The 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the end [some might say, thankfully] of the Formula One season and in perhaps the most fitting ending – it was another Mercedes 1-2 finish – with Lewis Hamilton winning and his teammate Nico Rosberg in second with Sebastian Vettel finishing in third.
The race was not the typical, boring Mercedes 1-2 snoozefests that we had become accustomed to over the course of the 2016 season as Hamilton sped off to the lead and Rosberg was content to sit in second since a fourth-place finish or higher would assure him of clinching the world championship. The only real drama came at the end when Hamilton intentionally slowed down to try and get Rosberg caught up in traffic, namely the onrushing Ferrari of Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – but to no avail. For this reason, while ASN normally awards the race’s top points to the winner, since Hamilton was intentionally slowing down as a tactic, ASN is instead awarding top points to Vettel for his storming drive to claim third place, second place to Rosberg and the final point to Hamilton. Rosberg, of course, long ago clinched the ASN driver’s title for the season.
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award, however, was not clinched until Verstappen clinched it with his self-caused Lap One spinout gave him the edge over Hamilton and Rosberg.
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award went to Hamilton for his refusal to obey team orders and instead try to muck up his teammate Rosberg’s race and season. That point elevated Hamilton into a season-ending tie with Raikkonen for the award.
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award for this race was again claimed by Hamilton for his post-race petulance toward his teammate Rosberg in the midst of everybody congratulating him for winning his first-ever world championship. Although there was a brief incursion by F1 chief crusty barnacle Bernie Ecclestone, this award has always been Hamilton’s to lose and he did not disappoint, wiping out the field to take his signature award.
The Final 2016 ASN Formula One Driver Standings
1] Nico Rosberg – 39 points
2] Lewis Hamilton – 29
3] Sebastian Vettel – 19
4] Max Verstappen – nine
5] Daniel Ricciardo – seven
6] Kimi Raikkonen – six
7] Fernando Alonso – four
8] Sergio Perez – three
9] Jenson Button/Carlos Sainz, Jr. – two
11] Valtteri Bottas/Romain Grosjean/Nico Hulkenberg/Daniil Kvyat/Stoffel Vandoorne – one
The Final ASN 2016 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award
1] Verstappen – five points
2] Hamilton/Rosberg – three
4] Kvyat/Palmer – two
6] Alonso/Bottas/Hulkenberg/Raikkonen/Vettel/Wehrlein – one
The Final ASN 2016 Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award
1] Hamilton/Raikkonen – four
3] Vettel – three
4] Ricciardo/Verstappen – two
6] Alonso/Button/Kvyat/Rosberg/Wehrlein – one
The Final ASN 2016 Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award
1] Hamilton – six
2] Bernie Ecclestone – three
3] F1 stewards – two
4] Brazilian kidnappers/Ferrari pit [Raikkonen]/Force India pit [Perez]/Gutierrez/Malaysia/Mercedes/Palmer/Red Bull pit [Ricciardo]/Renault pit [Palmer]/Singapore/Verstappen – one