after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

List of Formula One drivers’ champions

Rank Driver Championships
1 Michael Schumacher 7
2 Juan Manuel Fangio 5
=3 Alain Prost 4
=3 Sebastian Vettel 4
=5 Jack Brabham 3
=5 Jackie Stewart 3
=5 Niki Lauda 3
=5 Nelson Piquet 3
=5 Ayrton Senna 3
=5 Lewis Hamilton 3
=11 Alberto Ascari 2
=11 Jim Clark 2
=11 Graham Hill 2
=11 Emerson Fittipaldi 2
=11 Mika Hakkinen 2
=11 Fernando Alonso 2
=17 Giuseppe Farina 1
=17 Mike Hawthorn 1
=17 Phil Hill 1
=17 John Surtees 1
=17 Denny Hulme 1
=17 Jochen Rindt 1
=17 James Hunt 1
=17 Mario Andretti 1
=17 Jody Scheckter 1
=17 Alan Jones 1
=17 Keke Rosberg 1
=17 Nigel Mansell 1
=17 Damon Hill 1
=17 Jacques Villeneuve 1
=17 Kimi Raikkonen 1
=17 Jenson Button 1
=17 Nico Rosberg 1

2016 F1 season

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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180 comments on “Rosberg clinches world championship title”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    27th November 2016, 14:39

    A deserved world championship.

    1. @come-on-kibica The fact you even mention it says a lot. Rosberg #fakechamp

      1. Sorry to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as a fake champ. What a glorious day.

        1. If this championship season was a series of horse races, there would by now have been a long overdue stewards enquiry. If i were a betting man and had placed hard earned money on the outcome of this ‘championship’ i would feel hard done by.

          Of course history will only remember the bottom line and not its peculiar circumstance, our historians will make sure of that, but In my opinion Hamilton’s fight to the very last second of the very last lap was the most honest thing about this year’s championship.

          I also think on reflection many people will see his refusal to simply follow team orders as the mark of a true sport’s man. That gesture of defiance was about the credibility of this sport.

          Some might say there is a bigger picture, citing the pending withdrawal of the German grandprix as one factor in that bigger picture. To that i would say this ‘sport’, like all sports, hinges on its credibility, not its entertainment, or its advertising revenue. This very technical industry should be about the driver , their passion, their conviction, and their absolute dedication, not some overly contrived idea of deservedness based on sentiment. This season will be remebered and i think we can thank Hamilton for the part he has played to make sure of that.

          Now can you imagine recent greats having to share their championships?

          1. It”s official, Hamiltons claim to being a great will be in question. Was it his talent or the most dominant car ever seen in F1 that was responsible for his win-tally and Championships?
            We don’t know for sure, but we do know this: None of the other greats in F1 has lost the Championship in a dominant car to a teammate that wasn’t also a great. The question is, is Rosberg a great or is Hamilton not quite as great as some would like to believe? An open question in my view.

          2. @kimiwillbeback

            Rosberg just had a better car than Lewis. Simple really…

            Plus pretty much every multiple world champ has won in a dominant car. Schumacher had a dominant car, vettel had a dominant car, senna often had a dominant car. Let’s remember that hamiltons first championship was in a car that was on par with the ferrari, had the fia trying to stop him.

            I would also suggest that rosberg had more support from the team this year judging by the team radio orders given during the race.

          3. @kimiwillbeback man you’re twisting the knife :D

      2. Less so than the Great Pretender, that is Lewis Hamilton!

        1. F1 all time Driver wins standing

          1. Michael Schumacher 91
          2. Lewis Hamilton 53
          3. Alain Prost 51

          Yes “pretender” -rolls eyes- the hate for Hamilton is real

          1. And why is he so much more hated than any other champion? There’s probably a reason for the hate buddy

          2. you do realise has had a race winning car in more races then anyone in history???

          3. Until his tragic accident, Schumacher was much more hated, at least in Brazil

      3. Don’t worry, I’m sure the Ham will be thinking in his heart how he’s the champion. Deluded.

      4. @patienceandtime #GVorPironifor82 #Laudasreliabilitysucked85 #Laudashouldvewon76 #FangiowasGIVENthetitlebysomeBritishguy and the list would go on if you see it like that.

      5. Oh I am so feasting on the tears of crymilton fans, this will last a long, long time :) What a joyful day and blessed ending to the season!

