Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Nico Rosberg wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by a wide margin over teammate Lewis Hamilton. This is his third straight win of the season after losing the title to Hamilton on Austin last month. Although this victory has no significant impact to the order of things in F1 today, it nevertheless proved many things to Rosberg. It showed that he can really dominate a race from start to finish just like Hamilton used to do before. It also gives everyone a glimpse of what he’ll be next season. Let’s now get more into the details of this race in this Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2015 recap.

Qualifying

Nico Rosberg will make his sixth consecutive start at the pole position on Sunday’s race after he again edged out Lewis Hamilton in practice. The Briton was the fastest in the first and second qualifying sessions, but Rosberg outdone him by being faster by almost three tenths of a second on the final session. This was enough for the German to take the pole on the race. Sebastian Vettel who is currently third on the drivers’ standings had a disappointing run here and will begin the race on 16th place.

Racing Conditions

The climate in Abu Dhabi is hot, but race starts during the time when the sun is about to set. As the race progresses, the temperature on the track gradually becomes cooler which is good for both the drivers and the engines. There is also usually no forecast of rain during race day.

The Grid

The Race

Rosberg gets away cleanly and grabs the lead at the start of the race. Vettel who started in 16th was able to climb up to 12th immediately. On the second lap, a collision happened between Maldonado and Alonso. Maldonado’s car was heavily damaged, so the Venezuelan driver was forced to retire. Alonso on the other hand was forced to pit in early to get a new front wing.

Kyvat made an early stop on lap 5 to change to soft tyres. Other drivers followed on lap 6 and they also changed to the soft compound. Sainz had a problem in the pit and his stop took 6.2 seconds. On the front, Rosberg continues to pull away from Hamilton and on lap 8, he has already established a 2.6 second lead over the Brit.

On lap 9, another McLaren driver Jenson Button had a collision this time in the pit lane. He cuts across Bottas who was already on the way out and damaged the Finn’s front wing. Bottas was forced to make another trip to the pits because of the accident.

Hamilton made his first stop on lap 11 and like most of the other drivers, he also changed to soft tyres. He comes back to the race in third behind Vettel who is now in second. The German is the only driver who hasn’t pitted so far. He has a one stop strategy here unlike the others.

On lap 22, the lights have been turned on to illuminate the race track. Hamilton is now back in second is actively pursuing Rosberg. He cuts the German’s lead to just five seconds and has also set the new fastest lap of the race.

Rosberg made his second stop on lap 32 to get another new set of soft tyres. Hamilton grabs the lead after that. Ten laps after Rosberg made his second trip to the pits, Hamilton finally made his final stop on lap 42. He comes back in second with Rosberg taking a huge 12 second lead.

Hamilton was able to cut Rosberg’s lead to just 8 seconds on lap 47. However, time seems to be running out for the Brit with just 8 more laps to go with this race. Elsewhere, Ferrari’s Raikkonen and Vettel are on third and fourth places respectively.

The order of things with the race leaders didn’t change up to the end of the race. Rosberg won by comfortable margin over Hamilton. The third and fourth places were secured by Ferrari.

After Thoughts

Without a doubt, Mercedes dominated this season again. This is the 12th (out of the 19 races) Mercedes one-two of the season. The other teams are clearly way behind them in many aspects. The drivers’ title race has been mostly just between Hamilton and Rosberg and they’ve also dominated the constructors’ championship. This is definitely another great year for this team. Hopefully next year, other teams will be able to give some serious competition to Mercedes so that F1 races will be more exciting to watch.