It’s about time! Mercedes driver Rosberg has come close to a world drivers’ championship before, but has never clinched it until today. His three-time world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton made it as hard as possible, but Rosberg clinched the title in the end.
Hamilton did exactly what you’d expect him to do from the lead: feed Nico to the sharks. And by sharks, we mean the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen on Rosberg’s tail in the closing laps. Hamilton intentionally held up the front of the pack by going slower than the speeds his car was capable of. His team knew what he was up to and ordered him repeatedly to drive faster.
When ordered to pick up the pace, Hamilton responded, “I’m in the lead right now. I’m quite comfortable where I am,” defying his team’s orders.
Fortunately for Rosberg, after battling with Vettel for third—a battle which Vettel eventually won—Verstappen fell back in pace. He had a podium spot no matter what, but Vettel’s car wasn’t able to overtake Rosberg in the final laps, either, letting Rosberg drive home to a second place finish. Hamilton, of course, puttered in to first.
Mercedes clinched the constructors’ championship earlier this year. Rosberg is the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, making them the only father-son world champion duo since Graham and Damon Hill.