    2. Fantastic performance by the World Champion of the next years to come. Dirty play by the one we’ve seen enough of.

      1. What else would you expect?! It was the only tactic that he could employ and added to the spectacle of the contest. If he hadn’t tried that tactic then the race would have been poorer for it. Both are great drivers and I doubt that any other champion would have taken a different tact

        1. Then he shouldn’t say he WILL NOT impede anyone in the race! Hypocrite like always. Sorry, never liked him.

          1. Did you like Schumi or Senna’s dirty tactics that were actually worse?

      2. So in your opinion Rosberg will have the beating of Lewis for “many years to come”?

        1. He has a point. Albeit not the point he intends.

          Personally i hope the rival teams produce cars which forces Mercedes to drive true.

          I hope next season is one where every point counts, a season where you can’t afford to leave points in the garage.

          As it is they ran away with the constructors despite all those points lost to ‘mechanical failures’.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th November 2016, 16:35


      Pole Champion: Lewis Hamilton
      Victory Champion: Lewis Hamilton
      On Track winner: Lewis Hamilton

      World Champion: Nico Rosberg
      Kickstarter Campaign to help Nico: Mercedes

      Enough said…

      1. @freelittlebirds
        Hamilton won his first WDC in a similar way. It’s payback now !

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          27th November 2016, 23:31

          @tifoso1989 I’ll always take better, talented, and faster over lucky, less talented with higher car reliability. Especially on the same team where you can’t make any claims of having a faster car.

          I see your point though – I like Massa and I’m glad you support him!

      2. To hamilton fans: He didnot have more points than his teamate in the 30% of his career: 2007 (= points Alonso)/ 2011 (button) and 2016 (rosberg)

    4. SevenFiftySeven
      28th November 2016, 1:24

      Many, many congratulations to Nico for securing a very well fought and deserved world championship. He’s been the underdog; undeservedly targeted and denigrated by the media at times; never had the popular vote; wasn’t preferred to be champion by the head of FOM. Yet, he managed to earn the title against a very tough competitor – with unwavering focus, self-belief, consistency and support from his young family and his highly professional and impartial employers, the Mercedes F1 team, the pinnacle of automotive technology and engineering. He’s been a team player all season, said the right things, appraised his immediate opponent when called for and held his nerve and temperament all season. Well done!

      Good fight back from Lewis till the end. You can only control what’s in your hands. Reliability isn’t one. Given Lewis’ stature as a driver and a multi WDC, Baku qualy and Spain DNF were costly mistakes in his title hunt. One can never afford to let your guard down, especially if you have a strong team mate. Unforced mistake at Baku qualy and impatience at Spain is what really took the title out of Lewis’ hands (let’s forget reliability and bad starts). Spain could very easily have been just Lewis’ DNF with Rosberg going on to win with an even bigger points differential. Still, Lewis performed brilliantly all season with very strong qualis and dominant race wins.

      All the best to both in 2017!

  2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    27th November 2016, 14:39

    Before the anti-Rosberg furore begins let us first look at Nico Rosberg the champion from a few alternatives angles. Firstly, why has Rosberg not previously won a title? Is it because he is not a good enough driver? No, plenty of drivers have taken F1 titles with a sparser skill set than Nico. He is an excellent qualifier, a consistent starter, a cerebral operator and has an uncanny talent for keeping his nose clean across a weekend. Being saddled alongside one of the greatest drivers of all time has much more to do with his failure to tally titles prior to now. He is not Lewis’ equal, but practically no one is.

    Secondly, who on the grid currently could have done as good or better job at challenging Lewis over the past few years? Vettel and Ricciardo, probably? Verstappen and Alonso, maybe? That is a list of drivers who are either already champions or likely to become champions in the future. Why does Nico not deserve to join that list?

    We can all debate whether Nico deserved to be this year’s champion, but when he has performed so admirably against one of greatest competitors the sport has ever seen, I don’t think anyone can deny that Rosberg deserves to be a champion.

    1. Completely agree.

      And it’s also quite refreshing to me to have a new champion.

    2. I could not agree more!!

    3. I remember watching Rosberg driving for Williams in Bahrain 2007. I thought he was a world champion in the making back then, much in the same way I think Verstappen is now.

      A very well-measured summation of Rosberg’s achievements this year. COTD.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th November 2016, 19:11

        Yeah I remember him setting fastest laps in Bahrain 2006, his first season. Was very impressive even back then.

        1. I think you may have corrected me without meaning to. You have my thanks! I believe I meant 2006, given the fastest laps.

    4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      27th November 2016, 16:11

      I would add to that by saying the Nico Rosberg that hobbled into the 2015 US Grand Prix third in the standings (behind the Ferrari of Vettel) was not capable of beating Hamilton over a season no matter what the circumstances. Rosberg responded to his nemesis’ second title in a row with three victories from pole.

