Latest / Feature

Say what? The best of race radio in Abu Dhabi

01 Dec 2015

Many in the paddock were in end-of-season mode in Abu Dhabi - but amid emotional partings and optimism for 2016, there was still time for Nico Rosberg to celebrate, Sebastian Vettel to break into song, and Fernando Alonso to fire off a number of complaints. For the final time in 2015, we bring you the best soundbites from the weekend...

"Wonderful guys. Thank you so much for everything we have been through. I'll miss you, I love you, and I do hope we work together again!"
The end of the season is also the end of an era for Lotus's Romain Grosjean, who offers a heartfelt message to the team he has spent his entire F1 career to date with.

"Man what a weekend, what a season. That's just the start..."
Across at Force India, Sergio Perez is in the form of his life - and fifth place at Yas Marina means his hopes are high for 2016.

"That was fun eh? We have a few weaknesses, but we know exactly what to do and we can do it guys. Going to be a long winter - but a good winter."
The end-of-season mood also grabs Jenson Button, who issues a final rallying call after a dismal season for McLaren.

"How far were we off P10?" (Button)
"180 milliseconds." (McLaren)
"Ouch!" (Button)
Button's optimism also stems from an improved weekend for McLaren, with the Briton missing out on the team's first Q3 berth by the smallest of margins on Saturday.

"I have a puncture, rear puncture..."
The other side of the McLaren garage isn't as happy, however, as Fernando Alonso - eighth after the first runs in Q1 - is knocked out having suffered tyre issues on his second, faster run.

"That's really as good as it gets from me guys - I don't know where I should find the other time..."
Nico Hulkenberg, meanwhile, is left scratching his head after qualifying half a second slower than Force India team mate Sergio Perez.

"It was a good one, no?" (Sainz)
"Outstanding!" (Toro Rosso)
On the subject of impressive laps, Carlos Sainz and his team are left purring as the Spaniard vaults into sixth mid-way through FP3.

"For me I guess we don't have to go out anymore..." (Raikkonen)
"It's tight Kimi..." (Ferrari)
Kimi Raikkonen is also pleased with his soft-tyre lap in Q1, which is ultimately enough to see him through to Q2. Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel isn't quite as lucky...

"That was all I had. Grazie for the season!"
From 15th on the grid, Vettel is able to rescue fourth at the flag, however - putting the gloss on what he later described as a 'miracle' season.

"I think I forgot something this morning..." (Vettel)
"Can you be more specific?" (Ferrari)
"[Breaks into singing Tanti Auguri]. Happy birthday Ricci!"
FP1, and Vettel has a message of a very different kind for race engineer Riccardo Adami.

"Who was in front of me in the last three corners?" (Alonso)
"That was Stevens and Grosjean..." (McLaren)
"Idiots!"
Alonso also has a point to convey after being delayed by traffic on a late flyer in FP3.

"I don't understand. It was our fault, the start!?"
"...I have four tyres one metre in the air. I land 80 miles an hour, I could land in the wall. I don't understand. Who hit me?"

Alonso isn't finished there - come Sunday, he takes a very dim view of being punished for causing a chain of collisions into Turn 1...

"If we do not have a safety car, I will retire the car..."
...while late on, he seems to lose enthusiasm for circulating at the back of the season finale.

"Okay Pastor, that's it, game over."
Lotus's Pastor Maldonado, meanwhile, suffers another early exit - the sixth time this year he has completed five laps or fewer - after being on the wrong end of Alonso's flying McLaren.

"He pushed me off track!" (Verstappen)
"Err, Verstappen overtook me off the circuit..." (Button)
From one duel to another, as Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Button collide late on. The Dutchman takes the place, but gains a five-second penalty - and one point on his Super Licence - for his unyielding efforts.

"If I was to back off right now and look after these tyres until the end, how slow can I go per lap?" (Hamilton)
"Err, I think that would be pretty much impossible. It wouldn't pay off, I can guarantee it." (Mercedes)
Lewis Hamilton leads in the closing stages of the race, but Nico Rosberg is on fresher tyres and closing rapidly - prompting the Briton to contemplate a big gamble to stay ahead.

"I think my options don't last as long as others..." (Hamilton)
"Nico and Ricciardo took it another 4 or 5 laps..." (Mercedes)
"So my deg was much worse..." (Hamilton)
The situation is a direct opposite of FP2, when Hamilton was shocked to discover the extent of his rivals' advantage in stretching their tyre life.

"We have eight laps remaining, we need mid to low 1m 44s..." (Mercedes)
"Well I can't do that..." (Hamilton)
"Okay, flat out to the end in that case - we'll just see what we can make of it."
Hamilton's gamble doesn't work - and after pitting, he is very pessimistic about closing his deficit to Rosberg.

"I tried everything guys... This season I learned a lot. I cannot wait until 2016 to show what I can do!"
At the flag, Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz doesn't let missing out on the points by one second dim his optimism for next season...

"Roll on next year!"
...a stark contrast to fellow Red Bull protege Daniel Ricciardo, who sinks from third to eighth in the championship.

"Whoooo! Awesome guys. Thanks for that, and the season!"
The final word of 2015 goes to racewinner Nico Rosberg, who heads into 2016 chasing a fourth straight win - and a seventh straight pole.