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Abu Dhabi stats - Mercedes score record-breaking 12th one-two finish

29 Nov 2015

After wins in Mexico and Brazil, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg controlled the race at Yas Marina on Sunday to secure a hat-trick of victories for the first time in his career.

It was the German’s sixth win of the season and his 14th in total, tying the tally of Graham Hill on the very same day as the 40th anniversary of the two-time world champion’s premature death.

Lewis Hamilton came home 8.2s behind his team mate to secure the Silver Arrows a 12th one-two finish of the year, breaking the single-season record of 11 they set last year. They also broke the single-season points record they set last year by two, despite the fact that double points weren’t on offer like they were in 2014’s finale.

Rosberg incidentally is only the second driver to win from pole in Abu Dhabi, the 30-year-old having recorded his sixth successive P1 start on Saturday. If he scores pole at the first two races next season he’ll equal Ayrton Senna’s all-time record of eight straight poles. 

Behind the Silver Arrows, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen collected just his third podium finish of the season, and along with it the points he needed to overhaul countryman Valtteri Bottas for fourth in the drivers’ standings. That’s the Finn’s highest championship finish since 2012 when he was third overall.

On a similar note, Sergio Perez cemented his best ever championship finish of ninth with a fine drive to fifth place - the seventh time in the final nine races that the Mexican has scored points.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo finished four places ahead of team mate Daniil Kvyat in sixth, but it wasn’t enough for the Australian to displace the Russian in the final standings, the duo finishing the year in P7 and P8, separated by just three points.

And on the subject of championship positions, Fernando Alonso experienced something that had never happened previously in his F1 career - he was out-scored by a team mate. In this case, Jenson Button ended a dismal year for McLaren with 16 points, five ahead of Alonso.

Romain Grosjean capped his final race for Lotus with ninth place - his tenth points finish of the year for the Enstone concern. Overall, the Frenchman has scored 287 points for the team (either in their Lotus or Renault guise) over 83 race starts, including 51 points (or 65 percent of Lotus’s overall tally) this season. 

Grosjean’s team mate Pastor Maldonado fared less well in Abu Dhabi, capping a disappointing year with a ninth retirement of the season. Believe it or not, the Venezuelan – who went out on the first lap at Yas Marina - completed five laps or fewer in six Grands Prix this season. In fact, only Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi (neither of whom completed a full season) completed fewer raced kilometres in 2015 than Maldonado’s tally of 3,827.

Another driver who had a less than stellar evening in Abu Dhabi was Max Verstappen who was eventually classified 16th - having been hit with a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, and a 20s post-race time penalty for ignoring blue flags. The Toro Rosso driver also received three penalty points on his licence, taking his total to eight. If he accrues four or more before next May he’ll get an automatic one-race ban for having picked up 12 or more in 12 months.

However, those statistics shouldn’t detract from what has been an incredible season for the young Dutchman, one in which he has scored the second highest number of points of any rookie under the current scoring system (Kevin Magnussen scored six points more in 2014).  

But the final word has to go to Mercedes, whose dominance in 2015 was such that they topped 80 percent of all sessions (FP1, FP2, FP3, qualifying and the race). Plenty for their rivals to think about over the winter months as they prepare to fight back in 2016…