      But Hamilton no longer had the motivation of a title to chance, right? Come 2016, those “sexy laps” that generally put Hamilton half a second down the road the previous year barely got his nose ahead in Bahrain, CotA and Interlagos. Whilst in 2015 Lewis found it all too easy to maintain or extend his practice margin over his teammate, this year those seemingly one-sided weekends have all too often seen Nico within touching distance come the end of qualifying or the race. Hamilton’s 2015 monopoly on virtuoso weekends was also broken by prodigious efforts from Nico in Singapore and Japan.

      The influence of these marginal performance gains on Nico’s side versus the infinite counterfactual permutations that would have handed the title to Hamilton is a topic for the eternal abyss of internet comment threads, but this is undeniable: Nico Rosberg picked himself up and dusted himself off after two consecutive title defeats and found a new performance level in himself in a way that only a great sportsman can.

    5. COTD. This is something we need more here, not what the anti-Rosberg (previously anti-Vettel, and list goes on) infidels are producing here. Well done Rosberg! Next year will be really, really interesting with all the changes to tires, widths, etc bound to come.

    6. @william-brierty And unlike his dad he didn’t have title rivals eliminated by injury of Jochen Mass’ car.

      1. I think that most people know that Hamilton is the better driver but that is no reason to make negative comments toward Rosberg. It is very telling that almost all of the talk after this championship has come to a close is of how Rosberg might not be in the same class as Hamilton and others but he deserves it this time.

        These conversation have all had a contrived ring to them.

        I have heard nobody say that Rosberg made a convincing championship winner and everyone is instead is asking “is he a deserving champion” and when you look at the facts, sure, he is. He got more points than anyone else and that is all he needed to do.

        Yes we all know that if it were not for mechanical failures on the other cars then this would have been the 3rd consecutive runner up place for Rosberg.

        However, Rosberg has improved since 2015 and he likely owes this championship as much to his incremental improvement as he does to the DNF points handed to him.

        It’s not an empty win, he didn’t really cheat much this year and his driving was faster, still boring and still a conservative style that fails to excite (notice the lack of a season montage for him after the race?) but faster than last year none the less.o excite (notice the lack of a season montage for him after the race?) but faster than last year none the less.

        Rosberg improved his game so that he could finish consistently in 2nd and collect the occasional race win too.

        A title winning formula? yes. An exciting title campaign to watch? No.

        I sincerely hope that we will one day get a chance to see how good Rosberg really is in wheel to wheel racing, maybe next year there will not be such a ridiculous gap between the competition and we can see 6 or more drivers fighting it out and see how he stacks up against them.

    7. Thank you sir, a much needed comment

    8. I agree with this and was looking to say something similar but it has now been said so little point me saying the same. I’m happy to see Rosberg become champion and I was happy with Hamiltons attitude on the podium until the channel 4 interview. We could argue all day long about reliability, Hamilton’s starts etc but all that matters is the points tally at the end of the season. I want to add in at this point that Hamilton was not in the wrong to back Rosberg up, it is not as if he drove into anybody to try and win. Two great and smart drivers, Rosbergs turn this year. i wonder if he’ll stick with number 6 or carry no 1 on his car next year.

      1. Agreed. As a British fan, not impressed with how Hamilton has behaved.

        1. + 1 to the main comment.

          Every world champion has a slice of luck as well. Nico made the best of the situations he found himself in. He may not have the out and out pace of Lewis or the passing ability. The fastest driver doesn’t always win though. It’s a marathon not a sprint ironically. I think he dealt with the pressure on him very well.

      2. The question Lee McK asked Lewis was ‘and you feel that at the end of it all you were given equal opportunity and on this occasion Nico Rosberg, the better man, won’

        Answer ‘umm, I don’t agree with that necessarily, but er, I guess I’ll leave that to your imagination’

        Quite clearly, by the luck that is motor racing, Nico had 100% reliability, was able to put the car where its pace demanded, the front row, at every race and Lewis had many, many technical issues, one of which cost him a certain 28 points relative to Nico.

        Hence why on earth should Lewis agree to that proposition?

  3. Anyone who wins nine races and comes top on points deserves the title. Well done, Nico.

    1. Deserve is a kind of empty phrase. Was he best driver or best Mercedes driver even? Clearly not.

      Still hopefully Mercedes will have that need for Rosberg to win out of their system now. Those calls for Hamilton to speed up were vomit-inducingly crass. Absolutely no need for them.

    2. Anyone who wins 10 deserves it more.

      1. As I pointed out below, Nico deserves this title just as much as Lewis deserved to snatch the 2008 title from Felipe.

        1. Massa who was handed the win at Spa? And given a place for free in China by Kimi? Hamilton did what he had to do unassisted by FIA or a faster team mate.

