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2016 Season Review

Mission Finally Accomplished!

After 20 long and gruelling races, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg finally accomplished his mission of winning the Formula One World Championship.

 

As expected, the 2016 season was one to watch due to the continuing Mercedes battle, predicted re-emergence of Ferrari and rise of young star, Max Verstappen.

 

The season began in Australia and drivers were quickly faced with a reminder of the sport's danger. McLaren's Fernando Alonso experienced a high speed crash as a result of contact and flew into the gravel trap upside down. Despite walking away from his wreckage, Fernando suffered rib fractures, causing the team's reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne to be drafted in. Alonso returned to the grid on the third weekend of the season in China.

 

When F1 entered Europe in May, the focus switched to young drivers and the challenge of maintaining their race seat. Due to a lack of performance, Red Bull decided to demote Daniil Kvyat to sister team Toro Rosso and trade him for Max Verstappen. The switch immediately proved successful when Verstappen won his debut race, the Spanish Grand Prix.

 

Summer started and defending champion Lewis Hamilton was the one to beat. He and his Silver Arrow shone in the sunshine. The usual three week break gave Rosberg the opportunity to re-evaluate his chances and win back to back races.

 

In the latter stages of the season, two retirements were announced. Firstly Felipe Massa told the world that he would be leaving Williams to focus on time with his family. Later that week Britain's Jenson Button informed everyone that he'd be departing from McLaren.

 

The closing races saw the tense battle at Mercedes go down to the wire. Eventually, despite resistance from teammate Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg won the F1 World Championship for the first time in his career.

 

A few days after the finale in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg announced that he would be retiring as he had finally accomplished his career mission. He will be remembered not only as the 2016 World Champion but also as a member of the second Father/Son champion pairing (Nico's father Keke won in 1976, Graham and Damon Hill were the first pair)!

 

Driver of the Season: Nico Rosberg

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