By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix proved an exciting finale for the 2016 Formula One season and brought us a slew of interesting stats and facts, as new records were set, veterans retired, and Nico Rosberg clinched his maiden World Drivers Championship. Here are 10 of the best facts and stats from the dramatic duel in the desert.
10. Nico Rosberg joins his father Keke (1982) as only the second father-son duo in history to be F1 champions. Graham (1962,1968) and Damon Hill were the first to achieve the feat when Damon won the title for Williams in 1996.
9. Rosberg clinched the championship in his 206th start, the longest it has taken any driver to become a champion, although Nigel Mansell took 13 seasons to Rosberg’s 11 by virtue of F1’s ever expanding calendar.
8. Lewis Hamilton became the first man to win the season finale, and the most races in a season yet loose the championship since he defeated Felipe Massa in 2008 by only one point.
7. Massa held off Fernando Alonso for 9th place in the final stages of the race to earn two championship points in his 250th and last race. Longtime friend and former engineer Rob Smedley said it was fitting that Massa beat his old Ferrari team mate to end the Brazilian’s career on a high note.
8. Jenson Button retired early in the race which marked his 305 start in Formula 1. Only Michael Schumacher (306), and Rubens Barrichello (322) have started more Grand Prix.
7. Rosberg’s point total of 385 is the third highest in the sport’s history, although it is somewhat skewed by the current points system, only Sebastian Vettel has scored more points over a season, in 2011 and 2013.
6. When Rosberg crossed the finish line to claim the title he was one of 6 World Champions to be racing at that moment, representing every title going back 11 years to 2005. Nico Rosberg (16), Lewis Hamilton (15,14,8), Sebastian Vettel (13,12,11,10), Jenson Button (09), Kimi Raikkonen (07), and Fernando Alonso (06,05). Button’s retirement means that 5 champions will take to the grid for 2017.
5. With Rosberg taking the Championship, German drivers have now won 12 of the last 23 World Titles. Split between Michael Schumacher (7), Sebastian Vettel (4), and now Rosberg with one.
4. It is only the fifth time in F1 history that a current World Champion has lost the title to a team mate, and the first time that a double defending champ has lost it to a team mate.
3. With Rosberg’s title, Stirling Moss once again becomes the most successful F1 driver in terms of wins, without a Championship.
2. The top 4 in the race were covered by only 1.685 s, and the top 3 by less than a second, making it one of the closest finishes in a F1 season finale.
1. Nico won the title exactly 34 years after his father Keke, the exact same amount of time had passed between Graham Hill’s first Championship and his son Damon’s success in 1996.