          1. Hamilton was also gifted the place in Hockenheim 2008 by Kovalainen in a similar way to the Ferrari team orders in 2010 but of course without the stupid message “Kovalainen is faster than you !”

          2. (@tifoso1989) Not remotely similar! Raikonnen had to slow down, pull over and fetch an ice cream for Massa to get past. Kovalainen was slower than Hamilton but asked to not waste time fighting for a position he was certain to lose as Hamilton, on new tyres, had a brief window to catch cars ahead (whereas Kovi didn’t). Agreed they’re different?!

          3. No, Massa who was robbed of 2 x wins by retiring from the lead in Hungary and Singapore. Funny how you only remember the retirements that suit your agenda.

        2. As pointed below your point makes no sense. 2008 was Mass 6-5 Hamilton in race wins. If Massa wasn’t gifted Hamilton’s Spa win, it would have been Hamilton with one more race win.

      2. @f1bobby “Anyone who wins 10 deserves it more”
        The championship is assigned on points, not wins.
        If it was assigned on wins probably race tactics of the two drivers would have been different from race 1.
        Rosberg secured second places to get the points he needed, it’s tactics. Hamilton slowed Rosberg in the season finale to gain more points on him hoping someone would pass him, different tactics, but to obtain same effect.
        As you can’t blame Hamilton on slowing down the pack to win the championship, you can’t blame Rosberg to just concentrate on points (reducing risks) in the final races.
        Rules affect the way drivers drive.

    3. Spot on !

      He deserves it just as much as his dad who won *only* 1 race in his championship year

      Loads of pressure heaped on Nico by his ‘team mate’ but he held his nerve with a faultless drive

      Hopefully next year Nico will become slightly deaf when the team ask him to let his ‘team mate’ past for instance @ Monaco

  4. Congratulations Nico Rosberg – World Champion!

    Lewis Hamilton did everything he could to try and beat his team mate and will go down as one of the greatest of all time, but I am delighted for Rosberg who I feel has deserved more respect for his achievements than he gets.

    Oh, and no arguments please. Nico > Keke… ;)

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      27th November 2016, 15:13

      @willwood IMO Rosberg > Button/Raikkonen, hence, more than worthy champion.

    2. @willwood An article on how avoiding death and injury was not all that was needed of Nico (GV and Pironi helped Keke get closer to the title quite a bit AFAIK) would be interesting.

  5. Not deserved at all. but congrats

    1. So Ham with Monaco gifted win would be more deserving?

      1. You mean, “gifted the win” by Redbull, because if I remember correctly it was their strategy that lost Ricciardo the win.

      2. @dex022 Considered how Hamilton drove 51 laps on tires and having RBR to adjust their strategy, forcing them in a mistake which nobody else dared to do ofcourse

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          27th November 2016, 19:24

          Lol are you serious?! Red bull messed up Monaco all on their own. You must be one of hammys pr spinners lol.

        2. Almost everybody drove 51 laps in Monaco on tires, Rosberg even drove 78 laps on tires! Take that! hah!

  6. A very good world champion. You don’t see a guy losing the battle to one of the greatest drivers in history come back and win the title like that. It’s happened very few times between team mates and it never happened after two consecutive defeats.

    Nico’s last races of 2015 were a decisive point, even if by then we thought Lewis was just taking it easy. But something changed after that in his mind. Somehow the Nico we’ve seen before was gone and he was more fighty and quite a lot more prepared to win, to beat Lewis whenever he could and to pick up any gifts from Hamilton’s unreability.

    Well done Nico! a deserved prize!

  7. Well done Nico! I feel he has improved so much this year and has had the right strength, mentality and challenge in him to win the champion. I am absolutely ecstatic! :)

    1. @dani LOL. Only thing that ‘improved’ was his reliability compared to Hamilton. Was absolute trash in Monaco and Brasil and asking for Hamilton set up the whole time.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th November 2016, 19:30

        There have been plenty of times where both Merc drivers have felt the need to take the set up on the other car. Happens in every team all the time.

      2. You forgot to mention his starts were better too. That’s why your boy lost the title: he didn’t fix his starting procedure until it was too late.

  8. That race encapsulated everything that is wrong with F1 currently and why Rosberg’s world championship has an asterisk by it.
    No matter how slowly Hamilton was driving at the end Rosberg didn’t try to pass him instead bleating to the team to ask for Hamilton to speed up.
    If not for Hamilton’s equipment failures this season he would have won the championship even earlier than last season.
    It’s a simple fact that Rosberg is a good driver, a poor racer and second best to Hamilton.

    1. So Ham with Monaco gifted win would be more deserving? I need to simply answer to all of you talking b s .

      1. I keep seeing this comment and its frankly tiring.

        Why don’t you take a look at the absolutely gifted win of 015? An absolute travesty. A crazy situation.

        Or this year. Austria. Quite possibly the biggest F1 joke I have seen. A strategist spending so long trying to protect Rosberg he forgot there were two racers!

        Now try to find a single race where Rosberg has started at the back or in any way been screwed by strategy.


        They got what they wanted and its trashing the sport.

        1. @Drg Well said mate.

    2. Pretty poor comment, especially part about the asterisk..

    3. * Had ROS attempted to pass HAM, HAM would have been more inclined to fight harder and less inclined to not wreck.
      * HAM increased his speed quickly when crossing DRS detection, then slammed on the brakes in the middle of a corner if ROS was behind him.
      * ROS’s purpose was to not wreck, and he passed VES with a massively risky move considering the move itself and who it was against.

      I think HAM was very poor today and ROS was very smart.

      1. I think HAM did a great job in the last laps, trying everything he could to win, anyway it made for a great finish, abet a bit artificial.

    4. +1 Asking for Hamilton to let him past? That’s not the attitude of a championship driver, it just isn’t. Rosberg lucked this one.

      Well done, deserved, top job etc. platitudes don’t hide that fact.

    5. it was clear ham was going to do anything to win, including running ros off if he ever got close, even risking a DSQ

      ros shouldn’t have risked any ham dirty tricks, was smart to stay 2nd as it was enough

      1. Clear in your own little head maybe.

  9. Fantastic! He just beat one of the all time best driver. Well done world champion, enjoy!

    1. @spoutnik Reliability did.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th November 2016, 19:56

        Yeah after both suffered reliability problems, Nico made the best of it, bettering his teammate. Lewis underperformed at baku, moaned as Nico had same problem, then Hamilton broke his car in Malaysia (he is a car breaker).

      2. Reliability can relate directly to the driver, or his nuances in driving. Nico protected his car better than Hamilton over the course of the season. Thus better reliability for the Champion.

  10. He didn’t win the race but he drove like master of race craft. He deserves it!

  11. I feel like for years after this people will be having to explain how Rosberg “deserved” his title, where as all of the other world champions on the grid have never had it in question. I honestly just like seeing the fastest driver win but this year the driver with the 2nd most wins and 2nd most pole positions won due to unreliability sad year to me, just looking forward to next year now to see the 2017 cars.

    1. Let’s see, when did a driver last win the WDC despite only being 2nd in number of wins? Oh yeah, 2008 … who was that driver again?


      1. lol Hamilton was in a worse car

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          27th November 2016, 19:57

          No he wasn’t! Lol.

      2. Against a different team. Do you need a lesson in apples and pears?

      3. And notice how he has 3 world championships and not just 2008? So not really sure how that argument explains 2014-2015 in him not being a “deserved” world champion

        1. @f1bobby: Utterly irrelevant. Massa lost the 2008 title through unreliability, just as Lewis did this year.

          @JammyB: Lewis deserved his 3 WDC titles, just like Nico deserved to take it this year. That’s the rules of the game.

        2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          27th November 2016, 20:00

          All earned through favourtism and poor sportsmanship.

      4. Oh yeah, wasn’t that when another team tried to fix the result of a race (like HAM tried to do today)?

        Oh yeah, wasn’t that when another driver basically let Hamilton by at the very last moment, rather than make him race for the position?

        Oh yeah, 2008 belongs to Massa in my opinion.

        1. @neiana And I’d say Malaysia this year was very much payback for Hungary 2008.

          It was less painful, I’d even say, since it failed further from home than Hungary 2008.

      5. Hamilton had one less cos he was robbed of his win at Spa.


        1. And Massa was robbed in Hungary. Your point?

  12. #notmychampion ! Just kidding. He’s had a solid season but I think his 2014 season was more impressive. Over the 3 championship winning years together he probably deserves one against Hamilton and I think if you’d said to both drivers in 2013 this would be the outcome both would have ripped your arms off for it.

  13. Raced for 2nd place last 4 races…l like nico but his none fighting 2nd places is disgraceful..none of the great would of drove for 2nd 4 times in a row.

    1. So, Prost is no all time great?

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      27th November 2016, 15:08

      Prost isn’t great then

    3. You just got served.

      1. No prost wasnt a great

    4. Alonso pretty much did this strategy in 2005 and no one complains that he didn’t deserve it.

      Move on. You are embarrassing yourself.